The rush of researching new destinations, of reading about places unknown, of browsing places of attractions and exploring options to stay at. All of this and more, only to be let down by the distressing problem behind – budget!
What if you could travel anywhere in the world, travel to places of your choice and be enriched with a multitude of experiences, only by following a few travel hacks?
Keeping that in mind, we bring to you our 15 genius travel hacks for when you’re on a limited budget.
1) Off Season Travel
While this may seem as an obvious solution, a lot of people still don’t seem to use it. While travelling in off-season might not always be possible for those travelling with their families, it is a great option for couples or solo travelers. Not only are the prices of hotels cheaper, you would even notice that there are fewer tourists around which would ideally make your travel experience more worthwhile.
If you’re travelling with your family, then this might not be an ideal option for you. However, if you are a solo traveler or a couple, then staying at hostels or homestays would be a good way to cut back on your budget. The pros also include close contact with locals and fellow travelers which can be great for idea and experience exchange.
3) Treasure Experiences
Yes, you would probably visit that place only once in your life, so you would want to include as much as you can in your itinerary. While that may be a good idea if you want to simply tick places off your list, it can also leave you dissatisfied. You would realize that while you did get to see most places, you were hardly able to live the experiences. So, chalk out your days well and plan your itinerary accordingly. Don’t crowd too many things. You don’t just want to take back photos but also the adventures.
4) Offbeat Paths
When in Rome, you cannot possibly miss the Colosseum, but you also shouldn’t miss the Basilica of St. Clement or Parco Savello, the garden of oranges which are not much tourist centric places, but offer equally good insight about the Roman culture and the city. You will also notice that entry tickets to such places are often much less expensive as compared to the popular spots and in some cases, also free.
5) Book in Advance
While this needs no reminding, a lot of people fail to implement proper planning in advance. As a result of this, you end up spending a fortune on flight tickets and then you might have to make compromises with the choice of hotels. It is recommended that you book your international flight minimum 4 months in advance and domestic flight minimum 2 months in advance to get the benefit of cheap fares.
6) Choose a Visa-Free Country
While you may argue that visa cost is not much, it still amounts to a minimum of $50 on an average. Unless you have set your mind on a particular destination, try and look for options that offer free visa to your nation.
7) Frequent Flier Miles
While most of us are perhaps unaware or too lazy to use this concept, it is something that can prove to be pretty good for your flight bookings. This is especially true if you are someone who has to travel a lot for work. Save up and accumulate your flier miles so that when you have to go on a holiday, you can use them up for a free upgrade or even a free ticket. Most airlines have this program. Sign up with the airline you most frequently travel on.
8) Opt for Walking Tours
Unconventional for most, walking tours are actually a fantastic way to uncover a city. Not only do you get to explore nooks and corners, you also get to meet local on your way. Usually, walking tours are only for 2/3 hours, so this leaves you with a lot time at leisure. Oh and of course, great way to save cost.
9) Public Transport
For the coy travelers, this might be a difficult thing to process, but for those who like independent travel, public transport is the best and the most cost-effective option. Most cities are tourist friendly and offer daily/weekly/monthly travel passes for their local transport. You are not just saving some bucks, you are also exploring the city like the locals would.
10) Shop at Local Markets
Why go shop from international brands in a foreign country when you have the same brand in your city too? Instead, go and explore the local markets. You will find great deals on a multiple thing and also some priceless collections as souvenirs. This not only helps you save money, but it also provides for a boost to the local economy.
Side note – local shop owners are usually the sweetest and the friendliest people would meet, so be sure to interact politely with them and they will give you some of the best deals.
11) Learn to Haggle
If you are going to shop local, you must know how to haggle. Usually in these shops, the prices of things are highly inflated so do some prior research or just ask around to know the actual price of things you’re interested in. A good way to go about it is to compare what best price can be offered to you in multiple shops and then settle for the one you find best. Bargain your way to some great cheap deals.
12) Local Alcohol
If you are somebody who enjoys their drinks, then you might want to try local alcohol to save you some money. If you are particular about your brand of drink, then leave out this point, but if you are open to experimenting, then don’t miss out the local flavours (especially Beers).
Please note that local alcohol might not suit everybody so make sure that even if you are having local booze, you are not compromising on its quality. I would strongly recommend trying only local beers in booze, not other hard drinks.
13) Street Food
What better way to know more about a place that to eat their delicious street food? I have observed over the past few years that you learn a lot about a place from their usage of spices and herbs. Each place has a distinct local flavour. To not eat their street food would be akin to doing injustice to the place you travelled to.
14) Travel Light
Only if you don’t want to waste money on excess baggage at the airport!
15) Be Idealistic About Your Destination
You might want to go far and wide but you need to be realistic about how much it would cost you to travel to the destination of your choice. I always recommend a cost sheet analysis for how much you’re willing to spend per day on food, accommodation, transport and sightseeing daily. Once you have that ready, compare it with destinations you want to travel to and select the one which is the closest match. While you may spend a few extra bucks here and there, you would at least know where not to go overboard.
So, what did you think of our ingenious travel hacks? If you have some more, then share them with us, we’d love to know!