Kati and I cannot wait until we get back on the road. The travel bug is here again, but with recent events and a slow down with many businesses, many of us have had to look at other ways to afford that dream vacation.
Even though wanderlust is practically screaming out your name, your dream vacation maybe just out of your reach because you haven’t saved enough.
A lot of people barely have enough money for an all-expense-paid trip to one of the many exotic destinations around the world.
Well, the good news is that there is a way to cut back on your traveling expenditure. Even when your finances are tight, here are some tips that can help you save hundreds of dollars while still having the best experience ever on your trip:
To make the most out of your trip and save cost, the time of the year has a significant impact on the cost of your airfare.
Of course, we’re all aware of how the prices of items rise when there is an increase in demand. Well, it’s the same with traveling during the summer or over Christmas. More people moving around means it is going to cost you more. So, you can cut down costs for your next vacation by traveling out of season.
Don’t worry, you still get to see the same beautiful sights in your chosen destination, just with half the crowd and at half the price. Honestly, you will fall in love with the ambiance and have more than enough time to soak it all in.
You can try visiting Cancun in Mexico, where the weather is still warm out of season. Alternatively, you can save on airfares by using online tools to combine prices when airlines run promotions. Most of the time, you will stumble on good deals that will take you to your destination at a reduced price. Kati and I traveled to the Amalfi Coast in September and had a trip of a lifetime. Fewer tourists. Fewer waits at restaurants. And less traffic.
The weather was wonderful and we had a room overlooking the sea for less than $200 per night
Hotel + Car Rental + Flight Bookings
Rather than trying to get it all done yourself, it’s okay to recruit a little help from the experts. This time, I’m talking about reputable travel agents.
Travel agents usually have cheaper vacation packages gotten as a result of group discounts with their partners. Since these professionals act as a direct link with places that offer local tourism attractions, accommodation, and flight tickets, you can get in on one of their many deals. However, remember that you don’t have to let them drag you off to somewhere you’re not comfortable with, just because it’s really cheap.
Pick the vacation destination of your dreams and get an agent that can help you get there. Usually, their package deals include meals, some drinks, and hotel accommodation. With this, you can save money on tourist attractions, transportation around the city, and flights.
It takes much more time when you choose to do things yourself, not to mention more money. Kati and I always book ourselves and there are links to our Resource page to help with that, but if you don’t mind traveling with a group or a preplanned excursion, utilizing a travel agent will work with you and keep costs low.
Obviously, your first choice of vacation destination would be somewhere you believe to be perfect in every way. Maybe stretching out on a beach or snowboarding through the alps.
When picking your travel destination, you need to be flexible. However, that doesn’t mean you have to choose the absolute worst places to visit. You can take a trip to Cancun or even some other countries that are cheaper while still having impressive sights.
Don’t rule out exotic and beautiful from your list just yet…there are some great options you can check out. We typically have two or three locations that we want to travel to, and depending on costs and time of year, book the one that we get the most bang for our buck.
Countries you can visit on a budget
So, now you’re wondering, where exactly can I visit without rolling out thousands of dollars? Well, we have more than a few ideas to help you make your decision. So, here are some underrated travel destinations that are incredibly affordable:
- South-East Asia
If you have never been to South-East Asia, then you should really consider visiting Thailand. This jewel sits right in the heart of Asia, and you can link it to so many other incredible destinations. So, you can make your vacation a mini-tour by heading over to countries like India, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Malaysia, and Bali. Thailand is popular among tons of international travelers as it has several fascinating cultural destinations. You will also be mesmerized by the fabulous coastlines with the tropical islands that give off the air of an exotic destination. If you’ve already been to Thailand, you can take a flight to Vietnam or Indonesia, which is only a few hours away.
- Eastern Europe
Want to get more holiday value for your money? Then check out the Baltic Nations and Balkans, which offer a unique combination of rich culture and attention-grabbing architecture. The Czech Republic has lots of coastal towns and amazing beaches. You can also head over to the mountains of Austria for some much-needed adventure. Do you appreciate a rich cultural heritage? Then Poland might just be the perfect destination for you. No doubt, Europe is not an affordable continent to visit, especially if you’re thinking of countries like Germany, France, and the UK. However, the other countries mentioned are cheaper destinations that can still give you the amount of fun you need to have a fantastic time.
- Central America
The budget traveler will certainly enjoy moving around the central American continent. We have the jungle tropics of Costa Rica and the sandy beaches of Cancun. However, you need to minimize aimless wandering as much as possible in these countries and avoid shady areas. With these, you’re ready for your next adventure.
