There it was again. That time of the year. The one where time couldn’t go slower. We were reminded of the smells and tastes of amazing places we’ve visited. Our daily lives were just a countdown to the next adventure. When we reach that point, it really it’s time for Dirt Cheap Travel Guide to get on the road! We work seasonal jobs and our contracts have just ended. This means we potentially have the whole season off to travel. We love to travel but neither of us earns a “living” wage. Thankfully, we also love to travel cheaply. Being immersed in the local population and living at their pace helps us save money and enjoy the trip. We call it slow travel. This method has allowed us to spend under $1000USD per month abroad in many different countries.
Last year was the first year we split our trip in two types of travel. Half of the time we spent exploring abroad and during the other half, we each found a local job and worked. We spent five months in Guatemala, where we settled in, climbed volcanoes and ate more tacos than any human should. After five months in Guatemala, we figured we should get moving. As our time was running short, we decided to make good use of stopovers. What are stopovers? They’re just extended layovers. A stopover is a good way to get a feel for a country you may want to visit thoroughly later. So we wound up in Mexico for 3- 4 days. We learned a valuable lesson there: Eating raw chicken (or pork, we were never sure) will damper on your trip. Thank you, life! Our next stop proved much more successful as we had a few days in Las Vegas!
Las Vegas can be expensive, but thankfully, we know a couple residents who gave us a much appreciated shelter and dose of hospitality. If you don’t know anyone, you can always try Couchsurfing, which is a fantastic way to travel cheap while interacting with locals. Once you’ve figured cheap lodging, Vegas really has a lot of things you can do for free, and many other activities for very cheap. You can also find free things to do outside of Vegas— like Red Rock Canyon and the Hoover Damn. We’ll write about that at some point!
After Nevada, we returned to the Pacific Northwest where we had a great time, as usual. We stopped in Victoria, British Columbia and enjoyed the San Juan Islands; we went in a way-too-fancy club in Portland and enjoyed outstanding craft beer. A much needed comedy night alongside Nashville’s very own Steve Goodie certainly helped make this trip to the west coast another tremendous success.
We changed pace for six months to work at our respective jobs, which is just as much as part of our lives as travel. We don’t live simply in anticipation of the next trip; we are particularly careful to live in the moment. It’s true we are perpetually aware of our spending, but not to the point that we miss out on life. As our work terms came to an end in the fall, we started to think about a destination we could spend some time in that fits our travel style.
How do we find the time to travel?
Even if you’re willing to travel on a budget, sometimes life just doesn’t allow you to have the time off to take a break. We are lucky enough to each have a seasonal job, which gives us months off in the wintertime to travel. It means sacrificing a salary on the off-season, but that’s where living frugally comes in. We realize it’s a lot harder with a year round, full time career, but you don’t have to be seasonal or retired to enjoy traveling for extended periods of time. If you plan in advance, you can make a point of saving up vacation days for a long stay in a destination you’ve wanted to see forever. People make time for the things they value. There’s always a way, you just have to find it. In author Tom Robbin’s words, “you have to figure it out for yourself.”
So what does fall and winter have in store for us?
Why travel of course! We didn’t plan as much as usual (which is already not very much), but at least we decided where we’re flying into. We’re traveling Turkey. There is just so much to see! We’ve also tentatively planned to drop by Greece and Iraq, depending on cost and practicality. Hopefully we get some nice experiences and stories to share while out there! After Turkey, we’re not sure. Most likely, we’ll take some time off and then return to Central America to settle for a few months under the sun. We hope to use that time to better Dirt Cheap Travel Guide and expand our audience. Speaking of which, thanks for being with us, we appreciate it! If you enjoy our blog, be sure to share this post and invite your friends to like our page. Also, why not subscribe to our newsletter?
Do you have any suggestions, any places you want us to visit in Turkey, Greece or Iraq? Please let us know in the comments below!