In a world where everything seems to be getting more expensive by each passing day, travelling the world can seem like a distant reality. With rising airfares and unforeseen circumstances that chip into your planned savings, it’s easy to feel like you will never be able to travel to your dream destination.
The good news though is that with increasing globalization, the possibilities of travelling without burning a hole in your pocket are endless. By preparing a realistic budget and working on a few travel hacks, you can ensure that you never run out of money for your trip. So here are 10 tips that will allow you to wander around the world on a budget!
Use Frequent Flier Points/Miles
This is applicable not just for flights, but also for hotel chains, cards and travel websites. Most global brands have a reward system for references or customer loyalty. By using their services exclusively over a period, they are great to use for free services or upgrades during travel. If you haven’t been using any of these, look around for brands that offer major sign up benefits/freebies to lure first time users.
Be flexible with your flight
If you are not following a tight schedule, check alternate routes or flights with a long layover to save on costs. For long layovers, airlines often even offer free city tours for certain routes giving you a chance to explore a new destination for free. Travelling during the off-season or what the travel industry often refers to as “shoulder periods” is the best way to save money as airlines and hotels offer major last-minute deals since it’s not a popular time to travel.
Sleep for cheap
Estimate how much time are you going to use your room for? If it’s just to sleep and freshen up, then booking an affordable apartment or staying in a centrally located hostel will help save you a lot of money. If you are keen on booking a room with a good view and amenities, try and search for options away from the touristy centres. To get in more customers, they offer the best deals possible. You can always explore the local attractions and make that short trip back to your hotel or apartment to sleep.
Look for free activities
There are free activities to do in every part of the world if you do your research well. Look at local online groups or community calendars to get the activity schedules around the city. Walking tours, museums and local markets regularly offer their services for free or offer student discounts. By signing up for their email alerts, you will get access to all the new deals that are currently available.
Shop at a farmers market/local stores
Farmer’s markets offer the lowest price of food for the best local ingredients you can find in the city. Not only will this give you a chance to get a taste of their authentic cuisine, but also help save on those expensive dining options. Ask locals around for the best places to shop and try your hand at cooking in your apartment.
Travel like the locals
Walk around as much as you can to explore the smaller parts of the city. For longer distances, using public transport can give you a great insight into local life. If you do insist on using private transport, renting a bike or booking shared transport can be the most cost-effective option. Depending on the region, private car rental providers also offer you a chance to bid on the rental cost for last-minute rentals.
Sleep while travelling
While travelling between destinations, you can save a lot if you travel overnight. Whether it’s a plane, bus or a train, you can skip paying for the night’s accommodation. Even for local transport, overnight trains or buses are well equipped with beds or facilities that will provide you with a good night’s sleep prepping you for an activity-filled day post-travel.
Use free apps instead of buying a local sim
Using free calling or video calling apps can help you save money on telecom carrier services. You can use the free WiFi available in restaurants or train stations to download the information you will need beforehand. If you are more comfortable with having easy access to data in remote areas, buy a data-only plan locally instead of spending a lot on calling cards.
Avoid card transaction fees
Before you start your travel, check for best deals on travel cards that let you skip withdrawal or transaction fees. You can even carry two cards to split the transactions or get maximum benefits out of both. Check for cards that offer you points on food and travel to “earn” while you travel.
Bring your own airport snacks
A lot of times, you may catch yourself splurging on munchies even before you start your trip. That’s because once you pass through security, food prices can more than double. By carrying your own airport snacks, you can save significantly on these unwanted costs.
Finally, the most important thing to do is to keep track of your expenses. As cumbersome as it sounds, once you see the amount of money it saves for you while exploring the world, it is easy to make a habit out of it.