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Traveling the world can be an expensive and daunting undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. With careful planning and consideration of all factors – food, lodging, transportation, activities – you can find affordable ways to globetrot without draining your bank account or sacrificing your comfort or safety. Here are some ideas on how to global travel on a budget, whether you’re traveling solo or with family and friends.

1. Plan in Advance

Periodically, airlines will offer discounted tickets for those who wish to reserve tickets in advance. This is a great way to find ways to save money on your travel plans. It’s always wise to book ahead of time, as well. This way you’ll know what your options are if there’s a high demand or special occassion that requires flexibility within your travel schedule.

2. Pack light

Traveling with a backpack will save you time and money. If you can, pack everything you’ll need for the duration of your trip in one small bag. This will streamline your packing process, and reduce the items that must be purchased along the way.

3. Plan travel days around food possibilities

One of the easiest ways to save money is to plan your routes around where food can be found. Local markets are often a great source of cheap and fresh-cooked meals, snacks and drinks, as well as entertainment. If you’re visiting a place with good public transportation, try planning your trip around where you’ll be able to get off and explore on foot or by bicycle.

4. Use the Couchsurfing network

If you can’t afford to stay in hostels or hotels, consider using the Couchsurfing network for your lodging needs. This site allows travelers to stay on the couches of other locals in their homes. This can be a great way to save money, establish friendships and keep away from impersonal hotel chains.

5. Hit up your local library

Traveling can be expensive, especially when it comes to books and guides for your destination. If you don’t want to shell out the cash for travel guides for each area you’re visiting, head to your local library and borrow what you’ll need instead.

6. Consider traveling with a group

If you can’t afford the cost of traveling solo, try traveling with a friend or family member when available. This can save money on accommodations and often times will provide you with support at special venues and activities as well.

7. Estimate the cost of any items that may break or leave you in need of replacements

Before purchasing anything for your trip – from a guidebook to an airline ticket – take time to determine the total value of what you’re buying. This way, you’ll know ahead of time how much it will cost to replace or repair any items that may break.

8. Pre-pay for your hotel and rental car

If you’re staying with someone else, it may be a good idea to pre-pay for your accommodations and transportation so that you won’t have to worry about being held up at check in or having missed a flight due to late payment.

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