Traveling around the world is possible- even if you’re on a budget! While a lot of people know this, they fail to realize that simple mistakes can blow their budget. And blowing your budget while you’re traveling can land you in big trouble, especially if you’re abroad and alone!
This in no way means you should put off traveling until you’ve earned enough to travel in style. If you’re a budget traveler willing to slash your travel costs or a first-timer wanting to know more about budget traveling, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are some mistakes you should avoid when you’re traveling on a budget.
Packing Too Much
When traveling on a budget, you just can’t afford to pack too much luggage. You don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars to check in all your bags, do you?
The best thing to do when traveling on a budget is to carry a single backpack that is well within the permissible weight limit. Don’t worry; it isn’t difficult to pack light!
- Carry fewer clothes- you’re not going to meet the same people every day so you can wear the same outfits
- Carry fewer amenities- skip the blow dryer or razor kit and avail freebies or buy small-sized packs of shampoos, lotions, and whatever you can’t stay without
You can have an extra handbag if necessary; just check with your carrier for the maximum weight you can carry beforehand.
When flying, traveling with a single backpack means no waiting in long queues to get your bags checked! Traveling light also enables you to enjoy your trip to the hilt as you get to take in the sights without breaking your back.
Failing to Pack According to the Trip
A beach vacation without your bikini or a hiking trip without appropriate hiking gear is going to be useless. So be sure to pack all you’ll need during the trip carefully; you don’t want to end up purchasing the essentials at tourist prices abroad.
Also be sure to check the weather forecast of the place you’re heading to. Rainy, chilly, or summery- gear up for the weather before you leave.
Flying without Considering Alternatives
Flying to your destination may not always be the best option. If you’re going someplace close by, perhaps driving down there might be a cheaper alternative. You can also consider renting a car if yours has covered enough miles already.
Not Flying When You Should
If you’re backpacking through Europe, you’ll find cheap airlines by the dozen. So instead of taking a train that will get you to your destination in 5 hours or more, flying with a low-cost carrier might be a better option.
Not Asking for Discounts
Being shy won’t help; learn to negotiate and ask for discounts whether you’re booking accommodation or buying souvenirs. When dining at hotels or booking flight tickets, see if you can get discounts on your credit or debit card. Also ask if you can get discounts on club memberships.
Finding Comfort Only in Hotels
Hotel accommodation is costly all over the world and when you’re touring big cities, you can’t hope to find cheap rates if you want a comfortable hotel room. Luckily for you, there are cheaper lodging options to try out if you’re willing to be a little experimental.
Hostel accommodation can be your best bet if you don’t mind sharing a dorm-style room with strangers and having the bathroom down the hall. A lot of hostels have some or other activity going on so you’re sure to enjoy interacting with people from all over the world. If you’re worried about your valuables, stay in a hostel that has a locker facility.
Staying at a Bed and Breakfast is a good option if you can’t do without privacy. Note that B&Bs are usually run by families looking to make some extra income so don’t expect too much. The least you’ll get is a comfortable bed to sleep on. You’re more than likely to be treated to a good breakfast too! Further, the B&B owners will be more than happy to tell you all you want to know about the place you’re visiting.
Dining at Restaurants
Food bills are sure to eat away at your budget mercilessly. That doesn’t mean you have to starve; just eat smart!
For starters, limit eating at restaurants or fast food chains and try savoring street food. You certainly don’t want to fall sick, so only eat at places frequented by a lot of locals. Eating street food will not only cut your food bills drastically, you’ll also get to know the place you’re visiting better.
If you must eat at a restaurant, go for lunch instead of dinner; the menu will be more or less the same and will be a lot cheaper too. And be mindful of the amount you dole out as tip; know the customary tipping habits of the place you’re visiting so you don’t spend extra.
Another great thing to do is pay a visit to the local farmers market. You’re sure to find fresh and tasty stuff to gorge on. You can also fix yourself a simple meal like a sandwich by buying artisan bread, cheese, and some herbs. For dessert, you can have a serving or two of luscious fruits!
Now that you know these tips, traveling on a budget shouldn’t be a tough nut to crack. Plan it all well and you’re sure to have a great time!