How to travel the world with minimal investment

The most interesting destinations do not require space budgets.

How to travel the world with minimal investment

Anna Przyszilny

Founder of ITINERO Travel Club

How to travel the world with minimal investment

To unravel the mysteries of the sacred Machu Picchu, to find the “Maldive” beaches with penguins in Africa and to freeze with delight, watching the northern lights in Iceland – most seasoned travelers dream of this. But few people know that this can be done at minimal cost.

What to do before leaving

Most often, during a trip, people want to devote themselves entirely to wandering. Returning to your homeland ahead of schedule and the agony of moving with tons of suitcases and boxes is unlikely to please you. Here's what you should do in advance so as not to overshadow a long journey with unnecessary troubles and worries.

Deal with documents and large property

If you are going to leave for several months, issue a power of attorney so that you can conduct business in Russia through another person. To pay the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, article 333.24 “Amounts of the state fee for notarial acts”, you only need the services of a notary: on average, it costs 2-3 thousand rubles. If you want to give a third party the right to a limited number of actions, the paper can cost 500 rubles.

If you decide to rent an apartment for the duration of the trip or even sell it, take everything apart. Put valuables in a storage box or lend to friends, and send the rest to a rented container.

If you have a car and you do not take it on a long trip, wash the car, fill the tank full, remove the battery terminals. And then put it in a secure parking lot, covered with a cover.

Be smart about packing your suitcase or backpack

How to travel the world with minimal investment

Unfortunately, traveling cheaply with a lot of things is not succeed. Every extra thing on the road will immediately affect your budget or convenience.

Therefore, experienced travelers take only one suitcase with them. From the clothes in it – underwear, sandals and sneakers, basic changeable T-shirts, a pair of warm sweaters, pants, shorts and a jacket. It is unprofitable to take towels, favorite shampoos, cosmetics and dishes with you on the road: it will be cheaper to buy them on the spot than to constantly overpay for luggage.

If you prefer hiking, you can get by with a 50-liter hiking backpack – just don't confuse it with an ordinary urban one. Put the essentials there: documents, money, gadgets and chargers, some clothes, a thermos, a sleeping bag.

During the trip, you should give up branded things: it’s better to look like a local so as not to attract the attention of thieves. Jeans and T-shirts are perfect, also take an oversized sweatshirt – you can always hide equipment under it. It is better to stick the brand on all things.

Get the necessary vaccinations

In order not to stumble upon tightly closed borders, you need to have a certificate of vaccination against COVID‑19. In many countries, foreigners are vaccinated, but usually it is paid. It is also important to consider that most vaccines are two-component – the certificate will not be issued immediately, but only after the second dose.

Yellow fever is widespread in Africa, Central and South America. Vaccination against it is required there. Letter from Rospotrebnadzor dated 03/24/2021 No. 02/5670-2021-32 “On the prevention of yellow fever”, they do it once every 10 years. In Russia, you can get vaccinated in many clinics and medical centers, it will cost 1,000-2,000 rubles.

Among the optional, but recommended: vaccinations against hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, encephalitis and poliomyelitis. The exceptions are the countries of the USA and Europe: there the threat of viral infections is minimal.

In Russia, all the necessary drugs are easily available and cost from 500 to 2,000 rubles. It is better to get vaccinated 2-4 weeks before departure.

How to travel the world with minimal investment

For a more specific set of necessary vaccinations for each region, please visit the WHO Vaccines/World Health Organization website.

Pick up insurance and pack a first aid kit

Insurance is essential an attribute of even a short vacation trip, on a long trip it should definitely be at hand. To reduce the cost, carefully review the content and find out if you can refuse some items.

For example, a helicopter evacuation may be needed for travelers to Nepal, but will be absolutely useless for many others.

An expedition first-aid kit is also needed – ideal if a pharmacist thinks it through. If this is not possible, assemble it yourself. It must contain antibiotics, adsorbents, antihistamines, antispasmodics, as well as products for temporarily stopping external bleeding and dressing wounds.

Which budget travel option to choose

The most expensive part of any trip is transportation and accommodation. But even these costs can be significantly reduced: exchange hotels for couchsurfing Couchsurfing is one of the largest guest networks that exists as an online service. Unites more than 14 million people in 200,000 settlements. Members of the network provide each other with assistance and accommodation during travel and organize joint trips, agree on barter accommodation conditions or abandon planes and bus tours in favor of hiking. Let's take a closer look.

