Travel Hacking: Smart Ways to See the World
I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about financial goals. Now that I'm out of debt and have built an emergency fund, I've actually decided that maybe I should set a budget. And one of the things I want to budget for is travel.
Until recently, I hadn't traveled much. I grew up in and and around Portland, and that's where I tended to spend my vacations. But after my wife's parents took us on a few trips (to Alaska, to San Francisco, to London, Dublin, and New York), the travel bug bit me. I'd like to see more of the world, and I'd like to do it without spending a lot of cash.
Travel full-time for less than $14,000 per year
While I was blowing 0 on a single day in Orlando last month, professional world-traveler Nora Dunn was contributing a guest post at I Will Teach You to Be Rich in which she describes her own quest to see the world. Dunn writes:
I “retired” from the rat race at the tender age of 30 to embrace my life-long dream of traveling the world, before life had a chance to get in the way…I am not rich. I am not a trust child, nor do I have rich parents, a sugar daddy, or a stream of income that allows me to live the high life on the road. Full time travel doesn't have to be expensive, and after two years on the road, I've learned plenty of tricks to travel the world without breaking the bank, and without an end in sight.
Dunn's post is enormous. It's packed with fantastic tips divided into eleven sections:
- Save 80% on Airfare
- Work for Accommodation
- Get Free Accommodation
- Work While Traveling
- Learn the Truth About Volunteering
- Become a Part of a Community
- Avoid the Biggest Trap
- Be Food Wise
- Roll with the Punches
- Rethink Travel Expenses
- Travel Slowly
If you've ever dreamed of traveling the world, this is a must-read article. On the other hand, reading this could be dangerous. When I was finished, I found myself wanting to book a flight to Australia — today!
One of my favorite blogs right now comes from long-time GRS reader Chris Guillebeau. At The Art of Non-Conformity, Guillebeau writes about “unconventional strategies for life, work, and travel”. One of his goals is to visit every country in the world by 07 April 2013. So far he's visited 111 of 197.
Guillebeau considers himself a travel hacker, and he's happy to share what he's learned with others. His site is filled with informative articles like these:
- What I talk about when I talk about travel
- Why you should quit your job and travel around the world
- 28 things I wish I knew before I started traveling
- How to buy a round-the-world plane ticket
- How to become a travel ninja (a $39 e-book)
- The unconventional guide to discount airfare (a $25 e-book)
I sometimes think of Guillebeau as Tim Ferriss lite. I don't mean that in a bad way. With The 4-Hour Workweek [my review], Ferriss inspired a lot of people (including me) to take an unconventional approach to life and work, encouraging readers to consider travel. Guillebeau covers these same topics, but in a more laid back and pragmatic fashion. Some people are put off by Ferriss' personality. If you're one of them, give Guillebeau a try.
At the end of March, I wrote about how to find great deals on vacation and travel. For more information on this subject, check out the following sites:
- OneBag.com, the art and science of traveling light
- The Professional Hobo, Nora Dunn's personal blog
- Location Independent Living is great because it documents the actual costs involved for the authors to live in various places around the world.
If you have suggestions for other books or websites about traveling the world (especially on the cheap), I'd love to hear them. Also, what are your favorite destinations for frugal travel?