If your thirst for adventure is restricted by the money in your bank account, don’t panic! You’re not the first person to dream of foreign lands while rummaging down the back of the couch for spare change, and you won’t be the last.
The problem is that travel is an essential part of the human experience, and we need it to be able to unwind our stresses and escape from the daily grind. If you have a yearning to see the world but money is holding you back, then these realistic budget tips might just help trim the fat from your holiday expenses.
Travel not tourism
There is a huge divide between being a traveler and being a tourist.
Tourists are going to spend their money on every tour, excursion, experience, and souvenir they can find. Prices inevitably go up when it comes to tourist proximity.
Travelers can reduce their budget easily by committing to the laidback life of a traveler. Pick your destination carefully, taking time to ensure that you are missing the most tourist-heavy seasons. Avoid that by going off the beaten track.
Save money when it comes to souvenirs as well. The internet makes it easy to get gifts no matter where they come from or where you are in the world, and by not buying for every aunt, uncle, and cousin, you’re saving money on both the gifts and the cost of getting them home. Also, remember that restaurants and bars in the center of tourist-heavy destinations are usually very expensive, so download some good travel apps and learn to eat like a local, and your budget will go a lot further.
Saving on Entertainment
While it’s nice to mentally picture yourself interrailing across Europe with lots of staring romantically out of the window and watching the world go by, the truth is that travel often has long periods where you’re just waiting for the next destination. That’s where your entertainment comes in. Those people who don’t have to worry about costs can usually rely on their Spotify and Netflix subscriptions, but if you want to reduce your costs, then you should cancel your subscription.
Don’t worry, you can still watch films and listen to music! Spend some time before leaving on downloading your favorite albums and tracks, which you can do easily by using YouTube and SoundCloud and a handy mp3 recorder PC that you can add to your phone, tablet, or laptop.
You can also use your Kindle to download a massive library of free books, meaning you don’t have to drag your copy of War and Peace around with you, as the weight of real books can add a lot to your luggage fees!
One of the biggest costs when traveling is accommodation. Avoid hotels like the plague and your costs will go down very quickly indeed. Escape the astronomical fees that hotels are known for, and look instead at alternative options.
For those on a shoestring budget, hostels and Airbnb listings can be very cost-effective, although Airbnb is not available everywhere just yet. There are also resources for couchsurfing, and that will reduce your accommodation costs to zero! Obviously, if you’re visiting somewhere that is the home of friends or relatives, then make use of those as the ultimate budget-saver.
Whether you’re off to Asia, backpacking around Europe, or driving across the United States, always look for ways to reduce your budget. The tighter the control you have over your expenses, the more that you can spend on having fun!