There is absolutely no one in the world who doesn’t love travelling, except for the occasional people who have aviophobia, every person in every nook and cranny in the universe has the dream to travel. But not all of these people are lucky enough to actually fulfil this life-long dream. One considerable factor is MONEY. People say money can’t buy happiness, but money can buy your plane ticket to happiness!
Luxury and comfort don’t always have to be associated with travelling. If you trade these for things that are outside your comfort zone, then you might just be able to enjoy that one-week trip to Asia without your bank account having to suffer. Being the frugal traveller that I am, let me share these top 10 budget travel tips that you should abide with:
1 Google is Your Friend
Doing some research on your travel destination before your ETD is the ultimate rule of thumb in travelling. It’s like a policeman without his gun or a writer without his pen, information is paving the way for cheaper and smoother travels. Google about the culture, etiquette, and basic language. Locals appreciate foreign tourists who delve into their culture, who knows, you might get a free trinket from a thrift shop because you said “Thank You” in their local language.
2 Budget Airlines are Life!
I used to always check this particular budget airline in my country and I’ve gotten pretty amazing deals on flights halfway around the world! The downside? I had to wait for a year for the flight. But as time goes by, you sometimes forget that you have an upcoming trip and next thing you know if you’re cramming planning that itinerary! Also, packing light and travelling on weekdays will eliminate those extra airfare expenses.
3 Go for Cheap Hostels and Backpacker Inns
This is my theory when I travel, I don’t think you need a really luxurious room for the whole duration of your trip because you’re usually out the whole day anyway. So there’s no point in booking a four-post bed with Egyptian cotton sheets. Sharing a dorm room might even cut costs by meeting people who also want to share tours with you.
4 Cheap but Authentic Food
Trying out local cuisine a must in travelling but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Try to google good restaurant reviews and check their menu and prices first before deciding. Or better yet, go to a food strip and pretend to look at their menu even though you’re comparing prices. Also, don’t be shy to ask locals where the local joints are. These eateries always have cheaper food and alcohol!
5 Bring a Reusable Bottle and Pack Snacks Always
Not only is bringing a reusable bottle eco-friendly but it also avoids spending a couple of dollars from buying 10 water bottles per day! Most countries have drinking fountains and you can always refill if needed. Also, bringing snacks all the time will avoid having to go to the first restaurant you see when you’re dead hungry!
6 Packaged Tours: Yay or Nay? NAY!!!
Sometimes you see these packaged tours online before your trip and you’re tempted to book that because you think you’re saving a huge deal of money but you’re actually not. These tours are offered by travel agencies, so you can expect profitability is their main goal. You’ll be surprised by how much you actually save if you do tours separately. When reaching your destination, you can either tour solo or find fellow budget travellers like you who are keen in touring with you. Not only do you save money but you also gain new friends, or maybe a new romance?
7 Public Transportation is The Way to go!
When I went to Japan, I was too tired of trying to find my hostel so I took a taxi and it cost me $40 for a 10-minute ride. My advice is to map out your train and bus routes for the day. Use local mobile apps that help you determine which train stations or terminals you need to go. That way, you’ll never get lost and never have to spend money on useless taxi rides! Also, opt walking for short distances.
8 Free Tourist Destinations
Google tourist spots for fees. I always want to go to tourist destinations without having to pay for entrance! Because I think the most beautiful things in life are free! But if you think it’s really worth paying, try to visit during the off-peak hours, like midday, some spots have special shows during early mornings or evenings which remarkably hike up the fees.
9 Shopping for Souvenirs
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or souvenirs for the people back home, try to ask around or get recommendations from friends who’ve been there for thrift shops or budget stores. Don’t be shy to haggle for the price but don’t be a cheapskate too, this might be rude in other cultures.
10 Do as the Romans Do
Delving into the local culture is the best feeling in the world. Learning about their traditions and doing activities in a local way is what makes travelling fun and satisfying. Don’t be a snob first-world tourist, be friendly and respect the locals all the time. They didn’t ask you to visit their country in the first place, you went there in your free will. One time, I got a 50 per cent off a show in Thailand because I made small talk to the person in charge and it turned out He liked a certain famous boxer in my country!
Check out Judy’s blog at Gear Junior.