Everyone travels for different reasons. Some people travel for leisure, other people for business, and some for research. Once while in Italy I even ran into two Danes who were in Italy purely for the food! But if you are like me, you travel to experience new cultures, open your mind, get out of the monotony of daily life, meet new people, and visit the places you have always dreamed of seeing. Unfortunately, we all aren’t Donald Trump. Most of us simply can not afford to stay in hotels, eat out every meal, and take taxis everywhere when we travel. I am writing this for the people who have always dreamed of seeing the world, but don’t have thousands of dollars to spend. If this is you, pay close attention, because you can travel anywhere in the world, for as little as 5 dollars a day.
The first and most important way to save money is to either not pay for housing, or find the cheapest around. Often upon hearing this, people assume that means you will be staying in disgusting and dirty places. However, in my experience this is not always the case. There are many websites that help people find quality places to stay for free. Couchsurfing is currently the most popular website. On this website people from all over the world offer to have you stay with them when you visit there city. Before you stay with them you can see what other people who have stayed with them have said about their stay. Some people worry about safety issues, but couchsuring.org does everything they can do to insure peoples safety. Furthermore, I have couchsurfed in many different countries and have always had amazing experiences and made great friends. You can stay with both men and women, old and young, rich and poor – but no matter where you go, it is FREE!
In addition to couch surfing there are other websites such as Stay4free, homeexchange, and hospitalityclub that advertise free accommodations. However, if you are not comfortable with this sort of living you can always check out hostels. Hostelword is my recommendation for finding hostels worldwide. Some hostels have prices as low as $3 a night and many include a free breakfast. Otherwise, if you travel with one or more friends, you can find hotels for a low price and then split it. Kayak.com is a great website for finding cheap hotel prices. Nevertheless, I would still strongly suggest you check out couchsurfing Not only does it give you a free place to rest, frequently the people you stay with will make traditional food for you and take you out to see the sites. You can get free tours around the city from a native for free.
Once you have your room and board figured out, you need to start thinking about how to pay for food. Eating out every meal is fun, but is also extremely expensive. However, I do understand that part of the fun of traveling is tasting the local cuisine. I would suggest choosing one day a week to go out and have a nice meal. This will give you the opportunity to enjoy the food, without breaking your budget.
In order to find cheap food consider how you buy food when you are not traveling. The best way to get cheap food is to head over to the local grocery store or market. Once while in France, I ate out 3 days in a row and therefore had only $5 for the rest of the week. I proceeded to head over to the grocery store, buy peanut butter, jelly, and a loaf of bread. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience, but I was able to make it to the end of the week without starving. If you plan ahead you can eat extremely well simply by heading to the closest markets or grocery stores in your area.
Another great option for saving money is by checking out the local dollar store. Not every country has these, but if you are traveling in the US you can definitely find them. Furthermore, I have seen them all over Europe (the 1 euro stores) and Asia. Most of them have food you can buy for a very good price! In addition, you can literally save yourselves hundreds of dollars by purchasing food and other materials at these stores. Most of the natives will know where these stores are so do not be afraid to ask!
By following these guidelines you can easily travel within any country in the world for as little as $5 a day! There are other methods and country specific rules that you can see on my website. Please take some time to check it out, and good luck travelling!