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How to Travel Longer Cheaper

How to Travel Longer Cheaper

What if you could travel for months, visiting far off places for cheap? You could check off some of those destinations on your bucket list or discover exotic locales you’d never dreamed you would, or even could!

There are more ways than ever to save on travel and taking extended trips is becoming more common. I know firsthand how cheap it can be to travel far, for a long time. My family and I spent $74 a day traveling for a year, all costs included. We took seven flights to eight countries on three continents, eating out, visiting attractions on a daily budget less than accommodation costs alone for most vacationing families. Taking an extended trip, traveling a longer time for cheap is easier than a lot of people believe. The key is cutting costs wherever you can while traveling because every dollar saved equals more time seeing the world. Here are some simple ways to travel longer cheaper.

Extended Travel Planning and Budgeting

how to travel longer cheaper

    You need to get in the right mindset to prepare for an extended trip. Part of that is determining the purpose of your trip and a rough outline of your preferences to help you fulfill that purpose. Be flexible and plan intentionally.

    Start by asking yourself some important questions:

    Why do you want to travel? 

    Asking yourself why you want to take an extended trip will help you shape your plan. Do you want to volunteer? Are you interested in learning about a particular region or culture? Maybe you want to start the process to become an expat and live and work overseas.

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    Where do you want to go? 

    Do you have a list of must see places or simply a starting point? Is it specific cities or whole countries that intrigue you? Using sites like Numbeo and Price of Travel can help you determine basic living costs in different places around the world. I’ve used both to find countries where my travel budget will stretch further.

    How can you make it happen?

    Can you get the time off or secure leave from your job? Do you want to travel sustainably and work while you’re on the road? Can you sell some of your stuff that you don’t need or want anymore to help finance your adventure?

    When do you want to leave?

    Having a travel date in mind gives you a goal to work towards. The date may change as plans often do but having to amend when you leaving is no big deal, you’re still going!

    How many countries do you want to visit?

    If your list is long and spread out over multiple continents, your trip will be more expensive.

    How fast do you want to travel?

    Faster costs more money, slower keeps costs lower.

    How are you willing to get around considering cost, time, and comfort?

    Planes can be expensive, and buses can take a lot of time. The seemingly cheapest mode of transportation can end up costing you huge chunks of time and can end up being more expensive monetarily as well. Considering convenience when determining modes of transportation can end up saving you money.

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    How do you want to stay?

    There are accommodation choices to fit every preference and budget all over the world. You need to decide what you prefer and then research accommodation types that fit your budget.

    How to Make an Extended Trip Affordable

    Make your budget as simple as possible. You and your budget need to be flexible. The most important thing when determining a budget is to be realistic.

    how to travel longer cheaper

      The length of time traveling comes down to how long you can be away from your job and how much money you have to spend to devise a budget, that part is pretty cut and dried. Answering the above questions will help you determine what you want to achieve with your trip.

      You don’t need to plan everything down to the last detail. But having a clear reason why you want to go and what you hope to achieve will help you figure out important details before you leave and prepare you to recognize opportunities to enrich your travels as they arise on the road.

      Now to find ways to get the most value for your money and to meet your travel goals!

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      How to travel Cheaper

      There are ways to keep costs a lot lower; in fact, there are ways to eliminate some expenses all together! Accommodation prices can affect a travel budget the most. Reducing or eliminating some of those costs equals more time traveling.

      The one thing that keeps my family traveling longer is staying free with house sitting! There are opportunities all over the world to stay in beautiful destinations free in exchange for minding people’s homes while they vacation.

      You can find house sitting assignments for weeks, months and, even years on different house sitting sites. House sitting has accounted for almost a year of free travel accommodation for us. We stayed six months in Panama, two months in Spain, one month in Turkey and two months in the UK with accommodation costs covered because of house sitting.

      Here are more ways to save money on the road:

      Benefit from the sharing economy

      Couchsurfing and WWoofing are other ways to garner free accommodation. They also help travelers learn about destinations on a local level. My favorite way to stay aside from house sitting is with Airbnb. Rentals offer space and conveniences, like full kitchens and even washing machines that make family travel way more affordable than hotels and hostels.

      Skip car rentals

      Choose accommodation with easy access to amenities and public transportation. Being able to walk to things you need and want when traveling helps you see the finer details of a destination. You also save a bunch of money not needing to pay rent, insure and gas up a rental car.

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      Approach destinations like locals do

      Shop and eat in restaurants outside tourist areas, pricing is always cheaper. Visit sites like Like A Local and Spotted by Locals to get local opinions on great things to do and see in the places you visit. The recommendations are often the best value for money.

      Take a food tour

      Taking a food tour when you first arrive in a destination is a great way to learn great places to eat. Local guides offer recommendations aside from the places on the tour.

      Research city tourism cards to save

      Getting a city tourism card can help you to receive discounts or free entry to attractions. Most also give users a discounted rate on public transportation.

      Don’t book everything before arriving

      Organize the first third of your time in a new destination. Leave the rest open-ended so you can make plans based on money saving tips and opinions of people you meet along the way.

      Keep costs at home in check while you’re away

      House sitting is a great way to stay in amazing destinations free but using a house sitter to care for your home and pets while you’re away can save you a lot of money as well. Having a house sitter stay will save you expensive kennel fees and additional insurance fees you may have to pay if your home is left empty for an extended period. My favorite house sitting site is House Sit Match. The personal service offered on the site is a great support for anyone wanting to try house sitting services for the first time.

      I hope these tips inspire an extended trip for you! I use them as I travel and have saved a lot of money as a result. If you’ve had a long-term travel experience and can offer more ideas how to travel longer cheaper, please share your thoughts in the comments.

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      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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