If you love to travel, but find yourself cash strapped sometimes, it can be a pretty disappointing feeling. Especially when you watch friends and colleagues go fly off to exotic places. If your heart truly yearns to be on the road, then consider options that will allow you to have an adventure, and not have to fully commit to the trucker lifestyle, which in itself is not a bad long term option either.
What Kind of Traveler are You?
Exotic locations are obviously the goal for most travelers. Outside of going to all-inclusive resorts to sit on a beach and bake, the more curious or adventurous traveler probably wants to experience more local culture, see local sites and taste local flavors in the way only locals know how. That’s when using your social media contacts all over the country or world can help you find friends that would host you, and show you around in a way that you’d never see as a fancy tourist. Having families host you, or doing a language exchange could give you that authentic experience, for an extended amount of time, for close to nothing. Since not every pleasure can be bought with money.
So, if you’re open to a more rustic way if traveling, being sponsored or working on a volunteer project where you build houses or teach a skill or language could be the way to go. Plus, you benefit the community and probably make friends and connections that last a lifetime.
If you’re more nomadic and would like to see a bunch a places in season, you could also do some seasonal work, like teach skiing in the Alps, or pick grapes in the South of France, which would give the opportunity to actually earn while you travel, and allow you to learn a new thing or two. How’s that for a win-win situation?
And of course, you could stay closer to home and travel the big and wide country that is your nation. You can camp, stay in youth hostels or college dorms which get rented out during the summer, and take the bus or the train which is one of the most economical and visually exciting ways to travel. Driving a truck would give you even more freedom. Since, it’s all about the journey when you’re on a budget.
But if you’re determined to get out of country and see some more exotic places in the world, start off at the fringe instead of going for London or Rome. Here are our top 5 travel destinations for 2017, that won’t destroy your pocketbook.
1. Trinidad and Tobago
This is a lesser known and smaller island in the Caribbean with really beautiful beaches, it’s not touristy, it’s safe and cheap when you compare it to the main tourist islands like Antigua or Anguilla. There are many cheap hostels and hotels or B&Bs, and the diving is an adventurist’s dream. The people are super friendly and the nightlife is hype.
2. Northern Vietnam
Known instead for a war, this part of the world has comes miles from a darker past to embrace their culture and welcome foreigners, to enjoy their fusion cuisine (they were a French colony at one time) and beautiful seaside getaways that are at a fraction of the cost you’d have to spend in the more popular neighbor, Thailand. It gets overlooked but it’s a shame since you shouldn’t miss the rice terraces, towering mountains, and twisting hilly roads that lead to beautiful beaches. Not to mention the diverse ethnic minorities in the North that make this a real adventure.
3. Trencin, Slovakia
Imagine a small picturesque town in Eastern Europe not far from major cities, but well connected by discount airlines and bus and train that you can do day trips but spend the night in Trencin. It has a medieval castle, and lots of great bar and pubs that serve really cheap and highly quality beers and ales. The locals speak several languages, and are super social and curious to meet newcomers and welcome them to their small but quaint town.
4. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
It is a mountainous country set in the middle of the Caucasus and Central Asia region, with a truly multi-cultural history and population that has so much to offer in terms of language, culture, food, music and traditions. A major stop on the Silk Road it has awesome trekking and camping options, and accommodation is quite cheap, with food being even cheaper and you can combine the two and stay in a traditional yurt to really get the nomadic feel of Kyrgyz life.
5. Bucharest, Romania
An EU country that offers all the benefits of a modern state, yet has an interesting past that shows through it’s architecture, food, language and culture. There are so many museums, historical sites and restaurants to visit, and you can do them all because this Romanian capital is one of the cheapest capitals in Europe to visit. Not to mention, the nightlife alone is a reason to visit with all the beautiful people meeting downtown to drink and be seen. This is a great place to start a European tour with access to lots of cheap travel and budget airlines.
So, there you have it. Your road map to cheap traveling this year. If you’re still not too enticed by a trucker lifestyle and living on the road. This is the next best thing. Bon voyage!