Budget traveling is not for everyone as it can be sometimes very pungent– simple as that. There are many different types of traveling: group tours, weekend getaways, RV road trips, event travels, package holidays and- of course- budget traveling. Some people want to have everything planned out: hotels booked, attractions and museums paid for; Others don’t care about the destination- the only thing that matters to them is the road itself. People can choose the way they travel based of the thickness of their wallets, interests or higher motives.
A common misconception is that all budget wanderers travel this way only because of their lack of money but that’s not always the case. For us it’s liberating; Knowing that we can explore the vastness of the world without caring if we can make it to the end of the month, being able to meet so many amazing people that we already did, both as hosts and as a guests in strangers’ houses; getting to know them; getting to know the place they call home. Packing our backpacks, taking black markers, few pieces of cardboard, and standing at the side of the road just waiting for someone to pick us up. Hearing all of their stories – usually travel ones – listening about their jobs, universities, families… It feels way too good for us to ever want to change that. Quite a big amount of the drivers that stop are hitchhikers themselves and with them we share our adventures, best and worst hitching spots, tips and recommendations for future destinations. In our travels we’ve met so many amazing people who wanted to help us without wanting anything in return- We met a guy working at a farmers market in Malmö, and he gave us few bags of fresh fruit and vegetables for free when he saw that we are in need; he asked us about our travels, our past and future destinations, and helped us with a smile on his face.
Try googling ‘how to budget travel’ or ‘low-cost travel’ and you will see so many articles about people who define budget travel as something completely different from what we do. While reading, you will learn that to travel with a small amount of money you should use airbnb and hostels instead of hotels, you should eat in local restaurants and not in fancy ones, always use public transport, sign up for air miles, go only to few paid attractions instead of all of them, and (this one is our favourite!)… work hard before you travel so you can make a lot of money and afford all of the stuff on your trip…Wow.
Every time we read those articles we have matching grins on our faces. We remember ourselves, 4 months ago, with huge backpacks on our backs filled with bags of pasta, rice and bread, dozens of chocolate bars and few bags of tortillas. In our pockets: only our passports, wallets with 40 euro in them, cheap travel insurance, downloaded offline maps on our phones, three plane ticket worth 5 euro each and the couchsurfing app ready to be used.
When we think back to that moment we feel so much joy; We were so ready then. We were so excited to finally start our trip. After a whole tiring year of university we were ready to take a step into the unknown and let the adventure begin.
We are sure that there are a lot of people stuck in their homes, dreaming about being able to take a vacation; they struggle with finding a compromise with their dreams and ideas and what can become a reality. It is quite easy to find a way to make those dreams come true. For many, the solution to this problem is usually searching for the answers on the internet; They check phrases like ‘how to travel for free’, ‘how to travel with no money’, ‘how to travel if you’re broke’ and finding articles like those we mentioned before, which can be really demotivating for them; finding out that all they can do is work harder and save more money. Working hard and making money is not the only solution! We are trying to prove that by creating this blog. We want to inspire people, make them believe that there is nothing stopping them if they really want to travel or simply do more than just stay at home, even if their pockets are empty.
We are not saying that budget travel is the only way to go, or that other ways to do it are wrong. If it brings you joy and you can’t wait for another exciting holidays full of exploring other places (and you are okay with paying for it) then you are definitely doing good. We travel the way we do, not only because of the lack of cash but also because we see beauty in it. We cannot say it was always easy. Sometimes we couldn’t find a host in a place we were going to; or we got stuck on the side of the road with no drivers willing to take us, we even got stuck on a petrol station late at night during a downpour; We also can’t say that we were never scared about not having anything for dinner a particular day. But none of those minor setback ever stopped us from enjoying ourselves.
Everything we learned from our travels changed our life in many different ways. Some of us decided to have a more sustainable and minimalistic lifestyle; We stared caring more about the food we buy and where we buy it from. After we came back home we were baffled by the amount of food being thrown away and wasted. That is why we decided to do something about it, to change the way we think and act. We realized that some of the stuff that we once needed in our lives are not as important to us as they were before. We realized that we own too much junk and it makes us miserable. After we came back home some of us got rid of a lot of old stuff we didn’t need and started planning future adventures. We are so glad that we were able to experience it all. Our experiences allowed us to learn and grow as people and we hope that our future adventures will teach us even more.
As it is not this time of year without travelling (to be honest, there is always time for travelling!) we decided to create on our blog a set of guides to help people travel without any money. We plan on posting how-to’s and tips that are going to explain to you how we are doing it. Stay tuned!