Combining travel and work

Not everyone associates travel with leisure. Many want to organically fit them into their lifestyle: work, communicate with locals, and explore interesting locations in their free time. You can always monetize your skills, the main thing is to find a country in which there will be a demand for you as a specialist.

For example, the trend to build a personal brand and work through social networks has led to an increase in demand for the services of a photographer. If you have experience in this area, there will most likely be no problems with clients.

How to travel the world with minimal investment

English teachers are welcomed in many countries where this language is widely spoken. For example, in Peru. They also actively hire babysitters – nannies in Europe and South America are not uncommon, almost all working mothers have them because of the short maternity leave. You can search for vacancies on job boards, as well as in local groups on social networks.

Artists, designers, and decorators are welcome in many hostels. Their owners strive to make their establishment more popular in order to increase the flow of guests, which is why they are often open to a “change of image”. For a small fee, food and accommodation, you will help the hosts with the interior and concept, making the place relevant and interesting.

You can find such a part-time job on the spot. However, it is still better to think about employment and guarantees in advance. To do this, you can follow the updates on Indeed, Jooble, Glassdoor.

It is also worth subscribing to the Russian-language Telegram channel Internship, where they post information about internships and volunteer programs. Moving, meals and lodging are often paid for. Another major channel is Rabochy Park. You can also find offers for every taste in it – from vacancies for a nanny, waiter and hostess to a guide, translator, marketer and IT specialist.


This is an international hospitality system. It works like this: you look for community members in the right country, send them requests, and someone will definitely respond. The service has become so popular that it has many analogues: Be Welcome, Servas and others.

The main advantages of this format: communication with people from different parts of the world, the opportunity to get to know the non-tourist side of the city – the locals always know the “secret” places. Most often, you can stay for free, but in return, couchsurfers bring gifts from their country or from travels, pay the bill at a joint dinner, or offer to pay a return visit.

However, it should be borne in mind that couchsurfing is often idealized. And on the Web you can find stories about the bad experience of such a trip: some people are faced with dirty and hardly livable housing, while others are faced with inadequate hosts. Therefore, always carefully read the reviews under the offers and do not lose your vigilance.


 How to travel the world with minimal investment

Hiking is considered the most affordable form of travel. A backpack, a tent, a couple of sandwiches with you – and you are already looking at the azure lakes of Patagonia or getting to know the Mayan civilization in Mexico.

The most expensive thing in hiking is moving to another continent, if your itinerary provides for it. And here there are some nuances – we will talk about them below.

Which methods of transportation to choose

Let us remind you: this is one of the biggest expense items. Here are some options for budget modes of transport worth considering.


The hardest part of a big adventure is getting to the first point. The plane is simple, but almost always expensive. You can save money by studying the bonus systems of airlines and loyalty programs from banks. For example, buy tickets with the help of miles collected on the back of the money. It is also worth considering the possible cashback.

Not everyone knows that miles can be transferred to another account. People are happy to sell them or even give them away as useless – you can find such ads or make such a request in social networks.

Water transport

Moving by water is the easiest and cheapest way. You can participate in the passage of the yacht – become part of the crew and keep watch, be a handyman. Anyone can get on the ship, there are a lot of ads on the Web about finding a team for the haul – both on specialized sites for sailors and on popular recruiting portals. As a result, you will receive invaluable skills in shipping as a bonus.

In coastal countries, the term “yacht stop” is also widely used. By making friends with yachtsmen or offering them your help, you can travel between islands and even continents for free. This option is especially relevant for residents of regions with access to the sea, but no one forbids you to get to the departure point in the usual way.


How to travel the world with minimal investment

Do not forget about buses in your travels. They are available in many countries, but there is always a way to save extra. For example, in Europe there are transport cards – they are cheaper. And in Africa there are a lot of private transport drivers – you can ask them for a discount or offer to exchange the opportunity to travel for some of your thing or souvenir.

In Southeast Asia, buses are even more popular – they can be driven through the whole country, not being afraid to get stuck even in the jungle. True, it is unlikely that it will be possible to bring down the price due to the peculiarities of the mentality.

