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So you’re hyped up and raring to go on a world tour. But there’s a problem: you don’t have unlimited budget, but you still want to go on a journey of a lifetime.
While travelling the world on a budget isn’t an ordinary preoccupation, people have done it, and we’re going to share with you how the modern adventurers of today are succeeding with operating on lower budgets, and at the same time, they’re enjoying their stay in different countries. From the US to Europe to Asia, here’s our compendium of the best practices when travelling the world on a budget.
1. Scope out airline promotions.
Airfare is probably the most expensive item in your budget, right next to accommodations. Jumping from one continent to another, or even one country to another, is going to cost you a pretty penny.
But the thing about modern airlines today is they’re offering promotions left and right, whether or not it’s peak season or not. Local airlines and international airlines do it all the time.
You just need to be able to pick up the promotions and plan months or even a year ahead in advance. Journeying the globe shouldn’t be impulsive – you have to know what you’re going to find when you get there, and you need to have plans on top of plans as fail-safes.
2. Explore fewer places in a chosen region.
Again, the logistics of getting from one place to another is going to cost more than staying in fewer places. Bus trips, taxis, hotels in between cities – these things can inflate the costs of staying in just one country.
Get to know a few chosen towns or cities instead, and stick to micro transpiration across the locales you have chosen to get a better idea of what a place is really like, its history, and what it has to offer travelers like you.
Also, don’t forget to take advantage of free stuff! Free stuff like public beaches, museums – these cost little or nothing at all, and they boost your experience meter mightily without increase the costs of travelling too much.
3. Schedule your flights strategically.
As we’ve already said in the first item of this discussion, there are many ways to get discounted flights across the globe.
One of the easiest methods of getting slightly discounted flights is scheduling early in the morning (we call these red-eye flights, for obvious reasons).
While it doesn’t always work, you can be sure that in some instances, there will be a slight margin of savings between regular morning or evening flights, and these early morning flights.
Use services like Kayak, Vayama, and Skyscanner to track flights from different airlines and make sure that you lock in on the cheapest flights each time. Every little thing helps when you’re trying to save for a global romp, remember that.
4. Forget about the holidays.
This is probably the biggest piece of advice we can give you. Peak travelling seasons and holidays affect everything from the cost of airline tickets to the cost of food in nearby restaurants.
You can also expect hotels to be high and mighty during this time, as many are often overbooked and businesses are jacking up their prices because the demand is so high.
Since you’re going to be planning your global romp ahead of time, you can plan your travels so you don’t have to travel during Christmas or New Year, or during the summer if you’re headed to the tropics or anywhere it’s warm. Don’t go at a time when everyone else is heading in the same direction, all at the same time. That’s bound to increase your overall expenses.
5. Don’t stay for just one night in hotels.
Unless you are booked in a capsule hotel that are usually communal or offer smaller spaces for transitory travelers who are just passing by, lock in hotel stays that are longer than just one night.
The reason for this is that hotels often offer discounts to guests who stay longer, and if you are going to be staying in the same city anyway, stay put for longer before transferring to cheaper accommodations.
6. Ask the locals (maybe)
Are you travelling to countries like the Philippines and Indonesia? Instead of relying on hotels and services like Airbnb, try to talk to the locals and try to find cheaper accommodations while maintaining the minimum of standards you need.
Not every accommodation in Asia is listed in Airbnb, and you can be sure that you will be getting lower rates when you talk to locals who are renting out rooms and entire homes to travelers.
But before you can get these accommodations, you have to ask around. It will be good practice for you in communicating with locals!
Usually, apartments can be rented for $100 or less per month (imagine the possibilities) and having an entire home to yourself, with the basic furnishings even, can spell the difference between a frugal stay and a really expensive one.
7. Frequent Flyer Miles.
Make sure that you maximize your favorite airline’s frequent flyer miles, and sign up for rewards programs if you are staying in international hotel chains.
The rewards may not provide large savings all at once, but the savings you get from these programs will help increase the size of your budget for other things like transportation, food, and the like. Don’t go backpacking internationally without being aware of the rewards programs that can help make your stay less expensive.
8. Choose your target locations wisely.
Large cities in any country are bound to be more expensive than more rural settings or smaller towns, so expect the prices of accommodation, food and transpiration to fluctuate when you’re travelling from a bigger, more bustling locale to a more laid back one.
While the margin of difference may not be apparent immediately, you know how the market works: with less demand come better prices. This is especially true when you are backpacking across Asia, as costs in every country can fluctuate wildly from one point to another.