Where can I find budget travel deals?

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Answered by: Jessica, An Expert in the Budget Travel - General Category
For years, my work supervisors, college professors and peers/colleagues have said their biggest regret in life was not traveling when they were younger. So I decided to take advantage of their advice since I wanted a change of pace in life. However, I had 2 big hurdles: 1) I have little disposable income and 2) I was traveling solo. What was the safest yet cheapest way to travel but still have fun? I wanted to do something different, active and educational. But I needed to find some budget travel deals still, and most of my searches were dead ends. I scoured websites everywhere. Then I stumbled upon A Broader View (abroaderview.org).



For less than $1K/week (less flight costs), solo, couple and group travelers alike can volunteer in a different country while taking as much time as needed meeting new people, exploring a new country and volunteering in a low-income community. The continents available include the Americas, Asia and Africa with several countries open to volunteers. Volunteers are expected to work 7-8 hours a day, with time after for exploring and weekends for planning outings with the team.

Pros:



- program length is extremely flexible, tailored to your schedule and budget

- different program categories, such as healthcare or education

- ability to meet new volunteers with various experiences

- explore the local area after the day and on weekends in a group or as an individual

- option to learn a foreign language while volunteering

- fast response time to your questions about the program

- work with the project coordinator while on-site so there is always support

- learn a lot about a different culture in a short amount of time

Cons:

- pay for your own flight cost, which can be costly. However, the organization gives you ideas to fundraise for the program cost.

- travel insurance is not included. This is so the option is left up to the individual.

- don't expect luxury accommodations, this is a volunteer vacation in essence. Accommodations will be comfortable but not luxurious.

- you may get sick. These are mostly 3rd world countries, but just be careful and take advice from other group members and the project coordinator.

Flight costs still worrying you? Be sure to consult bing.com/travel first to see if any lower fares are in your future. If so, wait. If not, start scouring other sites such as Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline or Travelzoo for deals.

A Broader View was definitely one of the best budget travel deals I found in a while. The experiences are invaluable and unique - the support I received before and during the trip was seamless and helpful. While this was not a sit-back-and-relax program, the lesson of hard work, serving others, and sacrificing my own time was highly rewarding.

Many other budget travel deals I had found were backpacking/camping trips or domestic trips that excluded several meals,transportation, some nights lodging, or activities. However, the costs included in this program comprehensive and nothing comes as a surprise. Meals, transportation, support are included in the costs, and they make it clear which costs will not be included. I highly recommend this program for anyone looking to travel on a budget.

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