They say, ‘travel is the healthiest addiction’, and this quote holds very true for those of us addicted to travel! Getting out of your comfort zone, testing the waters, entering into unchartered territory, exposing yourself to new experiences – travel does all this, and more. Often though, we find ourselves in a dilemma when it comes to picking a travel destination – either its too expensive, too far, too crowded or too many things to see in too little time. That’s when you need to decide what you’re expecting out of your trip – are you just looking to visit a new place, are you looking at new experiences, are you interested in seeing more for less, or is it just about getting out there and doing something fun and different. If you’re all about creating memories from the experiences you have when you travel, and you’d like to be economical in this quest, there are lots of ways to make sure all your boxes are ticked, and you return from your travels, with a truckload of beautiful memories and experiences to look back on!
How to make the most of your travels without burning a hole in your pocket?
The very basis of travel is to experience something new. And no, you needn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket for these experiences. If you go about planning a trip keeping a few factors in mind, you can end up taking a holiday in a frugal budget, and focus more on soaking in all that you do and see rather than worry about how much you’re spending where. There are a few simple ways to make sure you get to travel for cheap, and make some amazing experiences along the way.
Time your holiday
Most people travel during weekends or school or festival holidays. So flights and hotels tend to be pricey during those times. Avoid travelling when most of the world does. If you can, travel mid-week and avoid weekends all together; not only will you end up shelling out much lesser than normal for your travel and stay, you’re also saved the hassle of crowds and queues and incredible time wastage. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor… and you’ll end up having a more fulfilling experience overall. Also, it’s important to plan your holiday way in advance. The more you plan your trip in advance, the better prices you get for flights and hotels. Also, fly low-cost and save some money there.
Rent a vehicle
If you’re planning on a holiday spot not too far from home, then consider driving in your own vehicle or renting a camper if the destination is close enough to drive to. Renting a camper takes care of accommodation costs as well, and you’ll end up saving quite a bit. Plus, staying in an RV or a rental camper can be sooo much fun! If you’re traveling far away, then figure out ways of local commute versus renting a vehicle, and go with the cheaper option. If its cheaper renting a vehicle to move around, then stick with it for the days you have a lot of travel to undertake. Otherwise, try and stick to local modes of transport.
Airbnb or Couch Surf your way through your stay
In today’s times when travel is all about the experience, opt for more local accommodation options like a hostel, Airbnb or even couch surfing! While hostels are great places to meet fellow travelers, and make for pretty inexpensive accommodation, you can also consider renting an Airbnb, with options to rent just a room or an entire house, flat or villa, depending on the size of your group. And you get all the amenities of a home away from home to go with it! Couch surfing is perfect for those of you who like to interact with your hosts during your stay. If you’re all about human connection, then you should consider couch surfing, where you get to meet and stay with locals in exchange for friendship, stories and experiences.
Look up free activities
If you’re not high on the ‘touristy sightseeing’, and your focus is more on soaking it in, then you can save big bucks by enlisting yourself for free experiences! Nearly every famous place in the world offers something for free… be it a free guided tour through a food market, a walk through historical ruins, free entries to museums, and so on. Do your research and figure out as many free activities available for you to explore and experience. Sit on the lawn right in front of the Eiffel Tower and soak in the magnificent structure, rather than jostling in never-ending queues, awaiting your turn to go up the tower. Like this, there are endless ways to experience the beauty of places, monuments and relics from a safe and free distance!
Avoid pricey restaurants. Look for local joints offering more authentic fare, or just shop at the supermarket!
Eat from food carts and local food stalls. Avoid fancy restaurants and chain eateries. The more local you get with food in a place, the more wholesome an experience you will gift yourself! And if local food isn’t high on your agenda, then pick up supplies from the local supermarket and fix yourself a cheap meal!
Skip those souvenirs
Honestly, how many of us actually look at the souvenirs we end up buying from places we’ve visited. While it’s exciting at the time and we do get carried away, most of the souvenirs end up in garage sales down the line. Don’t waste your time shelling out money on souvenirs. Instead, use that money on an experience!
These little tips go a long way in helping you cut down on unnecessary expenses during your vacation, without taking away from the overall experience of your holiday. You will return with lots of memories, and the feeling of fulfillment of having achieved so much within a budget that took care of everything, including lifelong experiences!