There are two types of traveller in this world. Those that have money, but limited time; and those that have all the time in the world, but not too much money. If you fall into the latter category then the thought has probably already crossed your mind as to how you can make your money go as far as possible.
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Imagine you’ve just graduated or decided to leave your job and before you commit to the workforce again you want to take some time out to explore the world. Let’s take a look at how we can make your modest budget last as far as possible.
Be Flexible With Flights
You will find the cheapest flights if you are completely flexible with when and where you go. This is not always possible but most people will have a window of at least a few weeks in which they can begin their travels. As for the destination, you can still go where you want to go, you just might need to be a bit creative about getting there. For example if you want to go to Vietnam, it might be a lot cheaper to fly to Thailand and then take a bus across the border.
Eat With the Locals
A rule of thumb when you travel is to look for eateries with a queue of locals outside. This pretty much guarantees good food and low prices. Avoid eating in proper restaurants or tourist spots and learn to love street food and market food.
Look for Free Alternatives to Popular Activities
You want to trek to Machu Picchu, but you don’t want to spend $500 to do the Inca Trail. After asking around a bit or doing some googling, you will discover that the Lares Trail and Salkantay Trail are just as beautiful but are completely free and you can do them without a guide. Congratulations, you just saved $500.
Perfect the Art of Negotiating
Negotiating can be daunting at first, but if you can get it right you will end up saving a lot of money. The trick is to be polite and affable but firm in your stance. Don’t let yourself be ripped off and make sure the vendor is aware of this. Once you’re down to a reasonable price, stop and hand the money over. If you find yourself haggling over a matter of pennies, it’s time to stop.
Learn the Public Transport System
If there’s one thing that will drain your budget it is taxis. Ask around and find out if the city you’re in has a bus network or a metro system and then learn how to use it. It will invariably be cheaper than taking taxis everywhere and it’s a more authentic experience.
Lay Off the Souvenirs
You really don’t need to fill your suitcase up with trinkets from every place you visit on your travels. If you really need something to remember a place by, take photos of it. They are free and won’t weigh your luggage down.
Opt for Dorm Rooms as Much as Possible
Sometimes you need a private room and a good night’s sleep. That’s totally understandable. However, if you want your budget to stretch as far as possible, you’ll need to learn to love dorm rooms and to stay in them as much as you can. Don’t worry though, dorm rooms can still be comfortable and even luxurious if you find the right hostel.