For ages, traveling has been on the bucket list for many of us. But only a handful of daring individuals actually bite the bullet. The rest of us bemoan the lack of resources, and time until we realize that it is a tad too late. There are kids to look after and family to run, the last thing you can do is fit a travel plan into your life.
If you were to ask a young adult why they are reluctant to embark on a trip, not having enough money will be cited as the number one reason. But you don’t have to be among them.
As you will learn throughout this post, you don’t need a huge budget to travel to your dream destinations. Today, we share our top tips on how you can travel on a budget and still have lots of fun along the way.
1. Plan your trip in advance.
This sounds cliché, but when you are on a limited budget, planning can make a lot of difference. Taking a spontaneous trip across the country can be a lot different than traveling outside the country without a definite plan.
Planning your trip will reduce a lot of expenses, especially for travel arrangements. Booking your ticket a couple of months in advance is far less cheap than booking one at the last minute. If you plan to travel outside the country, visa costs are also another factor to consider.
When you have a definite plan, you will also end up spending less for accommodations, as well. Chances of unexpected spending are also reduced to a significant degree when you have a good plan in place.
Plan to go to your dream destination during the offseason. For obvious reasons, popular places and destinations become very expensive during the holiday season.
2. Be smart with your packing.
One of the most apparent features that gives away an amateur traveler is how he or she packs. Seasoned travelers pack all their essentials to avoid buying things on their trip. You can also take cues from them.
Of course, you don’t have to pack everything and travel with a gigantic suitcase or backpack. A pair of comfortable shoes for walking, a couple of t-shirts and shorts is essentials if you are travel to a hot climate area. A raincoat is a must irrespective of your destination.
Apart from the essentials, it is also a good idea to consider the length of your trip. The longer you plan to stay in a particular city or place, you will require more clothing and essentials and vice versa.
3. Don’t be fussy with accommodation.
Staying in hotels has its advantages. But they also increase your expenditure costs. If you are traveling on a budget, the best accommodations can be found in dormitories and hostels.
These are so much cheaper, and the facilities are also relatively decent. Some of these accommodations also offer travelers to stay for free in exchange for a few hours of work, such as taking care of the reception, or even cleaning and helping with cooking. If you have any of these skills, put them to good use, and you just earned yourself a free stay!
Another alternative is to look up Airbnb. A lot of folks offer up a spare bedroom in their homes for travelers at very affordable pricing. But of course, make sure that they are legit and are registered.
The biggest benefit to Airbnb or one of the other apps like them is that you can get a place for the same price as a hotel, but you get a kitchen. We all know that it is much cheaper to cook for yourself than to go out. And let’s face it, some of us cook better than most of the food we end up eating at the local restaurant.
If you have friends or family in a place where you are traveling, it is a good idea to ask if you can stay with them. It is a great way to get free accommodation and catch up with long lost relations.
4. Be savvy with your food.
One of the best things about traveling is the experience you get with local food. Some of the most delicious and mouth-watering delicacies are sold on the streets at a fraction of the cost. Unless you are famished, it is best to scout out the neighborhood and the local market before you pick one of the restaurants.
A great way to save some dollars is to drink as little as possible. And we mean the alcoholic ones. Instead, load up on water and fresh juices such as coconut water. If you have a beer with every meal, even if you eat on the streets, the cost will add up. Regular drinking of alcoholic beverages does nothing for your waistline or your wallet.
You can also offer to exchange your cooking skills for a free stay in one of the hostels or dorms. Some of these places also offer free food to travelers, so be inquisitive and check out your options.
5. Walk or bike your way around.
Walking and biking around the city or from one destination to the next is not only great for your wallet but the environment. You will also be able to explore a lot more on foot.
If you plan to go from one point to the other, consider hiring a bike for the day instead of taking the bus. You can always stick to public transportation as well.
6. Earn some cash as you travel.
The tourism industry has become so much accommodating. There are plenty of ways you can make some quick buck while on the move.
You can exchange your freelancing abilities for cash, teach English to a group of locals, take care of other travelers, guide a group of tourists, teach skiing, and many more.
As you can see, you don’t have to have a fat wallet to partake in the joys of traveling. If you are smart and flexible with your decisions, traveling on a limited budget is quite doable.
Apart from seeing new places, traveling is a great way to expand your perspectives. It is enriching for the soul and mind, as well. It also develops your social skills, and you learn a lot about other communities that populate this fantastic planet.
Start planning today to have the trip of a lifetime. May the winds be in your favor!