10 tips to do a budget travel – Part Two (Airfare, Food and Work)

It is almost 3 months since I wrote Part One about budget travel tips, don’t miss that:


If you have followed my blog, you know these 3 months I have done some incredible trips: cycling and camping in New Zealand, sleeping in the streets in Sydney, and now I am volunteering in Thailand. I can shout to everyone that I REALLY ENJOY MY LIFE!

Thanks to the cheap airfares, cheap food and well-paid works I have done to keep me traveling around, that’s why I wanna share with you how to live a wonderful nomadic life!

6. Low cost airlines

If you could book your tickets 3 months before (at least, 6 months would be better), you may find it unbelievably cheap, sometimes cheaper than going by train or bus. For example, flying from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur could be around $200, in a condition that you don’t have check-in luggage. That is what I am struggling as well, usually it adds around $30 for 20kg check-in bag, which backpackers need because their backpacks are too big to be carried on the plane. Not to say all the shampoo, perfume and other liquid substances are not allowed to be in the hand-carry luggage. The limit of most hand-carry luggage is 10kg, a bit difficult to include a tent, sleeping bag and mattress. But if you don’t plan to camp, the raw price of budget airline couldn’t suit you more! Besides Airasia, check out Tiger Airways, Jetstar, Ryan Air, FlyDubai… Remember to buy something to eat and prepare an empty bottle to fill up water after check-in, otherwise you have to buy food on board or endure a few hours of hunger.


7. Street foods, or food that are ready to be eaten

Eating out in decent restaurant in other countries could be a bit costly for budget travelers. If you are wandering in developing countries, a normal meal should be below US$2 when you go to local restaurants. Another choice is heading to markets where you can find tones of street foods, that can fulfill your stomach with different local delicacies. For example, chewing deep fried grasshoppers in Thailand; putting a living octopus into your mouth in Japan; or how about dog meat in China…just kidding, but I tried them all…
When I was cycling and camping in New Zealand, I didn’t bring a stove to cook, so I eat muesli  and biscuits almost everyday. They are readily made and easy to bring and eat, I love that!

Don’t mind eating the same kind of food everyday if they are CHEAP and DELICIOUS, that is one of my motto!

8. Be a student as long as you can

Many western countries provide a concession price of museum entries, hostels or even plane tickets for students who carry an ISIC card (International Student Identity Card), you can save at least 20-50% of the original prices! Legally you really have to be a student in order to apply for the card, and you can apply it in agencies like STA travel. However I can show you a trick that you can get one even you are not a student, that is to make a “fake” student card. You can do it in places like Kao Shan Road in Bangkok, the bargain price can be around US$4-6 per card, make sure you change your birthday (so that you are under 26), and choose the valid period. Some of my friends even make their own student cards using samples they found online. Good luck, the worst case scenario is paying the adult fee I guess.

9. Working holiday visa or work remotely

I don’t know who started the idea of working holiday visa, but I really appreciate this invention so that young people can travel and work in foreign countries in order to broaden their horizon, as well as learning other cultures and languages. Sadly it is a mutual agreement between 2 countries, so if your government doesn’t have any leverage to negotiate with other countries, you don’t have such privileges. Normally they give you 1 year period that you can stay and work (maximum 3-6 months for each employer, different according to regulation of the countries), but you can extend one more year in countries like Australia and New Zealand when you work in agricultural jobs for more than 3 months.

Another possible way to travel and work at the same time is to pick up remote jobs, like photography, graphic design jobs, online marketing or trading jobs…even blogger or musician…Imagine you don’t have to sit in the office for 10 hours a day, and literally bring your work with you during your trip, that feeling is awesome!


10. Volunteer work and look for sponsors

Traveling for me is not only visiting a place, taking pictures and go…it is way more than that! Connecting with people, or even involving some local volunteer projects to raise awareness of certain issues could make your trip more interesting and meaningful! Help building a house, teaching English in orphanage, cleaning clothes and bed sheets in a charity hospital…To show the world there are still LOVE, and this Love exists no matter what religions, what races and who we are…We are all human, and we help each other! As simple as that!
If you are looking for a particular place to do volunteer work, I have plenty of contacts mainly in Asia and Africa, please send me an email or leave a comment here so that I can provide you more details!

You can also start a project and look for sponsors by yourself. Try kickstarter.com where people put interesting projects to raise fund! Think about how to give back to the people who support you! Or you can contact some companies and ask them to sponsor you particular equipment, then you have to promote them like an advertisement. It is indeed a good way to save money if you get enough media exposure! Nowadays social networks help us A LOT!


I hope you can get a better idea of what kind of trips you are planning, and don’t worry too much about the budget, if your wanderlust overcome your fear, you can always chuck yourself in Couchsurfing.org , workaway.info , and helpx.net so that you don’t need to spend any money to travel!!

If you have better ideas and tips on budget traveling, you are welcome to share with us!!

Safe trip, and travel budget!

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