The thought of pausing a bit from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is always welcome, and what better way to do it than traveling? It’s a perfect chance to recharge your batteries. What if you were able to travel on a budget? It would be even more exciting, right? The good thing about a budget-friendly trip is that you’ll spend less on a trip, which means you’ll have some extra cash to spend on the next adventure. Note that traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you’ll have less fun.
There are cheap places to go on an overseas trip and many methods to save cash during your trip. You just need to plan your budget travel wisely before leaving. For instance, you can consider backpacking and making sacrifices on personal preferences, such as the food you’ll eat during your expedition.
Traveling to exotic places doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to break the bank, and you certainly don’t need to win the lottery, not if you know how to monitor your expenses. So, here are 12 tried-and-tested tips for taking trips that won’t break your budget:
1. Create A Plan
Off the cuff, traveling can be very exciting if you have the money and plenty of time on your hands. However, if you’re opting for a budget-friendly trip, the first thing to do is create a plan. The schedule doesn’t have to be very tight. It doesn’t have to be an hour-by-hour travel plan. However, it’s smart to at least have a hint of how long you’ll spend in every town or city and have a plan for the different directions that your epic journey will follow.
Leaving nothing to chance means minimal out-of-the-blue spending. Last-ditch flights and accommodation can be very costly. Take advantage of online tools such as a budget calculator. It’s a convenient tool that’ll help you plan your expenses or spending.
Being specific about the country you plan to visit is a wise move since you’ll be able to factor in exchange rates. Now, since you’re traveling on a shoestring budget, you might be worried about how the exchange rates will affect you, but don’t fret. You can download online tools to help you determine the exchange rates.
Emergency cash is another important detail you shouldn’t forget to include in your plan. Put aside some money that can be used in emergencies. For instance, your rental car can have a mechanical failure, or you might make some friends in a local pub and decide to buy them a few rounds.
Additionally, alternative payment methods such as debit and credit cards can also come in handy. However, ensure you’ve informed your bank(s) before traveling to keep them from marking your transactions as suspicious.
2. Monitor Flight Deals
Airfare is perhaps the biggest expense you can’t avoid. However, this shouldn’t worry you. You only need to know where to look. The most important thing is to allow yourself to be flexible in your destination. Having several alternatives can go a long way in helping you to stay within your budget. Furthermore, when searching for cheap flights, make sure you get rid of cookies!
3. Be Smart With Accommodation
Accommodation can quickly become a money drain. Therefore, be accommodation-savvy during your trip. For instance, avoid posh hotels and expensive rental houses. Instead, go for cheap hotels, bed and breakfast, timeshare rentals, or hostels.
Sharing a room will help you save a significant amount, which means more money to explore places. Additionally, temporary sleeping quarters provide a chance to meet folks who might be interested in joining you on your expedition.
If you’re not comfortable with communal bunk rooms, there are affordable alternatives, such as an apartment rental, where you conveniently reserve an extra room inside a native person’s house. This can split your accommodation expenses by almost half or more and at the same time give you the opportunity to experience real life in the city you’re visiting.
The good thing about apartment rentals is that your host can be your local guide, giving you firsthand tips on the best restaurants and places in their locality.
What’s more, you might have long-lost family or friends in one or two places you’re visiting. Reach out to them. Such a decision can take you to places you’ve never imagined and save you a few pennies on accommodation. But this could mean you’ll have to crash on the couch for a night or two.
4. Make The Most Out Of Your Trip!
Of course, you’ve been saving for this trip, and it’s normal to try to get value for money, which means you might end up cramming a lot of destinations in a single trip. However, that isn’t the smartest strategy.
First, there are costs you might overlook or not realize. For instance, it’ll cost you more cash since you need to use trains, cabs, catch a flight or two, or get a rental car, which means extra money for gas.
The sad part is that your trip will be rushed, and most of it will be spent in transit. But if you explore a few well-chosen places, it’ll be more enjoyable, and you’ll save a lot of cash. So, don’t cram in too many destinations!
5. Be A Smart Shopper
Remember, you’re traveling on a shoestring budget. So, if you’re thinking of going on a shopping spree, then duty-free shops or trendy designer boutiques are not an option. Instead, go shopping at the local markets. You’ll get cheap and handcrafted items of outstanding artistry or uniquely beautiful handmade souvenirs.
If you value art, then take a chance to snag breathtaking works of art at very low prices. Do you remember the barter trade system? Depending on the country or place, you can have the chance to experience it firsthand. Barter and have fun while at it!
