Travel certainly can be a strain on the wallet, but it doesn’t have to be. To us, travel is not a vacation. On a vacation, people may splurge and pamper because that one week might be the only time to spend money on traveling for the year. This is perfectly valid. Go for it! However, since we choose to travel long-term, we cannot afford --nor are we interested in -- resorts or all-inclusive packages.
Spending little does not equate to experiencing less. In fact, some of the most memorable activities cost little or are entirely free: Couchsurfing, riding a scooter, hiking to a magnificent waterfall, fishing with a Thai family in the mountains, taking a public ferry shared with high school students through the Kerala backwaters, for example. Still, some of the higher cost sights are well worth the price tag. For instance, Angkor Wat and the Battambang circus in Siem Reap, Cambodia cost more than our usual activities, but are totally justified.