Yearning to travel more but not sure how to afford it? You’ll be pleased to hear that travel doesn’t have to be all that expensive. There are lots of ways to avoid blowing stacks of cash when travelling, meaning that you can do more of the things that you love and spend less time stressing about the figures. Most of the general advice on budget travel applies to everywhere in the world too, so follow your dreams and head off to where your heart desires!
Here are some great practical tips for a budget travel success story:
Transportation: Dare to Compare
A huge chunk of a travel budget usually goes towards transportation costs. Whether it’s on a flight, train, bus, or boat to your intended destination, there are often significant savings to be found just by doing a bit of research and shopping around. It’s usually cheaper to book direct through your intended carrier, so where possible you should try and avoid agents.
If you compare costs online through a general comparison tool, check out the cheapest carrier’s website – you may well find that there is a bit of a saving to be made. If you are taking a bus or a train, rather than buying your tickets from a tour company, hotel reception, or similar, pop along to the local bus or train station and buy your tickets from there.
If you are flexible with dates and times you can often find better deals that in you are rigid with your plans, and often booking further in advance is more cost effective than being spontaneous.
There are also transportation costs when you arrive at the destination. As a general rule, local transport is usually cheaper than taxis. Research as to whether there are any multiple journey tickets on local tram / bus / train networks.
If you plan on doing a lot of travelling around though it could actually be beneficial to rent your own vehicle – make sure that you consider all options before making a final choice. Obviously comfort is important, especially on longer journeys, but opting for the lowest class that is possible for you will help you to keep your budget in check. Ask yourself, for example, do you really need a plush seat on a two hour train journey, or can you manage with the harder seats?
Be Accommodation Smart
Another major expense on trips is often a place to sleep. Of course, you want somewhere that is clean, safe, and secure, but there is no need to pay through the nose for it. A bit of research when it comes to accommodation can also go a long way towards saving you money.
Not only does making a cheap hotel booking help your money to go further and last longer but it also gives you peace of mind that you know exactly where you are heading to when you arrive in a new place.
Eating and Shopping: Avoid the Tourist Traps
You will quickly notice that places that are mainly geared towards tourists are usually somewhat pricier than places that are usually frequented by locals. When it comes to mealtimes, look at where local people are heading – not only are you likely to save money but you will also follow the non-touristy crowd to some of the best joints in town!
The same goes for shopping – avoid tourist souvenir shops and check out the local markets. You may even find some great souvenirs and gifts in the local home ware stores and supermarkets – think outside of the box and step away from the tourist masses for a moment.
Check Entrance Frees
Many attractions have an admission cost. It is not uncommon though to see discount periods – try and time your visits for when the prices are cheaper. This may include, for example, visiting somewhere on a particular day of the week, going early in the morning or later on in the afternoon. Some places also offer group rates so it may be worth buddying up with other people so everyone makes a saving.
With a bit of forward planning and making sure that you look for the best deals, it is possible to cut the costs of travelling and still have a fantastic experience!