Traveling for a few years now has changed, not just my perspective on life, but also my spending habits. It has taught me that to sustain such a lifestyle, I must spend every penny wisely. Traveling also has made me realize the importance of hunting for affordable flights, accommodations and food.
Being a budget traveler is great because it compels you to think twice before pulling out a couple of bills from your wallet. With ample research and self-control, your limited pocket money definitely can go a long way, and you won’t have to go home broke.
If you think creating a budget is not enough, you might find these six money-saving hacks for budget-conscious travelers useful:
6 Useful Travel Hacks for Budget-Conscious Travelers …
1. Use photos instead of souvenirs as keepsakes.
Instead of buying too many souvenirs here and there, why don’t you snap photos that can serve as mementos of your trip? Travel photos are more meaningful and better at reminding you of your best memories exploring a certain place. You don’t have to buy expensive cameras; a point-and-shoot or a smartphone camera is good enough for capturing beautiful sights and moments on your travels.
On my trips, I take a lot of photos. Then I choose the best ones and create a perfect travel scrapbook instead of buying souvenirs that only will gather dust on my shelves.
2. Go for cheap accommodation options.
Accommodation is where most of your travel budget goes. If you’re planning to stay for only a couple of days and you don’t mind sharing a room with strangers, check in at an affordable and decent hostel where you can meet fellow travelers. But if you’re staying for a month or two, rent an apartment with a kitchen, where you can save money by cooking your own food instead of eating in restaurants.
Another cheaper alternative is rendering your service in a hostel or a private home. Score yourself a free place to stay by doing gardening, painting, house sitting or pet sitting. As for myself, I provide photography services in exchange for sponsored stays.
3. Go for street food or eat at a buffet.
You’re in an exotic country and yet you’re looking for a McDonald’s? Experience the country’s local cuisine by trying its street foods instead! Aside from being cheaper than fast food, and definitely cheaper than fine dining, you get to taste and smell the culture of the place.
Got a little extra to spend? Indulge yourself in a buffet for lunch. This is the closest you can get to splurging on food. So better fuel yourself up to keep going for the rest of the day.
4. Wander around using public transportation.
Taking a taxi may be one of the fastest ways to go from one point to another, but it can be really expensive, too. Make sure that before you travel, you’ve researched how to get around using public transportation such as buses and trains. Or you even can move from one place to another on foot, if possible.
5. Visit free attractions.
Since you’re keeping tabs on your spending, it’s best to experience attractions that are free for visitors. A lot of free activities in the world await you—make sure to include them in your travel itineraries.
6. Always bring a water bottle.
You’ll always need to rehydrate, so always bring a water bottle that you can refill at the hostel, restaurants and food courts. Buying water at the airport is expensive, and even if you buy cheap bottled water in convenience stores, the costs can add up and you end up spending more unnecessarily.
Being frugal doesn’t mean you’re cheap. So never be afraid to ask or look for ways to save money on your travels. Saving on travel costs allows you to stretch your budget so you can explore more places, enjoy more activities and get more value for your money.
What budget travel hacks have you used to save money on your travels?
Lacey Hauptman is a freelance writer and budding travel photographer. She's been freelance writing since 2009, and has written extensively on the subjects of digital marketing, travel photography, and home design. You can find connect with Lacey on Twitter.
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