The world that seemingly came to a standstill over the past two to three years has slowly begun moving again. As such, many countries around the world have opened their borders and made it much easier for tourists who wish to visit by removing restrictions such as PCR testing and quarantine-on arrival.
If you are someone who is eager to start traveling again but want to do so on a budget, here are some great tips to help you do that:
Do It Yourself
While travel and tour agencies make your life a lot easier by taking care of all that needs to be done for your vacation, they also charge you heftily for the service. The good news is that you can cut out the middleman and do everything yourself – saving yourself a chunk of change at the same time.
With the internet, it has become a lot easier to do this. You can do everything from booking your flights and hotels to finding local tour guides from the comfort of your own home. You can also seek advice from locals, which will help you explore the destination much more comprehensively than through a planned tour.
Start Planning Early
You can’t book your tickets on a whim and expect to find the best deals. To do this, you will have to start planning sometime ahead, so give yourself at least a month to get everything done. Certain countries require visas for travel, and it can take some time to get everything sorted.
Plus, this way, you can set up a sinking fund for your vacation instead of dipping into your existing savings or emergency fund. A sinking fund is a fund set up for a specific purpose, a vacation in this case, for which you will set aside some money from now until the period when the purpose is completed.
Pick What You Want to Do
What is the purpose of your vacation? Is it to get away and spend time lounging around somewhere relaxing or is it to explore a new city and experience new things? Once you’ve figured this out, you’ll be able to allocate your budget accordingly.
If the point of your vacation is to relax, you might want to spend most of your money on food and accommodation. On the other hand, if you plan on going out and exploring the whole day, it doesn’t make much sense to spend a lot on a hotel room, does it? By deciding what you are willing to compromise on and what you see as essential, you can make sure that your trip is as pleasurable as possible.
Check for Cheap Flights
Check different ticket-booking websites to see where you get the best deals. Often, the carrier’s own website is the best place to find the lowest prices, but you can check for offers and discounts elsewhere as well.
When traveling on a budget, it’s best to stick to budget airlines. Plan to travel light as these airlines tend to charge extra for checked-in baggage. Also, make sure to check different dates, as they sometimes have certain days of the week when ticket prices are the lowest.
Research Ticket Prices Tourist Attractions
Make a list of all the places you plan on visiting and find out the prices of the admission tickets if there are any. Tickets to tourist attractions can be a bit on the pricey side, so it is important to account for them in your budget. You can easily find this information online, so it shouldn’t be so hard to do either.
Overestimate, Do Not Underestimate
When drawing up your budget, it’s always important to account for the higher price. For instance, if you find that tickets to a certain attraction are on sale for a season, make sure to put down the regular price instead. This way, if you end up getting a bargain, you’ll have some extra money to spend on something else. If you budget for the lower price and end up having to pay the full amount, that is an easy way to go over budget!
Talk to the Locals
There’s no way to get a better idea of the best way to travel a country than by talking to the locals. Any traveler forum specific to the city or country you plan on traveling to will help you do this, or you can talk to a friend or acquaintance that lives there. They will be able to advise you on all the hidden gems that most tourists miss out on, the best way to get discounts, and even help you avoid falling into tourist traps that are too expensive but not worth the money.
Install Local Apps
Most countries have apps and websites that offer great deals on everything from guided tours to discounted ticket prices to tourist attractions, so make sure to install them before getting on your flight. Local ride-share apps will also help you get around easily. Translation apps are another useful thing to have on your phone when traveling, especially if you do not understand the local language.
Use Public Transport
Public transport isn’t just the most economical way to travel, but it is also a good way to mingle with the locals and get a better feel for the country you are in. Most popular tourist destinations have great connectivity, especially close to the often-visited sites, so this makes it a lot easier for you. Depending on your location, you may also be able to find passes for public transport that make it a lot cheaper to commute around.
Sneak in Some Easy Meals
There’s no reason why you should be eating at fancy restaurants for every single meal, especially if you plan on staying for more than a week or two. You can plan to sneak in a few “easy meals”, especially for breakfast or dinner by making yourself some ramen noodles or simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich once in a while.
If you can find a good deal for hotels that come with the option of free breakfast, you can opt for this too. And don’t be apprehensive to grab a couple of donuts off the buffet for a snack later on – most hotels do not care, but you can make sure to ask first if you’re worried about it.