Travel is luxury. Most of us believed that only a few people could afford it. Well, we can now travel on a budget. We need just to expand our options by doing some research. Let us think of traveling as an opportunity for everyone and not just for the wealthy. How?
10 Tips for Traveling on a Tight Budget
Budget traveling tip no. 1
Ask yourself what you want. You should decide where you want to go to (mountains, beaches, parks, churches), things you want to buy (souvenir shirts, figurines), and activities (skiing, diving, trekking) you will do once you get to your dream place.
Budget traveling tip no. 2
Research. Having deep insight about the place you are visiting will help you understand their cultures and norms which can differ from country to country. You will have an idea what to expect from the place you will be visiting; know which places to go and which areas to avoid. You could even discover “a diamond in the rough”. Knowing the background of the place or the country you want to go to is also a huge help on your budget. You might discover budget-friendly accommodation, cheap but scrumptious restaurants, or flea markets with affordable trinkets and memorabilia. It will also help you survive should you get lost without having to spend money more than necessary, as you are already familiar of the place.
Budget traveling tip no. 3
Plan ahead and create a personal itinerary. Basing it from your wants and research, write down a sequence of events you plan to do with an estimated time for each. Moreover, assess and evaluate the things you have listed. Consider the nature, the distance, the place’s weather in arranging an efficient itinerary so you won’t miss out the good things about the place and prevent spilling pennies.
For example, if you don’t want to miss the sunset in the place which sets early at 4pm, put the event in an earlier spot on your list.
Budget traveling tip no. 4
Fixed budget is everything. If you’re budget is $500 for a travel, including the plane/ferry tickets, stick to it no matter what. Do not bring more, so that you will not be tempted to spend more than what you have. You cannot ruin fun by being on budget. Remember, it’s the experience that counts.
Budget traveling tip no. 5
Divide your fixed budget. Half of it is recommended to be cold cash and the other half should remain in the credit/debit card. Why? It is safer to carry cards than cash to new places. However, some establishments do not accept credit/cards.
Budget traveling tip no. 6
Maximize travel benefits and discounts. If your job has travel benefits or you have membership to discount club, including airline mileage benefits with credit card, be sure to use them . Use them to pay less on travel fees, hotel reservation and accommodation discounts, transportation, etc. Moreover, check for free-entrance days in museums.
Budget traveling tip no. 7
Have a travel companion or travel in group. Go on a trip with your husband/wife, workmates, colleagues or friends. This will help you divide travel, transportation, and dining expenses without having to ruin the experience. Besides, the more, the merrier, right?
Budget traveling tip no. 8
Use local currency. If your country’s currency differs from the country you want to go to, convert them and use them there, especially if you purchase something in thrift stalls or pay for transportation (which most likely does not accept credit/debit cards or foreign currencies).
Budget traveling tip no. 9
Always look for cheaper options and learn to haggle. Instead of hiring an Uber or a train transferring from one place to another, find other modes of public transportation available in the area. Or you can just walk.
Also, choose to buy food sold in the local market which sells cheaper than prestigious malls or restaurants. An added benefit is that if the place you stay in has its own kitchen,you can cook your own meals.
Don’t hesitate to bargain and ask for discounts. In most places it is expected that you will bargain and if you don’t you will be considered foolish. Do remember that the vendor has a family to support but don’t hesitate to ask for a lower price.
Budget traveling tip no. 10
Carry your own travel necessities/accessories. Bring with you your own battery packs (for your gadgets), water bottle, emergency kit, extra clothes, snacks, etc. when moving to different places, so you will not have to purchase or pay for them along the way.
Extra budgeting travel tip:
Indulge yourself. You can now travel without worrying about your budget. So enjoy every single moment. Appreciate every single thing about the venture. Take pictures. While budget matters, your relaxation and happiness matters too, that’s why you’re traveling in the first place.