A determined nomad who doesn’t like to work too much, I’ve always had to make sure I can travel cheap in order to fulfill my itchy feet syndrome!
From backpacking in southern Africa at the tender age of 19, to hitching my way across Europe, couchsurfing in Latin America and now road tripping Australia in a beat-up old Landrover, budget travel has been at the heart of what I’ve been doing with my life for over 10 years!
As such, I’ve picked up a more than just a few tips about how to travel on a shoestring and live the life of a globetrotting cheapskate! Yes, I am a well and truly sold-up fan of the budget travel brigade and here are 6 reasons why you should be too!
1. Makes the World More Accessible
The number 1 reason why I love budget travel is, quite simply, because it allows people to adventure round the world for cheap. This means, of course, that more of the world is accessible to more people.
Was the only form of travel available that of luxury, then I, for one, would not have been lucky enough to see as much of this incredible globe as I have.
Budget travel makes exploring this glorious planet more available and more possible for more people and I can’t help but be a fan of that!
2. Makes Me Happy with Less
Travelling on a shoestring, with very little in the way of possessions, has only ever showed me how little material stuff I need to be happy.
Either making do with less due to economic necessity, or selling what I do own in order to fund a trip, budget travel has taught me how to be happier with less when it comes to material possessions; how to live frugally and how to love it!
This is such a great lesson for anyone to experience and is definitely a reason to jump aboard the budget travel fan-train too!
3. Makes Me Feel Free
I love the freedom of not being tied to material possessions that budget travel gives me and I love the lack of restriction that comes with this.
The fact that I know I can be happy almost anywhere in the world with only a few basic object is very liberating and this is one the greatest gifts of budget travel.
I feel absolutely alive when I only have 1 rucksack and myself in this wide world and I feel absolutely exhilarated when I can carry everything I own on my back.
Being self-reliant and self-reliant in this way, is definitely one of the top reasons why I love budget travels and you should too!
4. Makes Me Take Risks
I also love the sense of freedom I get from budget travel as it rarely involves a set plan. When you’re always looking for the cheapest ways to do things, budget travel opens you up to not having life set in stone, to your day not being predictable, to everything not being safe and easy.
Instead, budget travel makes me take more risks, from couchsurfing and hitchhiking round the world, to catching night buses and interacting more with strangers, budget travel forces me out of my comfort zone … and I love it!
5. Puts Me in Touch with Local Communities
In many cases, budget travel has allowed me to interact and engage with local communities across the globe in a way that luxury travel perhaps wouldn’t.
Whether it’s staying with local people, eating in local places or shopping in local markets, traveling frugally has forced me out of a safe zone and into life on the ground in all sorts of wonderful and different countries.
I love this element of budget travel, in fact it is one of the main reasons I do travel and you should too. As such, the way in which cheap adventuring can put you in touch with local communities is definitely one of my favourite things about this mode of seeing the world.
6. Makes Me Feel More Alive
Because with all this risk-taking, meeting of strangers and openness to flexibility, probably the biggest reason I love budget travel is because it makes me feel more alive.
Now this might sound like a bit of a cliche, but I honestly it really is true. There really is something about trying to make my money last longer while I’m away that feels more “real”, more genuine, more earthy somehow.
Perhaps it’s because everything becomes valued when you are forced to put a price on it, to assess its worth, to weigh up its importance. As opposed to luxury travel, where money isn’t so much of an object and you don’t have to consider or deliberate every penny spent, budget travel doesn’t always allow you to take the easy route.
Instead, budget travel brings with it a sense of the need to survive, of the need to struggle, of the need to do what you can, when you can to get by. There is something so real in this – a situation that is indeed a daily reality for so many people less fortunate on this planet – that somehow the struggle, the harder route, make me feel more alive.
So there you have it, my tribute to budget travel, why I love it and why you should too. Are you a budget backpacker or more a family flashpacker? Let me know about your style of travel and why you love it too.