If you dream of exploring the world, you may be held back by the realization that traveling abroad can be very expensive, and possibly beyond your budget. If you have been lucky enough to win the US Powerball lottery, you won’t have to worry about expenses, but if you’re like most of us, you will need to save money in order to afford travel.
No matter where you plan to go, it would be wise to do research in advance. You will see that traveling in the off season is much more affordable and the sites you visit will not be as crowded. Planning in advance will save you money on travel and accommodations, and you will save more if you’re flexible with your dates. It is wise to compare airlines and ticket costs, but the cheapest flights could leave you stuck for long waits in transit lounges.
You should make a budget for travel expenses, and stick to it. Avoid expensive currency exchange booths, especially at airports. Instead of paying with credit cards, consider paying with cash, although you will need to be careful when carrying money.
There are a number of ways to save money when you book accommodations. Instead of staying in hotels, book rooms at a hostel. You’ll find that by staying at Airbnb rooms and couchsurfing you will not only pay less, but you’ll enjoy the extra benefit of getting valuable advice from a local resident. When choosing where to stay, take into consideration that rooms near a city centre are more expensive. Places a bit further away are cheaper, although you may have to take into account the transportation you’ll need to get back and forth.
Instead of eating in restaurants, shop for food in the markets and grocery stores. If you can, stay somewhere with a refrigerator/hot plate/microwave in your room so that you can prepare your own meals. If you do eat out, eat a bigger meal at lunchtime when restaurants frequently offer a reduced-price menu. Stay away from tourist destinations as you’ll find prices are much better in places where the locals eat. Carry a water bottle with you, as well as snacks, to avoid making unnecessary purchases during the day.
When you travel from place to place, use public transportation. Still, it is wise to compare bus fares with the cost of train tickets. Avoid taxis if you can, unless you share them with other travellers. If you travel on a night train you’ll save by combining travel with overnight accommodation.
Take advantage of things that are free. Instead of paying for overseas mobile phone service, find places with free Wi-Fi. Turn off the cellular data roaming on your phone so that you don’t incur extra charges. Join free tours and check when museums offer free entrance. A good place to get started when visiting a new city is the Tourist Information Centre, where you can get advice on things happening, many of them free of charge.
When you travel, try to do things like the natives. If you stand out as a tourist, you’ll be charged higher prices. Don’t let traveling on a budget spoil your holiday. You’re entitled to enjoy yourself and have new experiences. Isn’t that what travel is all about?