Finding Cheap Transportation and Cheap Tickets

Cheap traveling and cheap tickets are obviously important for budget travel. As far as arriving at your first destination is concerned, you have lots of time to find the cheapest option. But what about traveling between different destinations, have you thought about the costs for that?

Round the world tickets

Many “Round the world” travelers (or world journey travelers, there is no general term in English, in Dutch we would say “wereldreizigers”), start with buying a Round the world ticket first. This is a (relatively) cheap set of airline tickets, flying you across the globe in a period varying from a few months to a few years.

The advantage of Round the world tickets is that you will be able to see many diverse destinations on the globe while keeping the flying costs relatively low. But, you will have to fix your itinerary upfront. We have met many travelers who needed to hurry, skip locations they wanted to visit, or re-arrange the tickets while traveling. Being underway, you will always see things, do things, or hear things, that will make you want to change your plans.

Pelni ships

One example of what we encountered during our World Journey are the Pelni ships in Indonesia. These ferries are the only reasonably priced means of transportation for the locals in an archipelago like Indonesia. Many budget travelers join the locals on these ships.

But, on board many of them change their minds, and exchange the cheap tickets for more expensive ones, including a private, or shared room. Reason for this is that life on deck of a Pelni ship is not very relaxing, or clean. Cockroaches are everywhere, and so are the locals, who are not to keen on cleaning up or keeping a low voice. It’s an experience for sure, and when you’re into this kind of traveling, you might enjoy it. If not, be prepared to upgrade. But if you do, the cheap tickets become expensive ones, almost approaching the going rates for air travel…

Be aware that with a fixed itinerary, those changes will be much more difficult, if not impossible.

The true nature of adventure travel is that you do not plan every transport upfront. Stay as long as you like, and move on when you feel like moving on. While you do not have a long preparation time, there are still a few tips that may help you reduce traveling costs

Do as the locals do

When you are in France, do as the French. Locals know best how you can obtain the cheap tickets for bus, train, boat or airplane. In Europe, often multiple-rides tickets apply within a country. You wouldn’t know that until a local tells you that. Travel agents will direct you to luxurious coaches, locals will take the cheap “chicken bus”. These are just examples, but think about it: someone with experience in local travel should know the best and cheapest options.

Team up

At your hostel, you will probably meet a lot of other travelers. You will discuss each others plans, and why wouldn’t you move on together. Together you know more, you may be able to negotiate better with taxis, boats, minivans, or other transports. And, in unusual situations, you will feel less insecure. When you become tired of each other, just choose your own path again.

Hitch a ride

If you want it rock bottom cheap, go for a free ride. Hitchhiking sure is adventurous, you will probably meet people and see things you wouldn’t have seen taking public transportation. But it should also suit you. It can be a little dangerous, you need to be very flexible, and be prepared for some disappointments. But, if you will not be robbed, you will save lots of money.

Airline tickets

At some points on your journey, you may want to proceed by air. Nowadays, many budget airlines are offering cheap tickets, which may even be cheaper than train tickets. But, this comes with a range of nasty side effects.

Fists, the costs for an airline ticket are just part of the total costs. You will need to add taxes, transportation to and from the airport, and even drinks in the airplane. Take not of this when comparing with train tickets.

Then, travel agents advertise with the cheapest tickets. You will find out that the actual ticket will be more expensive, since only a reduced number of seats are available for the advertised price. If you do not know this, you may be very frustrated searching for cheap tickets.

Finally, while lots of cheap tickets to some destinations are available, your preferred destination is not one of them. Or, some countries or (cheap) airlines may demand a ticket from your destination, too (while you only want a one way ticket). Again some potential frustration there. The only tip we can give you here is to be flexible. If a ticket to one country is expensive, try its neighboring country. And, of course, you are not bound on traveling on a specific day, are you?

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