Travelling on a budget can be tough, but also fun and challenging. Here are top tips on how you can travel on a budget, but still have a great experience.
When travelling on a budget always keep an eye out for deals. Such deals may be for transportation, hotels, or even for activities while you are there.
When I travel around Europe I often use FlixBus, as they sometimes have incredible deals. One of those allowed me to visit Berlin from Vienna for just €9.99 each way.
You will often be able to sign up to the mailing list of airlines and other services, which may mean you are one of the first to hear about deals.
Use public transport to get around (or walk)
Taking taxis, Uber and other such things will quickly burn away your money. So whenever possible walk or use public transportation, such as subway systems, trains, buses etc. Of course always be safe, so if you are walking around at night and think you are in an unsafe area, then grabbing a taxi may be the best thing to do. Read my post 20 Tips for Keeping you and your Possessions Safe Whilst Travelling for more safety tips.
When travelling on a budget you will probably still eat out occasionally, but you can save a lot of money by avoiding restaurants. Instead, buy sandwiches from grocery stores or bakeries, or go to fast food joints such as Subway. What I often do when I travel is mix it up, so I have some meals at restaurants and then some cheaper meals at fast food type places.
Cook at a hostel/apartment
Continuing on from avoiding restaurants, you should also try and eat out as little as possible. Instead stay in an Airbnb or hostel and use the cooking facilities there and you will find yourself saving loads of money. Of course, before you start booking your accommodation do your research to check they provide such facilities.
Take a water bottle
Buying bottled water when travelling can add up. Therefore depending on where you go take a Water Bottle with a purifier.
Although using a bottle such as below will work for some destinations, if you are travelling in a developing country buying bottled may be the safest thing to do. Just always do your research in advance on how safe the tap water is to drink.
Book in advance
I personally prefer to book flights and accommodation in advance. Some people prefer to book last minute. But for me, I think you are taking a risk and unless you have very flexible travel plans, then you may get caught out and have to spend more than you intend to. However booking as you go can also be a fun way to travel, so also bear that in mind.
Stay in a hostel
A dormitory room in a hostel is often the cheapest accommodation and great for those on a budget. However, as you will be sharing the room with others, as well as bathroom facilities this may not be for you. Hostels do often have private rooms as well, which cost more than a dormroom but should be cheaper than a hotel.
Set a daily budget
If you are travelling for a long time, then having a daily budget is vital so as to not run out of money. Before travelling work out how much you will have each day, and then set yourself a daily budget which will cover all your expenses. You could also be somewhat flexible, such as if you plan to do a more expensive activity one day, then take some money out of the budget for the next day and do less on that day.
Avoid using your debit and credit card
I personally love to use my debit and credit card to pay for things. However, when I travel I will avoid it as much as possible. The reason for this it’s just too easy and your spending will quickly add up. As well as this many banks charge fees for using your cards abroad, and this is on each transaction.
For that reason, I recommend either taking cash, traveller’s cheques, or getting enough money out of an ATM while at the destination that will last you for a while.
If you are going on short trips, then try and only take hand luggage rather than packing a huge heavy suitcase. By doing this you can avoid paying for checked luggage on flights. It will also save time as you won’t have to check-in or collect your luggage, and it also saves lugging the suitcase around.
Avoid shopping and buying gifts
As I am a regular traveller I rarely buy gifts or do any shopping when I travel. I simply travel for experiences and to take photographs. If you do the same and stay away from gift shops and malls, then you will find yourself saving lots of money when you travel.
Use City Cards
If you’re like me then you may want to see as much as possible when you travel. A great way to do this is to get a City Card, such as the one below for Tallinn. Using a card like this will often give you entry (or discounts) into many of the cities attractions, as well as free use of the public transport. However before purchasing cards like this, always check you will be doing enough activities to make it worthwhile.
Overall if you are travelling on a budget then you will need to be really strict with yourself and generally be very aware of what you are spending your money on. Before you spend anything ask yourself as to whether you really need to do the activity, or spend that money.
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