Can’t get passport & visas? 5 helpful travel tips for you
More than half of the world’s population can’t get a passport & visa to travel. Here are some cool tips for you!
“Quit your job, sell all your stuff and hit the road forever!” – they say in their well kept and colorful inspiring travel blogs.
Live a life of dreams beyond your wildest imagination! Explore different cultures, drink margaritas by the beach, stay in luxury hotels… all sealed with gorgeous and inspiring photos from all around the world. The only thing that most of us “first world” travel bloggers don’t realize is that: more than half of the world’s population can’t even get a passport, let alone visas and money to go around the world as they please.
For many people of Asia, central & south America and Africa, traveling is not a choice, it’s a luxury only a few can have access to. Getting a passport is very difficult, the whole process can take over 3 months and then there’s no guarantee you’ll be given visas. Then, even when the passport and visa can be worked out, there’s the money problem. People from poor countries can’t really afford visiting most places because they might be too expensive.
If you’re tired of feeling frustrated by reading all those travel blogs that seem to forget about you, here are a few tips that might help you get around some sharp corners.
Although I have a passport that allows me entry in most countries in the world, contrary to most fellow travelers, I come from the poorest country in Western and southern Europe combined, which means, I can’t afford too many destinations and even when entering the US, I always feel like I get longer interrogations at the border control, including a very unfortunate episode where I was hold for almost 5 hours in Philadelphia, under the ridiculous suspicion that I wanted to become an illegal immigrant / worker…
IF YOU CAN’T GO OUT IN THE WORLD… BRING THE WORLD TO YOU
I’ve done this over and over again when I couldn’t afford to travel, so you can do it too. When I couldn’t go out in the world I would bring the world to me.
I registered as a couchsurfing member and started attending local events, where I met people from all over the world. We all have heard that the travel and social platform couchsurfing has changed a lot over the years, specially after it became pro profit, but this is still the best way to connect with people from the four corners of the world.
And you don’t have to host people if you don’t want to. You can simply attend local events and activities. You can also organize events, like a lunch, a picnic in the park, a movies night….Or you can contact people directly and just invite them for a walk in your city, for a tea, etc.
You’ll make lifelong friends, and feel like your part of a global family for FREE!
TEAM UP WITH INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS AND EXPLORE YOUR REGION OR COUNTRY
I had been told many times that I must be nuts to have traveled to the end of the world, but I didn’t know my region that well. And it’s true. We tend to think the grass is greener on the other side, that other countries will offer more incredible experiences, more outstanding sights and culture. Well, that’s because we’re sometimes too blind to see what’s right in front of our nose.
Only after I started teaming up with international travelers and showing them around, I noticed my region and my home town were amazing! I started to understand why so many people come here and why they fall in love with my city, something I couldn’t understand before.
I have to thank the couchsurfers who I have met and helped me fall in love with Lisbon. It’s very different to travel with your family or with international new friends. They’re usually fascinated by everything they see and in my personal experience, the more I showed them around, the more I fell in love with all the near by places that surround me.
If you can’t travel internationally, you can still travel and have that international feeling of excitement.
VISIT BORDER COUNTRIES
If you can get a passport and visa but your problem is mostly related to money, why not visit the surrounding countries?
One of the most expensive aspects of traveling is transportation, airplane tickets, etc. If you travel to a near by country, you’ll probably find cheaper ways of getting there and the currency won’t be radically higher than yours.
IF YOU GO ABROAD BE SMART: CHOOSE LOW SEASON
I only travel during low season. First of all, there are less tourists around and prices can drop up to 70%!
Airplane tickets are usually cheap and it’s easy to find good promotions. Accommodation is incredibly affordable at lower season, because hotels and hostels don’t want to have empty bedrooms. It’s also very easy to bargain and lower the prices. I’ve found that even food and other things are much cheaper during low season.
Apart from the money aspect, you’ll have better chances of making good friendships with people who are traveling around, as there’s less confusion and crowds.
TRY WORK EXCHANGE AND VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS TO SAVE MONEY
I wrote a very detailed post about work exchange and volunteering across the world, so you can travel, stay and eat for free. This is definitely the best financial way to get around when you need to stretch your money and you might learn great skills at the same time.