8 Amazing Tips to Travel More on a Tight Budget
Traveling is a great way to broaden your horizons and get a new perspective on life. But exploring new places doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg and you definitely don’t need to break your bank for that.
Whether you’re a college student looking to spend the summer abroad or a corporate employee ready to take your annual leave without putting a dent in your wallet, follow these tips to travel more on a tight budget. This will help you get the most out of your vacation and your dollar!
Tip #1 – Plan in Advance
Spontaneous travel plans are super fun! But, if you want to travel at a low cost, you need to have a plan. However, you don’t need to have a strict, hourly itinerary for this. Rather, a clear idea of how much time you’re going to spend at each destination and the route you will take will suffice!
Remember, the more you wait, the more expensive everything will get – hotel reservations, airplane tickets, etc. Plus, you will even miss out on the early bird deals for cruises and other travel packages.
Tip #2 – Travel Off-Season
The travel industry increases prices during major holidays and spring and summer breaks to cash in on families who can only plan their trips during this time. So, if you can, avoid planning your trips during this period to cut back on costs.
Look up the best time to visit your desired destination and then plan your trip soon after or before those dates. This is known as the ‘shoulder season’ – where you’ll still have a great vacation at a much lower cost. Airlines and hotels typically reduce their prices during this time to attract more customers.
Tip #3 – Watch Out for Changes in Flight Prices
Flight prices are known for changing continuously. They’re always rising and falling, making it difficult for you to commit. But, if you know which destination you will be traveling to in the future, you can simply sign up at Skyscanner for a price alert. This is very useful if you’re planning a trip in advance. Thus, you’ll be the first one to get notified when the fares fall.
Tip #4 – Pick Your Accommodation Smartly
This tip is quite obvious, but it cannot be emphasized just how much more budget-friendly accommodation options such as hostels are compared to hotels, rental homes, and resorts. Sharing a living space automatically splits the cost and helps you save your money. Plus, you even get to experience the authentic backpacker experience and memories to last a lifetime.
There are several types of hostels including exotic hostels, relaxing hostels, party hostels, and rural hostels. One big advantage is that these places have common areas where you can find someone to share transportation, day or dinner trips, etc. You can use the free Hostelworld app to help you locate and book the best and cheapest accommodation in the country you want to travel to.
Some other great options are apps such as Couchsurfing and Airbnb where you basically have to book a room in a local’s home. It’ll not only help you save significantly but you’ll also get an authentic feel of the real city life. Think of your host as your private tour guide and ask them for the best tourist spots and eateries in the neighborhood.
Lastly, if it’s possible, you can even lodge at a friend or family member’s house. Get in touch with people you know and plan a visit to your long-lost friend’s house – this can take you places you wouldn’t have even thought of.
Tip #5 – Travel Lightly
Make sure you only pack the essential things you’ll be needing for your trip. This can help you in two ways. Firstly, you won’t have to shop during your trip, except for maybe a few souvenirs. Regardless of where you’re going, you should keep a warm hoodie, a pair of long jeans, and a waterproof jacket for unforeseen weather conditions.
Secondly, some airlines will charge you more if you check-in a bag. So, make sure you stick to airlines that allow you to check your first bag for free. If you’re planning to visit several different locations, packing light will help you easily go from one point to another.
P.S. – If you have a carry-on backpack, you can simply hop on low-cost airlines such as Norwegian Air for a sticker price.
Tip #6 – Research the Areas Surrounding Airports and Cities
Looking to fly to London? Beijing? Rome? Regardless of where you’re traveling to, don’t opt for the first airport that pops up. Generally, it’s less costly to fly to a less popular airport, or into a different city altogether. You can then hop onto a public transport service to reach your actual destination. For this, you will have to do a little more research to search for local train and taxi fares.
Tip #7 – Make Your Own Meals
Trying the national food is a vital part of experiencing the true essence of a city or country – a trip to Mexico isn’t worth it if you don’t eat a taco. But this doesn’t mean you have to dine out for every meal.
Go to the local market, pick some groceries, and cook yourself even if your hostel kitchen offers you some not-so-amazing kitchen tools. You can try to make your own breakfast or stay in a hostel where breakfast is included.
Tip #8 – Use a Budget App to Track Your Expenses
When you’re traveling on a budget, the best way to stick to it is by recording every dollar you spend on a budget app. The XpenseTracker is a great tool to help you keep track of everything you spend on – from transport costs and accommodation to shopping from the corner store.
Traveling is the best way to get a break from your daily routine and refresh yourself. So, make sure you follow the above tips to travel more on a tight budget.