My wife Kelli and I are living on a football field-sized villa lot in the poshest community of Bali. For 6 months. We areliving here rent-free. How? 2 words: house sitting. If you’re open to creative ways and means of traveling on a budget you can have freeing experiences in exotic locales without reaching too deeply into your wallet.
I went from hopeless, fired security guard in New Jersey to a prospering laptop entrepreneur currently living in Bali by mastering the art of travel hacking. My wanderings took me far and near. I have ‘blogged from paradise’ in places like Costa Rica, Bali, Fiji, India, and Thailand. This ride has not always been smooth, and I had to learn how to travel smart and book best deals in exotic places I want to blog from and live a live of adventure.
My tools? Use these 10 hacks to travel on the cheap.
House Sitting with Trusted House Sitters
House sitting is the rent free way to see the world. Some sitters even charge money for their services. Use this website to find the best sits: Trusted House Sitters
Trusted House Sitters provides both house sitters and homeowners with a meeting space for finding the perfect match. Sign up for an account to get updates for your desired house sits. Save a boatload of cash in the process.
Hunt for Cheap Flights on Kayak
Kelli and I once found a round trip ticket from Chennai, India to New York City for a little over $600. Yes I said “round trip.” Flights can bust your budget if you’re not careful. Enter: Kayak
Kayak is a dynamic site which seems hellbent on giving you the best deals around. Simply plug in your specifics and scan through available flights to compare pricing. Maximize your savings and save your time by using this tool.
Go Long Term with AirBnB
If you want to live somewhere long term without spending a pretty penny use: AirBnb. Type in a city, address or landmark with your dates and guest number to find your desired lodging quickly. Staying with local hosts creates an intimate experience and in most cases these locals offer you a discount compared to larger chain operations. Take it easy on your wallet. Spend 6 months, a year or longer in an apartment without dropping a bundle.
Find Cheap Short Term Accommodations on Agoda
If you need to spend a few days somewhere finding cheap lodging online can save you some serious coin.
Travel on a budget by visiting: Agoda. Agoda presents you with a wide variety of options tailored to your budget. Narrow down searches based on price ranges and reviews to find affordable, trusted accommodations. Avoid being overcharged as a walk in customer.
Eat on the Cheap with Trip Advisor
Yesterday I felt like eating at a new restaurant. I hopped on over to Trip Advisor Restaurant Search to find inexpensive local dining spots. After typing in our desired location we scoured the top chow joints in the area. Under each restaurant snippet you’ll find a price range of the menu items. Perfect for anybody who wants to eat on the cheap.
Shop Local with Google Maps
There may not be a fancy app for this one but shopping local saves you a small fortune.
Example: I buy two, office cooler sized jugs of water at a local warung in an Ungasan village here in Bali for 10,000 ruppiah. That equals 75 cents USD. 75 cents for a 2 week supply of water.
In a tourist spot I may pay 15,000 ruppiah for a tiny bottle of water. Laugh if you want to but over our 6 month stay in Bali buying from local, village warungs versus shopping in tourist traps means significant savings for us.
Use Google Maps to identify small stores and local streets within your neighborhood. Some “off the beaten path” shops attractive to budget conscious travelers will pop up on searches. Use Google Maps.
Get More Upgrade Juice with Expert Flyer
If you’re a frequent flier you know the value in saving money while 30,000 feet up in the atmosphere.
Check out the iPhone app: ExpertFlyer. This neat little app supplies you with special codes for upgrades and awards. Stretch out your dollar by flying posh without breaking the bank.
Drop in at the Last Minute with Hotel Tonight
The Hotel Tonight app takes advantage of last minute hotel discounts. Hotels desperate for bookings may offer sharp discounts to travelers booking at the last minute. If you’re spending one night in a destination use this app to find lodging and save money in the process.
Gas Up on the Cheap with Gas Buddy
Renting a car can be an expensive ordeal when it’s time to fuel up. Use Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas prices by you. This mobile app saves you even more money because it’s free!
Avoid Steep Roaming Fees using Wi-Fi Finder
If you’re in a foreign land you may be destroyed by roaming fees. Use the app Wi-Fi Finder to find free or paid Wi-Fi while you travel. Dodge sky high roaming fees. Save a boatload of cash in the process.
These travel hacks have saved me a lot of cash and allowed me at places I would often have not been otherwise able to afford.
Related article: 10 Destinations in the World for Laptop Entrepreneurs
Do you use these apps or websites? Can you add any to this list?