Tips for Traveling on a Tight Budget

Traveling is always perceived as an expensive hobby or endeavor. Aside from the expenses you incur during your trips, you are also away from work, meaning you’re not earning during that time. If you’re on a paid leave, then it’s okay. However for those that are not on a paid leave, they have to use their own money, and want to do a lot; then it can really be a problem. Splurging your money will result in you not enjoying your trip or worse, having to cut it prematurely. To avoid that terrible situation, here’s what you can do to save money while still enjoying yourself in your travels.

Way Advanced Research

Looking up your travel destination long before your trip can help you plan everything smoothly. You’ll be able to find out if there are any cheap tourist spots or places where you can find inexpensive good food. If you’re up to it, you can even contact people who have traveled to, or live in that area so that you’ll find good deals that will appeal to travelers. Following the crowd isn’t always a recommended option when it comes to saving.

Another area where research is important is transportation. This is where a lot of travelers get ripped off and spend too much money. When you’re in unfamiliar territory, getting lost is inevitable. In this scenario, it’s easy to take a taxi or public transportation which might cost a lot. Learn the travel routes beforehand and if needed, write them down. This can help you in getting directions or when you walk by yourself in the streets.

Stay in Hostels

Thinking of hostels, you might immediately think of students or young backpackers. It can be embarrassing to think that you’ll be the oldest person there and you’ll stick out like a prune in a bowl of fresh grapes. However, hostels aren’t only for the young. A lot of older adults book hostels because of the rising accommodation costs. In addition, booking a bed in a hostel isn’t that expensive and there are always plenty around.

A common misconception about hostels or capsule hotels is that they are cramped, facilities are dirty, and it’s an overall uncomfortable experience. But since hostels have been gaining popularity and are the accommodation of choice for many travelers, hostel operators have improved their facilities and services tremendously. Currently, some hostels have private suits, trendy decorations, and even cleaning services.

Lastly, staying in a hostel will allow you to socialize with fellow travelers. They might be going in the same direction or they might have already gone to your next destination. Whatever their bearings are, it’s fun to swap stories and tips from other travelers. You might learn of a good tourist spot or a good deal through these conversations.

Take Long Walks

Traveling can be dangerous, especially when you’re in a country that doesn’t use your native language. Apart from the unfamiliarity of the place, it can be difficult to ask for directions or help when you need it. However, taking walks can be a very good way to enjoy the place without spending money. You get to enjoy the sights and sounds, and you might even find a place that you like which isn’t shown on the guidebook.

Scrutinize Ridiculously Incredible Deals

There are also a lot of packages being offered by travel agencies that seem too good to be true. When something is too good to be true, chances are they aren’t good for you. In the case of cruises, it can be very cheap and might seem like a steal. However, you should check the minor details which aren’t shown in the catalogue. For example, you can check the airplane ticket to the port if it’s within your budget, the condition of the hotels which you will be staying in, and the destinations as well if it’s worth going there. Once you’ve added these factors up, it will give you a better picture. It will also give you a good idea if it’s really worth the price or not.

Have a Daily Budget

If you don’t have a daily budget, it’s easy to spend all your money in one or two weeks. You need to estimate how much you are allowed to spend every day during your the entire trip. For example, if you allot only $20 for a single day, you don’t need to spend it all that day. Just spend on what you want, like food or admission fees, then save the rest for the next day. If you still have $5 left from the previous day, then you can add it to your current day’s budget. Just remember that you don’t have to spend it all no matter how tempting those souvenirs look.

Regarding budget, a good method to avoid being short on cash is to overestimate costs. Even if you know that the costs for transportation and food will be around $40, you can allot $50-60 instead. This will give you breathing room in case you find yourself in a pinch.

Don’t Be Too Cheap

Yes, you’re on a daily budget and your overall money is limited. You might miss out on some expensive tours or spots, but you should also be critical in judging if it’s worth your time and money or not. For example, if you’re in an exotic place and you know that it’s a popular tourist destination, one you’re interested in. Even if it might cost you your whole day’s budget, it will make the trip worthwhile and you won’t go home with regrets. Again, this is where good research comes in handy. If you know about a spot’s admission fee beforehand, you can include that in your budget planning.

Be Flexible

Even if you really want to go skiing in a specific country, you should still keep your dates open. After all, if your budget doesn’t allow it, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to enjoy your trip. You’ll end up with disappointment and wasting your money in the process. Check your destination’s off-peak season and see if you can fit it in your schedule. Traveling during the off-peak season means that you won’t have to go with the holiday crowd and you’ll have cheaper rates as well.

If the dates don’t really work out in your favor no matter how hard you adjust your schedule, then it’s time to look somewhere else. Try to look for another country or destination with similar weather or travel arrangements as your first choice. It might be entirely different, but using your budget to the maximum will allow you to have fun rather than end up with disappointment.

Traveling doesn’t always have to be for the rich. Also, it doesn’t have to break your bank. There are a lot of ways to save money while traveling. You just need to have an open mind, be prepared, and always adjust to the situation. After all, one of the reasons why you traveled is for experiencing a new culture, not to stay in a fancy hotel or eat the most expensive foods.