How to Travel for Under $1000 per Month

What do you spend money on when traveling? Accommodation. Transport. Food. Entertainment.

If you were to do the most minimal categorizing possible, you would end up with those four categories. Logically thinking, you should be spending about $250 per category if you plan to spend less than $1000 in a month. But the world isn’t sometimes logical, and that goal isn’t possible for most people.

Some people manage to travel for under $1000 per month while others pay that for accommodation alone. So how do you travel for under $1000?

Accommodation Costs the Most

Go to the Airbnb website. Find an apartment for $30 a night. Great. Multiply that by 30. That’s $900 plus service fees. That leaves you with $100 to spend on transport, food, and entertainment in a month, good luck to you.

Travel for under $1000

Okay, you might get a discount for staying that long but do you really want to stay in one place for a month? Even if you are staying in one city for a month? It will get boring. But even then, with a discount, you are still spending at least 3/4 of your budget on accommodation.

Get a Private Room Instead

If you are even going to consider using Airbnb which is way cheaper than hotels anyway, get a private room. That’s the only way to do it. Now, sometimes you will get lucky. If you are in an affordable location, you might find a bargain. It’s rare though.

You can find private rooms in even more expensive locations for around for around $10. 10 x 30, that’s $300. $300 is over that $250 mark, but as you will find out as you read, the other categories should be cheaper than $250.

Of course, Airbnb isn’t the only service that provides accommodation, so the same applies to other services.

Consider Going With a Friend

Actually, consider going with a few friends. If you want to be luxurious, do that. For $100 a day, you can get a great house. Go with 6 friends, and you are paying about $16 a day.

But What If You Can Get Accommodation for (Almost) Free?

There are services for that too. And not enough people know about them.

GuestToGuest is a service that allows you to pay almost nothing for accommodation. Of course, there are a few catches. But it’s worth it.

Firstly, you need to own or rent a home. This service is based on exchanges. Now, you don’t always have to exchange homes with guests at the same time. Instead, you can use GuestPoints to stay in people’s home. But to get GuestPoints, you need to allow people to stay in your home.

That’s the catch. You will need to give somebody else your home. But if you are away traveling, then why does it matter?

The second catch? You need to pay a deposit. It’s for somebody’s safety. People that stay in your home have to pay them too. It’s for your safety too. The deposits tend to be expensive. Depending on what house you are going to.

The service is overall much cheaper, but you need to have more money initially. You get it back of course but with a small fee. 3.5% is taken from the deposit sum. You get the rest of your money back. So if a deposit costs $800, you will pay $28, and you will get the rest back.

If you can provide such an amount, then GuestToGuest is an incredibly cheap way of getting fantastic accommodation. Let’s say you swap location four times in a month. It will cost you $112 plus some other mini fees that you might have to pay. You will need to pay a big deposit, but you will save a lot of money. And you will get a proper house compared to a private room.

Travel for under $1000 will not be possible without the cheapest accommodation. GuestToGuest might be the most affordable solution.

But when it comes to accommodation, making connections with people is crucial. If you meet somebody in Lisbon that lives in Paries and you happen to get on great, then there’s a big chance that they will let you stay with them when you visit Paris.

Transport

The second most expensive item on this list will be your transport.

Unless you are lucky, you will not find a cheap flight across continents. That’s a given. Aer Lingus recently had a sale and might still be having one, flights from Ireland to New York were about €164 or $192. That’s crazy cheap. During Summer, you will probably have to pay $500 at least. Travel for under $1000 won’t happen with tickets at that price, therefore, choose your dates for travel wisely too. Prices differ across seasons.

The further you travel, the harder it will be to stay under $1000. Unless you are traveling the whole world and you are going slowly across the globe.

A Confident Method

The best way to do it is to pay a monthly fee.

