If you ask most people why they don’t travel more, they’ll most likely all give you the same answer: it’s too expensive. Many people have this idea set in stone in their minds that travelling costs a lot of money and only very few can afford it. Fortunately, they’re wrong. Of course, travelling can be expensive, but in this day and age with the aid of the internet, travelling does not have to leave you bankrupt. There are many different ways to travel on a budget, but I have put together a list of the most basic ways that you can stay within (or under) your budget.
1. Save on your hotel
Spending extra money to stay in an extremely fancy hotel is a huge waste of money. When you’re travelling, you’re not there to see the hotel. You’re there to see the town and surrounding areas. So spending large amounts of money on extremely pricey hotels is one way to blow your budget on something that is not a necessity. Instead, book a 3 star hotel which is just fancy enough that you’re comfortable and happy. The most amount of time you will spend in your hotel will be to sleep in it, which makes the extra fancy-ness completely useless the other 80% of your day.
2. Choose a hotel with perks
You’d think that all hotels now offer free WiFi, but they do not. Choose a hotel that offers as many free things as possible such as internet, breakfast, and coffee. The WiFi will help keep your smartphone bill down, the free breakfast will subtract one less meal you have to pay for during your stay, and the coffee will do the same. You might not think that $2 or $3 on coffee adds up, but if you’re paying that much 2 or 3 times a day for 7 days you will find out that it does.
3. Do your research
If you’re flying to your destination, sign up for every airline website you can find. Many of them offer discounts on last minute flights during unpopular days of the week to travel, which you can then take advantage of. Many cities and towns also offer many free festivals and activities. Research the town you’re travelling to ahead of time and see what special deals you can find.
4. Use your legs
If you can, walk everywhere you go or rent a bicycle. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but you will save a ton of money that you would otherwise spend on renting a vehicle and paying for the gas. Walking or cycling around a new town will give you the opportunity to appreciate it in a much more intimate way than driving.
5. 1 in, 2 out
I have a rule whenever I’m travelling anywhere: 1 in, 2 out. What this refers to is meals; 1 meal I prepare myself, 2 I eat out somewhere. I almost always book a hotel that offers free breakfast so most of the time, I’m not spending any money on breakfast. Then I leave my hotel for the day and pack a lunch with me. A sandwich or a granola bar and some fruit is a cheap lunch I can eat anywhere, and then I eat dinner at the hotel restaurant or a local one. You’re saving money on 2 out of 3 meals a day, and that makes a huge difference over the course of a week.
In my opinion, travelling is a necessity in like that I cannot live without. I want to travel to as many places as I can and the best way to do this is to try to save as much as possible. You don’t have to give up many perks or any comfort when trying to travel on a budget. Like most things in life, small changes add up to large ones.