Moving away from your hometown to volunteer or work abroad is one of the bravest things than anyone can do, as you’re physically removing yourself from everything you’ve ever known and living in an entirely unfamiliar territory. The best thing about moving to a foreign nation is the opportunity to travel to places you probably would have never been able to visit had you never left your home country. As clichéd as it may sound, the world is actually your oyster.
But exploring the continent can get quite expensive if you don’t have a knack for travel hacks. To make the most out of both your money and your travels, here are a couple tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Use Skyscanner, Momondo, or something similar to search for flights
When looking up cheap flights, some people prefer to book tickets directly from the budget airline rather than going through a third party website like Skyscanner. The benefit of using trusted flight comparison websites is that they are required to provide an estimate for all mandatory taxes and charges. According to Parking4Less, some cheap airlines have a history of quoting prices without tax, excluding service charge or airport tax.
Tip #2 Sign up for an account on a hospitality exchange network
Whether you join the Couchsurfing or Trusted Housesitters communities, having an account on any of these networks will blow your options open for free lodging. Remember that joining these online communities means that you are also offering your hospitality, so try to return the favor as someone’s host for every time that you’ve been a guest.
Tip #3: Avoid traveling like a tourist
The best adventures are often the ones that involved exploring the unbeaten paths and the hidden gems of a destination. Like the blogger of Travelholic Nomad says, “the culture and spirit of a place can only be acknowledged through human interaction and cultural immersion,” and that can’t be done if you’re busy checking out all the touristy hot spots, which without a doubt will be more expensive than you cycling through small villages in the countryside.
Tip #4: Collect miles and points
If you're a frequent traveler, you can participate in loyalty programs from airlines or hotel chains (such as Marriott reward points), collect miles/points and then exchange them for free nights, upgrades and other benefits.
The image used is "All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination. Earl Nightingale" by Kate Ter Haar via Flickr Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.