How to Afford a Travel Lifestyle: Getting Around on the Cheap

by Dorothea Vasicek of

You’ve landed at your destination, you’ve gathered your belongings and are exiting the airport, embarking on your new adventure. Everything unknown surrounding you – the sights, the smells, the language – is sparking an adrenaline surge at every passing glance. You feel enthralled in excitement and a little anxious, but soon everything unfamiliar will become second nature. Until then you know the only thing to do is to throw yourself in, 100%.

Your options of traveling within a country (or continent) vary greatly depending on your budget, where you are, and where you are wanting to go. I am going to assume that you are a badass minimalist(ish) traveler who could spare some change, but ultimately is looking to save as much money as possible.

Location really is key, because sometimes options like taking a taxi makes a lot of sense; it is direct, more secure, and very affordable – say if you are in a third world country. Whereas a taxi in New York City or London would be totally backwards, if saving money was your top priority. Chances are, even if you are somewhere where taxis are comparatively super cheap, that also means other choices (such as bus or subway) are even cheaper. 

Besides, where’s the adventure is taking a taxi, no matter where in the world you are? If you really want the most affordable ticket across town, across the country, or across the continent, check out these options for getting around on the cheap:

Trains – Are you in a major city? Are you…anywhere in Europe? Check out the nearest train system, whether it is subway or above ground (or a combination) to get to where you need to go. It pays to book before you get to the station; many times the lowest fares are posted online only. Speaking of travel, if you need private jet service for personal or your business checkout they offer one the best and cheapest private charter jet transport.

Buses – Some of my favorite adventures have been taken on buses with 4×4 suspension. They are generally the most affordable mode of public transportation and offer an above ground, roadside view of wherever you are going, which is convenient considering you are still getting your bearings. Recognizing landmarks is key in garnishing confidence in a new city, and taking a bus is a great option.

Biking – This might sound crazy at first, because of course you didn’t pack your bicycle with you! But a quick Google search could easily find you a bike renting service, especially if you are in a major city in the Western World. Some cities even offer bike rentals for the day, which is an adventure unto itself, a fun way to get acquainted with a new place.

Hitchhiking – Depending on where you are in the world and how comfortable you feel sticking your thumb out for a ride, hitchhiking may or may not be for you. It is definitely economical, but also inherently risky.

BlaBlaCar – If the idea of hitchhiking appeals to you, but you feel hesitant to actually take the plunge, then check out the website and app: It is a worldwide ride sharing network that offers reviews of drivers and perhaps the most affordable ticket from point A to point B. It is a fun, safe way to connect with new people and get to your destination (or that much closer to your destination).

Crewbay – Finally, if you are needing to cross an ocean, you aren’t in a rush to get to your destination, you want to save money in a big way, and perhaps also be one less person contributing to the use of fossil fuels involved with flying, then is right for you. This website connects people in need of a boat crew with you, a hardworking, wanderlusting individual who will do anything to go someplace new.

The choice is yours, and the great thing is: every option is an opportunity to meet new people, know a new place, and have an unforgettable adventure.

dorotheaDorothea is an avid writer and lifelong travel enthusiast. Her insatiable appetite for all things international was sparked at the ripe age of 17 when she studied abroad in Morocco, and it hasn’t quit since. She’s spent the last two years living out of her suitcase, going from place to place and documenting her journey on her blog,