Seeing the world can be ridiculously expensive, but not when you know a few important things about budget travel. So you want to fly from Boston to Africa for a nature and wildlife experience, just as you saw in the movies Blended and the comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy? Yes you can, and you do not have to break the bank to do that. Here are ridiculously simple ways to travel on a low budget and have an exemplary experience at the same time. And no, low budget does not mean cheap travel experience. You will enjoy a high quality experience and save money. Remember, there is life after traveling.
Adapt to local foods and drinks
Food is a serious money guzzler since you get hungry all the time. Therefore, when you get to a foreign country, try hard to adapt to the local grub to save money. If you buy anything touristy, you will pay through your nose for the food. Remember, business people assume you have money and therefore anything targeted at the tourist is sold at ridiculously extravagant prices. One of the best ways to experience a new culture is through eating their food, listening to their music and interacting with the locals. Local food is cheap, a good way to save money on your travels and experience new tastes.
Do not book a hotel, use Airbnb
It is cheaper that way. You can join the travelers’ forums online and see what they say about this. Whatever alternative you will find for a hotel, it will cost you a fraction of what the hotel could have cost you. At the same time, Airbnb is now operating in almost all countries of the world, so it does not matter where you are headed because it is most likely operating there. Some boutique hotels have also decided to offer their accommodation services through this service. From their website, you can host on Airbnb any property anywhere in the world. This is a money saver for any thrifty traveler.
Do not check in your luggage
Yes, that is right, you can measure your bags at home before you leave and make sure they are below the weight allowed by the airline. If you can travel as light as possible, that would be better for various reasons. One, it means you will not check in your luggage at the airport, thus, you will save money. Two, it means you will not have a lot to carry when you get to your destination, thus you can walk some distances instead of hailing a cab. Three, it means there is no chance for excess weight which airlines charge dearly.
Most of the stuff that you carry at home can be found in the destination country anyway, and if you are traveling to the developing country, they are most likely going to be cheaper. This is the 21st century, you know, not Stone Age.
Do not eat at the hotel’s restaurant
You will probably pay more money for food if you eat at the in-house restaurant than you would pay for the same food a few blocks away. Even back at home, do not eat in hotel or resort restaurants because they charge too much. Tell you what, you could save even more than $5 for a meal when you eat in a standalone restaurant.
Another reason why you should not eat at an in-house restaurant is that the food is likely to be bland. Because you are traveling on a budget, you are surely not staying at a hotel that employs a celebrity chef, are you? Try something different a few blocks away, surprise your taste buds, will you?
Only carry what is absolutely necessary
Make a minimalist travel checklist. Just a change of clothes, your medication, a few items of personal hygiene, your cell phone, laptop/tablet and a portable water filter. The rest of the stuff you can buy when you get to your destination. Believe it or not, you will not use all of them and anyway, you are just traveling, not moving house. Do not make that travel backpack or suitcase too bulky. You will regret it.
Carry your own food when taking a road trip
If you have to buy everything on the way, you will spend quite a lot. If you are taking a road trip locally, make your own snacks at home and pack them, enough to last you the time you will be away. If you are traveling to another country, pack your own snacks in the morning and carry them with you. You can order them from a local restaurant where you will be taking breakfast.
Eat a nice, heavy breakfast
If you eat a good breakfast in the morning, you will not feel the hunger pangs as much during the day. In any case, you will have packed your own snacks as you can see above. This is also the time for you to pack healthy stuff like locally grown apples, oranges and bananas. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly before eating.
Self-drive your rental car
Do you have an international license? Are you allowed to drive in the country you are visiting with your license? If yes, do not hire a chauffeured car as you will also be paying the driver. You can hire a self-drive car, buy a map at the car rental and drive yourself around. It is much easier and enjoyable to see the country that way than using public transport. But public transport too is a money saver, isn’t it?
Use the cheapest type of public transport
Avoid cabs. You will pay through the nose. In some countries, using buses is cheaper, and in some, using trains is cheaper. Do your own research and find out what travel means will save more money. However, if you are traveling in some countries in Africa and Asia, do find out whether it is safe for a foreigner to use public transport.
Do not break the law
Drunken and disorderly, traffic offenses and so on… you cannot believe how much money tourists lose every year by breaking the laws of the countries they travel to. Police bonds and cash bails… they are really not worth it. Take life easy, do not stay outside your accommodation too late into the night. Read about the traffic laws of that country. Always remember you are not at home.
Walk if it is safe
You can have a lot of fun by walking and interacting with the locals on your budget travel experience especially in Europe. Transport is one of the things that eat into a budget traveler’s budget and therefore if you can walk instead of taking a cab, do it. Save that money.