Shopping at the local market has its benefits. You’ll save money and at the same time support the local economy.
6. Avoid Much-Frequented Places
It goes without saying that the more touristy a place is, the more costly it’ll be to visit. For instance, the city of San Franciso is home to the touristy Golden Gate Bridge. Since this famous suspension bridge is much-frequented, prices can be jacked up, especially during the holidays. It’s a known fact that people will find time to visit such a destination regardless of the expense, and they’ll be ready to spend cash to be there.
On the other hand, destinations that are off the beaten track usually have cheaper rates. Attractions in places such as the Middle East, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe are spectacular and very reasonable but not rated or valued highly enough!
Avoiding much-frequented places doesn’t mean that Paris, Venice, or Rome shouldn’t feature in your plans because they’re known to be super touristy. You can include these destinations in your travel itinerary but make sure you stay off the beaten track or the major cities.
Explore the smaller towns, have fun eating with the locals, get the chance to see the hidden gems and attractions that people don’t usually frequent. For instance, if you decide to visit a country like Iceland in Europe, opt to visit the Myvatn Nature Baths. It’ll cost you a fraction of the total price you’d pay if you’d gone to the Blue Lagoon.
To recap, avoid the touristy areas, find accommodation outside major cities, look for low-priced options and undervalued towns, and travel through places where tourists are few, but the locals are many.
7. Take Advantage Of The Off-Peak Season
Yours is a budget-friendly trip. You don’t want to break the bank, so stay away from the high season since it can be very expensive.
Traveling during the shoulder season can be just as exciting and rewarding as traveling during the high season. But note that what’s regarded as ‘off-peak’ season in some places isn’t necessarily the same situation in others.
For instance, in the Caribbean, the low season starts from June to around November, but in other parts of the world, such as South America, it’s the high season from mid-June to around September.
Therefore, make sure to do your research well, discover the best time to visit certain places, and look for shoulder-season deals.
8. Use Local Transport
You read it right. Make the use of local transport a habit during your travel. It’s the most economical and easiest method to go around in any country!
However, it’s not a viable option for some excursions, mainly if you’re taking a long-distance journey through the United States or Iceland, where it’s much better to rent a vehicle. But for most of your trip, use local transport such as trains, buses, scooters, and other forms of local transportation. It’ll be easier to get around, it’ll be fast, and you’ll save a lot for your next trip.
If one of your travel destinations is a country in Southeast Asia, then the many transport options at extremely low prices will amaze you. Apart from having an awesome experience, the availability of transport makes Southeast Asia one of the most visited destinations globally. Imagine getting a tricycle ride for just under sixty cents in the Philippines? Traveling couldn’t be handier.
9. Earn While You Travel
Traveling on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you can’t travel long term. You can work while on the move. It’s the best way to travel for a long time, and it’s also cheap. You’re probably thinking about how it’ll inconvenience you, and yes, it definitely doesn’t sound exciting. But what if it takes you to places you can only dream of!
Working while on the move is ideal since it helps you save or pay for food and accommodation. Plus, the idea of earning some money while on tour isn’t a bad one, right? However, please remember that you need to have a working holiday visa, so make sure you apply for one before you hit the road.
10. Check Your Luggage
Pack light! You’ll realize soon enough that you don’t need to carry half the clothes in your backpack. The downside of having too much luggage is it’ll cost you more.
When traveling on a budget, it’s critical to make sure that you carry everything you need. Don’t forget anything essential for your trip! Forgetting something important could mean spending a lot of money to purchase it in a foreign country.
11. Travel Overnight
There are instances when you need to make a long journey to reach a particular destination during your trip. The trick is to travel overnight. It’s also a strategy to save money.
Whether it’s night or day, you still have to pay for transport from point A to B, but you won’t have to pay for accommodation for the night when you travel overnight. Here’s the clincher: you won’t waste time in transit throughout the day, which means more time to sightsee!
12. Get Travel Insurance
Getting travel insurance is essential for traveling on a tight budget. Without a doubt, it’s an additional cost. However, you’ll be grateful for buying travel insurance if your journey gets called off or in the unfortunate event you get sick while abroad.
Perhaps every time you log into social media, you’re hit with a string of pictures of your friends exploring the world. It’s normal to feel jealous. Perhaps you can’t drop everything and hit the road because you think your budget won’t allow it.
But with the tips given in this article, you’ve probably realized that traveling sensibly isn’t that hard. It just needs cautious planning and thinking outside usual holiday choices. With a bit of planning, you might be uploading to-die-for pictures from your recent escapade.