Budget Travel isn’t a walk in the park – or so they say. It all depends on your perspective.
Budget trips actually let you enjoy focused parts of a top destination as you limit yourself to what your money is able to purchase. It also lets you see that for now, whatever it is you get to enjoy, it’s enough.
Sometimes it’s how you make the most of every moment while on a budget trip that makes you say, “Wow! That was great. I came home with awesome memories and there was nothing lacking nor missing in my trip.” It’s also being able to decide on the places that interest you the most as you research for top destinations you can travel on a budget.
Read through the many backpacking blogs and travel guides, you’ll notice that’s a recurring theme as they narrate their experiences.
Okay, you get it. The next question is what are travel tips for traveling on a budget? Let’s start with a concept we’re all familiar with – SMART.
Here are 5 travel tips for traveling on a budget that’s simple, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound.
Simple Budget Travel Tip #1 Create Your Travel Goals & Travel Plans
Write down your travel goals. Yes, it sounds too simplistic but an itinerary without a goal may take you places but it won’t be satisfying. Good questions to start with are:
- What do you want to achieve on this trip?
- What personal goals do you want to accomplish while on a budget travel?
Is it to conquer your fear of the ocean? Do you want to expand your knowledge of exotic cuisine? Or want to do something you’ve never done to get of your comfort zone? Or wish to experience relaxing in a luxurious beach while being cash-savvy?
Knowing what exactly you’d want to accomplish for yourself is key to satisfaction while traveling.
Then, create your epic itinerary. They say that a goal without a plan is just a wish. Make it happen by creating an itinerary.
It can be a simple list of places to visit and activities to do for the day. Your itinerary doesn’t have to be per hour. Relax and simply adjust for times you’d want to extend in a certain place.
Your goals and plans will help show the travel costs connected to these destinations and activities. You’ll get to narrow things down as you do further research and adjust your list.
- Traveling to more affordable destinations will also save you money and maximize it. These top destinations can really extend your buck’s mileage because of factors like currency exchange rates and cost of living that travel affordable.
- You can also lessen the number of days you’ll be spending on the trip to really limit your budget.
Measurable Budget Travel Tip #2 Wisely Choose Accommodation & Food
Choose accommodation like hostels and dorm rooms (if you’re comfortable) as your place to stay. These offer very affordable rates for backpackers, some even as low as $8 per night! Plus, they also meet your travel essentials criteria of being clean, safe, and offering Wi-Fi access.
On the other hand, you can stay with relatives who live there if you have any. They may even give you a unique tour of the city that only a local like them can do.
Local cuisine is always part of the best travel experiences. Explore food offerings at the local markets, street joints, and small cafes. This way you can stay within your budget.
If you can make room though, treat yourself at the end of the trip and have a good meal at a decent restaurant. You’ll get the best of both worlds by having a taste from both the markets and the restaurants.
Alternatively, maximize your kitchen if your accommodation provides one. Try to cook simple local dishes. Or if you’re in a hurry, buy food you can heat on the microwave for a quick meal.
List in the local dishes you’d like to try out before your flight. This will help you focus on just what you really want and keep you from excess spending.
Bonus Pro Travel Tips
- Visit places that are free of entry fees. Go to the beach, national parks, walk around the city and sight-see.
- Explore working holiday visas or volunteer opportunities. These let you travel abroad and get into the culture itself you delve into their workforce and social causes.
- Book hotels, hostels, or dorms during off-season as they offer lower rates and often give room rate discounts.
- Try out Couchsurfing. It’s like Airbnb where the host opens their home to you but this time, you can actually spend time with them and get local insight about the city you’re visiting. Best of all, it’s free! Research more about Couchsurfing to see if this is a comfortable option for you.
Actionable low cost Travel Tip #3 Pack Your Travel Essentials Properly
Use packing cubes to maximize the space in your luggage and your backpack. Pick only the most necessary travel essential items, you can’t do without while traveling on a budget. Save money from excess baggage charges by packing light.
- Travel only with a carry-on instead of hard suitcases so you don’t have to pay for luggage charges on your trip. Save your money and plan your things to pack efficiently instead.
For travelling cheap Realistic Travel Tip #4 Determine How Much You’re Able To Spend
You might already have an idea how much of your available funds you’re able to allocate for your budget trip. If you don’t yet, try to determine that first as knowing your financial reality will keep things realistic as you plan your itinerary.
This will show you what range of activities you can pursue, what places you can visit, and the goals you can achieve for now. For example, plane tickets are usually the most expensive mode of transportation. Your financial reality will give you direction as to what airline will be most suitable.
Budget airlines that offer flights to the place your visiting will be a good choice. Try to book at least 6 months in advance too so you can avail of lower prices. Buying tickets midweek or early in the morning also give you higher chances of grabbing that ticket sale.
Smart Traveler Tips
- Use Skyscanner to find amazingly affordable deals for plane tickets. Book in advance to really get to save!
- Travel abroad during off-season where the crowds are fewer and the plane ticket prices are lower.
- Create a do-it-yourself budget travel to Europe instead of joining expensive group tours. This way you get to visit the places you’re truly interested in and save money on group tour charges.
To keep the expenses in check Time-bound Travel Tip #5 Use Public Transportation
Public transportation offers efficient, quick, and affordable ways to get around the city. These even offer regional travel if you’d want to go out of town. Ride the public transportation system and experience traveling like a local on your budget travel.
You’ll get to save time too as these offer rides every hour or on-demand so you won’t get stuck in traffic.
- Choose only a few key places to visit to lessen your expenses on transportation. Choose places where you can do a lot of activities or that have attractions that are within close proximity of each other.
- Split fares with fellow passengers riding with you on taxis or other local modes of transportation where fares are shouldered by the individual passenger. This way all of you get to save money and build new connections with each other too. You get to make backpacking meaningful for your wallet and yourself.
Before you go, Here is your guide to budget travel for top destinations –
Traveling on a budget means traveling to top destinations that are actually friendly to your budget. These places give you maximum travel experience while minimizing the hits on your wallet.
Why? Because the costs of living, transportation, and other expenses are lower. Currency exchange rates may be more advantageous to you too depending where you’re from. Without further ado and for our last bonus before you go, here’s our list of top destinations for budget travel. Happy trailblazing!