The best tips to travel the world on a budget

There are many articles offering advice on how to travel on a budget, and many of them contain useful information.Some, however, can be pretty extreme, the "sell-everything-you-have-and-leave-the-house-for-three-years" kind of extreme.

For those of us who aren't entirely comfortable with the dreadlocked, possession-less lifestyle, it can feel like an all-or-nothing decision: Do we give up the kind of life we've dreamed of, relationships, material goods and all, or do we turn down travel?Fortunately, there is a middle ground, a way to have your cake and eat it too.Below, our featured travel writer Amelia Conrad shares her two cents:

As a new college grad with no trust fund, budget is a word I'm very familiar with.Not only do I need to start paying off my student loan debt, I'm also planning my wedding and applying to graduate school.It would be easy to get stuck in a soulless 9-to-5 job, but instead I'm spending a month in Portugal and Spain more or less living my dream.

1.Make travel a priority

Travel is expensive.So are nice cars, big TVs and dinners out.If travel is important to you, evaluate your lifestyle and decide what other expenses can be cut so you can invest in what's really important to you.Find the thought of giving up your bar nights with friends and your unlimited data plan more heartbreaking than traveling?Well, that's okay too.Just determine what's important to you and embrace your choice.However, with microinvesting apps you can have the best of both worlds to invest with little money.You can generate extra money without cutting back on all your favorite luxury prunks.

2.Speaking of priorities ..

Once you've hit the road, it's still important to prioritize.If you don't have a sugar daddy to foot the bill, you probably won't be able to stay in the best hotels, eat at gourmet restaurants and visit all the sights in town.Choose a focus or two for your trip and limit your spending in other areas.For me, clubbing isn't top of mind on this trip, but learning a language is so important that I treated myself to private lessons and kept my nights on the town to a minimum.Track what is important to you and trim the fat in other places.

3.Safety should always be a priority

Regardless of your budget, safety should always be one of your top priorities.Even though extra things like travel insurance may take money from your budget, you should always buy them.We recommend getting covered with World Nomads, which offers affordable worldwide policies.This could end up saving you a lot of money!

When you're traveling, your well-being is always more important than your budget, so treat yourself to a cab home if you're stuck alone in a bar, or switch to a slightly more expensive hostel if you're uncomfortable with a dive you originally booked.

4.Be flexible with flights and itineraries

One of the easiest ways to save hundreds of dollars off your travel bill is to be open to a variety of options.If your destination isn't the be-all and end-all, look at flights to different places and on different dates and choose the cheapest one.This isn't always an option, but if you choose between several great places, you can save a lot of money and still have a wonderful adventure.

You should also always try to book flights well in advance of your departure date, as prices are usually lower.Use a site like Skyscanner, where you can search and compare flights from hundreds of airlines.

5.Stay at a budget accommodation

If your lodging is not on your priority list, look for affordable alternatives to traditional hotels.Hostels are popular with young travelers and offer a social atmosphere and often built-in bars and restaurants, though sometimes accompanied by noise and a minimal level of cleanliness.To compare prices and reviews, visit: or HostelWorld.

My new favorite lodging option is AirBnb, where you can rent houses, apartments or single rooms directly from people who live in the area.In Lisbon, I was able to rent a private room in an apartment with two other young women in a neighborhood where even a bed in a 10-person dorm room would have been more expensive.

6.Reduce your grocery bill

Another great thing about staying in a house or apartment (and sometimes hostels) is having access to a kitchen.Shopping at a grocery store or market and cooking your own food can save lots of money, just like at home.If you must eat out, choose small dishes like sandwiches or appetizers and fill up later when you get back to your home base.I usually save one or two nicer dinners for the end of the trip to celebrate my adventure, and once I know I've stuck to my budget for most of my trip.

7.Go light on the drinking

Bar tabs can add up quickly.I'm not saying you should never go out and have a good time, but being smart about how often and how you do it can save you a bundle.Picking up a bottle of wine to enjoy with friends in your apartment or hostel is much cheaper than the same wine in a restaurant or bar.If you are going out for a night, make a plan beforehand of how much you want to spend.Keep track of how much you spend and how many drinks you've had, both for your wallet and for your own well-being.

8.Spend some time hiking

I love this budget tip because I think it adds to my travel enjoyment!Instead of always sticking to guided tour groups, hop-on hop-off buses, or paid museum visits, spend a day or two wandering the city on your own.You save money, get some exercise, and experience the city in a way you wouldn't with a group.Walking at your own pace allows you to stop for all the pictures you want, chat with locals, explore hidden treasures, and get a feel for the pace and atmosphere of the place.

9.Stick with one spot for a while

While the classic European adventure is to take a train from one end of the continent to the other, it can get pretty expensive.If your budget can't accommodate this kind of go, go, go travel, you may find it surprisingly affordable to stay in one place for a while.Besides the expensive plane ticket, apartment rent and groceries may not be much more than you would pay at home.

This type of travel allows you to really soak up the local environment and experience a place in a deeper, more personal way while staying within your budget.You can still squeeze in day trips and probably see some gems you might miss on a quicker trip, but you can also take the time to buy a "usual" at a local cafe, learn a bit of the language, or explore the back roads.

10.Choose adventure

Regardless of your budget, adventure is an option.By adopting an optimistic attitude, you can learn to see opportunities for adventure, travel and excitement everywhere you go.If you have to spend the last three days of your trip camping because you are short of money?Make friends with the hippies nearby and party with them around the campfire.

If you can't afford a plane ticket abroad?Take a long weekend for a road trip to a neighboring state or play tourist in your own hometown.Traveling is as much about attitude as location, and a spirit of adventure is attainable regardless of your financial situation.