Not everyone has a lot of spare money to travel, but it can be done if you follow a budget. Do you wish that you could travel, but the cost of flying, accommodation, meals, and whatever else your trip entails is overpriced?
It is possible to travel on a budget. If you follow these 8 tips, you can successfully create a great vacation without spending an arm and a leg! Read on for some great ideas about how to expand your travel horizons without spending lots of cash.
Don’t bring large suitcases that are heavy and hard to carry. Instead, try packing small backpacks or compression bags. Board shorts and dresses compress down small enough that they can easily be packed in your backpack or purse. Wrap your shoes in socks so you don’t get dirt everywhere when you travel.
If you pack light, it makes traveling easier and potentially cheaper. You will not have to worry about being over-the-weight when checking in at the airport or train station and paying extra for your luggage, and you will be able to board the plane quickly. You also won’t have to worry about not having enough room in your locker at the train station or on the bus you take.
A list of essential things to pack includes:
- Essential toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
- Change of clothes for the destination
- Camera/phone with chargers
- Toilet paper and tissue in case there is an emergency
- Malaria medicine if you’re going to Africa or Asia
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- A map of the area you are in
Skip the Rental Car
One thing that you don’t have to worry about is renting a car. Cars can be expensive, as well as gas for when you’re on the road. If you must rent one while traveling, check around for the best rates or go through your hotel/hostel as they sometimes offer special deals with certain companies.
Instead, try using public transportation and walking whenever possible. When buying train tickets, make sure that it mentions whether there will be free transportation from the station where you get off the train to your lodging in some cases. That way, there’s no need to pay extra money on a cab once you get to your destination! Some cities also have subway systems that are cheap to use and easy to navigate. Remember, cars cost money.
Use Booking Sites
Hotel booking sites can be a great way to save money on hotel rooms. This is because hotel companies will offer deals on their websites as a way to compete with other hotels nearby. Sometimes you won’t be able to find cheaper prices anywhere else.
Often, however, other accommodation booking sites offer great alternatives. For example, if you want to stay with locals, you have that option. It is nice to change the pace of your vacation by staying with a local.
It makes for a unique experience because you get to see how people from other countries live their lives. There are many sites where you can go now, like CouchSurfing, where they offer free places to stay as well as an opportunity for cultural exchange between the host and the traveler. Staying with someone from another country provides insight into what it’s actually like living there that won’t be found in books, magazines, or movies.
Use a Cell Phone to Call Home
In order to keep yourself connected while traveling, you’re going to have to make some calls home. If you don’t feel like paying by the minute, check around for different companies that allow you to trade in your minutes when you use it up.
Also, check the area where you will be staying for different deals that they might have with certain companies as well. Do some research before committing as there is nothing worse than running out of time on your phone because it costs too much! You can also bring a laptop or tablet with Skype installed, so that way, if there is Wi-Fi nearby then everything is free.
Eat Ethnic Food
Whenever you visit a foreign land, try their local cuisine! Not only will this save money, but it gives you an authentic taste of the local culture. There are also websites out there that tell you where to find the best ethnic food in a certain city; just do some research before going, so that way you’re not wandering around lost trying to find it. Go to the tourist information center near where you are staying and ask them for a list of places to go to get your grub on.
Alternatively, if you have a sensitive stomach or allergies, bring food from home. Bringing your own snacks is essential when traveling on a budget. If it’s allowed at all places where you plan on going, bring your own reusable water bottle also.
Find Free Attractions
If you like to sightsee, try visiting free or affordable attractions that still provide a sense of culture and education. In London, for example, you can visit such sites as the British Museum (free on Sunday), Tropical World (free every day), or the Tate Modern Gallery ($15 admission). Walt Disney World and Disneyland both have free admission days. Visit museums during opening hours for free entry.
Some museums also offer reduced admissions at certain times; check their website to find out more. If you are a student you can get discounts or free entry to many attractions depending on the country you are visiting. You can also get discounts by being a senior citizen.
Travel During Off-Season
Flights and hotels cost more during the high travel seasons (summer, Spring Break, Thanksgiving, etc.). To save money on your trip, plan to go at a time that has less traffic. If there is something specific you want to see or do, then you may want to go at least a few weeks before or after peak season if it’s possible. You can get great deals when everyone else isn’t looking.
Do Your Own Travel Planning
Instead of spending a lot of money on a professional planner, why not plan it yourself? If you can save the money that would have been spent on someone else’s services, you’ve just saved enough for some more fun in your vacation. So consider going with the flow, while taking safe routes of course.
If you can’t afford to travel, then you are in luck. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your next trip if you follow these 8 tips. Pack light so that the weight of your luggage is easier for both yourself and those who will be carrying it with you through airports and hotels. Skip the rental car by getting around via public transportation or ride-sharing services. Use booking sites – not only will this save money, but it also gives more options for finding accommodations at any given location. Then check out deals during off-seasons when fewer people visit certain destinations; find free attractions wherever possible by looking them up.