The prospect of travelling on a budget tends to come out of necessity rather than preference…
… after all, the majority of people would prefer to stay in luxurious holiday rentals rather than budget hostels, yet just because you’re having to work with a tight travel budget, doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing trip. In fact, often times, those with the tightest of budgets end up experiencing a lot more than people who are staying in swanky hotels, as their experience is much more “local” and authentic.
That said, when it comes to travelling on a tight budget there are two vital ingredients; and they operate in a similar way to a see-saw. The first ingredient is money and the second ingredient is resourcefulness… the less money you have, the more resourcefulness you’re going to need and similarly, if you’re known for being resourceful then there’s a good chance you can survive on a tighter travel budget than most.
The key to travelling on a tight budget is to make sure you have as much disposable cash as possible and the best way do this is to reduce your two main expenses; accommodation and flights.
Furthermore, whilst it might be more convenient and comfortable to hire a car than get a bus, the amount you are likely to save could allow you to do all sorts of fun activities such as hot air ballooning that will be much more fulfilling and memorable.
This article therefore looks at how to reduce your two core travel expenses.
Flights tend to take a pretty large chunk out of your travel fund, however, if you can be flexible with your dates and departure/arrival airports then you can save a lot of money, as often you can save a few hundred dollars simply by travelling on a different day or to an airport that’s not as ideal - for instance, Paris Orly rather than Paris Charles de Gaulle.
Searching for cheap flights, today, has been made a lot easier by comparison engines such as Skyscanner that compares hundreds of flights by almost every airline in the world. The basic premise with flights is that the more flexible you can be the cheaper the flights will be. Just be sure that you have booked some kind of transportation from the airport as well. For example, if in Australia, maxi cab melbourne airport is one of the most reliable in Victoria, and they don’t charge you extortionate prices, so it’s well worth giving them a look. Or, if you aren’t staying that far from the airport, at least ensure that you know how to get there. Whether you have it saved on your phone or you’ve got a map, you need to be safe once you get off the plane.
WORK FOR YOUR ACCOMMODATION
Even in countries that are known for being cheap in terms of hotel accommodation, such as India, a relatively comfortable room can still cost a fair amount (i.e. $15) which will add up pretty fast if you’re travelling long term.
If you’re into slow travel and are happy to have a base for a few months, then a good option is to rent an apartment, or even a room in someone’s house as this can be a lot cheaper. Indeed, if you rent out a three bedroom apartment and list it on AirBnB it can actually end up making you money, rather than costing you money.
The other thing to consider is the option of working with sites such as workaway that essentially allow you to trade a few hours each day in return for free food and accomodation, from the host.