All of us yearn to travel more every year, but exploring the world comes at a steep price, and most of us among the working class lack that kind of money to make this yearning come true. And even if we scrimp and save as much as possible and embark on that trip finally, the other expenses drain out the money quickly leaving a sad vacation without any money to do something new. This is the harsh reality of travelling for most of us!
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that, it is quite possible to travel on a budget and save as much money as you can on the go — you've just got to be on your travel hustle. So to help you get there, we’ve written down some tips and tricks with which you can go exploring on even a tight budget.
These tips will tell you how to plan for your trip so that you don’t overspend in the first leg, and how to cut costs once you get to your destination. So that your 2018 adventure will be the best possible one.
Travel through Social media sites and subscribe to travel groups and pages to avail sweet travel deals. Facebook and Instagram have several pages dedicated to travel and these will come in handy when you need to book a trip. Maybe someone is going on a road trip, so they’ve advertised it on the groups asking people to join. You can use this golden opportunity to travel on a shared budget, and thus saving money while making new buddies who you can travel with again.
You can’t always get your way, especially when you’re travelling on a budget. So being flexible isn’t an option but a necessity. For example you might have to compromise on time of travel to get to a certain place, or if you’re particular about travelling to that particular location only then you’ll have to be flexible about the timing, you can’t have it both ways.
It’s definitely a bonus when you have a huge family, and a bunch of friends who you can openly request for gift cards related to travel, for your birthday, graduation and holidays. Alternatively you could also ask if you could use their mileage or reward points to score cheaper tickets or stays.
First things first, set up a separate savings account at your bank for travel. Add any money you save through the week into your travel account and to make it less accessible, don’t get any cards and keep it away from your internet banking. Think of that beautiful vacation if you’re ever tempted to spend it.
When you’re travelling abroad, each time you swipe your card in an ATM you’ll be charged some exorbitant amount for the withdrawal. But this doesn’t mean you walk around like a target with our pockets bursting full of cash! Try to work out a strategy with your bank, and find out if they have other cards which will not be charged at these foreign ATMs like the Charles Schwab debit card (this might not be available in all countries).
Airfares are generally higher when you try to book for a weekend travel date. To take advantage of cheaper airfares try booking for the middle of the week, often flights offer very good rates for departures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This way you’ll save precious money on a round trip just by adjusting your vacation schedule.
Airline companies these days offer anniversary sales or lowest fare deals, so subscribing to these sites can actually be a bonus. For example, if you enter your preferences for flights departing to and from certain countries on these sites, you’ll be notified by email or messages when a deal pops up.
And always remember to check the websites of the airline companies too before booking, they usually have discounts that aren’t shown on the other apps and websites. Also, the search engine Rome 2 Rio is an amazing tool to find out the cheapest mode of getting to your destination. To be on the safer side, book two one-way tickets to and from your vacation instead of one round-trip ticket, because if you don’t complete the first trip most airlines will cancel your return trip.
In the travel industry there are certain times that are called 'shoulder periods,' basically they are quiet spells or off-season times. For example: The end of summer and schools open (June-July), after New Year's (early January), and after Diwali (October). Airlines and hotels often have big discounts running during this period and you can grab these cheaper deals and still have a great vacation without the milling crowds.
Different parts of the world have different shoulder period times, so watch out for online deals or do a thorough research on your destination to find out the off season time before booking.
Social media is a real lifesaver here, post your travel plans and ask your friends for suggestions. They will pour in, trust us people always love giving suggestions. Ask around if someone in your friends circle knows anyone living in that place. Chances are they will know friends of friends at least, so now all you have to do is find out if you can stay with them or ask them to guide you in choosing the best place in your budget. Plus, knowing a local will help improve your social life when you get there.
Airports are money pullers when it comes to food, especially once you pass through security. And if you’re travelling with kids or you’re like me, the very sight of a restaurant will make you hungry and want to sample something or everything and that’s the first place you’ll end up wasting money.
So even if your flight departs at an odd time, make sure to eat well before you leave. It wouldn’t hurt to pack a few snacks to chomp on while you’re travelling to the airport. And if you have more than one scheduled stop, and your flight cost doesn’t cover meals, it makes sense to pack some food at the airport terminal once you cross security rather than pay for the over-priced and not very great quality of food they provide in-flight.
