Traveling the world is a dream for many people. The lure of far-flung, exotic locations, interactions with people of a different culture, and the personal enrichment that occurs while traveling are just a few of the incredible aspects of travel.
However, the cost can mean that many people give up on their dreams or they spend years saving for a single trip. While saving money for a trip is admirable and is the way that many people finance their travels, there are some easier ways to get on the road more quickly and still have the experience of your dreams.
1. Repositioning Cruises
Cruises have long been a favorite of many people, and the appeal of a floating hotel combined with interesting destinations is undeniable. Cruises can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be, depending on the type of accommodations and destinations you choose. However, there is a better way.
Several times throughout the year cruise ships need to be moved. These are called repositioning cruises and usually take place during the offseason. Since the cruise lines would prefer to make some money during these moves they offer deeply discounted rates with the same services and amenities. This is a great way to take a cruise for a fraction of the cost. However, keep in mind that these are one-way voyages and you’ll be responsible for any other travel costs.
Lodging can quickly devour even the largest travel budget, and one of the best ways to offset these costs is through housesitting. In fact, many people travel the world for years at a time and never pay a dime for lodging.
There are several websites that connect housesitters with people who are in need of their services. You can take your pick from destinations all over the world. Whether you’d prefer an apartment in Paris or a small farm in rural England, the choices are endless. There are typically chores and other duties such as pet care that you’ll need to provide, but the result is a truly local experience that is nearly free.
3. Work Exchange
Working while on vacation might not sound ideal, but it’s a great way to make a little money and, in some cases, have free lodging and meals as well. There are a number of organizations that can bring workers together with those that need their help, and these opportunities are located all over the world.
WWOOF is one of the biggest resources for work exchange. You’ll be given food and lodging in exchange for work on an organic farm or other sustainable project. WWOOFing jobs can be found in every corner of the globe and you can work for a few weeks or a few months, depending on the situation. HelpX is another choice that offers a variety of work options, not just organic farming.
4. Credit Card Travel Rewards
If you’ve been savvy with your credit card choices then it’s likely that you’ve been accruing travel rewards points with your purchases. These points can be used in a multitude of ways, including flights, hotel stays, upgrades, and more.
If you haven’t yet gotten a card that offers travel points, now is the time to do so. Be sure to choose one that offers a generous sign on bonus and one that aligns with your travel style. For instance, if flights on a certain airline are more important to you than hotel stays consider a card that partners with that airline to maximize your rewards.
5. Offseason Travel
While visiting the tropics during the winter is always a good idea, those months are also high season for most warm destinations and the prices of everything go up. If you’d like to save money on your next trip consider doing so in the offseason.
Popular destinations like Mexico and Hawaii can be just as enjoyable during the offseason and your hotel and food costs can be a fraction of high-season prices. Even though the summer weather in some of these locations can be an inconvenience, hotels want your business and can offer you some great deals, especially if you contact them directly.
If you dream of traveling the world but finances are slowing you down there are many ways to work around that. Get creative with your travel planning and utilize all the resources you have, especially those credit card rewards points. Before you know it you could be embarking on the journey of your dreams.