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The Ultimate Guide to Traveling When You Have No Money

Learn how you can travel even if you're down to your last penny
I recently asked subscribers of my newsletter< about the number one thing that holds them back from traveling. The near universal answer? Money.

This is something I hear from everyone I talk to: “Matt, I simply don’t have enough money to travel.”

This problem and how to overcome it probably my most asked question.

I answer this question in a plethora of posts, emails, tweets, and Facebook posts. Long-term readers might even be getting sick of me discussing this subject because it is one I talk about so much. One of the questions on my recent Q&A was about how someone who doesn’t work in travel can actually afford to travel. “What can they do?” they asked me.

Since this question comes up so often, I like to constantly remind people of this fact:

You do not need to be rich to travel.

Let’s repeat that.

You do not need to be rich to travel.

I sure wasn’t. I had an average-paying administrative job the year before I left for my first trip. It wasn’t a lot after taxes (I had less than $15k to live on for the year after taxes and loans were paid off).

Yet I managed to save enough to travel the world. How? I made it a priority. If travel is not a priority for you, you will always find some other things to spend money on and you’ll never have “enough” money to travel. I never have enough money to go shopping or buy a new electronic gadget because I spend my money on travel, so there isn’t much left over for non-priority expenses. Everything I do is focused on having more money for travel (and other things I love like sushi, movies, and nice dinners)!

What is your savings priority? Is it travel? If it is travel, what is keeping you from saving money? What are you spending it on?

A few months ago, I wrote about the importance of writing out your expenses and then cutting them to save money for your trip. I offered 20 tips on how to do so — the same tips I used before I went away. At the time, I was still paying college debt, and yet using those tips managed to save over $20,000 for my initial trip around the world.

“But Matt, I work a minimum wage job/am a student/live on Social Security/am underemployed/live with my parents/spend a lot/have kids/[insert other excuse here] and no matter what I can do, I’ll never be able to do it. I can’t even pay back my student loans. What do I do?”

The Ultimate Guide to Cheap Travel

Getting free flights is one way to travel with no money
What do you do when you are in that boat? What do you do when prioritizing your budget and using my 20 tips to grow your bank balance won’t even work?

Many things.

So the focus of today’s “you don’t need to be rich to travel” reminder is to discuss all the ways you can travel for virtually free. You don’t need a lot of money to begin. Even if you don’t earn a lot or have debt, there are ways to go overseas still. If you feel that no matter what you do you will never get ahead by saving money, follow this guide to ultimate travel frugality and see the world on the ultra-cheap:

Work Overseas — Not making enough money at your job? Why not get a job overseas? There are plenty of opportunities in the world as long as you aren’t picky — and after all, this isn’t a career you are starting, it’s just a way to earn money for travel. Here are some jobs you can get to pay the bills and fund your travels: