Traveling The World on a Small Budget: How Can It Be Done?

Travel is always worth the time, effort and money. However the latter often puts people off, deciding that they simply can’t afford to travel or go away. While there will always be costs involved, where there’s a will there’s a way- and it’s more possible than you might think to travel even when you don’t have hundreds in the bank. Here are a few examples of ways you can make it work.


Freelancing is a great way to earn money, it’s so flexible that in most cases you can work from anywhere in the world. If you’re a blogger, YouTuber or work from a freelancing site you can continue to do this while you’re away. This allows you to fund your trip, you can work for a few hours a day and enjoy the rest of the time doing whatever you like. If you’re a content creator, new surroundings can give you plenty of inspiration so work might actually be a little easier. And let’s face it, working from a balcony overlooking stunning views or on a beach is always going to be nicer than being cooped up in your home office! If you’re planning on traveling for a longer period then freelancing enables you to keep earning money while still enjoying all that the travel has to offer. You could do a little in the morning before you leave for the day, or in the evening before bed. You could bring a lightweight laptop or tablet with a keyboard and work away during an hour or so in the day. If you plan on doing a lot of traveling, getting established as a freelancer is a smart move. You can take your work wherever you go, and you don’t have to ask your boss for time off or plan it around other employees being off. You’re the boss so you call the shots.

Work while you travel

If you’re not established as a freelancer but still need to earn money while you’re away to fund your trip, it’s possible to do so. Working while you’re away might not be everyone’s first choice, but it allows you to gain skills that will look good on your CV, as well as meet new people. You could spend a summer working in a bar, as a rep or guide for example. Outside of the work hours you’re free to enjoy the destination. Again, it can be a good solution if you want to travel for a longer period, not everyone is in a position to go away for months on end and live on savings. Here you can supplement savings with your wages, and if you’re lucky you might even be able to find cheap accommodation or an apartment share with your job.

Utilize credit

Using credit to travel can sometimes be a good idea when it comes to travel. If you’re using it to buy expensive holidays every year and falling into debt then this would be considered as living above your means (and is a sure way to end up in a pickle with money). But done correctly, credit could allow you to have experiences that you would have struggled to have otherwise. Companies like Bonsai Finance can enable you to obtain a credit card, even if your past credit history isn’t the best. Whether it’s money for flights and hostels so you can go backpacking, or a once in a lifetime holiday with the kids to Disney while they’re still young enough to enjoy it. If you’re using it to book a trip, and then paying it off in the following months with no negative repercussions as you can afford the installments, then go for it. Just be sure to check the interest rates so you know you can afford to pay it back.


There are so many places in the world that are crying out for volunteers to help on their projects and schemes. It could be anything from building orphanages to teaching children English, to working on conservation projects. Often, you will be provided accommodation and food for free in return for your time. These might not be places in the world you’d ever have thought to visit, they might be third world countries or places far from the glitz and glamour of tourism. But they can provide you with incredible experiences, you still get to travel and you get to genuinely help people in the process. Any place in the world you can visit will allow you to make memories, see and do new things and give you something to look back on in your life. If you’re on a very small budget and want to do something rewarding and a bit different then this is definitely something to consider.

Save up

This is the most obvious solution but worth mentioning. If you’re able to save up enough to fund your travels then you don’t risk falling into debt, and your time away is entirely yours where you’re not having to earn money. If you want to travel for a longer period then it’s worth looking into the most budget options to stretch your savings further. Go backpacking, taking a tent with you. That way you always have somewhere to stay (as long as it’s safe and legal) with no extra fees. Go to grocery stores to purchase your food instead of eating out every day. Look for cheap and free things to do while you’re on your travels. Go sightseeing, visit museums and galleries, stroll around parks and gardens and explore markets. You’re not selling your travels short by doing this, it actually allows you to experience a destination in a completely different way. It’s easy to go to a place in the world and see the fancy hotels, spas, shops and other tourist hotspots and feel as though we know what that destination is about. But budget travel allows you to see beyond this, and visit places that the locals go to. To find interesting places off the beaten track, that won’t necessarily show up in the travel guides.

*This post is a contributed article. Thank you to the brands for providing these as samples to share with my readers!*