Traveling allows you to disconnect from the hypercompetitive environment temporarily. Long working hours and burnout have left everybody yearning for a relaxing vacation. But traveling can quickly become stressful if you are not smart with money.
There are a hundred different minor and major things to remember while traveling. The budget is concerned with how much you can spend and on what. It is no surprise that the pandemic has left almost everybody a little financially compromised.
Hence, we must find ways to live our dreams on a budget. Let us look at ways you can fulfill your traveling dream on a budget.
Get a budget calculator
An online budget calculator is perfect for keeping your finances in check while traveling. The calculator will evaluate all components of a personal budget and highlight areas that need improvement. It will also give you an idea of how excessive your spending habits are. This shock value will keep you motivated to spend less. You can include the costs of everything that crosses your mind in the calculator. These can be expenses related to transportation, accommodation, food, emergencies, accidents, etc.
There are a plethora of different calculators available on the internet for you to choose from. All of these have the same purpose and similar results if you follow the guidelines.
It is human nature to want more of everything. This trait can be dangerous when you are traveling on a budget. Trying everything you come across can cost you more than you planned on spending. Hence, it is necessary to prioritize activities in the order of which ones you wish to experience the most.
For example, suppose your getaway is the smoky mountains of Tennessee, and you are interested in water rafting. In that case, you can google white water rafting smoky mountains and have plenty of options. There you can have an unforgettable experience and lots of memories. Or you can also eat at a fancy restaurant. However, it is better for your pocket if you only do one. You should evaluate the satisfaction both the activities will bring you in this scenario.
A good solution would be to enjoy water rafting while in the smoky mountains and eat at a restaurant later when your pocket allows. Train your heart to miss out on activities you will have the chance to do later. This way, you will only pay for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Choose your destination wisely
Some countries are naturally more expensive because of a higher standard of living. You can conduct thorough research on which locations are the cheapest to visit. Ask friends who traveled to these places before about how their experience was regarding finances. Choosing countries where your currency is stronger is also a wise option.
The distance between your vacation spot and your home matters a lot too. Choose a destination that is closer to your home to save transportation costs.
It is a fact that many tourist locations increase their rates when the weather is optimum. You can only escape this profit-maximizing trick by traveling off-season. The prices then will be lowered due to lesser demand. You can book tours and accommodation at lower prices since all businesses want to fill empty slots.
Summers are usually when most people like to travel. But the peak season varies between countries. You should find places that are the least visited during a specific season. However, keep in mind that the weather might not be optimal this offseason. There might also not be a lot going on, but the reduced prices are worth it.
Blend in with the locals
How you spend your vacation depends on what you expect out of it. Try to live like a local if you wish to make the most of your trip. Eat at local shops instead of fancy restaurants. Doing this will save money and give you an insight into the local culture. You can also book hotels that might not be highly rated but are on the busy streets. These hotels cost much less than those in the peaceful outskirts and posh areas. Here the atmosphere will also be more fun and happening where you can enjoy the true essence of your vacation spot.
Another advantage of staying in the busy streets is that everything will be nearby. You will not have to waste money on transportation to reach places from the outskirts.
Be open to sharing
Sharing will take away a lot of burden from your wallet. Search for apps that connect you to others who wish to share accommodation. You can also live in hostels and dorms with shared rooms and bathrooms. These living situations are inexpensive and always available.
This tip will work well for people who plan on spending their vacation mostly outdoors. It is unnecessary to waste money on accommodation when you only have to use it for resting and sleeping at night.
Carpooling services have now become very common. These services allow you to share a car and travel with people. It saves a lot of expenses tied up in transportation. A person making a journey to a place you want to go to will not mind giving you a seat in the car. Similarly, you can search for people who would like to travel in your vehicle. You can divide the fuel costs between the number of people in the car.
Carpooling is perfect if you are planning to go on a road trip. Road trips are long, so your car requires fuel frequently. Dividing the cost will make it easier on your wallet. However, make sure that you are using the carpooling service safely. It is better to get to know others accompanying you to see if their intentions are clear.
It is easy to go overboard with packing. But you must be mindful of the weight limit for your luggage on the flight. Crossing this limit would force you to pay an extra luggage fee. So it would be wise to be mindful when you are packing.
You can surf the internet for ways to pack smartly. Keep pieces of clothing that you can style in different ways to make several looks. Pack footwear that will look good with any outfit and is comfortable. Also, cut down on things if you believe you will cross the weight limit. You will not need your entire skincare range and different perfumes.
It is important to note that underpacking might be just as disastrous for your budget as overpacking. You will have to spend money abroad if you forget to bring the necessary items. You never know what products cost more in another country compared to your own. Hence, be very careful while packing.
It is safe to say that there are many different ways for you to cut down on expenses. But their success depends on your circumstances and motivation to save money. Most of these tips would be hard to implement when traveling with family. However, they will work like a charm for a solo traveler who is low maintenance and open to compromise.
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About the Author:
Jennifer Anders is a freelance writer who has traveled extensively and enjoys exploring off-the-beaten-path locations around the world.
She loves hiking national parks, windsurfing, and photographing wildlife.
Aside from all those crazy activities, you'll also find her eating plenty of local street food. She is absolutely fearless when it comes to trying new things.