Right now there are folks out there who believe they need to be rolling in cash to go on a trip. This is far from the truth. With a little discipline and a well thought out plan, you could be taking a trip sooner than you’d like to think. To travel is a fun activity and over the years, loopholes to cheaper travel have been found. From recommended travel days, accommodation options that aren’t hotels, and free activities as opposed to ones with a price tag, travel expenses have the chance to not be extravagant. It all comes down to one word, an important activity: planning. When thinking of traveling on a budget, it is imperative that intense planning is to be undertaken. You are to consider ensuring things are set in place and taken care of before you go and while you are there. Everything done is to ensure the smooth running of the trip. This includes:
Choosing the destination
When picking a place to go on vacation, it would be great if it reflected any of these three things:
Cost of living is lower than it is at home, somewhere that is cheap and simple to get to and a place where the currency exchange rate favors you. If you are of a minority race, also consider the probability of racism and of course, the strength of your desire to go there. With those things in mind, choosing the destination should be nothing if not a walk in the park. Also, paying attention to the weather around the time of your assumed visit of the destination helps in the decision making process.
Book in advance
This allows you to get low deals on airfare and accommodation. Sure there’s a rush from being spontaneous and booking today for tomorrow or even today for right now but, studies have shown and people have always urged advance booking for the money undoubtedly saved. Booking your flight, accommodation and activities in advance will save on not only money but it’d sure beat the overwhelming feeling that comes with under pressure trip planning where you’re left with “only available for this date” situations that are far from your desired and available dates which then forces you to settle for less-than-preferred accommodation prices and types. Yeah, no thank you.
Be open to straying from the norm
To save a buck, you can opt to find accommodation upon arrival. Instead of booking beforehand, a simple walk and talk among the locals can land you a place to stay that wasn’t advertised. Once booking directly with the owner, the price reduction can come as a pleasant surprise.
Life’s unpredictability is the reason for this point. To ensure that you’re protected from anything negatively affecting your trip while on it or even before it starts, one should look into having the trip covered under Travel Insurance or Trip Insurance. How this works is that in the case of anything untoward happening you’ll be covered. Acquiring travel insurance creates a bubble of protection around you as it covers a pre-planned trip and will reimburse the policyholder if certain unforeseen circumstances occur. The circumstances covered include trip cancelation/interruption, travel medical, medical evaluation, baggage delay/loss and accidental death and dismemberment.
Don’t fly with the flock
If you’d like to place emphasis on the amount you save which can then be poured into the enjoyment of the trip, you should opt not to travel when the masses travel. Traveling off season not only allows you to be there at a time most people aren’t, which in turn heightens the feeling of exclusivity and allows you to sightsee unencumbered by hoards of people, but it saves on airfare which opens you up to either saving for a next trip or loosens your grip on the cash bag while on the current trip.
Steer clear of tourist traps
Have you ever heard of tourist traps? They’re the advertised hotspots looking to reel in visitors, the suggested-by-everybody food hubs, friendly gathering and entertainment spots. The places where the majority in attendance are tourists with few locals. Avoiding these particular spots can save you a pretty dime. Instead, focus on the pubs, the street food stalls whose food sell for much cheaper than the places catering for tourists. Tourist traps are nothing more than a festive money grab.
Mid-week for the cheap
Weekend flights tend to carry a hefty price tag because during the week people are at work. Fly between Tuesday to Thursday.
No really, be open to new things
On budget travel, a good tip is don’t be attached to what you’re leaving behind. In this life of budget adventure, you’ll be exposed to accommodation types such as couchsurfing, Airbnb and hostels. You can tap into the couchsurfing life where strangers open their couches to you. When you choose to couchsurf, in actuality you can stay with locals in any and every country on earth. If you do not see yourself as a tourist and want to live like a local for a while and have no cash for a hotel, then couch surfing is the way to go as you stay for free. If not, you can even opt for staying at a hostel which is a form of low-cost, short-term shared sociable lodging where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed in a dormitory, with shared use of a lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex and have private or shared bathrooms. Private rooms may also be available, but the property must offer dormitories to be considered a hostel. You can even make Airbnb your choice of accommodation which has risen over the years in popularity. It is a residential property that hosts rent on a short term basis to travelers. It can be anything from a house, a single room, a boat or even a tree house. Think of it as pop-up accommodation, a marketplace where people rent out their properties.
Sort out the activities
Research free or cheap activities to get into while on your trip. This without a doubt will come in handy and will act like a guide while you’re being a tourist. Keep your eyes peeled for attractions, museums, picnics, free concerts, road trips, walks, hiking, backpacking, beaches or lakes even making a day of sightseeing and picture taking.
Get a local SIM
For communicating with the folks back home, navigation and safety purposes, it is recommended that you get a SIM card from a local provider. Make sure that your cell phone is international unlocked, allowing you to access different networks.
Grab some groceries at a local supermarket and for a couple of nights, depending on how long you’re there, whip something up. Fun tip: You can try making something native to the country you’re in if you muster up parting with some coins.
I’m going to leave you with a tip:
Something to note is that the locals possess the know-how, the blueprint of how a place operates. My advice? Don’t hesitate to reach out to them for suggestions on how to spend your time (activities) and where to spend your money (food spots, accommodation).
To travel is a lovely opportunity and showing that having a cash cow isn’t necessary to go on a trip feels like an essential piece of information to put into the world. With a bit of planning, strategizing and discipline, it won’t be long before you try your hand at traveling on a budget.