Fancy an exotic adventure but worried your savings won’t stretch very far? Thanks to the multitude of low-fare airlines on the market right now, jetting off to the golden sands of Thailand, the Mayan temples of Peru or the bright lights of India has never been cheaper or easier. But what about when you touch down? Take heed of our expert budget travel tips and enjoy a fulfilling getaway, without having to rob a bank first!
Travel during low season
Flights, accommodation and tours are always going to be more affordable during off-peak times, which usually coincide with monsoon season in Southeast Asia and South America. Be prepared for a little rain and enjoy massive savings. It also helps to be flexible about the day and time you travel – fly mid-week or very early in the morning to nab yourself an amazing deal.
Take Hand Luggage
Budget travel tips don’t come much better than this in terms of saving money. OK, we know this might not be possible if you’re off on a six-month backpacking trip but only bringing hand luggage will save you lots of money, especially if you plan on flying in between several destinations on your trip. Wash clothes on the go, leave books you’ve read for other travellers and refrain from buying souvenirs. Your wallet will be heavier and your backpack lighter – win-win!
Think wisely about food
If you’re staying in a hostel or rented accommodation, use the facilities to cook a delicious meal after your day’s activities. When you’re out and about grab street food (being careful to avoid any dodgy vendors) or make yourself a picnic with tasty produce from a local supermarket. It’s nice to eat out every now and again but avoid restaurants in touristy areas that are likely to hike up the prices for tourists..
Research destinations carefully
Be smart about where you travel to and think of all the costs involved after the flight-booking stage. You might love the idea of exploring Japan or Scandinavia but these destinations can be tough for penny-pinching travellers. It might be best to consider other places instead, such as Southeast Asia. Thailand and Vietnam continue to be a massive hit with backpackers thanks to its gorgeous landscapes, fascinating cultures and “cheap cheap” prices.
Take local transport
This is one of our top budget travel tips. Do as the locals do and catch the bus. Not only is this a great way of cutting costs, it also allows you to interact with your destination’s inhabitants and experience its culture first-hand. Better yet, walk, walk, walk! Over-night buses and trains are a cheaper alternative to daytime transport if you are moving locations. They also allow you to save on accommodation. Remember to be careful of your belongings on board and only book with reputable companies.
Do your Homework
There’s no point in depriving yourself of the wonderful activities and sights that make your destination unique. You just have to do a little research to ensure you get the best price. Suss out museum passes when you arrive in a new city, which can save you money in the long run. Chances are there are lots of free activities you can also try on your trip – maybe even free walking and cycling tours.
Be Wary at the Airport
How often do you hear horror stories of individuals being scammed the moment they step off the plane in a new country? It’s important that you do your homework and know what to expect when you land. Don’t fall for taxi drivers that demand extortionate prices – there’s likely to be a cheap bus or train into the city.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Keep a log of your expenditure in a notebook or using a handy mobile app. This might seem a bit excessive at first but you’ll quickly get into the swing of it. Trust us, your bank balance will seem a lot less scary when you know exactly where your money is going.
Get Travel Insurance
Don’t be tempted to scrimp on travel insurance before you travel. The upfront cost might seem like a lot but this will give you peace of mind throughout your trip. Nothing will kill your budget more than unforeseen hospital costs or having to replace lost luggage. Travelshop.ie have great rates on travel insurance to see you through your trip.
Volunteering is a fantastic way of making a difference, soaking up an exciting new culture and saving money at the same time. Research programmes where you work in exchange for food and accommodation. Wwoofing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) is great for those who want to get into nature and enjoy an enriched backpacking experience.
See, with our great budget travel tips it’s not that difficult to save money abroad when you put your mind to it. Think before you spend and you’re sure to cut costs on accommodation, transport and food. Don’t worry if you go over budget every now and again. A couple of cheap and cheerful beach days and things are sure to balance out. Plus, you’re sure to meet dozens of like-minded travellers in the same boat. The only thing left is your plan your economical adventure!
We hope you found our budget travel tips useful. For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will guide you through the health requirements for your destination, telling you all you need to know about vaccinations, mosquito bite prevention and food hygiene.