How to travel on a budget: Quick tips for an affordable trip
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving - Lao Tzu
While the intention is there on everyone's mind to travel, most of them fall short of going out simply due to the costs that are incurred. Thinking about traveling makes you stressed out and worried; you have a lump in your throat; you start making crazy plans to even get little discounts whatsoever!
However, traveling isn't all that luxurious and expensive anymore. Thanks to online portals and improved dynamics of demand and supply, there are many budget-friendly options that can allow you to take you to your dream holiday destinations. Bookings have become very simple and through the use of discount deals and offers, you don't have to spend a huge sum of money on expensive airfare or hotel accommodation.
All you need to do is be a bit involved in planning a budget-friendly trip. Create a few guidelines and remember some tips to make your dream journey affordable. Let's take a look at some of them:
1. Go for bed and breakfast (B&B) inns instead of hotels.
The small lodging establishments offer familial warmth that expensive, isolated hotel rooms wouldn't offer. You'll find them everywhere, scattered across major town and cities around the world.
You can also go for youth hostels to enjoy the real hosteling experience. Whether you're a backpacker, a student, a family guy or just a regular traveler, there are private rooms or dorm beds with shared facilities open for you. Cheap and best.
2. Go for local restaurants and food outlets rather than popular 'English-speaking' ones.
One of the major expenditures for any tourist is the food during the stay. However, you don't need to run after the touristy restaurants that serve expensive food. Go for the local ones to enjoy daily specials that tastes good and costs you less money.
3. Save time, effort and money by avoiding pricey return to your origin point.
Start from one city and end at another. This reduces stress of going back and forth, facilitates smoother itinerary, includes way too many cities in your plan and helps you save a lot for the end of your trip.
Begin your journey with a temperate city or country first (to reduce your expenses early on), and work your way to those culturally exciting places that may involve you spending more money (on shopping and sightseeing).
4. Travel off-season.
Your airfare and budget rooms cost less, you get better deals, the tourists are less and locals are more to be seen, and everything is generally cheap.
Further, travel light. Use travel bags and backpacks which are compact, yet stylish. Gone are the days when large trolleys were the norm. Use an alternate large leather duffel bag or a spacious weekender bag (priced affordably at Rustic Town) to pack in essential stuff and a leather backpack to shoulder papers and documents.
5. Use a travel guidebook (Lonely Planet series are an all-time best).
Guidebooks are nifty, little instruments to save you of thousands of dollars. An updated guidebook helps you plan your schedule and rough out those which are not of your interest.
6. Use ATMs than traveler checks for withdrawing cash cheaper and faster.
While ATMs do come with transaction fees, it's better to make fewer and bigger withdrawals once and for all.
7. Adapt to local tastes.
Eat and drink the local specialties to get the best quality and service at cheaper price. Go for tea in England, beer in Germany, red wine in France, etc.Don't use credit cards. While credit cards may get you good exchange rate, many places accept only cash.
8. Don't use credit cards.
While credit cards may get you good exchange rate, many places accept only cash.
When changing cash, use precaution at exchange bureaus. See buying and selling rate at the counter. If the counter doesn't show the buying rate, the broker is trying to hide something.
9. Avoid hotel food.
In spite being convenient, they are expensive and not really a good-value deal. Opt for a local cafe and enjoy the day mixing with the locals. You can also bring noodles and soup packets for the trip.
10. Travel with a partner.
Traveling couples save time and money by splitting taxis, hotel room expenses, and other daily chores. What's more, it gets cheaper for you to pack more people in the room. Travel in groups of four (two couples together) and you get more benefits by splitting the costs.
Last but not the least, stay happy and enjoy the moment while you're at it. Whatever happens, try not to worry or take stress. Follow these tips, travel light using compact bags for a budgeted journey and you'll come back feeling pretty excited!
Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection - Lawrence Durrell
Is there any other travel tip that you'd like to share? Are there any travel anecdotes that you'd love to talk about? Share it in the comment section below!