12 tips and tricks for a low budget travel
When you ask someone, what is that one thing you would always want to do and the most standard answer would be ‘TRAVEL’ for most people. Travelling and exploring a new destination is always fascinating to most and to me as well. But it is not necessary that your trip is an expensive one. Sometimes budget trip can also give you the same pleasure and a great experience. You may also travel to two different places with the same budget keeping your pockets happy. Without compromising on quality and safety, here are a few tips and tricks from my travel experience to save money for your next vacation.
1. Plan well in advance:
Most of our budget is spent on hotel booking and flight tickets. Plan your vacation well in advance to grab some early bird discounts. Everything starts getting expensive closer to your travel dates. You would also get enough time to research for good deals. Keep looking for the best possible deals and take complete advantage of it.
2. Plan a trip during off season:
Every travel destination has a period during the year where most people are traveling to that destination. Or sometimes a destination has a peak travel time when the flight tickets and hotel rates are the most expensive. And the tourist destinations and sightseeing places would be overcrowded. Off peak season would not only save your money but you would also get some peaceful time to explore the destination well. The best time to visit would vary for different tourist destinations and hence, you need to read and research and decide if it is really worth exploring the destination during peak season or off-peak season also works the best.
3. Book round trip:
While booking the flights, try and book a round trip with the same airlines because, sometimes, one way ticket may cost you way more than what a round trip would and this way you can save some money in flight tickets.
4. Redeem points and miles
Most websites and apps give you bonus points from your previous bookings. Use these points to book your flights and hotels. Some airlines have their membership cards. On which you can collect miles on your every flight travel with that particular airline. Collect as many points as you can probably on your business trips and use those miles/points to book flight tickets for your leisure trips.
5. Travel light:
Don’t carry excess. Choose such bags for your tour that fit into the dimensions given by the airlines so that you don’t have to pay extra for the excess luggage. If your hags are bigger or heavier than the given luggage allowance, you would have to pay extra for the same. So carry only those things that are really necessary, try to repeat cloths, and carry only those things that you know you are going to use.
6. Save on Accommodation:
Luxurious hotels are always the best, in experience, quality and service, but some boutique or small hotels at some places are more beautiful and also provide great service. You may also go for homestays and small hotels. At places, where you know you are just going to stay in the hotel for the night, try to go for cheaper options. Hotels away from the large city are expensive than the ones in the town nearby. So try to go for the ones that are not in the main city, but also not too far from the city. So that in case of any emergency, you can reach the town quickly.
If you know a friend or a family member living at the destinations you would be visiting, try to talk to them in advance and you may plan to stay at their place without making a hassle for them.
When you are travelling with a big group, book a complete villa or house available at that destination so that you save on individual rooms and get the same services.
Don’t be afraid to drop a mail to the hotel/resort to ask them for discounts or free upgrades (like SPA, laundry, cultural events, sightseeing services, meal plan, etc.) or a package with some good deal. Also, some places have amazing hostels, you can check them out for your accommodation.
7. Plan your meals:
Some hotels include a complimentary breakfast in your room booking. If not included in your hotel package, look out for options where you can eat outside the hotel. As mentioned earlier, don’t be afraid to drop a mail to the hotel/resort to ask them for a package that would include full board or at least breakfast and dinner. It is most likely possible that you may have your lunch while you are out exploring the town.
You may also go out to some local grocery shop to buy basic stuff like canned juiced, fruits, bread, butter, cheese, bread-spread, etc. by which you can easily prepare your own breakfast or lunch in your rom itself. Book a room with a refrigerator so that you can store some food in it.
Try local restaurant, you would get to taste the local cuisine at a cheaper price. Explore for such restaurants before you start the trip. Make a list and you may check them out when you reach there.
Pack the extra leftover food from your order at the restaurant, which you may have during the day whenever you are hungry or you can have it at dinner. Take advantage of the complimentary breakfast at your hotel. Eat enough so that you may also skip the lunch and have some light snacks instead.
8. Pack Medicines:
Pack basic first aid kit along with some basic SOS medicines for pain, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting, allergies, fever, cold and cough and antiseptic cream, cotton balls, band aid, pain balm etc. these medicines are often over priced at the airports or at tourists places. It is also possible that you may not find that particular medicine which suits you. Also, remember to carry a prescription for all the medicines you are carrying with you. Sometimes, airport authority asks for prescription for the medicines you are carrying. And it is always better to have the medicines that you always have when you are ill.
9. Local Transportation:
Local Transfers can be done through local transportation like the rickshaw, buses, trains and metros, which are the best modes of transport to explore the city in a low budget. You can hire a self-driven car and drive down by yourself. But for that you will have to check if the driving licence you have is useful. Walking and cycling are also good for local sightseeing as well as they are the eco-friendly modes. You can also find a local companion who can show you around the city.
Always before you start your trip, research about the local transport options, train and bus passes, the safety aspect, so that you don’t waste much time deciding what to do when you actually on the trip.
10. Save on Sightseeing:
Most tourist destinations offer travel cards/tourist cards which include entry to the major sightseeing places in the city and around. Sometimes, these passes/tourist cards also have the train or bus pass. You may also get a group discount at many places. If you do a little research, you may find a lot of free activities at the different destinations you are travelling. Instead of taking a local guide to take you around, buy a guidebook or research about the place in advance and carry your own print outs. This way you save on guide fee. You can make some local friends and they may take you around the city. Always look for discounts and different packages for local sightseeing.
11. Save on shopping:
Shop at local stores or stalls rather than buying at a souvenir shop or a boutique. At most local stores or street markets you have a chance to bargain for the things you like. Avoid buying at a the shops near major tourist places as these shops are always expensive. For your daily requirements, you may visit a local supermarket or farmer’s market for cheaper stuff.
12. Save on communication- Wi-Fi, Local Sim:
For texts and calls use free Wi-Fi wherever possible, which is available at most coffee shops, railways stations, shopping malls, airports, hotel rooms and hotel lobby, etc. always look for a room that provides free Wi-Fi while booking your accommodation. Buy a local sim if required. Matrix is one of the best options. You can use that for communication with your family and loved ones in local rates rather than international roaming rates.
Decode a budget and try to stick to it. Plan how much you would pay for each segment like food, local travel, shopping, local sightseeing etc. it will help you a lot. Try to be as local as possible, carry some snacks and stay hydrated. Refill your water bottle rather than buying a new one every time, always look for discounts and offers in your package, make complete utilisation of the passes or coupons you have bought. And having a budget will always help you keep yourself on track.