Ask An Expert: How To Travel Cheap

Thursday, July 8, 2010

GoMad Nomad recently introduced a new “Ask GoMad Nomad” feature on their site (à la the seemingly defunct “Ask Rolf” series on World Hum). In its inaugural post, GoMad tackles a very familiar question that pretty much all travelers face at one time or another: How to travel without going broke?

GoMad recommends exploring the idea of ditching the whole “travel” thing and, instead, relocating to your destination for a while, an option that allows you to not only spend an extended period of time there, but often gives you the opportunity to give a little something back as well. Try volunteering, or even a help exchange, where your work can be rewarded with some room and board. GoMad also lists a few house sitting sites, including Mind My House, House Careers, and House Sit World, where you can save those precious travel pennies in exchange for living in and taking care of a furnished house.

My two cents? (It is my post, I can butt in when I want.) I’ve always found that the best way to extend your cash is to simply watch what you eat and drink. Nothing adds up more than eating out three times a day and loading up on mid-day beers and drinks. Of course you want to explore the local cuisine, that’s part of travel, but that doesn’t mean every meal, and it doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot to do it. Eat cheap for breakfast and lunch (buy a box of cereal, buy some bread at a bakery, load up on breakfast bars), then splurge for dinner at the more pricier options, or just stick to the cheaper street food (which, as is often the case, is some of the best, traditional food you’re going to find anyway). And maybe you come back a few pounds lighter from your trip — a win-win situation.

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