As the world begins to cautiously open up again (some more cautiously than others…) after the global pandemic, which caused many countries to close their borders, lots of people are already starting to think about where they can plan to take their first trip traveling abroad.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to live the life of a social media influencer and dash off to the first resort that’s open on the first flights you can book. In fact, most people can’t. This leaves the majority of us looking for bargains and wondering how to travel on a budget.
The good news is that this is actually easier than you might think, once you know about the trips and tricks we’re about to share with you. So, let’s look at how to travel on a budget. Most travelers save money by taking photos on the phone with the help of travel tripod. You don’t need a professional camera to make memory pictures.
- Make a Travel Plan
Spontaneous travel can be exhilarating and incredibly rewarding, provided you have the time and the money for it. When you’re traveling on a budget, it’s better to have a plan in place.
You don’t need to plan every minute of every day down to the second, with every meal or activity already booked and paid for, but it can be a good idea to at least have a rough idea of your travel plans and the costs of the things you want to do or see while you’re away.
This can help you create a budget for your trip which will help you to avoid overspending, and certain activities or flights will be cheaper when you book them in advance. Again, don’t go overboard, or you might end up changing your mind which will end up a waste of money.
Lastly, when you’re browsing online to come up with some sort of plan, it’s a good idea to turn on Incognito Mode or use a private browsing window so the cookies that track your activity can’t spot that you’re comparing prices and cheekily increase them for next time.
- Don’t Travel During Peak Times
This is easier said than done for some people, but unfortunately, your typical holiday season will see a hike in fares that takes your trip from being within your budget to barely affordable real quick. This applies to accommodation costs and sometimes even restaurants, too.
The reason for this is because most families are only able to travel during the school summer holidays period. Although this coincides with the summer months in your home country, be aware that it could be the rainy season in the country you’re traveling to.
Places like Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, or Africa will usually have good prices available for accommodation and activities due to it being their low season, and the rain can actually bring out some of the colors and beauty in nature that the sun has a tendency to dry out.
It’s also worth shopping around before you purchase your travel tickets, as different airline providers could have different offers for the same flights. Check out Scott’s cheap fares for some of the best available flight prices and discounted airfare to and from all over the world.
- Choose Cheap Accommodation
You’re traveling on a budget, so the Ritz is probably out of the question.
Hostels, however, provide an excellent source of accommodation for people who are traveling on a budget. Compared to hotels, resorts, rental homes, or even Airbnbs, hostels or work away schemes will likely be much more budget-friendly costing as little as $1 a night.
You’ll also be able to experience the backpacker lifestyle and staying in hostels is a great way to meet some new people and make friends during your travels which could lead to you splitting the costs of food if you share dinner one night or taking day trips together.
There are usually places to suit every vibe, whether you’re looking for a party scene or somewhere more relaxed, and you can check apps like Hostelworld to see your options.
- Don’t Eat Into Your Budget
Experiencing the local cuisines of the different countries you’re exploring is a must, but you don’t have to spend every night in a fancy (and more importantly, expensive) restaurant.
Look for cheap lunch or dinner options in the nearby supermarkets or local shops, or scout around for a fresh food market if there is one as this is a great way to find ingredients. You can also find a number of great street food options which will usually only cost a few dollars.
If you do decide to head to a restaurant for the night, walk around a bit first and compare menus (and prices) to make sure you’re not overpaying for your meal. You might also want to stick to water, as having even one beer or wine with every dinner will soon add up.
- Look for Free Activities
Why pay hundreds of dollars for an activity that you could experience for free? There are plenty of guided tours and various classes or events available to you when traveling, but a lot of the time, you’ll actually find that you can do the same (or something similar) for free!
For example, if you’re keen to try out the beach yoga class being advertised locally but your budget doesn’t allow for it, why not take your yoga mat down to the beach for sunset anyway? You won’t be able to join in, but you can still experience the same activity for free.
- Public Transport
Once you’ve made it to your main destination, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re done traveling. Of course, you’ll want to explore the local areas or nearby cities and towns.
Public transport is a great way to get around the areas you’re traveling to without costing you as much money as a taxi or a tuk-tuk would, depending on where you’re staying. Some people will take advantage of anyone who looks like a tourist and will charge them more.
Instead, try to get to grips with the local bus or train systems which will be a lot cheaper. You could also look into renting a bicycle or even a moped/motorbike, although with the latter be sure that you’re covered by insurance or you could end up paying for a costly hospital stay.
- Talk to Locals and Other Travelers
If you’re looking for advice on how to travel on a budget, your best bet is to talk to other travelers who are interested in the same thing. You’ll likely meet a whole host of new people who will be able to share their experiences and you can share yours with them in return.
Swapping stories like this can help you find the best deals or you can steer clear of any places that you’re warned about. Hopefully, you’ll meet someone who has either just left or has recently been traveling wherever you’re heading to next and you can ask for advice.
Another option is to speak to the locals, especially if you have already struck up a friendship with some of them or if you have shown an interest in the culture and the lives they live. With their expert knowledge of the area, the locals might have some good advice or a few cheap recommendations for you which can help you cut costs by avoiding tourist hot spots.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can travel on a budget. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your bags – it’s time to pack!