Six Essential Tips For Traveling On A Budget

September 18, 2019

When it comes to traveling, there are more positives than negatives. There is all the new food to try, the places to see, people to meet, hidden gems to find, and way too many more to list here.

The negatives of traveling are few and far between, but there is one that most people can agree on: traveling can become quite expensive quite quickly.

If you are someone who is filled with wanderlust and receives 10+ emails per day on flight notifications, you are also probably always looking out for the best deals. The cheapest flights, the most bang-for-your-buck hotels, and the best value restaurants.

Or, you could be someone who is gearing up for their first job, trying to enjoy yourself before you start paying off your medical school loans.

It is no secret that traveling is going to put a dent in your wallet, but it does not have to make your entire wallet collapse in on itself.

Book Appropriately

Whenever you talk to someone about buying flights, most people always tell you to buy flights as early as humanly possible. Depending on the airline, this could be up to an entire year before your trip.

While it is not the worst advice in the world (sneak on the tarmac and jump on the plane is definitely worse), it is certainly not the best. According to the flight reservation website Skyscanner, the best time to purchase domestic flights is about four weeks before travel time while the best time for international flights is 5-6 months ahead of time. 

The same rule of thumb applies to hotels. While you might be tempted to book one way in advance, it is actually better to wait until you are closer to the date for the best price.

If you plan on going to a big resort, all the rooms might be booked, but if you are willing to wait, you are sure to get the best deal.

Pack Lightly

Airlines are taking away our legroom, removing food options from flights, and doing just about everything else to make the flight as miserable as possible.

Now, they have added an economy light or economy basic ticket option for many domestic and international flights.

While this means that you cannot bring a checked bag without paying a fee, it does mean you can bring a small suitcase and personal item on the flight with your ticket. If you pack light and efficiently, you will be able to make the most out of your ticket.

Find Lodging With a Kitchen

When looking for a place to rest your weary head, stay away from big-name hotels and instead opt for hostels or apartments. Why? Because these places are more likely to have kitchens.

This means, you can store some food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try to eat at least one of your meals in the kitchen area. You can save money by not eating out three times a day. Hit up the local grocery store and cut back on your food bill.

Plus, you can show off any cooking skills you have to those around you!

Take a Walking Tour

When you arrive in a new city, you most likely have a few things circled that you cannot miss under any circumstances. Of course, you want to hit those, lest you hate yourself for the rest of your life.

One way to get a good overview of the rest of the city is to take a walking tour. Plenty of cities offer free walking tours that only ask for a tip at the end. It is one way to save money, see plenty of things, decide if they are worth your time, and get a bit of exercise in as well.

Get a New Phone Plan

If you are traveling overseas or for the long-term, you might be tempted to simply use your phone plan from your home country. It is easy and convenient. It is also incredibly expensive.

Your best option is to go for a local SIM card, giving you quicker access to networks while also being able to save a bundle on calls and texts. Download a messaging app like WhatsApp or Viber so you can speak to people easily without having to burn through your data. 

Walk or Rent a Bike

Taxis are expensive and public transportation costs can pile up quickly. When visiting a new city, it might be easy to simply walk everywhere. Sure, your legs feel like jelly by the end of the day, but it is one way to take everything in. 

If you need to take long treks, look at bike-sharing. Pretty much every major city in the world has some sort of bike-sharing plan, meaning you can hop-on and hop-off at your own convenience.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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