The Ultimate Guide to Budget Travel
There are so many reasons why people want to travel. Some want to unwind and relax, while others just want some quiet time away from the city and their work. There are a few who travel because it is their passion and it gives them some excitement. There are various reasons for wanting to travel, but one common reason why people cannot go on with their trips is lack of money. Traveling does not have to be a burden on your finances though. You can enjoy and have a wonderful trip without breaking your wallet. That’s what budget travel is all about.
The best way to enjoy your travel is to plan ahead. You need to be sure about the kind of trip that you want. Before trying to search and book online for the best and cheapest destinations you can find, make sure you really know where you want to go. You can ask your family, friends, or a help from a travel agents about the places that you want to visit. They can give you insights about the places or probably can give you a better option.
Planning is very crucial, a perfect getaway sometimes need to be planned for months. But generally 2-4 months of preparation can be practical enough. Check your passport, make sure it is valid and not expired. Some countries require travel visas; make sure you do your research about that.
Economically, the best time to travel is during off-season. Airfares are definitely lower, and accommodation is quite cheaper. You can enjoy the places and the views because there are not any crowds, plus you can meet more natives than tourists during off-season. You can check online for the website of the local tourism of the place you want to go to and check when will be the start of their off-season.
Best Time to Buy Tickets
When buying a ticket you need to be patient. A little effort can save you a lot. The perfect time to buy your plane ticket online is every Tuesdays at 3pm EST. Because most of the airline companies post their sales on Monday night and by 3pm of the next day, those changes in fare are reflected on their websites. Always keep in mind that prices are adjusted yearly, so tickets will certainly be more expensive next year. So if you plan to travel early next year, buy your tickets before January 1 for a lesser price. You can also book your travel during mid-week to save. Do not be scared to get a refund. If you become aware that the tickets you bought have gone down in price, you can call the ticketing office or the airline and ask for the difference.
Bring only what you need, this will save you money and worries. You cannot bring your whole wardrobe. If you plan to explore your destination mostly by walking, backpacking can suit you. You can have suitcases if you can leave it at your hotel. Aside from your main luggage, make sure you have your everyday pack, it can be a backpack or courier bag that you can use while exploring.
For clothes, make sure you check the current weather of your destination. There are some mobile applications you can download at your phone that can give you a weekly weather forecast. From the result, you can prepare what clothes to bring. For most of the countries, it is ideal to have you packed some rain and warm jacket. Good pair of sturdy shoes, or boots and socks are also a must. If there is still enough space, you can add an outfit of your choice aside from the basic t-shirt and jeans. If you plan to spend time at some religious or cultural places, then you must have a pair of clothing other than shorts, crop tops, muscle tees, or sleeveless to show respect.
Dealing with Accommodations
You can check online for hotels within the area of your destination. If you are able to book online, do so. Hotels offer cheaper price online as compared to walk-ins. Most of the hotels say that their best deals are the ones posted in their websites, but sometimes giving a call will make a big difference. Do not be afraid to call the hotel of your choice and ask for more discounts on top of the one they have posted in their websites.
Food for Less
Instead of eating at the restaurants in your hotel, try local bars and restaurants. They will definitely offer lower prices and you can surely taste the culture of the place. You can also try free tasting at some local market. A small bites can surely accommodate you for an hour or two. Eat with the season. Try to ask your local waiters what foods are in season, it’s cheaper compared to other foods that are on the menu.
Stay on Your Budget
The cost of each travel varies greatly depending on your destination. Before leaving, try to have some time to compute a practicable daily budget for your needs. Instead of availing package accommodation that offers free breakfast or dinner, try not to. Often, people think they can actually save money for package deals but most of the time that’s not the case. Remember that it is still hotel price, food at the hotel are quite expensive compared to the local restaurants. If your room has a kitchenette, make use of it. Cook your food and buy ingredients at the local market or grocery stores rather than eating out to save more money.
Use All Things That Are for Free
Get free flights. There are so many ways how you can earn your free flights. You can sign up for a travel card, earn your miles, and fly for free. Most of the travel credit cards offer a variety of bonuses upon signing which can give you up to 30,000 points that you can use immediately. Watch out for great deals. Some airline companies can give you an extra miles or even free 1,000 miles just by watching some promotional videos on their websites. Shop at stores where they have promotional deals. Most of the airlines have some good offers with all the major stores, shopping at those stores will surely earn you some miles per dollar you spend.
If you are adventurous enough, you can try couch-surfing. This service offers travelers with free accommodation with locals. Sometimes you are lucky to have a room of your own, but more often than not you can get a couch or a mattress, but it will be always free and that’s a great way to know the local culture.
Local maps are a must and make sure you know how to read one. Instead of always getting a taxi to be at one place to another, you can go walking. Aside from saving money by walking, it will also give you a better chance to explore the place. You can also hitchhike, for some countries especially in Central America, Australia, and Eastern Europe hitchhiking is a common tradition. You can also take a bus or railway rather than take taxis which can be expensive.