“The gladdest moment in human life is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton
Sir Richard’s quote beautifully sums up the excitement and thrill of travelling to a new place, because when we visit a place where we have never been before, we see, learn and imbibe so several new experiences and lessons. Travelling helps us grow as human beings and also helps explore a part of ourselves that we didn’t know existed before.
However, one cannot deny that travelling, particularly travelling outside the country is an expensive affair. These are several expenses related to travel and accommodations – which make up a chunk of the travel bills – that can leave you drained of your savings. However, in today’s day and age, by using some smart hacks, and spending on things that offer a better value, you can travel affordably.
As a matter of fact, travelling frugally is now being equated to travelling smartly in many countries. After all, to travel and have a good time, you need to be resourceful, flexible and have the willingness to embrace the unknown. In this post, we will take a closer look at some tips that will help you travel comfortably, even when you don’t have a big travel budget.
Tips for the Frugal Traveller
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- Select Transportation Wisely
When you make your vacation plans, one of the most important things that you should keep in mind is to select your mode of transport smartly. Should you take a bus? Should you hit the road? Alternatively, reserve a seat on a train? Is there no option but to take a flight? Your decision should be based on the condition of your car, the fuel costs, rental-car charges, air ticket costs, the baggage fee, etc. You can make travel and transit an integral part of your trip as well, by choosing to go on a road trip or a camping trip.
- Research Well
If you have a particular destination in mind for your travel, the first thing you need to do is research well about the place – the places you can stay in at the cheapest rates, pocket-friendly dining options, free places, like parks, monuments and museums, that you can visit, etc. Next, you need to research for companies and websites that can offer you discounted rates and great prices to reach your destination. Today, you have plenty of websites offering great deals around the year. So scour the internet until you find a deal that suits your budget. Even if you’re planning all this at the eleventh hour, comparing prices from different websites can help you save significantly.
- Make Use of Public Transport
When you travel to new places, it is always a good idea to make use of public transport. It is not only cheaper but also faster. Moreover, the best part is that it lets you experience the city up close and meet regular folks. You get to see more, learn more, and experience more than you would if you were travelling in a private vehicle.
- Taste Local Delicacies
Cooking styles and ingredients vary every few kilometres and so, there is a chance that you come across several new dishes in your journey. As a thumb rule, when you visit a new place, find the local dish that is popular among the people. Try to avoid fast food chains that you can find back at your home as well and opt for the cheaper, fresher and authentic local cuisine. This way, you get to try something new and also save a few bucks in the process. However, make sure that you inquire about the ingredients to avoid any allergy-inducing foods.
- Book Your Travel Well in Advance
As the date of departure or check-in approaches, airlines and hotels revise the rates upwards to accommodate the increasing demand. Thus, it is best to plan your trip well in advance – a few weeks before at least – to ensure that you get the best prices. A well-planned trip not only helps you save money but also provides you ample time and flexibility to explore new places that aren’t necessarily on the itinerary.
- Use Incognito Mode While Booking Tickets
- Be Flexible With Your Plans
There are usually two kinds of people in the world, one who are ready to travel any time of the year; and two, those who prefer travelling in specific seasons – like the summers or winters. Budget-wise, the former is a better choice because you get access to increased options like searching for flights and being able to choose the cheapest day to fly, booking accommodation and activities during the offseason and also attending local events. All of this not only makes the trip more memorable but also saves you money.
- Talk To Other Travellers
If you are travelling to a destination for the first time and have little to no idea about the place, you must make it a point to talk to other travellers who have already visited the place. There are many travel groups on social media platforms wherein you can connect with like-minded people who love to travel and seek advice on how to make wise decisions during your travel. You can also read up on authentic articles and guides that can help you know with other valuable information like cultural differences, popular food joints, the best way to meet new people and how to save money.
- Don’t be Fixated on One Destination
The best travel memories are usually a result of unplanned and impromptu travel plans. So, even you have a lengthy bucket list (as we all do!), don’t stay fixated on them. Never say no to travel plans even if you’ve been to the place before or if it isn’t someplace you have been yearning to visit. Keep your options open and broaden your horizons.
- Shop Locally
It is counterproductive to hit the mall and branded stores for shopping while travelling. It would be best if you always shopped from the local markets and smaller stores that will not only be cheaper but also offer you better diversity in products. Also, if you happen to be gifted with the art of bargaining, you can be sure to take back home local goods at an even further discounted price.
- Be a Walker
If you travel often, you will know how travel turns you into a walker. Many cities today are adopting a pedestrian-friendly approach to city planning and mobility plans, so put on some comfortable shoes and explore the city on foot. Not only will this help you save money, but will also allow you to explore the nooks and crannies of your destination in much greater detail. If you incorporate walking into your travel plans, you will no longer be dependent on hired cabs or drivers to visit new places.
- Book a Cruise
While the cost of air tickets may vary significantly when booked at the last minute, the case is just the opposite when it comes to a cruise. Cruises are often the cheapest when booked at the last minute and what’s even better is that you get a deal that is inclusive of entertainment and meals. So, cruises are a great choice for sudden travel plans as they ensure both comfort and entertainment and not to forget, the beautiful view of the vast ocean.
- Make Use of Your Credit Cards
If you are a frequent flier, you will know how you can earn miles with every flight and then redeem them for discounts for future bookings, or, if you are lucky, you might even travel for free! Similarly, most credit cards today offer attractive discounts and deals on flight booking, hotel booking or booking an entire holiday plan. These might vary from flat discounts, cash-backs, free tickets, free travel insurance and what not.
To put it simply, travelling comfortably is not as much about how much you spend on accommodation or the expensive flight you book – but being smart about your travel choices. Travelling is about visiting a place, seeing and learning from it, and coming back with a lifetime of memories. However, if you are constantly worrying about the money you are spending or if you are getting a fair price, your travel experience is bound to suffer. Thus, it is best to plan your trip in advance, select the best deals, find out as much information as you can and be flexible. By using the information discussed above, you are sure to have a great time even without having to shell out thousands of bucks on your vacation. Once you are sure that you’ve travelled in the least amount of budget possible, leave the worries behind and go out to explore the unexplored.
Shivam is a passionate content writer with Masters in journalism. A mutiple-award-winning writer, he brings over a decade of experience as a BFSI writer. In fact, he himself is known in his circle for sound financial advice. A writer by day and a reader by night, Shivam enjoys researching and writing on various financial topics, including credit, stock market, crypto, taxes etc. When he is not spending his time penning down an informative article or opinion, he can be found playing with his kids or collecting stamps.
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