The genesis of this travel site was the extended vaca I took back in 2013. It was originally supposed to be just the usual 10-day annual trip my best friend I always take, but after quitting my job (my last day was hours before my flight out), it turned into a month-long jaunt across eight cities within four countries. People marvel at my ability to travel so cheaply, but I promise you, I’m no vacation whisperer. You too can see the world for mere pennies.
The flight will be your biggest expense, so purchase wisely. You’ll be purchasing two one-way flights, so be strategic about the places you want to see. My bookend cities were Istanbul and Marseille. According to Skyscanner at the time of posting, a one way to Istanbul from NYC and a return via Paris will run you between $600-$681 depending on the season you decide to travel within. We all want to save money, so we’re going to travel during low season, right?* RIGHT.
Then there’s the intracontinental travel. Repeat after me, ‘Ryanair is my best friend’. My flight from Athens to Rome was $30. Besides being offensively cheap, it included an overnight layover on the island of Corfu. So I saw two places for essentially $15 a piece! After spending 24 hours in Rome, I was off to Marseille on a $20 flight. These deals extend beyond travel within Europe. Back in 2011, I flew to Morocco from Paris for about 90 bucks roundtrip! When I was in Asia in 2014, AirAsia and NokAir were godsends shuttling us around Thailand and Singapore.
After the flight eats into a huge chunk of your pocket, it’s housing. Fret not because there are resources to keep that cost low. Thanks to Couchsurfer, you can spend not a dime during you’re trip. Besides free lodging, you get to meet locals that can show you around to all the actually cool stuff in the area. If you’re like me and terrified to sleep in a stranger’s house, AirBnB and fancy hostels will be your ticket to the promise land. I had a room in this cute apartment (with a private terrace) in Rome and the host was awesome! We spent three days on the island of Mykonos and had this view for $40 a piece…total!
Pro-tip on staying under your 1K budget: don’t-book-any-tours! We’re all adults and we can read. If you want to learn about a historical place, read up on it beforehand and see it sans tour guide. They talk too much anyway! Research days when museums are free and plan your itinerary around that. Befriend a local and they’ll help you avoid the tourist money guzzling traps. Plus, they love tourists and have courtesy that we don’t have here in the states, so they may treat you to drinks or cook you an insane spread at their homes.
Lastly, in terms of spending money, visit a place where the US dollar means something. London ain’t the place, so scratch that off of your list for now. The Euro is almost 1:1 with the dollar, so Chante, you can stay. As per my time in Kenya and Tanzania last year, the dollar on the mother continent is pretty equivalent. Central + South America and Asia are where it’s at if you want to make your dollars super stretch, so book that sh*t! And for the love of God, eat street food as often as possible. Nothing tastes better than a $1 meal.
Alright, there it is. I gave you the tools to hit multiple countries abroad for $1,000. Start planning those trips and be sure to tell me all about it (or be a real one and invite me!)!
*Editor’s note: disregard the low-high season conundrum if a fye sale happens for your ideal dates though! Just remember low-high season differs by continent. Summer in the US is high time for Europe, while winter in the US is high season for Thailand.