10 Tips for How to Travel on a Budget of $72 a Day
We are celebrating another full travel year on budget! This article summarizes our 2nd year of travelling the world on USD $72 for a couple per day. It is much cheaper for us to travel the world than to sit on the couch in our hometown of Sydney, Australia.
So how do we do it year after year?
Our yearly travel budget includes all our transport including flights, accommodation, travel insurance, food and day-to-day incidentals.
Last year we travelled from:
- Sydney Australia to Bangkok Thailand
- Barcelona, Spain
- 10-day road trip around Spain
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Nice, France
- Housesit outside Toulouse in France for 3 weeks
- Kotor and Budva in Montenegro
- Dubrovnik in Croatia
- Day trip to Mostar in Bosnia
- Bilbao Spain
- 15-night Reposition Cruise from Bilbao Spain to Colon Panama
- Housesit in Boquete Panama for 3 months
- Housesit in Ajijic Mexico for 3 weeks
- Road Trip from San Cristobal de Las Casas through to Cancun for 2 weeks
- Cuba, 1 month
- Housesit in Barbados for 3 months
How to Travel on a Budget: Housesitting
One of our major cost savings for travelling each year is Housesitting. Housesitting is a great way to travel while reducing your travel costs. It is also a great way for us to catch up on our writing for our lifestyle travel blog.
We enjoy living like a local in the areas that we housesit. Housesitting gave us the opportunity to enjoy Barbados for 3 months, a destination where you would normally only spend a week or two.
We book flights that are usually one-way where we ‘flight hack’ to get the best fares. There are many websites out there to use to search for the cheapest fare but there are ways of making your $$$ go further by flight hacking.
Flight hacking is looking at alternative destinations or airline hubs en route. You could also use a combination of different airlines to bring down your flight costs. If you are flexible with your dates and times it certainly reduces one of the biggest components of your travel budget.
Last year, whilst travelling for a month in Cuba, we used Airbnb for the very first time. With Airbnb we had the opportunity to book our accommodation and pay for it prior to arriving in Cuba.
In turn, this helped us manage our money and the local Cuban currency. It pays to shop around the many Hotel Booking Engines and search for the best rate.
Don’t forget to read the customer reviews prior to booking your accommodation. You can either look them up on the website you have chosen or through Tripadvisor.
We also keep our transport costs down by staying in central locations so we can walk to most of the popular tourist sites. We use a mix of hotels, apartments and hostels when we travel.
We tend to do all our shopping at the local green markets and buy fruit and vegetables that are in season. Not only is it a fun way to shop, it is a great way to mingle with the locals and enjoy the local market atmosphere.
Travel Insurance is a big cost for us, but we shop around and evaluate every travel insurance policy on offer, taking careful notice of their medical inclusions. We prefer policies that have unlimited medical and repatriation. Ensure that you read and understand the fine print before committing.
We have also saved a lot by travelling with only carry-on luggage. Some budget carriers will charge for luggage but with carry-on you can save money.
Again, read the small print when booking your ticket. Our carry-on weighs approximately 13kg, but beware: some carriers may put a limit on carry-on weight. Travelling with a small amount of luggage allows us at times to walk to our destination, saving local taxi fares, or use the local buses or trains.
Uber has been another way that has helped us save. Check whether Uber is available in the countries that you are travelling to. There can be savings of anywhere between 5-30% off a regular taxi fare.
Managing your credit cards or travel cards is another way of saving money when you travel. Our travel card also gives us frequent flyer points, which can be used against future flights or hotels.
ATM fees can be high; research your banks before you go. If you are based in the US, there are certain banks that will refund your ATM fees, unfortunately we don’t have this option available in our Australian Banks.
How do you save money when you travel? Would you consider housesitting or using Airbnb to save travel money? What other tips can you share for how to travel on a budget? Please join the conversation!
Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith are nomadic semi-retirees, baby boomers, travellers, House Sitters and co-founders of To Travel Too. Their motto is “Age is no barrier when it comes to travel.” Although not yet pensioners, their goal is to travel the world on what is currently the Australian Age Pension of approx. AUD 33,716 (USD 25,110) per year, or AUD 92 (USD 69) per day for two people.