You can get into more than 850 airport lounges around the world with these passes and you can either choose to buy one for the year or pay per visit. You’ll get food, drink, Wi-Fi and a comfortable place to rest at airports at a similar price.
Cooking for yourself while on vacation might not seem the greatest idea, but it saves you quite a lot of money. We’re not saying you shouldn’t eat out at all, no on the contrary, we’re just suggesting that you make yourself some breakfast, coffee and a light lunch perhaps instead of relying on room service which can be a drain on finances. You can use the money saved for a fancy meal later. A microwave and fridge will come in handy to store leftovers and for reheating them. It would also help if you book at a place offering complimentary breakfast.
You might need to book in a place that is centrally located to make transportation easy. You can save the amount of money and time spent on transportation by staying someplace where you can walk everywhere or is near a subway or bus stop.
Public transportation is your best bet when it comes to travelling around the place, not only do you save money but you get to truly see the country and meet the locals. You can always use ride sharing apps like Uber, where you can travel in the comfort of a taxi while still saving money. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever got is travel overnight on trains and busses when I have to go to another place. Not only will you reach your destination, but you’ll have saved money on accommodation for the night.
Most areas usually have something or the other going on, you need to find these and check if they’re free, like celebrations, festival parades etc. Do a little research, check the community calendars to see what is going on in town while you are there. Get a map and go explore on your own. This is a good way to meet the locals and find out what’s going on.
Also Read : Festivals around the world you shouldn’t miss
These cards can help you gain free or discounted entry to top tourist attractions, bag some good discounts at restaurants and shops, free public transportation, and maybe even free guidebooks. Might be a tad expensive, but it is definitely a worthy investment if it allows you to do so much.
Also Read : Most Creative Ways To Save Money For Travel
These places offer fresh food, that won’t dent your wallet and secondly they offer a taste of local fare that no restaurant can match. You could buy some fresh local produce and cook up a storm in the tiny kitchen in your room, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in a park and most importantly these markets are pulsing with the local vibe, you get to join in the fun!
Also Read : How to Dress Like a Local in Spain
Be it kids or adults, when you’re out exploring and get hungry you’ll end up buying crappy snacks which cost more than it should. So pack some snacks, water and juice bottles before you leave your hotel. Your breakfast buffet at the hotel is a great place to stock up on snacks for the road, and the money you’ve saved can be used splurge on local treats that you can only find in that place.
Even if you have the roaming plan that your cell service provider offers, using apps like Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp or Viber to make calls and send text messages to keep in touch with people back home will save even more money. And make good use of the Wi-Fi offered at your hotel while using these apps and save the cellular data usage for when you’re out exploring.
This is up to you, but I don’t fancy carrying around a wad of cash on me when I’m travelling. Talk to the people in your bank and find out the best currency exchange rates that your card has, and withdraw local currency from the ATMs as needed. Travelling with a bank card that reimburses all ATM fees (like Schwab) is always helpful.
Also Read : How to avoid tourist traps while travelling
The biggest temptation when we’re travelling is to try to cram everything into one trip. We want to see everything before coming back, because we’re afraid if we’ll ever go back.
Don’t worry, if you’ve taken the first step towards travel you will go back. And remember the biggest expenditure while travelling are 1) transport and 2) accommodation. When you try to cram in too many things your expenses shoot up because of frequent transportation needs and accommodation. It’ll always be there and you can always go back again.
First things first, always make a budget for your holiday and stick to it. You need to know when to save and when you can splurge. You can always splurge at a nice restaurant on the last night of your vacation rather than every other day.
Find ways to save money but remember it’s a holiday and give yourself a treat sometimes during the trip. Just keep yourself on track with a budget. One way to stay on track is find out from the locals about the cost for things like transportation, food or souvenirs, and you won’t end up pay over the top for anything.
Use an app like Trail Wallet to keep a track of your finances. It’ll help you keep tabs on every single cent you’ve spent and can also be divided into categories so you’ll know where you spent the most and where you can cut down for your next trip.
And with that comprehensive guide, we’re pretty sure you’ll stay on track and have a good holiday in that budget.
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