The common misconception is that traveling is way too expensive, hence why so many people stop at that thought without even looking into it. The reality is, traveling absolutely does not have to be expensive and oftentimes works out to be cheaper than living in your hometown! Once you get your flight sorted, you can easily plan a budget holiday to get the opportunity to travel at the expense of your budget.
Although you will not always have the opportunity to have your luxurious dream vacation, it is definitely more than possible to explore destinations, and I don’t know about you but i would much rather get the opportunity to at least visit and see a place in person on a budget rather than not see it at all because I am not traveling in luxury…. Anyways, keep reading andI’m going to teach you exactly how YOU can also travel to your dream destinations on a budget!
I know hostels get a bad rep, but I am honestly convinced their reputation was based on the first ever hostels, because the ones today are honestly as nice as a 4 star hotel. Hostels are such an amazing way to save money traveling, for example the average hostel price per region is:
Eastern Europe- $8-15
Western Europe- $25-30
South america- $12-20
South east asia-$10-15
As you can see this is WAY cheaper than the average hotel price, and will let you save so much money each night.
Not only are hostels great for your budget, but they are such fun ways to meet people, especially if you are traveling solo. So many hostels have a common area which is the best for meeting new people to do things with throughout your trip.
Many hostels also host events, which are either free or really discounted, which is another great way to do activities on your trip.
Don’t be afraid of the cleanliness aspect either- just always make sure to read reviews and see pictures before you go. See my guide to choosing the perfect hostel here(make blog post)
Another great aspect is that most hostels have kitchens, which means you can easily cook your own food, and you can purchase your groceries at a grocery store. This way you can save so much money from eating out.
Cooking own food
Eating out for every meal can easily be the factor that drives up the cost of your trip; and many times the cost of one meal can be the same price as a night at a hostel!
If you stay at airbnbs or hostels, you can book one with a kitchen which will allow you to cook your own food. Even if you are not staying at an accommodation with a kitchen, you can still make a few meals on your own even if its something super simple like sandwiches, oatmeal, etc. Even if you make a couple meals by yourself, you’ll still save a good amount.
Sightseeing can also easily be the most expensive part of your trip, if you book tours for each thing you want to see/do, it can easily cost hundreds of dollars! The thing is, you can easily do most things by yourself. For example, instead of booking a walking tour of the major sights at your destination, find them first and add them to a saved google maps, so that when you get their you can do your own version of a walking tour; this can sometimes be even better because you can see the things you want to see instead of additional things you may not want to see, and you can also
likely get through it faster, meaning you’ll have more time for other activities!
Other than walking tours, don’t be fooled by tour companies into believing they are the only way to see a new city; most places are very safe and with very minimal research you can find out how to do things on your own.
Walking will also save you so much money from using ubers, taxis, or public transit; so many cities are also very walkable. Walking is also such a great way to see cities, as you get to walk down so many smaller/less busy streets you likely wouldn’t have elsewise. Whenever I travel I try to walk as much as possible because it gives such an additional experience, and also lets you discover so many hidden gems!
Public transit is also a great way to save money while traveling. It may seem intimidating at first, but trust me I have been to so many cities and the transit systems are all generally the same and there is not much to be afraid of. Be prepared to pay in cash, but don’t stress because so many places accept card payment. If you’d rather not take the entire destination by foot, public transit is a great budget option. Additionally, the best way to figure out public transit is to use your phone’s map app. It will tell you where the stations you need to get on is, where the station you need to get off is, and how to navigate any transfers along the way. A great app you could also use is citymapper; it will tell you how long each option is, the cost of each option, and different types of options (such as taxi/uber/public transit/bike/foot).
The best way to save on flights is to be flexible with your location and dates. If you use the google flights feature and leave the location blank, it will give you a list of the cheapest flights during a certain time period that you can choose. You often will find the cheapest places are in off season, which is still a great time to travel as there are way less tourists.
Renting a car
Renting a car can definitely be a necessity in certain areas, especially those destinations that are quite rural, however it can also be very optional in others.
If you want to visit a lot of nature-y spots that are out of reach of transit, they are essential. Many of these spots also offer tours, so you could choose the tour instead. For example a car is only really worthwhile over a tour if you want to go to many tours, rather than one or two. Figure it out by factoring in the cost of gas and the car rental, and then compare it to the cost of tours for how ever many people are coming along with you.
If you are in the city center, you likely really do not need a car as you can walk or take transit everywhere.
As you can see, there are many little changes you can make to adapt your travel style to fit it to your budget. Before planning your trip, I would recommend starting out with your budget, and
then going from there. This way you can work backwards, in the sense that you find destinations that fit YOUR budget, not the other way around. This will ultimately let you get the most value for your budget. At the end of the day as well, in my eyes it is better to experience a place in the sense of physically being there and seeing what it has to offer rather than not seeing it at all. I hope this guide helps,, and don’t forget to sign up for details on new blog posts with travel guides & tips!