5 smart tips for budget-conscious travellers
Travelling can be an experience of a lifetime. Being in the center of another culture is both exhilarating and eye opening. It’s no wonder that travel is the number one reason why people save up their money. The daily grind of work and responsibilities can take its toll. Having some time to breathe, relax, and explore allows us to reset our busy heads. But more often than not, travelling can seem way too expensive.
And while travel is certainly not cheap, there are ways to make any holiday friendlier on the wallet. People all over the world have found ways to sustain a jet-setting habit while still keeping their finances in check. Here are 5 smart tips for the budget-conscious traveler.
1. Don’t Travel During Peak Season
Every region has a peak season. In Manhattan, New York, it’s during the Winter Holidays. In Cebu, Philippines, it’s the Summer months. Traveling during these peak times is a sure way to mean higher prices and large crowds. This is when the tourism ramps up all the gimmicks and offers based on an already inflated price range. A great way to avoid all of this is to simply go when it’s not high season. After high season, many tourist spots wind down and when you can really get a feel for the loca flavour. It’s when areas usually used for parties and grand cultural displays gives way to hometown festivals. The “off season” is where one can really appreciate the beauty of a country without all the noise and the typical experience they give to travellers.
2. Use Regional Airlines
Within most regions there are local airlines that provide inexpensive solutions to getting around. This is especially handy when you have multiple destinations in mind for your trip. If you’re travelling within Southeast Asia, your best bet is Cebu Pacific Air. Likewise, if you’re travelling within South Africa, Mango Airlines is your best bet. All you have to do is look up Mango flight bookings and you’re on your way. Same goes for any other regional airline. Plenty of these options are not very well known in the West. If you visit their websites often enough, you’ll catch promos and deals that you can get lucky with. Once you’re in a region, getting around gets much simpler and a whole lot cheaper.
3. Choose Smarter Accommodations
Big hotels and resorts are a money pit. They charge you for everything at a massive premium. And if you have kids, good luck trying to keep them away from the candy bar in the mini fridge. Hotel chains and luxury options may be nice, but they’re the opposite of a budget friendly experience. Instead, try and find doable hostel options. If you prefer to have a private room, most hostels have very decent accommodations that can compete with any two or three star hotel, but at a fraction of the cost. If you're an app savvy, you can also check out room share options like Airbnb. They have an extensive network of condos and units in wonderful neighborhoods for those who prefer a more local feel.
4. Get Around The Area Like A Local
Find out how the locals get around. If you’re going to a city where public transport is the main way to get to point B, use it! Busses and trains have regular schedules and outposts you can find online. They’re also priced for the everyday commuter, so you know that it will be one of the least expensive options the area has to offer. If you’re travelling to a place with minimal public transport, look for apps and options with a fixed price. Options like Uber or Grab are very popular worldwide. Do a bit of research and find out how much the average taxi or car ride should be if you must choose a metered vehicle. From there, expect a 10-15% increase from what you find in your research, just to be safe.
5. Don’t Spend All Your Money On Food
One of the best things about travel is you get to enjoy all the wonderful food. Tasting the authentic versions of your favorite dishes is an absolute delight. But be careful, having a few good meals out is to be expected. But having every meal at an expensive restaurant is a very quick way to drain your wallet. Feel free to try out the local snacks and vendors, but try as much as you can to limit lavish meals and drinks. Keep them smaller and memorable.
Remember that travelling internationally isn’t going to be cheap. That’s a given. But with a bit of research, some smart regional and local transit options, and more conscientious spending, travelling across the globe can be easier on your wallet than you think.
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