Traveling used to be so elusive, especially to those who have less or no means to afford that plane ticket to their dream destination.
Now that the tides have turned, more and more airlines have made traveling accessible to almost everyone. Budget travel has become a trend. You do not need to be rich to be able to see the world.
Sure, you need that money. But to be able to squeeze in that budget for a 5-day trip, what you need is a strategy. Here are some travel tips to get you through that shoestring budget of yours:
Book in Advance
Ideally, you should book your tickets several months before your desired date. Do not expect to get cheap tickets when you book a month before your trip. The closer you are to your desired travel date, the more expensive it gets.
Also, make sure to book your return flight as well. Once you are in the country of your choice without a guaranteed flight back home, it will cost you more to book that ticket.
Try booking in an incognito browser. Frequent travelers say that booking in an incognito browser increases your chances of getting cheaper flight tickets.
Plan Around Off-Peak Travel Times
Traveling during the peak season will drain your wallet. During this season, hotels, tour packages, and airline tickets are priced ridiculously.
If you really cannot get away with that itch in your soles, try considering going during off-peak season. Just keep in mind that each country has different off-peak times. Doing a little research will help you decide better. What is a little rain if you finally get to visit your dream travel destination, right?
Stay in Hostels
Staying in hotels can be expensive. It is a high-class service; what do you expect?
If you are a budget traveler, your best option is to stay in hostels. It will not only help you save money, but the experience will also give you an authentic feel of how it feels like to be a backpacker.
Some hostels allow you to book a bed while you share the entire room with other travelers. Beds are a lot cheaper, so, in this case, you might even get to meet new friends during your trip and be able to bring home happier memories that you did not expect you would get when you were just planning the trip.
Get City Tourist Cards
Some countries offer city tourist cards that will help you maximize your stay. These cards offer discounts to public transportations, sometimes even free ones. They can also get your tickets to attractions like amusement parks, national galleries, and museums at a lower price.
Again, doing some research before your flight will help you achieve more during this trip. It would not hurt to know first what type of tourist benefits the city you are visiting offers so as also to help your shoestring budget to survive the trip.
Travel Light, Pack Properly
You do not want to be stuck in an airport, ditching some of the items inside your suitcase into a dumpster just because you went beyond the required baggage. And since you are traveling on a tight budget, your only choice is to leave something behind rather than paying for the excess baggage fee.
This is what happens when you do not travel light. The key to achieving this is to get the perfect carry-on size luggage for you.
But hear this, traveling light does not mean underpacking. You do not want to unexpectedly shop for clothes while you are there because you ran out of shirts, pants or worse, undergarments.
Plan what items to bring, pack them properly inside your bag, and you will not have to worry about a thing.
Embrace Public Transportation
Do not be a baby when it comes to public transportation. That is the easiest and the cheapest to get you around the city and across towns. It might get a little crowded, it might get a little annoying, but that is the joy of traveling—it gives you a peek into the usual lives of locals.
Another factor to consider when you embrace public transportation is long travel hours. Since airplane tickets can be costly to transfer from one city to another, try if there is an available bus or train to get you to your next destination.
You have to endure the long hours, but it will fit your budget. Just plan your schedule accordingly.
Eat at Local Restaurants
Eating at local restaurants is part of the most authentic ways to experience a new city. It adds texture to the whole trip, and it can get quite exciting to discover underrated places.
Local eats may even be cheaper than going where the tourists are. If you are staying in a hostel, you can ask your host or the locals around you where they eat.
Hire Local Guides
Instead of booking a tour package through a travel agency, hiring local guides is more affordable.
Aside from it being way cheaper, you also help the natives of the place thrive. At least through this, you know that all the money they are earning goes entirely to them and not to the travel company.
Hiring a local guide can get you even more details about the place. They live there, so they know exactly what to tell you. Be ready for trivia and facts, for sure you will learn something exciting about the place through them.
Earn While You Travel
Apparently, you can earn while you travel. Depending on what country you are visiting, part-time jobs are available anywhere if you know where to look.
If you plan on staying in a country for weeks or months, use your extra time wisely by working. In Spain, for example. There is a website that helps you find a family looking for a day babysitter. In Thailand, you can teach English to some locals.
There are a lot of ways on how to earn while you travel, just ask around and look at the right places.
Do not be intimidated by the fact that traveling can be expensive. If you find the right ways to fund that trip, do not hesitate, and do it.