We all want to travel the world, go on a new adventure… However, we are not always capable of doing that because of the pocket issue. I myself have had a hard time to fulfill my wish to travel the world since I am a student and I don’t have an income. However, I still manage to visit places in different ways. Through all the experiences, I would like to share with you some tips to master budgeting travel.
1. Budgeting destination
Before you consider to travel with a budget, the first thing you should think about is a cheap destination. What I mean is a place where the price level is lower than your own currency, so the price for everything is comparatively cheaper than what you normally pay in your own country. You can find a list of Top 10 cheapest city trips in Europe here. Those cities listed are in countries where the currency is lower (compared with Euro).
European and Asian countries are the most popular destinations for many travellers. Eastern Europe is where you can spend valuable money and still have a great trip. Czech, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, etc. should always be in your list if you want to a cheap trip in Europe. Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, etc. have so much to see and the price is definitely affordable.
2. Affordable transportation
Finding a cheap flight is always such a pain. Some destinations are just too far that it requires us to fly. But nothing is impossible. There are several websites that offer great deals or simply find the flight with a cheaper airline (Ryanair, Transavia, easyJet, etc.). Train is always an option. It might take more time but it’s cheaper and comfortable.
Another alternative is road trip. You don’t have to travel somewhere far to see something amazing. Sometimes, it’s so closed to you. Take a car ride with your friends and have a get-away trip. It’s cheaper when you go with friends so you can share the cost and it’s always better with someone on the road trip than going by yourself right? Also, road trip gives you the ability to explore many hidden places.
3. Set a budget
It depends on where you are going to. Of course I cannot tell you how much you should spend because we all have different “money situations”. But it is important to set a budget before you decide on how long you are going and what kind of accommodation you are going to stay. You should be aware of how much you can spend because it’s easy to over-spend. When you have a budget in mind, you will be more aware of the what you spend on. It seems not so convenient since we want to relax during travel, but no one wants to be out of money during travel.
After setting a budget, now you can find an accommodation to prepare for your stay. You can set a price range that you’re willing to pay. For me, it’s in EUR 10-18 and lower than that is always welcome. However, you should consider both price and quality.
Hostel is a great place for backpackers. You can meet new people and share one heck of stories. Price for hostels could get very cheap (around EUR 6-8/night). Otherwise the average is EU 15/night.
Another cheap accommodation option which is very popular at the moment is Airbnb. On this website, you are able to find an accommodation that you will stay with the local people. They normally have rooms available in their house so that they rent out to travellers. Staying with them is not only cheaper, you are also able to know more about the destination from them. However, I am not sure if Airbnb is available in every country.
If you are on a road trip, the best option for accommodation is camping (this is not available in Asia). Camping could be so much fun. It’s like bringing a house with you. The average price for camping in Europe is EUR 15-18/pitch. The price could be less in the East.
It’s also a good timing to check out your contact list, see where your friends live. If you have many friends around the world, that’s a huge benefit. You could always ask to crash on their couch when you travel to their cities. Free and good to reunite after a long time no see. (of course, don’t forget to buy something nice for your friends to thank them for their hospitality)
A pingback to number 3. It’s time for you to show your skills in keeping a budget. You have an amount in mind so just try to stick with it. In my opinion, the most expense you have during travel is for food. So how can you manage to eat nice food and still cheap?
- Avoid touristic areas: If you are someone that is passionate about food culture, you wouldn’t want to eat in any restaurant in touristic area. The food might be not traditionally made, and it’s mainly for tourists. The price is charged for tourists as well. I admit, not all the restaurants in touristic areas are not good or expensive, but I would suggest you to look for small places because that’s where the good food hidden. Street food is always great as well so keep it in mind.
- Recommended restaurants in travel guide book: most of the time, these restaurants are quite expensive and I’m not sure with the quality. As my experience, it’s way better to pick one yourself. Risky but it might turn out great.
If you are a student, you’re lucky. In Europe, lots of great offers for student. Fees are reduced for students in many places (museums, theaters, etc.). Therefore, don’t forget to bring your student card when you travel.
Bargaining skill is essential! In some countries, as they know you are tourists, they could call the price 4 times more expensive. A great article of how to haggle that I found on BunchOfBackpackers might help you.
Photos taken by Gerwin Jansen