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General Tips for Budget Travel

Traveling usually isn’t as expensive as people think it is, but it is hard to stay at or under budget on the road. There are so many temptations – a souvenir here, a meal-out there, a night out on the town here – and it adds up. Not that you shouldn’t do these things; on the contrary, you should! But keeping an eye on a few things – in fact, the biggest expenses in travel – will help you be able to afford the fun stuff better. Here are the top 3 culprits for spending too much on the road:

  • Accommodation: stay in hostels and guesthouses, or with friends, rather than in more expensive hotels. This is about finding a decent place to sleep, and a comfortable place to sleep does not need to cost hundreds of dollars a night.
  • Food: Going out to eat rocks, but the cost adds up quickly to empty your wallet money belt. If you want to dine out, go for breakfast or lunch. Avoid dinner, as that’s when restaurants jack up prices. Remember, too, that hostels often include some sort of breakfast with the cost of your bed, or have breakfast available for a small fee. Hostels and guesthouses and such also often have kitchens, so take advantage of deals on local food and groceries at the markets, buy yourself some, and get cooking. This can also be a great way to meet people: get a group together for a meal or a shopping excursion, and see what happens.
  • Transportation: Use local transport, such as buses or subways. Try to avoid taxis, especially in big cities. Walk! Get some exercise, see things at a different, slower pace, and see what unfolds-and walking is always free. Rent a bike: small price, more comfy, faster pace. Here’s some more details on how to use what transportation where.

Budgeting and having fun can be packed in the same backpack. Really. Just keep an eye on the above, and hey, you never know – maybe you’ll even keep back a little cash to put towards your next trip. Maybe. But have fun on this one first.