The way we travel has changed. Substantially. But we want to travel on a budget. Has that changed too? We shall see…
Make sure you check out my Golden Tip.
As of now, what with all the Corona-virus lockdown measures being followed all around the world, theres not much travel going on.
But, keeping the talk about travel restrictions aside – you already get a lot of that from the news, let us look at some of the positive developments for those that want to travel on a budget – for when it is safe to travel again.
First off, the world is coming up with new ways to offer cheap flight tickets. Sadly, the fact is, we have a limited supply of the fuel, and thus, unless and until humanity finds a more sustainable way of air travel, the ticket prices are going nowhere but up.
Having said that, it is true that there are more ways than ever to score a cheap flight ticket.
So, as we dive into traveling in this new decade, we need new and improved tips to travel on a budget. So, here are some of the top budget travel tips on the internet:
1. Use the Sharing economy.
The sharing economy is literally aimed at helping people travel on a budget. It is a boon for budget travelers.
Get to stay with a local and eat like them and live like them for less than half the price of a fancy hotel? YES PLEASE!
Although, if you want a jacuzzi and a swimming pool and a butler, i suggest you look for a fancy hotel – and what are you doing reading a budget travel blog post anyways!? Indulging in such activities is frowned upon in the Budget Travel community.
From finding shared local transport to staying in a locals house as a paying guest, sharing really is everything.
Airbnb – Stay with random locals. Probably the best platform to find rooms and apartments to stay with.
Couchsurfing – Find free accommodation in locals houses – its mostly on couches. The hangout feature on the app is my favorite, as you can see who is around to meet up.
Trusted Housesitters – Want to watch someones house while you are on vacation and they are on vacation too? You might even get paid for it!
EatWith – Allows you to share home-cooked meals with locals (it’s the Airbnb of food). You always end up finding out new stuff or new dishes. One of the favorite things to do for any foodie!
BlaBlaCar – Hitchhiking app that will pair you with verified locals.
2. Stick to Public Transportation if you intend to travel on a budget:
Hey, there is absolutely no convincing you if you are stubborn and would love to overspend on a comfortable ride across town, but, if you are a mature traveler and know better to control your costs, you should avoid taxis.
Apart from being a huge boon to your wallet, you will save the time you could’ve wasted haggling away with taxi drivers ( yeah yeah you got him down to half the price – calm down it is still more than the locals pay anyways.)
You could just rent a bicycle for a whole day at the cost of one taxi ride across town in most places. Paris, being the posh and flashy destination that is is, has an incredible Bike program you should be aware of. I am not kidding, check it out.
Google Maps can help you out here by giving you an estimate of the prices of the local transport in a city of your choice.
3. Use Local Tourism Offices if you really want to travel on a budget.
Local tourist offices are a gift to travelers. The only reason of their existence is defined by helping tourists and regular travelers get around. This means, if you ask them questions about the destination you are in, they are bound to tell you because it is literally their job to help you get around!
Many tourist offices will give you great recommendations on where to find cheap food and cheap accommodation. This will help you stay inside your budget.
Don’t skip the local tourist office! They are a severely underutilized resource.
4. Get Cheap Accommodation
Accommodation is one of the biggest variable costs of travel. Whether you find cheap accommodation or not, COMPLETELY depends on which country and city you are in and more importantly if you are travelling at peak season or not.
The best way to find cheap accommodation is to travel in the shoulder season. But, if you have no choice, you can choose cheap accommodation options like a hostel or a home-stay. This will drive down your costs and even give you a wholesome local experience!
5. Cheap food
After tickets and accommodation, food is the next big variable cost. After all, everyone needs to eat. This could entrap you into spending way more than you should, but there are lots of ways to eat cheap:
- Go grocery shopping and prepare your own meals
- Shop at local markets
- Use apps to find deals.
- Also, use the five-block rule.
Golden Tip – WHAT IS THE FIVE BLOCK RULE BRO?
There seems to be this magical wall that surrounds tourist areas. Most people don’t go past it – trust me I have tried.
This one time, I was in the city of Love, the city of the Eiffel Tower, the City of the Louvre, the City of Fashion and Croissants – yeah, Paris.
I was staying at a popular hotel around town and it was one of the most expensive places around (I only do that on rare occasions). On this trip, I did not want to do any budget things because the mood was such. But, my instincts kicked in, and I asked my companion if she would like to take a walk around the city.
A walk that took us FIVE BLOCKS AWAY FROM THE TOURIST CENTERS and showed us interesting things to do for the next few days! After that day, every day we stayed in Paris, I was made to go out on a walk. We found better restaurants, with cheaper prices and we saw what the city was for real, instead of just seeing what was being shown to us.
One sneaky thing tourist restaurants do is…
Tourist restaurants slack on quality some times. And hey, I do not mean to put in a bad word for any place. WHY? Well, the reasoning is sound…
But, that being said, it is true that some places do not really care about the quality of the food they serve – just because they know that the people they are catering to majorly – foreigners, aren’t coming back. This also gives them the liberty to overprice their stuff.
On the other hand, the local restaurants can get into some serious trouble for serving below par food to the locals. Thus, if you stay away from the tourist center, you get good prices, and good food!
I hope you found some value in this Blog.