Where to live or stay overnight

The most budget housing around the world are hostels and guesthouses. A place in a room with eight beds can cost even $5 per night. But these are far from the only options for spending the night on a budget trip.


You need to choose it wisely in order to find not only an overnight stay, but also an atmosphere that is interesting for you. Some party hostels are more focused on partying (and even organize trips to nightclubs for guests), others gather fans of the cultural program, others offer outdoor activities – they will definitely have billiards, and ping-pong, and a pool, and sometimes special agreements with local climbers or divers.

Hotel or apartments

If you do not intend to give up the comfort of your own hotel room, we recommend that you plan your trip in advance – then you will have time to compare the cost of housing in different periods and different aggregators. The least shy travelers who call the hotel directly and book accommodation often get an advantage and spend far less money.

The main thing is that this hotel has a good rating on aggregators, and then you can not be afraid of fraud. Also, be sure to ask the administrators or the owner of the hotel to send you a confirmation of booking and payment by mail.

If you want to live not in a small room, but in an apartment, rent an apartment or an apartment hotel. You can search for them on Airbnb, Booking and other popular services. You can pay for them with a foreign card inside the application, if it is not available, contact the owner directly.


The main habitat for hikers is equipped campsites. You sleep in your tent, and the amenities – kitchen, toilet, places to relax – are shared with other travelers. The price depends on your needs.

How to travel the world with minimal investment

Everything will depend on whether you need internet, an equipped kitchen, or you just need a place to sleep. On average, travelers pay about $30 per day.

If you travel with a company, rent a jeep with a tent or a campervan (a car with a built-in tent) – this way you close the issue of both movement and accommodation. You can get a discount for early booking and cash payment.

Where and how to eat

In any country you can find delicious and affordable food. Even in very expensive Iceland, you can buy a salmon steak in a supermarket (yes, it's cheap there!) And cook it, for example, on a camp grill. Let's analyze the main food options for those who do not intend to spend fabulous money on food.

1. Self-cooking

If you do not live in a hotel, but in an apartment with a kitchen, the best option is to buy groceries in a supermarket and cook on your own. The same goes for campers. By the way, they are often purchased in excess, so that the food does not have time to run out before the end of the holiday, and people simply leave it in the camp, reducing the expenses of the next travelers.

2. Street Food

How to travel the world with minimal investment

He saves a lot of tourists. For a couple of dollars, you will not only get rid of hunger, but also taste the amazing local cuisine.

Do not think that street food is exclusively fatty Chuck Norris spicy nuggets. This is a popular urban food format with a high cooking speed and a special form of serving – you can usually eat this food even on the go.

Thus, Thailand is famous for its signature roti pancakes with banana, dim sums (steam dumplings with various fillings) and traditional kebabs. Japan offers onigiri as a snack – a rice cake stuffed with eggs, chicken or vegetables, and in Morocco you can find snail soup, as well as marshmallow – and this is not a sweet, but a chicken pie.

From exotic – fried bats or cockroaches – it is better to refuse if you are not sure about your gastrointestinal tract. This should be done even if you have even the slightest doubt about the observance of sanitary standards and food storage rules.

3. Inexpensive cafes

Here are the main assistants in the search:

  • Geoservices (for example, Google Maps). With their help, you can study the menu in advance, read reviews and compare the cost of dishes in different establishments.
  • Sites with reviews about holidays.For example, Tripadvisor. He will guide you through the main tourist spots, show you articles and reviews of experienced travelers, and recommend both eateries and restaurants. Most importantly, check the availability of the establishment using the cards already mentioned – some of them may have closed or moved.
  • Locals. Remember: do not ask the owners of apartments, receptionists or passers-by on the street where would you like to eat. A better question to ask is: “Where do you like to dine yourself?” Most likely, you will not hear the names of tourist points, but you will get the addresses of “secret cafes” – quiet places with delicious cuisine and reasonable prices.

You can always travel economically, the main thing is to start preparing in advance and not to be too lazy to consider a large number of options for living, moving and leisure. Aggregators, difficult routes, trekking, tents in the middle of the desert and communication with the locals – all this seems difficult at first, but, having figured it out, you will not only save money, but also get a unique experience. And, perhaps, you will make a strong friendship.

Cover: Olya Yogide/Lifehacker