Envious of your social media friends’ travel posts? Say no more. Here’s a guide on how to plan a trip on a budget, because travelling is something that we should all do at least once in our lives. It helps us meet different people, experience the world in a unique way, and have something to remember in our idle days. But our budget often gets in the way. However, you shouldn’t let it stop you.
Choose a Budget-Friendly Destination
You don’t have to travel far to experience new things. When on a budget, consider places that are within your capacity. If you can’t travel overseas at the moment, there are always new places to explore in your own country. Research is the key to finding affordable hotels, transportation, and attractions. But if you have the capacity to travel abroad, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, or South America have great places that don’t cost much.
Set a Realistic Budget
When you have a destination in mind, research about the cheapest places you could stay at, how much you need to set aside for the transportation and activities, and always leave some pocket money for any trinkets you’d like to buy. Budget in your food expenses as well. But always remember to set a realistic budget that you could subtract from your current funds.
Travel during Off-Peak Seasons
One trick that seasoned travelers swear by is exploring new places during the off-season. This guarantees lower cost of flights and hotels for you. It also means you’ll compete with way less tourists for pictures on the attractions and activities. If you’re going to a tropical location, try to go during their off-season. The summer and holidays are a big no-no. You should avoid them at all costs.
Be Flexible with Flight Bookings
Red-eye flights cost less than regular flights. Consider getting those. You should also check out flights from different airlines and websites to compare the prices. Or get plane tickets to airports in the neighboring city that is less busy than your destination. The important thing is to get there, anyway.
Embrace Cost-Effective Accommodation
When travelling on a budget, you don’t need to get a room in really nice hotels. You’re there to see the place, anyway, so you won’t spend a lot of time in your room. Less grand accommodations are way cheaper. There are also websites like Airbnb that you can download to browse the most affordable places to stay.
Plan Your Itinerary Wisely
Research the places you want to visit the most even before booking your flight. There are so many wonderful places to explore but when you’re in budget, you only have limited resources to visit them all. So plan where you would go wisely. Always opt for somewhere locals go to get the best interactions with them and the best food to try.
Utilize Public Transportation
Don’t travel in taxis all the time. It will put a serious dent in your budget and you won’t get to interact with the locals as much. Know what the people use to travel and go there. Public transportations are cheaper and most likely, the people around you would be a big help if you’re in a pickle.
Embrace the Sharing Economy
The purpose of travelling is to gain experiences and meet new people. Sharing is a big part of it. You can share accommodations or transportation with other travelers like yourself. This makes it way cheaper and more fun as you get to know other people.
Things to Avoid When Traveling on a Budget
Traveling on a budget is great way to gain new experiences without spending all your money. But here are the few things you have avoid.
- Overpacking. Only pack your essentials, count the days of your stay and only bring clothes that you will absolutely use. Anyway, you can buy clothes in your destination if you really need it. Travel light as much as possible.
- Not budgeting for unexpected expenses: Always bring some extra money. We cannot emphasize this enough. How much should you bring? The amount that would transport you back home at least. You can’t always foresee what could happen. Be prepared.
- Not being flexible with your travel plans: Not everything will go your way. The weather could change, or the place you want to visit may be closed. But don’t let it put a damp to your travel. Always prepare alternated destinations you could visit, and be prepared for any situation.
- Not taking advantage of free activities: Don’t look down on anything free. Take it. There are so many places to visit that are free like the airport in Singapore or some buildings in Japan. Make the most out of these free activities.
- Not bartering: This is a common practice in other countries. Don’t rely on your money solely if you can. Talk with the locals and offer them what you can in exchange of rides, or food.
- Not using local transportation: Not only are local transportations cheaper, but they can also get you to where you want to go exactly. Most public transportation drivers know the place like the back of their hands and can act as a tourist guide.
- Not asking for discounts: Haggle if you can, in a polite way of course. If you travel abroad, some places intentionally charge more for foreigners, but are often okay with haggling or asking for discounts.
- Not planning ahead: Planning is everything especially when you are on a budget. Plan the whole trip like crazy from the moment you leave until the moment you come back home.
How to Plan a Trip on a Budget? It Can Be a Breeze
Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean getting less important experiences. You just need to plan your itinerary better, set a budget, brings some pocket money, and be street smart. Don’t forget to interact with the locals as well to gain more meaningful memories. Explore while you have the time and always be brave on your travels. Bon voyage!