For many of us, adventure can be expensive, and this is exactly why I wrote this article on how to travel solo cheap.
If you’re looking to travel solo on a budget, there are a few things you can do to make sure you have a great trip.
First, research destinations that won’t break the bank. This article includes my favorite places to head to when I want to cut back.
Once you’ve decided on a location, start planning your trip and book your flights and accommodation in advance.
Finally, when you arrive at your destination, be sure to talk to the locals and get their recommendations for the best cheap eats and activities.
I’m going to expand on these here, so let’s go.
Cheap Solo Travel Requirements
When you’re planning a solo trip, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of before you go.
First of all, you’ll need a passport. Make sure it’s up to date and that you have all the necessary visa requirements for your destination.
With that out of the way, you’ll need health insurance. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a country with high medical costs.
Make sure you have coverage for any potential emergencies.
Even though this is a cost, it’s nothing compared to the amount of money you’ll need to come up with in case something happens.
So, trust me, you’ll definitely save a lot in the long run.
Finally, be flexible with your travel dates and times. This will help you find the best deals on flights, hotels, and activities.
Cheap Solo Travel Destinations
Mexican pesos are strong, but 20 of them equal just 1 U.S. dollar. To give you an example, you can have a group of 3 tacos, one can of soda, and a small desert for that amount in Mexico City!
I once took the train from Delhi to Jaipur for 150 Indian Rupees, which at the time equaled about $2. That was a distance of 166 miles (or 268 kilometers).
Egypt is also very cheap. A hotel in the heart of Cairo once cost me about 180 Egyptian Pounds, which is about $10.
All of these destinations offer a variety of activities and attractions that can be enjoyed without spending a lot of money.
Best Apps for Cheap Travel
There are a few must-have apps for anyone looking to travel on the cheap. Each of them takes care of an important part of your trip.
Skyscanner is essential for finding affordable flights. It allows you to search by destination, date, and even airport, so you can find the best deals quickly and easily.
Uber Eats is another great option for saving money on travel, as it offers significantly lower prices than most in-dining experiences.
And finally, Google Maps is a must-have for getting around any unfamiliar city. It provides detailed maps and directions, so you’ll never get lost or waste time wandering around aimlessly.
Hidden Travel Costs
There are a few hidden travel costs that can really add up, but the good news is that you can easily avoid them.
First, these hidden charges start from the get-go because there are baggage fees. These can vary depending on the airline, but they can really add up if you have a lot of luggage.
One way to eliminate that is to reduce your baggage to carry-on only. Trust me; you won’t need as much stuff as you think you will!
Second, there are ATM fees. If you need to get cash while you’re abroad, you’ll likely be charged a fee.
One way to avoid this is to sign up for a bank that doesn’t charge these fees. There are several in most major countries. So, shop around!
Finally, there are scams. Be wary of anyone who approaches you asking for money or trying to sell you something.
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research ahead of time and try to familiarize yourself with the local currency, so you don’t get taken advantage of.
There are many other hidden travel costs, but these will help you cut them down by a whole bunch.
How to Travel Solo Cheap – Example
Sarah is German and began her solo travel planning a year before she left, which is really the best way.
Because she had so much time, Sarah was able to get cheap flights, hotels, and even planned visits to local food markets.
“I got an offer for Asia, and that quickly made my decision for me,” says Sarah.
Her first destination was Thailand, where she stayed in a hostel. A month of paying $5 a night really made her travel that much cheaper.
That’s $150 for the month!
Being able to stay in one country allowed her to get to know the “Asian” way of doing things. For example, she quickly adapted to negotiating.
For the following five months, Sarah traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
In each country, she was able to find affordable accommodation and transportation.
“I had a flat across the beach in Vietnam, and it was unbelievably cheap,” she says.
It’s incredible what you can get in many countries around the world, cutting your cost down next to nothing.
Sarah says she also made sure to visit local food markets so she could try the different cuisines.
“Every single night in Thailand was at the night markets,” she says, referring to a popular lifestyle there. “I ate for less than $2, and it still blows my mind.”
Get this: Sarah spent less than $3,000 for her entire 6-month trip to Asia. That’s less than $500 per month.
So, if you think traveling is expensive, think again!
Our friend Sarah flew from Berlin to Bangkok for less than $200. She was in Laos for nearly two months and only spent $650.
Follow my advice in this blog, and you, too, will be on your way.
Plan Your Own Cheap Solo Travel
As you learned throughout this article, the secret to cheap solo travel is planning. So, now that you know this let’s start planning.
So, there are a few ways to find cheap flights and hotels. One is to sign up for the newsletters of every low-budget airline in your region and the low-budget hotel or hostel chain in the destination.
This way, you’ll be alerted as soon as there are any sales or special offers. Being in their newsletter ensures you’ll be one of the first to grab them!
Another way is to scour travel websites regularly. Some of these have thousands of people checking them on a daily basis, and you don’t want to miss something.
Finally, check the apps daily. Some apps allow you to watch a destination and notify you when things are on offer. For example, Google Flights is amazing.
You might find that there are some great deals if you’re flexible with your travel dates.
The point is that solo travel doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you’re willing to be flexible and plan ahead, you can get really great deals!
P.S. Did I miss anything? If so, let me know, and I will update this article!
AJ Paris is a travel photographer based in New York. He is the editor of Caravanzers.
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