Traveling is considered a luxury these days, whether it’s to a nearby city, a nearby country, or half way across the world. No one seems to have the funds to commit to even go for short trips. Studies show, however, that those who see foreign places are smarter, happier, and more open-minded. Those who travel also turn out to work harder and feel better once they return from their trip.
The positive points to travel still don’t negate the negative ones – how can you travel if you need to stick to a low, tight budget? Here are a few tips to allow you to get the most out of your trip, without needing to spend an arm and a leg.
Finding a place to stay can be the first nail in the coffin for your trip – hotels (and sometimes even motels) can be quite expensive, depending on your destination and length of stay. Under most circumstances, you should work to avoid hotels altogether.
Is there a hostel you can stay at? A room in a hostel may not be a luxury suite, but as long as you don’t mind sharing a room (many hostel rooms are shared by multiple people) and can manage the noise others make when going and coming, you should be just fine. There are also B&B’s (Bed and Breakfast’s), as well as privately owned homes and apartments/flats that could be much cheaper. Explore your options.
Reserve Very Early/Very Late
Whether you’re reserving flights, seats on a train, or accommodations, there are two methods to getting cheaper prices for what you need – booking very early or booking very late.
Everyone knows that booking early can save you money: flights, for example, will only charge their normal, higher prices once the flight time is close enough to catch the attention of your average customer. Booking early can save you money, whether a little or a lot.
Few people know that booking incredibly late can also often save you money. For example, a flight may be desperate to fill the last few seats on their flight for this evening, and they are willing to take 50% off the cost. This, of course, should only be used when you’re willing to take a trip on the fly… otherwise you run the risk of losing a seat on the plane the day you intend to leave for your trip.
Don’t Eat Out
The #1 frivolous cost of an unwary travel is food – if you want to be out seeing the sights of the five best budget travel destinations in the world, the last thing you want to do is spend time shopping for groceries, taking them home, and cooking them. If you rent a hotel room, apartment/flat, or house with a kitchen, spending some time to buy groceries will save you a ton of money – resist the urge to simply go out to eat, as this can kill any well-laid-out budget.
Head to Less Popular Destinations
If you have some choice on where you’ll be going on your trip, you’ll want to aim for less popular destinations.
For example – Orlando, FL, is a popular vacation destination, so you’ll pay high prices to rent a hotel or get a flight to Orlando. Both Fort Myers and Jacksonville are also in Florida, and you may be able to get cheaper flights to those locations. You might also be able to rent a cheap room at a hotel 20-30 minutes from Orlando – renting a car for the period of your trip and driving to and from Orlando might actually save you money in the long run, if you find a hotel that is incredibly cheap. Be creative and see what you can come up with!
Ravish Khapra has a passion for, and extensive experience with, travel writing. His rigorously researched, engaging pieces provide detailed information on destinations around the world, including how to reach these locales, ways to make the most of your trip, and tips on budgeting for maximum return on your travel investment. You can follow him on Google+.