11 Aug Traveling Tips for Those Operating on a Tight Budget
The call of wanderlust can’t simply be ignored. Once you hear it and once you feel the excitement of traveling and discovering the unknown, chances are that you will live your life from one journey to the next one, without really paying attention to what is happening in your life in the meantime.
However, traveling costs money and this is a devastating fact that can’t be put aside. In order to go from one place to another, you need money, and there isn’t a replacement for that. In order to follow your dreams and get to know the world by conquering one place at a time, you need to become resourceful.
It is possible to travel on a very tight budget, but it is a necessity that you pay close attention to where each dime you invest goes. If you can’t pay the price of luxury, then you need to learn how to find loopholes. So, find out how to take shortcuts and see everything you ever wanted to.
For starters, we should pay attention to the actual traveling. Of course, your choice of transportation is normally affected by where you live because that is your starting point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t switch different methods.
When it comes to cars…
Everyone who’s a travel enthusiast dreams about a car road trip; being on the open road, stopping whenever you want to and depending on no one and nothing is very tempting. However, if you want to drive, you need to be aware of the fact you need to rest. So, your road trip needs to be carefully planned because safety comes first.
Should you or should you not take a car with you also depends on the distance you want to pass; if you’re going to the opposite part of your continent and you’re limited by time, you should reconsider because the chances are you’ll spend the whole trip in the car.
Naturally, gas money can be a problem, but you can pick up some work on your next destination until you earn enough to move further. Of course – if time isn’t a factor for you. At least, navigation is a simple issue to solve – all you need is your smartphone nowadays.
Rentals aren’t as expensive as most people think – you just need to do your homework. Naturally, luxury isn’t an option here and all your focus should be on finding a vehicle that will transport you to the next stop. “Tank of Gas” on Tripadvisor.com can be very helpful with this matter.
When it comes to trains…
Being my favorite transportation method, I would recommend trains. Unlike busses – which aren’t on this list for a very good reason – trains provide comfort which is an imperative puzzle piece you need to enjoy your travels. There is enough room for you to walk around, you won’t be in the constant state of numbness because of sitting, and you can nicely pay attention to the areas you’re going through.
My suggestion is to always get a set of tickets which you can use during the whole month, a couple of months, or for a full year – it depends on the company. The overall price will be a lot cheaper and you can use your tickets whenever, so it doesn’t matter if you miss your train, or decide to stay in one place longer.
When it comes to airplanes…
In order to find cheap airline tickets, you need to become a vulture that never sleeps. There’s not a better piece of advice than this – the price of plain tickets changes constantly depending on the popularity of a certain line. Airplane companies also often offer different discounts and loyalty programs.
So, you should have them all bookmarked on your PC and sign up for their newsletters so that you’re always up to date with every piece of news there is. However, in order to travel like this, you need not have any fixed responsibilities and you need to have your suitcase packed at all times.
Finding the right destination for you next trip may be tricky, but the secret to choosing the right one is in doing your research properly. There are three different ways to select a destination that will fit into a tight budget.
Of course, there are worldwide famous spots on the globe that every travel enthusiast wants to see. However, don’t get surprised if your high expectations aren’t met; popular destinations are usually so overcrowded that you can’t really see what you wanted to see. If you truly want to get to know the spirit of a certain people, you should go with less-known destinations which aren’t crawling with tourists and which are a lot less pricey.
In order to enjoy cities like Barcelona or Amsterdam, my piece of advice is to visit them off-season. The fact that Paris is rarely presented as an attraction during winter doesn’t mean that it will be any less beautiful.
Popular but Cheap
Mass-tourism got its popularity and now it is possible to find a seriously cheap arrangement to visit a desired location. However, I must warn you once again to be ready for it and not get a panic attack when you find yourself in the sea of tourists that’s carrying you on walking tours through a particular destination, as if it were a current.
So, you have finally arrived to the location you’ve been dreaming about for way too long – and what now? Although there are a ton of different guides online where you can read everything there’s to know about your destination, my suggestion is to listen to the locals. Whenever you’re in doubt about something, find someone who’s born there and consult them about what you need – no one can give you a better piece of advice. Other than that, there are a couple more things you should know about.
Avoid Tourist Attraction
Most tourist attractions are made for tourists only. If you would ask a local person how often do they visit a certain monument or a place which is on all postcards and online guides, they will probably show a lack of interest for it. Naturally, this doesn’t go for every single one of them, but you should be aware of the fact that those places are tourist magnets which are way too pricy. My suggestion is to steer clear of them and make your own route.
Search for Discounts
This is something that will work better if done in advance but you should still apply it on the spot; make sure that everything you get is on a discount. It is possible for you to have a lot of fun and still not spend your last dime, but you need to be clever about it. Therefore, you should use everything you have – local food coupons, military discounts, price cuts due to group visits – anything that comes to your mind. This way, you’ll be able to see your favorite performers, go to opera houses, and visit special museum exhibitions and still work inside a predetermined budget.
Although I very much envy people who need only a bench to get a good night’s sleep, this isn’t an option for me. Being surrounded by luxury and all the comfort of the world isn’t really necessary, but I find it impossible to move around the globe without knowing that there’s a shower and a bed waiting for me somewhere.
Instead of going with hotels, you can search for options which are under the radar and go with renting. Hotels and room service have their perks, but being in an apartment by yourself provides all the privacy you need, and it is cheaper.
Hotels that don’t have five stars and a famous name might be an option for you. They too offer different kinds of discounts every now and then, so you should keep track of the changes and I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that fits your budget.
Go with Motels
If privacy isn’t really your concern, motels are the obvious choice. You can find them all around the world; the cheaper ones are a bit further from the center of town, but they do have a bed and a shower for you, which is enough for a night, or a couple of them.
This is a more radical solution, but perhaps the best one. There are different travel enthusiast groups you can join and they are not strangers to swapping homes. If you can find someone whose geographical location is on your list of must-sees, then I suggest to go with this option and make arrangements that can last for a week, a month, or more even.
Something like money shouldn’t stay on the way of your dreams. You can see everything you always wanted to and spend your whole life traveling, but it will be necessary for you to become a resourceful strategist. Take every plan seriously, break it into the smallest details, and don’t pay for anything that wasn’t in the primary cost list. With this kind of discipline and research, you’ll be able to travel the world.