There are economical ways to travel, you just have to find them. Your first tool is the Internet, we live in an information world, use Facebook or MySpace to find someone from the place you care about and then ask questions.
There are deals everywhere on accommodations, flights, and even food. Short trip? First and foremost is your luggage, check none! If you can't live off a carry and a book bag for a week or two, then don't forget to miss the New York fashion show, they have them 4 times a year. You can wear your fancy heels (ladies) or your frozen gook hair there (men – okay, I just wanted to use gook in a blog post since watching Jersey Shore lol).
If you are traveling for a long journey for 2.5 weeks or more, then check a bag. Make sure it's international so they don't load your arm, leg and children to take it with you. Always try to travel in a large group with friends, things will always go much cheaper and you will have more fun (3 or more people). Sure the group can get too big, 7 or 8 have started pushing it.
Short Trips: Surfing in Bed, Hostels, Renting Your Apartment, NO HOTELS
Long journeys: Hostels, Rent your own apartment, NO HOTELS
Surfing in bed is exactly how it sounds. You stay with a person from the host country and sleep on their bed. I was lucky enough to have my own room, bed and internet, for the first time when I first saw on the surf. This is more geared towards younger professionals, college students, and shorter trips. (I didn't even believe it until a female friend told me that the bed sailed all over the Middle East without any problems, very legitimate). The hostels are cheap and convenient.
The only downside is that you really don't have any privacy, most of the time you share a bathroom and a room and have to pay extra for your room and bathroom. Renting an apartment is my choice of accommodation: you get your own room, your own bathroom, and if you share an apartment with a group of friends, it comes out cheaper than a hotel! The biggest thing of all is that you get your own kitchen which leads me to my next topic. FOOD! Yay !!!!
Everyone definitely wants to try local dishes and flavors, I was lucky enough to try such exotic dishes around the world. I have tried the whale in Iceland, the best steak in the world in Buenos Aires, items from the hot dog cart in the Dominican Republic and a fresh mango shake in Costa Rica. You can save a lot of money by not eating every day and buying food in the local market like sandwiches and fruits (and … brace yourself … cooking, even if its grains and cheeses).
And last but not least, everyone's flight, everyone knows on the internet websites to find a cheap aircraft, there are however, little tricks you can use to maximize your potential. Consider where you are going and normal tourism patterns. Everybody tries to visit Europe in the summer, try to fly in early spring or late fall. Brazil or South America, keep in mind that their seasons are ours (our winter is their summer), many tourists will travel there in the American winter. Always remember that everyone wants to fly on weekends, who wants to fly in the middle of the week? YOU B DO HIS HELP !!
Airfare: Short trips: Use a different combination of airlines and routes to find the cheapest fare, you're not checking bags so you can move fast.
Long journeys: Try the airlines from where you are going (example: Colombia: Avianca Airlines, Argentina: Aeolineas Argentinas) Otherwise fly an airline and collect miles.
Misc: Remember to use low cost carriers worldwide (example: Europe: Ryanair and Airlenguis)
See you on the other side