No Excuses Month Challenge: Where to travel cheap

Sydney Opera House with city in background

Sydney Opera House with city in background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago a friend came to me for help.

Whoa! “Is everything okay?” I thought in a panic.
Eager to help and wanting to make sure she was doing well I dropped what I was doing.
(Isn’t it amazing the things we will do to assist someone in need if they ask us?)

My friend was living in Chicago and had a dream.
A big dream!
She was a rising star within the ranks of the multi-million dollar company, Groupon, so I was not sure how I could possibly help her.

(Honestly, I had been working up the nerve to ask her for help. I wanted to know how to get some of those Groupon dollars, as a few friends had birthdays coming up.)

My friend, despite attending some of the nation’s best universities and working with the best and brightest in her field, felt like she was missing something. And she knew exactly what.

She wanted to travel. (The dream)
She wanted to travel to Sydney, Australia. (The Big Dream!)
I instantly thought, you go girl! It was an ambitious goal, and I loved it the moment I heard it, but I must admit, I was a little nervous for her. (I’ll explain in a second)

A traveler at heart, my friend wanted to know how she could travel to Sydney and live there for three to six months under a tight budget. But she was not sure how to even start her research to find out how much money she would need during her travels.

Here is where I got nervous for her.

Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live. Add to that the cost of transportation from Chicago to Sydney, and I immediately thought this dream was not going to be cheap.

Wanting to help as best I could, I asked her so many questions about her desire to travel that she probably regretted asking me for help. While she really wanted to travel to Sydney she was flexible and open to living in the surrounding areas if it fit her budget. “Whew, perfect”, I thought. I have a way to help!

numbeoThe website immediately came to mind. (We’ll get to the surprising conclusion of my friend’s trip in a second.) As one of my favorite travel resources ever, is a simple site where you can research the cost of living in cities and countries around the globe.

Want to know the monthly cost of a two bedroom apartment, gallon of milk, and weekly transportation for Rome or Buenos Aires? can do just that and much more. The best part is that you can compare the cost of living of where you want to travel to wherever you currently live, whether in the States or elsewhere. has helped me figure out the cost of rent, groceries, transportation and health care costs of exotic locations, such as Murcia, Spain, Placencia, Belize and multiple regions of Southeast Asia. It’s one of the best free resources for travelers, like yourself, in figuring out inexpensive places to travel, whether you are staying for 1 year or 1 month.

Regardless of if you have an idea of where you want to travel or think to yourself “I don’t know how to choose a place to travel”; is a great site in helping you get started towards saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on travel.

And what about my friend?


Travel (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

She decided to travel to Sydney for three weeks. Since it was the off season she stayed in a small apartment for cheap and spent way less than she ever would have thanks in part to the priceless information she received for free from

After her Australia travel adventure ended she relocated to Boston for work. (Told you she was a rising star within Groupon!)

It was amazing to see a person go from dreaming about travel to being able to do it.

Now it’s your turn! Enter your name and email to receive weekly travel tips that will help YOU go from dreaming about travel to actually traveling:

You might also be interested in:

No Excuses Month: Money

How to Travel Cheap

Long Term Travel for Newbies – Where to travel first

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