Did you know that by saving a certain percentage of your monthly paycheck for 6-8 months, you could travel the world without worrying about finances?
According to 2019 data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an average worker in the United States earns around $49,000 per year. If your earning are somewhere close to the figure I mentioned above, you can travel solo by saving money for about 6-8 months.
Is it better to travel with a companion/group or head out all by yourself? When it comes to economical travel, it is always best to travel solo. When you travel solo, you are less likely to run into situations where you have to bear unexpected expenses. When someone travels solo, they know that the onus lies on their shoulders and no one else’s.
What Are Some Ways to Save Money by Traveling Solo?
1) Make Sure Your Credit Card Company Doesn’t Charge a Foreign Transaction Fee
It is not recommended to use your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM. Withdrawing money using a credit card is only makes sense in emergency situations. However, your credit card company might charge you a hefty foreign transaction fee each time you make an online transaction. Usually, travel credit cards come with a zero foreign transaction fee policy but it good to double-check before leaving your homeland.
2) Always Carry Local Currency in Your Wallet
A westerner visiting a third world nation is seen as a proverbial “ATM machine” by the local small business owners. You might have to pay 10 times (in most cases even more) if you are caught in a situation where you have purchased an item or a service but do not have local currency in your pocket.
3) Save Money by Staying in Cheap Hostels
If you are visiting a tourist-friendly country like Mexico, Columbia or Thailand, you are likely to run into a ton of cheap hostels for backpackers. Most often, a cheap backpacker hostel has a room with bunk beds installed. You pay for a bunk bed and not the entire room. Hence, a ton of savings on accommodation.
4) Pick a Budget-Friendly Country
It is not a great idea to head out to Europe or Japan with a limited or a small budget. There are some destinations that are always going to cost you more than others; doesn’t matter how frugal you are. When traveling from the US, countries like Cuba, Mexico, Dominic Republic, and Columbia are considered to be affordable. You can also visit an Asian country like Thailand for cheap.
5) Be Open to Negotiations
Negotiating with a local person is not possible of you don’t know their national language. If you found yourself in a situation where a vendor or a street seller is trying to sell you an item at a rate higher than it’s local value, simply pull out your smartphone and use an app like Google Translate. Also, seek help from a bystander or other shoppers. Do not pay the tourist price.
The Bottom Line
Solo travel is all about learning to live frugally while having the most fun. It will also give you time for yourself and also saving money is also a bit easy. No matter how well you plan your trip, during the journey you will have instances where you are forced to overpay. Hence, be prepared for unexpected expenses by carrying extra money.