The Practical Traveler: Three Tips for Staying on Budget

woman traveling

So many people are born wanderlusts but never have the chance to feed their spirits because they don’t have the financial freedom to afford it. Traditionally, traveling for pleasure was only reserved for the highly affluent, but the times have changed a lot since then. Today, anyone can travel if they want.

Traveling means going to a place you’ve never been to before and discovering what they have to offer. It’s not about staying at the most expensive hotels or eating the most expensive meals; rather, it’s about experiencing a culture that’s different from what you’ve grown to know. Here are three tips you can use to travel on a budget:

1. Find Multiple Options for Accommodations

The main point of traveling is to explore the city or town where you’re going and gain experiences. You’re not going to spend all your time inside your hotel room aside from sleeping and getting a change of clothes, so there’s no reason why you should spend half of your travel budget on accommodation.

Instead of splurging on five-star hotels, take the time to look for affordable accommodations that are near the places you’re going to. Hostels, home-sharing apartments on Airbnb, or three-star hotels will do if you’re not staying for too long. This way, you can use your money on more activities and experiences.

Another travel tip you can use is to book your trips during off-seasons because the flights, accommodations, and tours are much cheaper around those months. If you’re not in a hurry to travel, choose to go on off-season months so you can take advantage of the deals and promos offered.

2. Research the Food Scene So That You Don’t Overspend

Singaporean laksa

One of the best ways to get to know a new place is by eating the local food and immersing yourself in the culture. But that can be difficult to do when you’re not traveling with a local who can show you all the best restaurants and establishments that you should try. So you have to do your own research.

Before your trip to Singapore, for instance, take the time to research the local food scene to find the renowned food hubs in the city. You might even get lucky and come across a list of restaurants where you can eat, which you can refer to for your own trip. At least this way, you’ll know that you won’t be disappointed because you’ll be eating at a place that a lot of other people recommend.

Doing your homework will also give you the chance to gauge the usual prices of food, which can allow you to set an appropriate meal budget. It’s so easy to overspend on food, especially because the mere smell and appearance of food are so appetizing. But preparing in advance will help you stay within budget.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Public Transportation

Lastly, when traveling to a foreign city, it pays to know how to move around the city because it will help you save money on transportation. If you don’t have a car, you’ll be tempted to ride a cab to get to wherever you need to go, but doing so can quickly rack up your expenses by a lot.

However, if you familiarize yourself with the local modes of public transportation and how you can get from one place to another, you’ll be able to save so much money. Plus, you won’t have to be dependent on cabs alone because you’ll know that you have other options to get around aside from them.

But even if you don’t learn everything you need to know before your trip, you can always ask the locals for directions when you get lost. It might be frightening to get lost in a foreign city, but it can also be a good chance to explore the place with no definite plan in mind. You just go where your feet take you and work your way from there.

Sometimes, getting lost in a foreign city is exactly what you need to enjoy your trip. Sure, it may be scary at first, but you’ll be able to look back at that moment in the future with fondness in your heart because getting lost brought you to a hidden gem, like a quaint cafe or a local art scene.

You can plan and enjoy a trip anywhere in the world without putting a hole through your pockets. It’s not impossible to travel within a budget, especially if you can plan your travel details and itinerary down to the last detail. But make sure to always leave room for some spontaneity because you need the chance to be reckless and foolish too.