There are financial ways to travel, you just have to find them. Your first tool is the INTERNET, we live in a world of information, use Facebook or MySpace to find someone from the country you are interested in and then ask questions.
There are offers everywhere in lodging, flights and even food. Short trip? First and foremost is your luggage, do not check anyone! If you can’t live off a hand luggage and a book bag for a week or two, then don’t forget to miss the New York fashion show, they have them 4 times a year. You can wear your fancy heels (ladies) or your frozen gook hair there (men – okay, I just really wanted to use gook in a blog post since I saw the Jersey Shore lol).
If you are going on a long trip for 2.5 weeks or more, check out a bag. Make sure it's international so they don't charge you an arm, a leg and your kids to take it with you. Always try to travel in a large group of friends, things always come out much cheaper and you will have more fun (3 or more people). Of course, the group may get too big, 7 or 8 will start pushing it.
Short trips: sleep surfing, hostels, rent your own apartment, NO HOTELS
Long trips: hostels, rent your own apartment, NO HOTELS
Sofa Surfing is exactly how it sounds. You stay with someone from the host country and sleep on their couch. I was lucky enough to have my own room, bed and internet the first time I couch surfed. This is more aimed at young professionals, college students, and shorter trips. (I also didn't think until a female friend told me that her couch surfed all over the Middle East without any problems, very legit). Hostels are cheap and convenient.
The only downside is that you really have no privacy, most of the time you share a bathroom and a room and you have to pay extra for your own room and bathroom. Renting an apartment is my choice of accommodation: you get your own room, your own bathroom, and if you share an apartment with a group of friends, it comes out cheaper than a hostel! The biggest thing of all is that you get your own kitchen which leads me to my next topic. FOOD! Yay !!!!
Of course everyone wants to experience local dishes and snacks, I have been very lucky to try such exotic dishes around the world. I have tried whales in Iceland, the best steak in the world in Buenos Aires, treats from the hot dog cart in the Dominican Republic and a fresh mango shake in Costa Rica. You can save significant money by not eating out every day and buying food at the local market like sandwiches and fruit (and … push yourself … cooking, even if it's cereal and mac-n-cheese).
And last but not least, airline ticket, everyone knows the online sites to find a cheap airline ticket, however there are small tricks you can use to maximize your potential. Consider the country where you need to go and normal tourist patterns. Everyone tries to visit Europe in the summer, try to fly in the early spring or late fall. Brazil or South America, remember that their seasons are opposite ours (our winter is their summer), many tourists will travel there in the US winter. Always remember that everyone will fly on the weekends, who will fly midweek? YOU PROVIDE IT'S CHEAP !!
Airfare: Short Trips: Use a different combination of airlines and routes to find the cheapest fare you don't check bags so you can move quickly.
Long trips: Try the airlines from the country you are going to (example: Colombia: Avianca Airlines, Argentina: Aeolineas Argentinas) Otherwise, an airline flies and collects miles.
Miscellaneous: Don't forget to use low cost airlines around the world (example: Europe: Ryanair and Airlenguis)
See you on the other side