How to Travel for Cheap: no money, no problem!
This isn't a post that's going to give you the top 10 tips for travelling the world for cheap. Instead, in true BLUF fashion, we're going to get straight to the point. The most valuable travel tip for saving money when it comes to travel is going to be a strategy that saves you money before you even leave - not finding cheap food, hacks to get from point A to point B, and doing your laundry in a secret creek.
Our biggest tip for travelling the world without spending a ton of money is to only book trips that DON'T COST A TON OF MONEY! Crazy, right? The travel industry is a fickle beast that is almost as volatile as the stock market, so you really have to pay attention to snag those cheap trips.
What do we do? Simple - we use Groupon. Yes, it's an app that you've probably heard of. Most people use it to get 20-30% off dinner at a local restaurant, or maybe a really cheap haircut, or a package of 5 massages at an 80% discount. It's a pretty cool money savings app/website (you can use Groupon.com rather than the website). But we discovered Groupon's 'get aways' a few years ago and haven't looked back.
Basically, Groupon has all-inclusive get aways that are insanely affordable. For example, a few years ago, we took a 6 day trip to Ireland that included 7 nights of accommodations in different BnBs across the country, 7 breakfasts, a rental car, AND it included roundtrip airfare. What do you think a trip like that costs per person? I can tell you it'll be in the thousands if you book with a travel agent or try to find these deals yourself. We paid $600 per person. The airfare ALONE costs more than that when I try to book it myself.
travel the world for free
When the airfare alone is more than your entire trip, everything else is pretty much free (in our mind). So, what's the catch? Well, the only downside is that these trips are constantly changing and aren't available in perpetuity. The Ireland trip we took is long gone - replaced by a slightly different package that costs more but seems to include the opportunity to sleep in some castles (still pretty cool, yea?) And since these trips are constantly changing, Groupon isn't able to post exact travel dates.
When you buy a trip on Groupon, you're buying a 'window' of dates, usually 3 months.
After you've purchased your Groupon, you get to see which dates are actually available. Sometimes, the dates you want aren't available. That's a bummer, but guess what, they have a super easy refund program. It's just the nature of the beast.
The second 'catch' - or oddity, if you will, is that you sometimes receive vouchers for your lodging or experiences. You present these to your host, the front desk, whoever, for redemption and access. Trust us, we did NOT think this was legitimate at first and were convinced we'd been scammed after buying this Groupon to Ireland, however, it worked fine. BnB hosts seemed to expect the vouchers. Still, I won't deny that we felt like a character from the 5th Element hoping they would take our voucher that came right out of our printer for a night in a hotel.
How to book affordable travel with groupon
Your best strategy to get the best deals, in our opinion, is go to 'Air Inclusive' Get Aways on Groupon. These are the deals that include airfare, hotels, rental cars (sometimes) and are just awesome. Check our video below for more details - but we can attest this is the easiest and most affordable way to travel that we've found. We actually just booked a 3 day trip to Colombia (including airfare) for $300 last night. As always, we don't recommend experiences or strategies we don't use ourselves. Happy travels!