- South America
In South America, you can visit affordable countries like Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador. A hiking trail through the Andes is filled with remarkable sights and will help you experience this country in the best way possible. There is so much to see, and the exercise won’t hurt as well. Alternatively, you can check out the Northern beaches of brazil.
Another affordable location for your vacation is India. This country, which is not for the faint of heart, will keep you on your toes. While you could have a tough time if it’s your first time here, you can still get the best experience out of this country by visiting the coastal regions.
Top tips to help you travel for less
We have already established at this point that having your dream vacation could cost way more than you can afford and discourage you from ever seeing the world. However, these tips will help you save as much money as you can. So, implement these tips and get a fantastic vacation on a budget:
Keep things local
Support the local community by keeping things local and save yourself some extra buck…it’s a win-win situation. So, how can you keep things local? Well, start by hiring a local guide to get you around the city. Usually, these local guides can get into places that would cost you an arm and a leg to get through. You can also get great discounts on tours given by local guides while contributing towards the creation of jobs to stimulate the local economy. Don’t pass up this chance to be the good guy.
Another way to keep things local and save a lot of money is to eat at local restaurants. Hitting the bigger restaurants will put a dent in your pockets. However, the local ones like the ocean-side cafes in Bali, where you will spend less than $15 on a great meal, give you both taste and value for your money.
Local restaurants give you tastier, cheaper, and bigger portions of food. At some point, you may run out of essentials and have to head out to the grocery store. Shopping local will give you access to great food, like Thailand, whose fish markets on the beach give you a whole fish at a fraction of the amount you would pay at a larger store.
Check out free attractions
If you want to cut down costs for your next trip, you have to be ready to do some research on local tourist destinations in the country. There will be tons of them that offer free entrance, and of course, a lot of entertainment for your viewing pleasure. No doubt, you won’t run out of exciting things to do if you put together a comprehensive list.
Places with free entrance days include museums, and some sightseeing attractions give huge discounts that make them affordable. If you’re in a city that has a tourism department, check if they provide free walking tours and join in on a few of them. Don’t forget to tip the guide as soon as the tour ends. Start your research by checking the local tourism board for a detailed list of free activities for your budget vacation.
Cheaper means of transportation
When visiting several areas around the world, it is not a great option to hire a car. You could do this if you don’t mind how much more would go into hiring a vehicle that would take you around throughout your vacation. However, for your budget vacation, get in on the public transport system. It’s actually more fun than you think. For example, scooters in Greece are more affordable compared to hiring a car. You can also enjoy fantastic views by taking a walk to admire the local scenery.
Accommodation is one of the important expenses you have to consider during your budget vacation, after the cost of your airfare. However, you need to be careful with the final choice you make as this could either make or mar your entire trip. Imagine spending the night at a hotel that keeps you up for most of the night with a poor choice of mattress and creaking sounds. You won’t be well-rested for the events of your day, that’s for sure. Or having to spend the nights in an unsafe environment because you couldn’t find a conducive accommodation…absolutely awful. So, what are the best choices for your budget accommodation?
- Going camping: Mother nature has so much for you to enjoy, and you can absorb the beauty of your local environment by making your vacation a camping trip as well. Campsites are usually cheaper compared to self-catering accommodation or hotels. They could cost as little as less than half the price. You can find an amazing one with laundries, showers, and toilets. Ultimate comfort is at your fingertips at a lower price.
- Glamping: If you haven’t heard of this word before, it merely means camping but with a camper van instead. So, no tents here but a modern van that is fitted with tons of modern facilities. This emerging market has gained widespread popularity, especially as it is incredibly cheap. With only a few hundred dollars, you can create your very own mobile hotel.
- Hostels: This is great for those that are traveling around with friends. If you don’t mind a little encroachment on your personal space, then sharing your room with other people will be a cinch. Hostel accommodation is affordable, and you can also make a lot of new friends who will share travel tips with you. You could find yourself learning some new information that will make your trip so much better.
- Airbnb: Airbnb is a rental platform that has come to stay. With this, you can find affordable accommodation anywhere in the world without anyone’s help. Simply search through the site for a location that fits your budget, and you will have several options to choose from in a matter of minutes. You can pick shared housing, rented rooms, serviced flats, self-catering accommodation, and so much more.
Are you ready to get started on the trip of a lifetime? Well, now you don’t have to worry so much about not having a lot of money to go on that vacation you have been dreaming about for years.
Don’t forget to put together your travel documents and take them around with you securely. Never leave them unprotected while you’re out exploring, or someone could steal them and your money if there is a break-in. It is never fun to be stuck in a country with no paperwork, no money, and no one that speaks conversational English. It is a nightmare, trust me. So, be sure to keep your money and passport close by at all times.
Remember to take loads of pictures and, most importantly, have fun.
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