Thrifty Travels 101: Five Must Know Techniques When Traveling on a Budget
“Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”-Ibn Battuta
No matter where you want to go, travel would always require a pecuniary aspect from you. For this reason, travelers who have booked a prospective trip would save money weeks (and some even months) prior to the scheduled date of departure. This practice likely stems from the belief that travel is a luxury and would thus cost us exorbitantly. However, this line of thinking must be quashed as it is largely an erroneous assumption. No doubt, travel would cost you money, and it is certainly recommended that you at least have extra cash with you should anything untoward occur. But this does not mean; it would be impossible to travel on a budget—all you would need is a combination of creativity and determination. Here are several techniques and tips you should bear in mind if you intend to travel inexpensively:
1.) Check other avenues for accommodations
A huge fraction of your travel budget is going to be spent on your lodgings and accommodations while you are staying in a foreign country. However, if there is one thing you should know is that you do not have to be billeted solely in hotels and bed and baths while you are out on the road. There are cheaper alternatives when it comes to living quarters, and you can conveniently book them online from your smartphone. So, instead of booking an expensive room in a hotel, try booking via Airbnb instead, and you might just find a Makati condo that is available to rent for a few days or weeks.
2.) Travel off-peak
Traveling during the off-peak seasons can seriously cut cost and would enable you to stretch your budget to accommodate other aspects of your trip such as tours, food budget and the like. However, do take note that peak times would vary depending on where you want to go, but if there is a couple of things you should watch out for, these are major holidays as well as summer breaks. Traveling during these times will ensure you will get an exorbitant price for plane tickets.
3.) Avoid “Touristy” Restaurants
Yes, there is such a thing as restaurants that cater purely to tourists, and this is because they charge you well for it. Restaurants with signs “We speak English”” posted and multi lingual menus are generally to be avoided as they charge you more for okay-quality food you can get for less in ordinary eateries. To save money, go for daily specials instead.
4.) Travel light
As much as possible, travel light and do not check in bags as most airlines tend to charge extra for checked-in luggage. However, if this is unavoidable then at least find an airline that would allow you to check one bag free, otherwise leave bulky baggage at home. Furthermore, traveling light allows you to visit a range of locations without being encumbered by your luggage. In this way, not only will it cost you less but it would not cause you any stress.
5.) Skip the souvenirs
If you have ever thought of stocking up on souvenirs to bring home (which admittedly look a little gauche and garish), then at least buy something that does not look so cheap. T-shirts, key chains, mugs and shot glasses may be reminiscent of the country you have visited but apart from the nostalgia they bring, nothing makes them any different from similar ones you can buy at home. Should you wish to bring something home for your family and friends, try something a bit more memorable and a lot less mass-produced for tourists.