If you are in Europe, taking trains across your locations while you travel is probably your best choice. You know how much you are paying straight away. No fluctuating prices. None of that crap. Currently, if you want to travel for 7 days within a month, Interrail will costs you €253, that’s almost $300. If you are spending $112 on accommodation, then $300 is not bad at all if you want to travel for under $1000 per month.

If you’re not traveling through the sea, interrailing might be a good choice as you will not have to pay for flights to get to your initial destination. You will only have to pay that one fee for transport.

The Trick to the Getting the Cheapest Transport

Here’s the thing. When traveling, monthly passes work the best. But you also need to look at the country and the country you are going to go to.

Transport prices differ across countries. In Poland, trains and buses are incredibly cheap. Same in Hungary. Using a plane might not be beneficial there. A bus from Vienna to Amsterdam costs around €50 or $60 on Flixbus. If you travel for that price to four countries, that’s $240 in a month. Meanwhile, a bus from Poland to Prague with PolskiBus.com costs around €10 or $12. When it comes to transport, you need to research what is the cheapest, or you will not be able to travel for under $1000 per month.

Here are some perks and negatives of different means of transport:

  • Planes are fast and cheap, but they also require you to wait long times at airports and tend to have delays. They also don’t allow you to witness scenery and you can’t really move too much.
  • Buses generally have sockets and Wi-Fi that planes might not, but the journies are much longer. They are however usually cheaper and depending on where you are going. They might not be too full either.
  • Trains tend to have a lot of space and are much comfortable the buses and planes, but you will often have to change trains and wait at train stations.

But the Key to Transport Is to Avoid Transport When in Cities

And in order to do that, you should find the right location for your place of stay. Costs of public transport add up over time. If you take a bus every day, the costs will add up. Try to walk instead. But if you have to use transport then use a bus, metro, or a tram rather than a taxi.

It’s about being smart with transport.

Food

At this point, you have either spent $300 to get a private room, and a further $300 on transport or you have spent $112 on getting a house and between $240 to $300 on transportation. That means that you are either heading over your budget or you way below it.

Either way, luckily for you, food is cheap.

Firstly, forget 5-star. If you are trying to save money, you can’t have that. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out. You can, just not every day.

The last post about minimizing spending while traveling mentions that you should stop acting like a tourist, and that’s what you need to do. People that live in the cities that you are visiting don’t eat out every single day. You need to think like a local. Buy groceries and cook.

Otherwise, $15 for 30 days will end up costing $450.  And if you want to travel for under $1000, you can’t be spending almost half of your budget on food. Not to mention that it will be hard to get food for $15 in most places.

However, if you go shopping, you can survive for $80. Cooking will allow you to lower your overall expenses while traveling.

Tripcoin lets you manage your expenses and provides you with data on your spending which allows you to see where you are spending too much money while traveling.

Entertainment

This one varies a lot. It depends on your location and what you are doing or planning to do.

But one thing is in common. Most people will spend the most money on alcohol when it comes to this category. While in Budapest a beer might cost you $3, it London it might cost $10. If you have 10 beers during the month, and that’s already $100.

Ireland drinks 97 liters of beer per capita. A pint is about 500ml. That’s 194 beers in a year.  That’s about a beer every second day. 15 beers might cost you $150.

When it comes to entertainment, consider that alcohol can cost a lot on your trips. If you go into clubs and avoid it, you can save a lot of money.

Other than that, entertainment is cheap. Most places are free to view.

Talk to people though. It might get you into places that cost for free. You might meet a blogger that is going to write about a place. You might stumble upon an owner. Making connections always has benefits. And when you are on a budget, those connections might save you a lot of money.

Travel for Under $1000 per Month Is Possible

At the start you might have thought that it’s not possible to travel for under $1000 per month, after reading this, you might have a different opinion about that. Share this post if it helped you, and if you want to manage your spending with categories such as the ones mentioned in this post then try Tripcoin.

Travel can be extremely cheap if you are smart about it.

Written by Michael Smolski.