As an ex-travel professional, I like to think I know a few things about getting around this incredible planet. Whether you are a student wanting to go on a gap year or a retired couple who wants to see what’s out there, there is a lot of choice around these days. And the most amazing thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter how much – or how little – money you have. There are ways and means of getting around the globe no matter what your budget concerns, so today. I thought I would break things down for you. Let’s take a look at some of your options, whether you want to travel in luxury, on a budget, or see as many places as possible.
The luxury traveler
If you have money, no destination on the planet is out of your reach. However, you don’t want to blow your hard earned savings unnecessarily. Even if you want to experience the best the planet has to offer, there are many ways to save some cash on your travels, without compromising quality. For example, traveling out of season can often see hotels and airline companies charging up to 50 percent less than they do during peak seasons. If you travel for work, why not extend your business trips? As long as you are entitled to holidays, some companies will be happy to let you tack on a few days break after you have finished your meetings or completed your deals. The money you save on flights can be put towards a stay in a luxurious hotel or resort you wouldn’t normally be able to afford.
Also, bear in mind that going off the beaten track can often get you more bang for your buck. Tourist destinations can be painfully expensive – even if you are staying in a relatively ‘cheap’ hotel. But if you go outside of the popular destinations, you’ll find you can eat, drink, and sleep for far less money than you would spend in a tourist trap. It’s also advisable to extend your reach a little. A holiday in Europe – France or Italy, say – will be just as expensive as it is here (perhaps more when you consider the impact of Brexit on the pound!). But if you go away to somewhere like Southeast Asia, you can pick up incredible, luxurious rooms, villas, and suites for bargain prices in comparison to traveling in the west.
The want-it-all traveler
Assuming you have a fair amount of time on your hands – a gap year, for example – then what’s the best way to see as many places as possible? If you are prepared to do some serious research and plan well ahead of your departure date, you might be surprised at what you find. Around-the-World tickets are available from most major airlines, and will usually work out cheaper than buying a whole bunch of one-way flights. These types of tickets tend to have mileage limits, so consider where you want to go and take it from there. For example, a 25-30,000 mile card could give you access to travel over three continents, while a 35-40,000 mile alternative could see you through 5-6 continents. If you’re planning on hopping around the place, it is the most cost-effective option for you.
Cruises are another option if you have some sea legs. A quick look at the cruise packages from Bolsover Cruise Club will show you there’s a huge range of choices when it comes to traveling the world by boat. Over a five-year period, you could take an annual cruise and travel to every continent, visiting some of the most popular destinations in the world. Again, it’s a more cost-effective option than buying separate ferry and boat tickets as you will be saving a lot of money on accommodation and food. However, bear in mind that taking a cruise will only give you around ten hours stay at each port, and you will only get a short glimpse of what a particular city or country has to offer. That said, if you are intent on crossing destinations off your bucket list, you would be hard-pressed to find a better value option than a cruise.
The budget-conscious traveler
Not everyone is made of money, of course. But the reality is that budget concerns needn’t stop you from achieving your dreams of seeing the planet. Voluntourism – volunteering while you travel – is the perfect option for broke students, and if you think you could teach English or help with community projects, you can end up anywhere in the world and meet some awesome people at the same time. Many organisations that set up these volunteering opportunities will give you board and food in exchange for your labour as a bare minimum.
It would also be remiss of me to forget about the digital nomad lifestyle. If you love to travel, why not share your thoughts and experiences on a blog? The world is full of global coworking spaces these days, and as long as you stay near a good Internet connection, you can take your blog with you, monetise it, and fund your travel through savvy Internet marketing. While we are on the subject of working, why not put your skills to good use? We’re not used to bartering in this country quite as much as others, but you’ll find that it is a way of life in other parts of the world. Let’s say you are a skilled photographer. Perhaps you can find a lovely hotel on your travels, and persuade the owner to let you stay as long as you give them some incredible shots of the resort for their website. Similarly, if you’re a good writer, you could offer to improve the copy on their site, brochures, or advertisements, and help them get more customers.
As you can see, there are many different ways of traveling the planet – and it really doesn’t matter what kind of budget you have at your disposal. So, why not shop around for cheap flights, pack your bags – and go!