Too many destinations on that travel bucket list when you’re all about that #BrokeTraveler life? We’ve all been there. But the good news is, no matter what destination you set your eyes on, there will always be ways to experience it without draining your bank account or having the need to sell one of your kidneys.
Staying on a strict budget and finding ways to make your travel cost less means more savings for more travels in the future. But the question is: how does one do it successfully? Keep scrolling, child—we’ve got you covered. Here’s some general tips we follow for our budget travels that could help you too:
Always Watch Out for Seat Sales
Personally, all my travels are determined by the amount of seat sales that go on in a year. Seat sale tomorrow? Where to next then?! You will need extra patience to go through different dates, times and even destinations to find the best deals. And even then you have to fight your way through system errors or crashes since everyone else is trying to book flights too. It’s worth the hassle, though, because it’s the first step to your budget trip.
Have a Broke Mindset
And I don’t mean this in a negative way. Thinking that you’re broke—meaning consciously setting aside a portion of your monthly income for future travels—will influence your spending tendencies: instead of rushing to the mall every payday, you should be making your way to the bank like a bawse. It won’t be easy in the beginning, but it’s definitely gonna be worth it. Stop drinking Starbucks every day. You don’t need to buy a new pair of kicks monthly. Say no to a few night outs with the squad. Eyes on the prize, my dude.
Choose to Pack Light
If you book a promo flight, chances are baggage allowance is not yet included. That will cost you around PHP 1,300 to 1,700 to add 15KG or 20KG to your luggage. So ditch that option and just pack what you need. You can use that money for a tour or meals for a day.
Pre-plan Your Itinerary and Budget
Know what you want to do and set how much you are willing to spend (per day and for the entire trip), or estimate how much you’ll be able to save before your trip. Planning your activities with corresponding estimated expenses you will give you a clearer picture of how much you’ll be needing for the trip, and sticking to it won’t make you go over budget.
CVMN tip: It’s still important to bring extra cash for emergency purposes.
Stay at a Hostel or an Airbnb
If you are on a budget, this is not the time to be picky, really. But then, hostel culture is in and there are a lot of cool places in every country you can stay in. Whether you are in a group or alone, why not try it? It’s a great way to meet new people and maybe even get some first-hand tips from them! You can also book an Airbnb, which is definitely cheaper than a hotel. An Airbnb accommodation usually has a small kitchen where you can cook your breakfast or dinner—another way to cut costs.
Eat at Local Restaurants
Of course, when you do your research on restaurants, the first few things you’ll see are recommendations for the well-known places that are usually priced for tourists, if you know what I mean. So if you’re not able to do a research on your food-trip itinerary online (but really, you should), you can explore wherever you’re staying and see where the locals flock to eat—or better yet, ask them! For sure, they’ll point you in the right direction and even let you in on the hidden gems that serve cheap-but-authentic cuisine.
Take the Local Transport
If you are going to a Southeast Asian country, there will probably be Grab and you might be tempted to take that convenient option. Or hire a car to drive you around or whatnot, but you can actually skip that expense by trying out the local transport. Chances are it’s cheap, efficient and often not a hassle (compared to Manila’s transportation system, fo’ sho’).
Find the Best Deals Online
Before your trip, let’s say you’re going to an amusement park, a historical tourist site or joining other tours, there are websites where you can find discounted packages for these activities—you just have to be patient and research thoroughly. It won’t hurt to look for some and end up getting a good deal.
These are tips you can apply in any future travels, and we hope this helps you in planning a budget travel soon. Check out some destinations we’ve been to on a budget for more tips. If you’ve got any more tips on how to be a budget traveler, please share it with us below!