As much as everything else in the modern age, travel has changed the way that we view the world. This is largely in part due to the lower costs and easy access that many now have, which is a far cry from the days when travel was the preserve of the wealthy. Now, traveling to anywhere in the world is cheaper than ever before, and if you tackle your adventure right, you can reduce your costs even more. If you’re considering your next adventure, or you’re even part way through the preparations, there’s a good chance that you can make your budget stretch much further than you thought.
The planning stage
The internet is your friend when it comes to planning your vacation or business trip. Not only are there now a wide range of dedicated apps that work solely to more easily find and buy cheap flights to anywhere in the world, even airlines themselves now have their own dedicated apps. These apps are much easier to use than the old method of phoning up travel agents and hoping that they can find you the best deal. Up to 76% of plane passengers are reported to have purchased their ticket using an app, so if you haven’t looked at the potential benefits yourself, now is the time. Always avoid using travel agents, because chances are, they’re simply doing the same Google search that you could do yourself. A top tip is to look at flights using an incognito browser, as most airline websites remember your previous searches and adjust their prices accordingly.
Where to stay
You can very easily just commit to spending the extra money and staying in a hotel. This is by far the easiest option when it comes to travel, but there are a huge number of alternatives available that can be significantly cheaper. Not only is hostel use continuing to rise, thanks to a no-frills, low-cost outlook, hostels are also easily available no matter where in the world you are. You might not get much more than a bed for the night, but if you’re not planning on spending much time asleep, then hostels are your best bet for low-cost accommodation. It’s also worth having a look at the range of Airbnb options in your destination as well. Not everywhere has Airbnb accommodation, but for those that take the time to do their research, the chances of finding somewhere deluxe and low-cost are much higher.
Plan in advance
Having a good idea of your itinerary is more than just good for structure, it can also end up saving you money. Booking in advance for activities, day trips, and excursions will usually be much cheaper than standing in line for the day and paying there and then. It may be a somewhat frustrating feeling that you have to commit to something far in advance (after all, you could change your mind), but if your budget is a concern, then the more preparations that you make, the lower your costs will be. This preparation may pay off in other ways as well. With a well-planned schedule, you’re far more likely to be able to take advantage of off-peak prices, reducing your costs even more.
But be flexible
Although preparation can save you money, so too can flexibility. Annoying, right? The key to flexibility is having plans but not feeling pressured into taking them. There’s a good chance that there will be activities and events that you decide last minute that you want to do, or you spot a last-minute bargain that clashes with your schedule. Don’t be afraid to stray from your itinerary if you do spot something that you’d rather be doing, especially if the costs are acceptable.
It can be very easy to forget in the age of apps and social media, but your phone can also be used to make phone calls! While you’re away from home, it can be very useful to touch base on occasion, especially if you’re traveling for an extended period of time. Long distance phone calls used to be incredibly expensive, but that’s no longer the case, with apps like Viber making it easier than ever to contact home through cheaper phone calls, or even video chat and text messages. Whether you’re in France, Australia, or the Philippines, you can always phone your nearest and dearest to by making a quick call home (for example – Philippines) using Viber, and making sure that your loved ones aren’t worrying too much about you. They might even send you some additional funds to spend.
Access to your money
There’s nothing worse than being halfway through your holiday or business trip and finding that you have either overspent or lost some of the local currency. While this could potentially ruin your holiday, it no longer has to. Online banking has been a game changer in many ways, but for travelers, it means far greater control over their holiday budget. Being able to check your balance whilst lounging on the beach, just to make sure that you can afford the next round of cocktails, is an easy way to remove some of the stresses of being away from home and miles away from your local bank branch. Check with your bank before you leave, so that you know about any extra charges that you may incur, and you’ll be much better equipped to get the most from your bank balance.
Have a working holiday
If you really want to keep your costs low, then it might be worth looking at a working holiday. These come in a variety of types, but by far the most popular is WWOOFing. Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a way to travel the globe with free accommodation and food. Not only that, but it’s also a fantastic way to get a truer cultural experience, as you live and work besides families and locals for the duration of your stay. There are WWOOF locations all around the globe, so it’s worth looking at your options. It might not give you the freedom to explore as and when you wish, but it will be very cheap and rewarding.
Traveling on a budget has never been easier. Take the time to do your research and prepare both your bank account and your phone before you depart. With the right balance of flexibility and planning, your travel experience could be much cheaper than you ever imagined.