If you wish to travel to numerous countries, enjoy their glamorous cities, taste their local cuisine, sun-bath in their exotic beaches, take a road trip to their country side, meet the native population and finally, shop-till-I-drop in their exotic bazaars and take back home lots of folk goodies for my loved ones. Well, as expensive as these wishes might sound like, we bring you 10 very useful tips on how you can achieve them. Some, if not all!
1. Do your research.
Travelling, to say the least, has become a modern day gamble for those who run this market.Travel agents are always ready to run a scissor through your pocket. The first step in our affordable-way-to-travel guide is to have an in-depth research of the destination you’re travelling to. Having a local friend or acquaintance is a bonus. The local population in most parts of the world love to help foreign travellers enjoy their country. You will realise that simple questions like “where’s a good and cost-saving restaurant?” or “where can I buy your localhandicrafts for cheap?” are very helpful.
2. Book the right flights on the right dates.
And be very flexible about it. Yes, doing your research and then booking your flights on the right dates will help ease the pressure off your pockets in the long run. Flying at unpopular or non-peak days or hours increases your chance of getting discounts on flights. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the cheapest. Try to avoid travelling in holiday periods.
3. Memberships with travel-sites.
For those who want an expert to help them plan their travel, quarterly or annual memberships can help you earn travel points. These travel points provide you cheaper fares, upgrades, and free companion tickets. It may take a while to accumulate points, but they CAN pay off big time. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to get the best deals right on your newsfeed.
4. Go off-country.
Spend more time at the country side or camping. You have to be prepared for the rough side of travelling so make sure you enjoy it fully. You can experience more by taking a detour to the small towns and villages and experience the natural beauty or the wildlife. Camping equipment does come costly, but don’t you fret, as stores like Go Outdoors offer lucrative discounts so that we can fulfil all our wishes without going high on budget.
5. Sleep wisely, walk wisely.
Pay much attention to this point. Time your plane, bus or train movement for night. That way, you don’t have to pay for a night’s accommodation. On the other hand, get active during the next morning and explore by walking – it’s for FREE! Explore local markets, wander and take photos, or even hike to the top of a hill for an awesome view.
6. Travel like the locals.
For those who resent much walking, they can still save on their travel cost by using the public transport services. You get great knowledge and insight by hanging with the locals; it costs you less, and is a more authentic travelling experience. Alternately, you can even share taxis or make use of car-pooling services.
7. You thought we wouldn’t discuss this?
Coming to a very important (most important, for some) part of your wanderlust, FOOD! Try and avoid dinner as restaurants raise prices. Have brunch instead of 3 meals a day. You can even purchase canned food and bread from a local grocery store. Remember that food is not necessarily why you came here for. Try your best to shift the focus from your tummy to your travel. Feeling lighter already?
8. Be street smart.
Opt for street food because it’s cheap, and you help the local businesses too. In most cities, street food is cooked fresh and right in front of you. How is that for a good food blog on your Instagram profile? Just make sure the food is healthy as different cultures use different spices which may or may not suit your bowel. Apart from food, even souvenirs and gifts can be bought right off the streets at amazing bargains.
9. Not everyone has to know.
You are away from home and definitely away from that high speed WiFi you are so used to. Even though mobile data has become very common around the world and the prices have taken a dip, it still costs a significant amount during the first installation. Save money on internet, use the free WiFi provided at your hotel or locate places where there is free public WiFi service. Not everyone has to know where exactly you are every 5 minutes! Go around and explore as much as you can. Your body deserves a digital detox.
10. Last but not the least.
You are what you wear! When it comes to clothing while travelling, most people resent the burden of cleaning and ironing their clothes. Pack your travel bags very wisely. Pre-iron your clothes and place them carefully in your luggage to avoid creating wrinkles and creases. This way you won’t have to pay for ironing services. Carry lots of clothes as they are light and don’t take much space. Save money on laundry and schedule it for your return.
Yes, travelling is in trend and perhaps our social media is abuzz with pictures of our friends tagged in some really enticing destinations around the world. While we cannot expect to grow a money tree in our backyard, we can definitely discuss our spending priorities. After all, isn’t a penny saved a penny earned?