When traveling one of the biggest expenses is where you rest your head at the end of the day. Couchsurfing.org was setup to help with this financial burden.
The gist of this website is that it connects travelers with those who are kind enough to allow strangers to sleep in their house. Crazy, right?! Believe it or not though there are over 6,000,000 members in over 100,000 cities that you could possibly stay with. If you think this is completely nuts, then clearly you've never stayed in a hostel, which reminds me of the time that I woke up in Australia with a topless French girl walking around my room.
I <3 Melbourne! But I digress...
If you're planning on taking a year off and traveling around the world, or just your next 2 week vacation. You might want to seriously look into this (let me know how it turns out because I've never used it). It could potentially save you $10,000-12,000 over the span of a year if you did it the entire time. That's almost a quarter of your entire expense for such a trip!
There are additional benefits other than cost. For instance, local knowledge that only the people living there can supply you with. Letting you know the best restaurants, events, bars, and areas of town that you should stay away from can be priceless, along with the best means of public transportation.
If you travel overseas enough you develop somewhat of a sixth sense when it comes to situations that you shouldn't be in. With that said, if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, place, or around a certain person, you need to leave! Trust your instincts, you have them for a reason...
This website was created due to the atrociously misguided financial advice that I've heard over the decades. Financial freedom is not intellectually strenuous, but it takes discipline.