How to travel the world on $1,000 a month?

Alex Brylov/
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$1000 month doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you know what you’re doing, it can take you all over the world. Live your dreams for less by following these simple tips.

Research cost of living

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Some countries are significantly cheaper to live in than others. If it’s cheaper to live somewhere, it’s also usually cheaper to travel there. Make a list of the countries you’d like to visit, and see how much it costs to stay at a budget motel in each of those locations. Some places can get down to $20 a night or less. You should check the price of meals and transportation in each area to get an idea of how much you’ll have to spend.

Plan a route

Countries that are in the same area usually have similar costs of living. If you’ve already flown to Brazil, you might be able to take a train to other South American countries for a very low cost. Use this method to visit multiple countries on a single round-trip plane ticket. To save yourself time, plan to fly back from the last country that you pass through. Remember to check border restrictions between countries – you don’t want to get caught up in politics during your vacation.

Use comparison sites

Never buy plane tickets or book a hotel from the first website you visit. Instead, try using comparison sites to check the prices from multiple companies at the same time. These sites will usually send you updates when they spot a deal on a ticket you’re looking for. Plan your trip early, and let the algorithms do the heavy lifting for you.

As a bonus tip, always search in incognito mode; airline ticket sites like to use browser cookies to artificially raise prices for returning customers. If your browsing is private, they’ll have to show you the same price every time.

Skip the extras

Souvenir shops are attractive for a reason; these storefronts are designed to get tourists to spend their money. Stay away from the gift shops, and try shopping at the local market instead. Use your budget to try affordable local foods and see more of the sights.

You probably don’t want to come home empty-handed, so plan to buy one souvenir at each location. Instead of buying from a fancy shop, plan to get a small memento at a festival or farmer’s market. You should also take as many pictures as possible; after all, those are the souvenirs that really matter.

Try travel apps

The digital world has made budget traveling easier than ever before. Start with an app like Airbnb, which can help you find cheap or interesting places to stay. You might also consider the CouchSurfers community for the occasional free lodging. Travel Buddies will help you find people who are visiting the same location as you; you can make friends and potentially even split the cost of lodging.

Traveling on a budget takes research, but it’s not as hard as you might think. Remember to keep a little emergency money on hand; if all else fails, you want to be able to afford a ticket home.