You don’t have to be wealthy to be well travelled. You don’t even have to go very far to be well travelled either… You can do all of your travelling and have a whale of a time in your own country without breaking the bank, using the secret tips of budget travellers…
Take advantage of off-peak early bird specials
Save on plane tickets. Plan your trip in advance and take advantage of early bird prices. Keep an eye on group buying discount sites to see if you can find discounted flights or travel packages.
Travel during off-peak times. Midweek flights at odd hours are usually the cheapest. Finding accommodation mid-week or out of holiday seasons means you’ll save a bundle here as well. Avoid the first/last flight of the day or booking accommodation over long weekends, as you’ll just land up paying more.
Save on transport
Instead of renting a car to get around town, consider renting bicycles. You’ll save money on insurance and petrol, and you wont have to worry about parallel parking wherever you go!
Travel double. Split the costs when you travel with a buddy – share a room instead of booking two. Consider driving and sharing the costs of petrol and tolls. Better yet, avoid the toll roads and take the scenic route – you never know what you might land up experiencing!
Don’t blow your budget
Don’t blow your budget on accommodation. If you’re planning on doing tourist things and sightseeing, chances are you’ll only be in your room when you’re asleep. You don’t need luxury accommodation to get a good night’s sleep, so save your money and book a sensible, yet comfortable budget hotel (like Road Lodge!) and get all the amenities you really need when traveling.
Spending less on accommodation means you can spend more on eating, drinking, sightseeing, partying, shopping, impulse buys, and adventurous activities.
Also don’t waste money on souvenirs or touristy gimmicks. Take pictures, pick leaves, and collect shells. Be a ‘cheapskate’. Memories are the best souvenirs and taking photos is (mostly) free!
Be smart about it
Do your research. Look for guidebooks aimed at budget travellers. Know where you’re going, and what’s available in the surrounding areas. Make sure you know where all the touristy places are – and find out which attractions are free, or at least when they’re discounted. When you arrive at a new place, make sure you take note of where all the supermarkets, pharmacies, bottle stores, and the like are, so that you can stock up, without having to pay massive mark-ups for convenience.
Make sure you pack smartly. Avoid over-filling your suitcase, as you could land up paying excess baggage at airports. Make sure you pack everything you need (like clothing for various weather conditions) as splashing out on a raincoat could put a damper on your entertainment budget.
Another sneaky tip: packing your suitcase almost to capacity means that you’ve got less room for impulse shopping – so sometimes wanting to pack everything but the kitchen sink can actually save you money!
Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. When you get somewhere new, asking locals where the best/cheapest place is to eat/go for drinks can pay off. You probably wont land up at a tourist hotspot, but you’ll definitely get to mingle with the locals and save money.
Ask about price before ordering anything. Just because it’s about 9 bucks for your beer back home, don’t assume it’s the same wherever you go. If the price isn’t on the menu, ask before you order – this way you’ll avoid surprise bills in restaurants, clubs and hotels.
And there you have it – our top 10 secret tips for budget travelers. Now what are you waiting for? Go forth and explore your country – that’s an order!