“Travel while you are young and able.
Don’t worry about the money, just make it work.
Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.”
We all know this quote, we have heard it a million times but let’s face it, at this day in age money is a huge factor in many of our daily decisions. Coincidentally the point of our lives where we are “young and able” also happens to be the point where we do not have a whole lot going on in the money front. Now this is not to say that I do not agree with the quote, because I whole heartedly do… Experience is FAR more valuable than money will ever be! So here are my eight top tips for traveling on a budget:
- Choose your destination wisely: Choosing your destination is the first thing you can do to start your trip off in budget mode. Check out some different countries that you are interested in visiting and their cost of living. While some might be expected some might come as a shock to you! A few countries that top the budget list are Thailand, Greece, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Portugal.
- Create a daily budget: Based on the different locations that you choose to visit you can set a goal for what you will spend on a daily basis! In my daily budget I like to include my accommodation, transportation, food and fun. This will obviously change from country to country or even sometimes city to city. For instance, in Thailand I was able to stick to $30 USD a day and in most of Europe $80 USD a day. In order to more easily stick to my budget I make sure to get cash out every few days. That way I do not loose track of what I am swiping away on my card. Remember when creating your budget to include most of the major activities that you would like to do in the place that you are visiting. You may never be there again and do not want to regret not doing the snorkeling excursion!
- Book flights in the right place: There are tons of sights that will help you get the best deal when booking a flight. My favorite is called skyscanner.com! Here you can either enter the exact dates that you would like to fly or your can check out the entire month to see which days are the cheapest to fly on. The site also has a setting where you can enter your starting location and then enter your destination as “everywhere”. This way it will pull up all the cheapest places to fly in the world during the time frame that you would like to go. It also makes for a fun way to choose your next travel spot! Another tip when it comes to the airport is to just use a carry on, there is usually no need for more than that (unless you are heading to the cold).
- Be smart with your phone: Make sure to call your phone provider to see what their fees are for using your phone while out of the country. Chances are it may be a bit expensive! In this case just turn off the cellular and voice data once you have left. You can either buy a new sim card in the country that you are visiting for a decent price or you can simply use your phone when it is connected to wifi (for Iphones the imessage and facetime will still work)! The wifi route can be a bit intimidating because it can be hard to use it while out and about, but most cafes or coffee shops will let you use theirs. If you need the GPS to get around town then you can download the directions before disconnecting from wifi and continue to use them while walking around as long as you do not close out the screen!
- Hostels, hostels, hostels: So hostels are obviously the cheaper option when thinking about accommodation. They also happen to be the spot to make friends and get all the best local tips! If you are a little lost on where to find the best ones then check out hostelworld.com or the hostelworld app! Here you can add filters to better find exactly what you are looking for. My go to filters are price and distance from city center. Another way to get your hostel for a better price is to show up and book last minute. They will usually drop the prices because they are trying to fill extra beds! I always only book my bed for one night at a time unless the hostel is really full. That way you will get a discount each day and also are not strapped to that area for the next few days if you would like to move on. Part of the beauty of traveling is that you are free to move at your own pace!
- Use public transportation: Using public transportation saves you money, allows you to see more of the town and builds some serious confidence! Public transportation can range from a few cents to a few dollars, and really beats the taxi prices. While using public transportation you are stepping into the shoes of the locals. This way you can see more of the real town than just the tourist areas! It additionally offers a bit of a confidence boost. Being able to leave the airport or finding your way through foreign area where they speak a completely different language can be overwhelming. But can it can also feel like a huge accomplishment!
- Pack meals: Did you know that you can bring food through the airport? So my first tip here is to pack a meal in some kind of tupperware to bring through the airport. Check out the TSA website to find better details one what is and what is not okay to carry through security. This way you can both save money while waiting for your flight and then you will have the container to pack your meals in throughout the trip!
- FREE walking tours: Walking tours are one of my favorite things to do when first arriving in a new area! It gives you the lay of the land that way you are able to pick what you would like to focus on. It also gives you a great way to meet others in the area!