How to travel on a budget – 6 tips to afford more traveling
How many times per year do you travel?
If the answer is one or two or any number smaller than you wish it to be, these tips are for you!
Actually, even if you are a frequent traveler, you might find some of them very handy to spend less money and be able to visit even more places.
So, let’s begin right away with my first tip on how you can afford to travel more if you aren’t a millionaire!
1. Plan everything in advance
Okay, not everything. I know that planning every small detail can be a boring process and even sometimes overwhelm you so much that you reconsider going at all.
But it never hurts to know where exactly you are going to, which places you want to visit, how you are going and where you will be staying – it will save you a lot of headache and unexpected expenses.
2. Buy and book early
This one naturally follows the previous one and can be a good friend to your wallet!
You can save a lot of money on things you will be doing for sure. Flights and accommodations can take up to three times less money if you buy or book a few months before you go. As these two are often the main part of a travel budget, for some people it might be a difference big enough to decide on a trip to happen.
Another thing you can buy in advance is tickets to attractions. Whether it’s a museum, a zoo or an observation deck in the city center, lookup each place online – it’s quite often that they have a website where you can buy a ticket cheaper than at the box office. Depending on a country, some websites might not have an English version for you, but don’t let it stop you! Google Translator is getting better every year and is already good enough to walk you through the regular process of buying tickets.
As a bonus, you will avoid those huge tourist queues at the entrance – you come with a ticket and go right in!
3. Fly with low-cost airlines
The name speaks for itself: these companies let you fly from one country to another for a crazy low amount of money: sometimes you can buy a ticket for as little as 10 euros instead of 100 euros for the same direction. Wikipedia here has an exhaustive list of low-cost airlines by continent, so you can find the perfect fit for you according to your destination and their ranking.
Read the rules thoroughly, though: sometimes low price doesn’t include the luggage (which is not an issue if you travel with a backpack!). Also, different airlines have different sets of rules regarding restricted items and the size of carry-on bags, so be sure that it fits your needs before you go.
4. Use public transport
Consider taking a local bus or the subway to get wherever you want. It is much cheaper than taking a cab every time or renting a car and you can always be sure about the fixed price. BTW, you will see more of citizens and local culture if you use the same means of transport that everyone else uses.
If you are going to visit many places and it’s not possible to walk everywhere, consider getting a day or week city pass: almost every big city has some program like that and often it includes discounts to the popular attractions as well. Just think if it’s worth it in your case.
5. Don’t overspend on food
If you are on a tight budget, don’t waste all your money at fancy restaurants.
A good option is to go to a supermarket in your neighborhood and try to cook some traditional dish from the country you are spending time in. Such an interesting experience! And it lets you dive deeper into the culture and explore food options that your country might not have.
In case you still want to eat out, try to find small restaurants where locals like to go instead of perfectly-located top touristic spots. Sometimes you will be surprised by the size of portions and the variety of authentic local food choice.
6. Look for free opportunities
In some cases, you can have a great travel experience even if you are broke!
Several airlines let you collect the miles and then travel without paying a single dollar for a ticket. Many cities have free walking tours where you can see all the major sights and listen to the stories from a local guide – and pay nothing for it.
There is always hitchhiking if you need to get somewhere and options like Couchsurfing for a free stay. The last two might also help you find new friends, whether it’s locals or fellow travelers. Never forget about your personal safety, though: read carefully the feedback from other people where possible and don’t silence your intuition if it warns you.
Well, this is it! I hope with these tips you will never use the lack of money as an excuse to not traveling! If you do, you will deceive yourself – as there are so many ways to explore the world without being rich.
Please tell me in comments if you find any of these helpful and maybe you have your own money saving tips to share – I’d like to hear about them!
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