To travel on a student budget or (almost) nothing

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Want to travel Queensland or within Australia on an extremely low budget? A budget equivalent to say… a student allowance?

Still reading? Good! Because it is very much doable… provided you can save enough money to cover the return flights which is obviously the most expensive part. But! Once those flights are booked, the world is your oyster.

Now, you’re probably wondering where to start when it comes to traveling on a small weekly allowance. Well, I can tell you straight away that the first cost saving measure can be to travel light… carry on luggage only light. Admittedly this is much easier said than done but it can save you several hundred on airline tickets depending on your chosen airline and some bus companies also charge for an extra bag. I have done this personally for short trips and have also met several people on my travels who are going around the world with carry on bags only, so it is very much doable. Just pack very wisely!

 

Next step… finding budget accommodation. One word… hostels. They’re cheap, are a great way of meeting people and the majority of hostels will have a list of things to do in the area. So, with your new found friends, you head out to explore the town on your low budgets! Sound good? I can tell you that it is! From being lost in the streets of Barcelona to climbing mountains in the Austrian alps to drinking beer on the beach in Australia, all began with a simple ‘hello’ to one or more of my hostel roommates. All this (besides the beer) came at a reasonable price.

 

There is a huge amount of free activities to do in large cities… well, anywhere really. I can recommend prioritising things that you really want to see and budget accordingly. Mainly because the most popular tourist spots are very rarely free, which is expected I guess. You can always look at the building or whatever from the outside, going inside is optional. Just be prepared to pay. For example, I can personally say that I’ve walked all around a country without ever actually going in! That country was the Vatican… and as you know, the Vatican is country within the city of Rome and I never once planned to line up for 2-3 hours outside in the middle of the Italian summer!

 

If you are on an even tighter budget, there is a couple of very handy websites that are aimed at travelers and make budget travel incredibly easy with a bit of pre-planning. The first one is called Couchsurfing. It is exactly what it sounds like… couchsurfing, yet it is so much more. It is a fantastic way of traveling and a brilliant way of meeting fellow likeminded travelers. On the Couchsurfers app, you can find fellow travelers in the area as well as a possible host to stay with. All in all, I think it is a budget travelers dream and I highly recommend it to everyone.

The other is a personal favorite of mine….workaway.info This is a website that again requires some amount of pre-planning because the best host are normally full for several months when you first look because… well, they’re a good host! Anyway! Workaway is where you can go and live with a host for a while and help out with duties around the house or farm in exchange for board and food etc. Duties can range from helping out with the shopping and looking after children to catching animals out on the farm. Some people even ask to have a particular nationality to help them learn another language! My Workaway experience happened in British Columbia, Canada where I ended up on an Alpaca farm for three weeks which was to say the least… a great experience! My daily duties involved looking after a herd of Alpaca and several cats and dogs. In return, I was staying in a lovely home, was well fed and regularly went on trips around the beautiful Okanagan region. In the three weeks i spent on the farm, I spent next to nothing and got to see a fair bit of the countryside as well as experiencing life in rural Canada before returning back to New Zealand. The only hitch with this website is that there is a small subscription fee, which doesn’t amount to much in the long run and is well worth it.

 

With a few of these tips, you could be well on your way to planning your next adventure abroad! Money isn’t everything when it comes to travel, you can’t put a price on the incredible experiences you’re bound to have and the people you will meet. Along the way, you will pick up on more budget travel hacks, just as I have and hopefully pass them on to other aspiring travelers.

So, what are you waiting for?

P.S. Knowing how to cook is an advantage, put those hostel kitchens to good use!

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Louella

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