“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ Saint Augustine
I have always found travel fascinating.
Travel takes you to places you have never seen before, introduce you to people you have never met before and helps you learn new things, experience diverse cultures.
However, as much fun as traveling is, it is has become quite expensive in recent years. Since living on a budget is what we strive to do as much as possible and in all areas of our life, frugal travel is what we practice.
Does travel on a budget eat into the fun factor? Actually, no.
Here are some simple things that we do to make our travel cheaper but still filled with a lot of fun and comfort:
1. Plan In Advance and Scout For Deals
Plan your vacation at least a few weeks if not a few months in advance. This can make a huge difference to the kind of deals you can get for the airfares and the hotel stays. Look at travel discount sites to see if there are better deals on offer.
Look at featured offers not just with your preferred hotel or airline but at sites like Expedia. You can save a lot by opting for Flight + Hotel package or a Flight+Hotel+Car package depending on your travel plans. Do not forget to check out the Groupon deals and other offers on travel websites like Expedia or priceline.com as they can help you save 50% or even more on some bookings.
2. Choose Your Mode of Transport Wisely
Should you not be traveling by air or train, this tip can save you quite a bit of money. Traveling by road is a great way to save and have fun along the way as well.
Consider traveling at night to save money on accommodation and many hours of time. For instance, an overnight bus ride helps to save on the travel fare along with the accommodation for that night. Once you reach your destination consider the subway or buses because it is much cheaper and not always a lot of trouble.
Our favourite mode of transport is our own car. We can start whenever we want and pace our journey to suit our comfort. It also falls much cheaper since you spend the same amount on gas whether it is three people traveling in the car or just one.
If you enjoy driving and the distance will not eat into your travel time, consider driving to your destination in your own or a rented car. It also saves you money and offers you a lot more flexibility and convenience once you reach your destination since you don’t have to worry about hiring local taxis and the like.
3. Frugal Travel and Eating Out
Small eateries or cafés are often much cheaper and also give you chance to savour the local cuisine along with some international favorites. Avoid eating at the hotel you are staying and instead walk around the local market to look for some nice eateries run by the locals or use the Internet or your trusty travel guide (see #5) to find out the most popular ones in that city.
4. Shopping When Traveling Frugally
One of the joys of travel is seeing new things and enjoying new experiences. However, when on a vacation, plan how much will you like to spend on shopping and then stick to it. We often focus on buying local specialities which are difficult or impossible to find in our own home state or are cheaper at our travel destination.
5. Frugal Travel Made Stress-Free with a Good Guide
Do not forget to carry a travel guide. You’ll pay $10 to $30 for a good one, but it will save you both money and time. A good guide gives you the best days to visit museums, highlights tourist attractions and offers important travel tips. It will also help you to find popular tourist spots, find best places to eat, where to shop and much more, making traveling on a shoestring budget fun and fuss-free as well.
What do YOU do to make frugal travel possible and fun?
Photo Credit: Andrea_44