Think you have to have a lot of money to travel?
Please, think again. Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t need to have a huge bank balance in order to travel to your favourite place.
There are many different ways to save for and afford travel. Also you cannot only go for a vacation abroad but can also save a lot of money on budget travel. We often spend a lot of money on things we don’t really need. This year, avoid the unnecessary shopping, outings and parties and instead, save that money for your next amazing trip and enjoy your budget travel
In this budget travel guide you will get ideas and tips that will help you save money and travel on a small budget.
Do you want to know how can you travel even if you have less money? Then read below these amazing tips that will help you plan your budget travel.
How Much Do You Need to Save?
The first step is to figure of how much money you would need to make your trip a possibility, and then, most importantly, work out if it’s possible at all!
Make a list and consider all of the factors below to help you calculate how much you need to save for your holiday.
Where can you go based on your budget?
The biggest determanition factor is your current address. If you’re located in the USA, a trip to nearby Canada or Mexico is an obvious but excellent option, but you could also consider locations like Hawaii – still within the USA but it feels a world away with the slow-paced island lifestyle – or head south to the Bahamas, Belize, or elsewhere in the Caribbean – the options are endless!
If you’re based in Australia, the most budget friendly option outside of your home country will be somewhere in nearby Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia are all great options) or the Pacific (Fiji is extremely affordable and close).
If you live in a European country, you can visit a country in your neighbourhood. Take advantage of low-cost companies and save on travel tickets.
In any case, you have an unlimited option and it is only important that you decide to travel.
How long can you go for?
I’m going to say something that might sound ridiculous at first, but stick with me here. Going away for a shorter amount of time does not necessarily mean it will be cheaper. Quite often you can spend the same amount on a 2-month holiday as you would on a 2-week holiday.
Some readers might think I’m crazy or at the very least terrible at math, but I promise you this has been tried and tested! The main reason for this is that for a longer trip you plan further in advance and in more detail, so you’re bound to find more ways to save cash. You’ll also spend less on a longer trip as you’ll be in long-term travel spending mode, whereas on a 2-week holiday you’re likely to overspend and indulge as you know you only have two weeks to go overboard; finally, if you stay longer in each place and dial back your accommodation a notch, you’ll save a tonne of cash. Long term rentals, where you pay a weekly or monthly rent instead of a per night hotel rate, are also a great option to save money.
What type of trip do you want to take?
Think about what you want to do overseas. Lying around all day at a beach resort might be your cup of tea, but you’ll also spend a fortune on food and beverages at a nice resort, despite the fact that you’re not doing much. Being outdoors on day trips and activities will also be expensive, but you’ll be experiencing so much more than you would otherwise do at home. The choice is up to you! Determine the type of trip you’re looking for and use this to help set your daily budget.
The longer you wait, everything gets more expensive– airplane tickets, hotel reservations, not to mention all the early bird deals you miss out on for cruises and other travel packages. So plot out your destinations early and start scouting the deals now. Keep an eye on air fares
If you don’t have any specific work restriction, then keep your trip days flexible. This will allow you to get the best ticket deals in low price. If you want to travel in September, you may start looking up at ticket prices a few months before. This way, you’ll save hundreds of dollars. Start planning today and enjoy your budget traveling.
Save your travel budget with price alerts
Flight prices are notorious for their fickle nature. Always moving up and down, leaving passengers fearful of commitment. But, if there’s a destination you know you’re traveling to in the near future you can simply sign up for a price alert. This is especially helpful if you’re planning a trip out in advance. This way when the price plummets, you’ll be the first to know.
Expand your search to nearby airports and cities
Looking to fly into Rome? London? Beijing? No matter where you’re going, don’t just click on the first airport that comes up. Occasionally it is much cheaper to fly into a lesser known airport, or into a different city entirely, then utilize public transportation to get to your actual destination. This method requires a little bit of extra research to find out local train ticket prices and taxi fares, but if you’re tracking those dollar signs they do add up quickly. Skyscanner can help you out here as well. When conducting your search simply check the box that says “Add nearby airports” and watch the savings pile on.
Don’t take direct flight and save money
Flying straight to the destination without stopping can cost you heaps of money. However, if you consider stopping at one or two countries, it will not only give you time to relax but also save your money. Always look for the routes that have stop overs with them. For example, if you are traveling to United States from India, then take a flight that stops for a few hours at Istanbul. Keep in mind that stop over routes are always cheaper than direct flights.
Think about what you want from your vacation
Make a list of the things you really want to do and where. For example, if you want to experience paragliding and jet boating, then you may consider traveling to Turkey rather than visiting New Zealand as there will be much difference in the traveling cost of both countries. Likewise, if you want to have a mini adventurous trip in less money, then go to Dubai and save money rather than visiting United States.
Stay on budget
You don’t need to stay in any luxurious hotel if you are running short of money and want a budget travel. There are many alternative accommodation options available for you to consider including; camping, dorms or even at any local’s home for free. If you are comfortable staying with locals in their home, then Couchsurfing will be very helpful for you.
Look for travel combo packages
Wherever you go, always look for budget travel packages. For example, if you are visiting Queenstown in New Zealand, rather than paying for jet boat ride and forward tours separately, buy a package which includes both as it will be cheaper. Don’t forget to do your research in detail and find out which tour combination suits you best.
