For many people, like us, traveling is an inexhaustible passion that occupies a large part of their time and is that, as they say there, the trip is lived 3 times: when planning it, living it and remembering it. But how to travel to the maximum when the money is not as extensive as our list of places to discover?
1. Define priorities
Although for most people a trip means resting, disconnecting from work and spending a couple of weeks a year with family, partner or friends, understanding what our priority is when traveling is the first step to properly plan the budget. The objectives can be diverse: try the local food, connect with people, visit the tourist reference points, immerse yourself in the culture, learn something new, explore the natural places, experience adrenaline … In short, the list can be so varied as each one of us. By having clear priority we can decide what we are going to invest the money and finally feel satisfied by the experience.
2. Choose the right time
In general, one of the factors that most affect the cost of the trip will be the season in which we do it. Prices can go up dramatically in high season so, if possible, we must choose the months of the year in which there are fewer tourists at the destination we go. For this, it is important to consider not only the local calendar, since especially in international trips we can find that in the place of destination the seasons do not coincide with ours and bring us surprises. It is also important to investigate local events, for example, weather can be a problem (no one wants to live in the monsoon in Southeast Asia) or religious holidays (such as Ramadan in Muslim countries).
3. Make a base budget
Having a first draft of how much money we are going to spend is a good starting point to identify where we can save. For this, it is ideal to inquire with other people who have visited the destination, read blogs from travelers or visit a website like Budget your Trip in which there are reference prices for different countries of the world depending on the type of trip.
4. Compare alternatives
The Internet has created a new way of planning trips since it allows us to compare the different options in a very simple way. For this, we can use the different metasearch engines (some are Sky scanner, Trivago, Expedia, and Booking) and then go directly to the web pages of the hotels, airlines or services that we are looking for, so we can be sure to take the best price. Some of the metasearch engines have offered to register or make a certain number of reservations. Since we do not have an adviser in the middle to recommend us, it is important to read the reviews of other travelers to be sure of the quality of what we are comparing.
This is where it becomes relevant to have clear the priorities of the trip and the base budget that we did previously. If our priority is to rest, we should choose a comfortable hotel where everything is close at hand. If in fact what we are looking for our new adventures, we could decide for a low budget accommodation to allocate the most money to the different activities (in this post we tell you how to choose and what to expect from a cheap accommodation). And so everyone can establish where they are willing to make adjustments to allocate the money to what is most important within their trip.
5. Buy local
Prefer local suppliers is usually an excellent way to save when we travel and has many additional advantages: it allows us to consume local products, reduces pollution since it generally avoids the transport of goods, generates direct jobs to people from the place we visit and In general it can be a much more complete experience. This applies when choosing the accommodation (an international chain hotel vs a hostel operated by a family), hire a tour (join another 40 people vs travel the best places with a taxi driver), eat (go to the fast food restaurant) that we also have in our city vs try local food) and even buy souvenirs (a bag of chocolates in the duty free vs unique crafts).
It is very important that we are attentive to local suppliers follow well practices for our health and friendly to the environment, for example, that we observe that their techniques of preparation of food are correct or that the tour respects the animals. For this, we can also read reviews of websites like TripAdvisor.
Other ways to save
Search packages and discounts at our destination. For example, in some places buying a travel card for public transport can be a good alternative, there are places where discount coupons are sold or where buying tickets to different attractions in a packaged way can represent an important saving.
- Cooking: depending on the accommodation we choose, preparing ourselves food can be an excellent way to save. Even if the gourmet experience is important to us, we do not have the cooking skills or we are definitely too lazy, the mere fact of preparing a basic breakfast or making a sandwich to eat mid-morning can lower the costs of the trip.
- Take the free tours: there are places where volunteers make guided tours for free in which at the end a tip is given depending on the quality of the experience.
- Meet local people who show you the site: a good way to do it is through Couchsurfing where you can not only find accommodation, also meet other people who want to have a coffee or accompany you to tour your city.
- Using local transport: it is very tempting to ride a taxi for your convenience, but a trip by train, bus or metro is worth a fraction in comparison. For this, you can use the Google Maps application that allows you to plan the route and save it in the memory of the cell phone, even if you do not have a data plan you can see where you are going. In any case, it is important to inform in advance about the areas that may be dangerous.
In either case, it is very useful to keep track of expenses to be sure that we stay within budget and adjust to make our trip the experience we will always want to remember.
Author Bio: This article has been written by Daniyal Buksh a professional content strategist and digital marketer at flights to Sweden from London