Guest Post By Wendy Dessler
Travelling the world is a dream for nearly everyone, or at least, it has been at some point. We all have a natural yearning to get out and experience all of the wonderful, unfamiliar things that the world has to offer, and that desire is stronger in some than others. Call it wanderlust or restlessness or any other description that fits, but some people are not content to stay at home with the same old routine from the cradle to the grave.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the population– even some of those with that unique travel gene– do not follow that dream and go out into the strange, sometimes scary world. While staying at home is a more bland and boring way of life, it is also much safer and less likely to incur unexpected risks. However, those who do have the yearning to branch out and explore unfamiliar terrains will almost always regret it if they do not go out and do so, simply because they were too afraid.
But one additional and more tangible concern comes in the way of finance. Travelling with a full bank account and plenty of cash is scary enough, but exploring new areas with no money can be downright terrifying. Aside from the basic anxiety of leaving the familiar, lack of funds is the most common reason that most people do not travel.
Travelling Without Money?
On the surface, it seems impractical, unrealistic and maybe even a little irresponsible to travel if you do not have a lot of money. For whatever reason, we tend to relate travel to wealth and lavish spending, but it does not have to be this way. In the modern era, everyone has a right to go out and explore as much of the world as possible, no matter how much or how little they may have in the bank. So then why does travelling without money seem so counterintuitive to the average person?
The main reason for this belief is because we are thinking of traditional travel techniques. These mainly involve concepts with which we have been instilled by the tourism industry, airlines, major hotels, travel giants and others who are in a position to profit from lots of money being spent on travel.
However, it is not only possible, but incredibly exciting and rewarding to go out and explore the world without a pocket full of cash. After all, anyone can jet around the globe and visit exotic locales with copious amounts of money in the bank, but it takes a certain kind of skill and moxy to do the same on a smaller budget.
Benefits of Broke Travel
Travelling with little (or no) money may be challenging and stressful at times, but it is also incredibly rewarding and immersive. Those who are forced to be more creative in their quest to find room and board are more likely to experience small, mom and pop style hotels or B&Bs. You may even do some couchsurfing, leading to real connections with those who live in your destination. Youth hostels also provide a great way to connect with others, while staying within a small budget.
Similarly, you are more likely to shop and local markets or grocery stores and cook your own meals, as opposed to spending unnecessary money on eating out three times a day. When you do go out to eat, those on a budget are more likely to find small establishments with lots of local flavor– figuratively and literally– instead of the traditional hotspot restaurants that will be overrun by tourists.
How to Travel When Broke
The most important element of travelling when broke is creativity. You will have to spend more time planning and coming up with creative alternatives than those who will simply pay for expensive flights and hotels. Do your research and follow the advice of those who have already visited your intended destination and find how they were able to travel cheaply.
Also, you should realize that you do not have to go to a faraway exotic location to enjoy travel. When you have the right attitude and creativity, you can find so many fun things to do in Orange County or the Appalachian Mountains – just as many great sights and experiences as any French beach. If your dream is to experience a totally new culture, you can volunteer to work abroad or teach English in any number of foreign countries.
Doing It the Right Way
It is also important to understand the difference between rewarding, exciting broke travel and simply irresponsible behavior. If you have a family or others depending on you, it is obviously not a good idea to take off and volunteer on a farm in Australia. If you are drowning in credit card debt, counseling can be helpful, but unnecessary expenditures just to rack up bonus miles is not.
If you do have that certain travel gene, you should do everything in your power to follow your dream, but you should always do it the right way. Understand the benefits of travelling and why it is important for you to do so. Plan your trip thoroughly and creatively to get the most out of it, and look for alternatives to traditional tourist travel. Then you can conquer your fears, leave the safety of home and explore all that the world has to offer.
Wendy Dessler is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.