Get discount with your credit card point
There are many countries that offer points if you pay via credit card. These points not only get you discounted flight tickets but also give you many other deals. If you are using a credit card, check with your bank and ask in detail about all the perks you are getting upon using your card.
Self-discover places without any guide
Ask yourself, do you really need a guide or you are better without them? If you have done your homework in advance about your travel destination, then you don’t really need a guide person to tell you all the things you already know. Discover each place yourself and save your money.
Check if there are any travel passes
You should always check whether the place you are visiting, have any special discounts for the tourists? For example, in Istanbul, they offer discounted pass to tourists on which they can visit all the popular museums in the city with no extra cost. You just have to buy the pass once and travel to places without worrying about money.
Check if you are eligible for some extra discount
If you are a member of any company or a store, then check with them if they offer any discounts to their members. If you are a student, you may get some discounts too. There are many discounted deals especially catered for students for their budget travel. Don’t forget to enquire about them before you travel.
Plan what you are going to eat and where
Do you really think you are going to eat out all the time? If you plan to eat at hotels, then it may cost you a lot of money. Check the cheap eats in the place you are visiting. If you are staying in any apartment or with a family, you can cook your own food too. Another option is street food, which is cheapest you’ll find in any country.
Get a discounted pass to use local transport
You don’t need to buy expensive ticket each time you are going from one place to another while traveling. Enquire about a travel pass which will be way cheaper and will save you a lot of money. But you need to do a detailed research about it before you travel.
Try traveling in off seasons
If there is no restriction, then try traveling in off season. This way you can save hundreds of dollars on airline fares and accommodation. In peak season, there are thousands of tourists due to which price of everything is increased. Not only this, almost all the popular destinations get very crowded that can make you wait for a long time in the queue in order to get your passes or tickets.
Don’t forget to buy travel insurance
Traveling to a new place can always affect your health especially if the weather is totally different to that in your home country. It can cause you sickness that can spoil your whole trip. I recommend you to get travel insurance in advance so that you don’t have to pay heaps to the hospitals in case if something happens. Also, if you are going to have an adventurous trip to the mountains or similar place, then chances of injury are always there. Do yourself a favor and get your health insurance before you travel.
Help yourself with a local guide book
As you are not going to hire any guide person, it is important for you to keep guidebook with you with information regarding popular destinations, accommodation, restaurants and other things. So find a good travel local guide and enjoy your budget traveling.
Travel with someone and share the costs
Traveling with someone is always a good idea. If you have your partner, friend, family member or any other close person, you can travel with them and save money. When somebody accompanies you, you both can share all the expenses and this way, a lot of money can be saved.
Whether you’re buying trans-continental plane tickets or booking seats on a train for a weekend getaway, sticking to off-peak times can seriously cut cost. If it is possible, try planning your trip during an off-peak season to save big. Peak times can vary depending on your destination, but typically major holidays and spring and summer breaks are good times to avoid.
Ditch the checked bag
Some airlines charge extra when you check a bag. Either stick to the ones that allow passengers their first checked bag free, or leave the bulky suitcase at home. If you’re planning on visiting a few different locations, this will be easier in the long run, as large luggage can be cumbersome.
Calculate Your Savings Goal
Flights + Accommodation + Travel Insurance + Daily Spendings = $_____
Once you’ve determined how much money you’ll need, you’ll then be able to come up with a dollar figure for your savings goal.
For safe measure, always round the amount up; it’s better to have too much money and come home with extra than fall short!
Example: My one-week holiday to Bali
Flights: $1,000 (return)
Accommodation: $150 per night = $900
Travel Insurance: N/A (yearly coverage)
Daily Spendings: $50 per day average
Total = $2250
The above is a very comfortable trip that could easily be cut in half! Be sure to look out for flight sales, hotel deals and other ways to cut your expenses.
How Are You Going to Reach Your Goal?
There are many great ways to save money. Just like exercise or trying a new diet, the best way to get there is to head in the right direction and take it slow and steady – not to completely stop living life while you try and save every single penny! So long as you’re putting money away each week, you’re heading in the right direction. Below are some of the most common ways to reach your travel savings goals:
Work + Save (slow and steady)
The most common way to save for a trip is to set a goal, figure out how much you can save per week, add together how many weeks it will take to reach your target, and book your trip for that time. This provides a great incentive to work hard, take on extra shifts or even an extra job, and save more money in a shorter space of time… so you can go travelling sooner!
Taking out a loan
Some people don’t want to wait it out and choose instead to take out a personal loan to fund their travels, vowing to pay it back as quickly as possible upon return. There’s no shame in needing to take out a personal loan in order to leave sooner or go for longer, however you should always have a game plan for how you’ll pay it back so you don’t get stuck with the post-travel blues for longer!
Work while you travel
Another great way to fund your travels which has really picked up momentum over the past few years is the work + travel lifestyle. There are many great jobs for people who love to travel… such as blogging!
I hope you’ll plan your most awaited trip that was pending for a long time due to limited finance. Keep this budget travel guide handy while planning your travel. Follow our 15 useful tips and you can travel on a budget.
I hope you enjoy your amazing trip in less money! Do share your experiences with us.