Entrepreneurship, startups

Four Ways to travel around budget-friendly or even for free

If you’re a millennial, chances are high that you like the travel. But if you’re a millennial, you’re also likely to have a limited budget for that hobby of yours. Don’t you worry, though. Here are four ways to travel around budget-friendly. And: Some of the tricks can even land you free trips. Sometimes, all you have to do is take a detour.

Choose your destination according to your network

Do you have a friend who’s currently living abroad? Perfect! I don’t know who your friend is or where they are living, but this place could be your next travel destination.

Even though I love to travel alone, I like to plan my trips on the basis of where I know people. Why? Because reunions are fun, you have someone who can show you around and, in the best case, even a place to sleep. Plus: If you’re traveling off season, your trip is going to be even more budget-friendly. It can’t get any better than that, can it?

Leave your checked bag at home

This one particularly applies to weekend trips: Flights are so much cheaper if you don’t have a checked bag. Thus, make sure to travel lightly. Let’s be honest – you don’t need that extra dress and  that third pair of jeans. Also, leave your cargo jeans behind (and promise you’ll never wear them again, not even at home). For your trip, you only need to bring the most important items. This way you can leave your checked bag at home and avoid extra fees.

Flights are so much cheaper if you don’t have a checked bag.

What are the most important items, you might ask. To me it’s whatever I can stuff into my carry on bag. There are a couple of hacks to deal with airport guidelines that don’t allow you to bring a great deal of fluids. You don’t need to bring shower gel, for instance. Simply pack a bar of soap. (You didn’t think I was going to suggest that you don’t have to shower during your trip, did you?)

But be cautious when booking your plane ticket: Simply because it might looks like a bargain to you, it doesn’t mean that it is one. One time, I booked a flight to Paris for less than 50 Euros but it cost me almost 100 Euros to get to the airport and back home. At the end of the day, it was a low cost journey nontheless. But I could have saved even more money if I had paid just a little bit more attention. Oh, a butterfly! … … …

Choose the cheapest means of transportation

Where was I!? Oh yeah. Remember when I said that flights are cheaper without a checked bag? Well, it can get even more budget-friendly than that if you go by bus or train. It might not be as convenient as simply hopping on a plane, but it can safe you a whole lot of money (which you can spend on delicious food later!).

So make sure to consider all of the available options. And don’t be picky. Whenever I’m going on trips in the US, for instance, I use Greyhound bus or similar companies. Despite the horror stories I’ve heard about bus road trips, I’ve never been disappointed. If you have travel buddies, you can also go for a rental car, though. Whatever you decide to do, I got your back. Just promise that you don’t hitch hike and that you stay safe. 😉

Look for scholarship opportunities

I went on a cruise, I flew to Florence and I visited Texas this year and I didn’t have to pay a dime for these journeys. Why? The cruise was a press trip, I attended a summer school in Florence and I participated in an exchange program in Texas. My point is: Look for scholarship opportunities abroad. There are tons of summer schools and educational programs out there. You just have to find the ones that match with your professional field.

Don’t get me wrong, though. You should absolutely not apply for a program, only because you want to travel around for free. That’s definitely the wrong attitude. I advise you to apply only if your genuinely interested in the program. Keep in mind that summer schools and similar initiatives can be tremendously intense and you can only spend a fraction of your time to do sight seeing anyway. Summer schools and exchange programs as such are huge opportunities where you can broaden your horizon and connect with new people. Consider the fact that you’re getting a free trip as a nice add-on.

Do you have any travel hacks to share? Leave a comment or drop me a message!

Claudia is a social media aficionada with a passion for running, writing and photography.