I don’t have a budget per se. I usually just decide on some cool things I’d like to do and adventures I’d like to have and then figure out how to afford them.
But I do track all my income and expenses, so I can tell you that last year (2015) I spent $2,600 on travel while visiting ten countries, and in 2014 I spent $6,645 on travel while also visiting ten countries. You can see all my monthly and annual income and expenses reports here, dating back to 2011.
As for tips on how to travel cheap, the most important thing is to know what’s important to you and what’s not. Then spend lavishly on the important things while skimping on the rest.
For example, I’m not much of a foodie, so I try and eat pretty cheap while I’m traveling. Unless it’s a special occasion, it doesn’t make sense for me to spend in excess of $15 on a single meal. I simply won’t appreciate it. I’d much rather spend $5 to $10 filling my belly and then put the money saved towards something I value more.
While I do occasionally stay in budget hostels, I’m quite happy to splash out for a nice hotel room every now and then. I remember staying in a hotel in Cartagena, Colombia for $35 a night, even though I could have stayed in a nice hostel nearby for about a third of that price.
But I wanted fast wifi and a quiet place to work, so a hotel was the better option, and I was happy to pay extra for it.