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If you’re interested in traveling but your current budget is holding you back, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to travel on a budget. How do you keep your flight costs down? What about reducing the cost of your accommodation or living space? And food can be so expensive in new places, so how do you cut down on the amount of money you spend on it?
I’ve got some suggestions if you’re struggling, as well as some words of advice from some industry experts who know a little about travel from their own experiences. If you think we might be able to offer some help, feel free to keep reading. We’ll explain everything you could want to know about traveling on a budget.
Travel in the off-season
According to Vincent R. Chan, Christina’s Chief Financial Officer, off-season travel can be one of the best ways to save a little money. “Instead of waiting for peak travel season,” begins Vincent R. Chan, “try to make your travel plans during less expensive times of the year. It may be less beautiful or sunny, but it’s also less busy and hot.” Although your photos and views may be a little less than perfect, traveling on a budget still allows you to see a lot more than not traveling at all.
Mark Twain also encourages us all to travel more when he says, “Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.” This strongly implies that you need to remove every possible obstacle in your way when it comes to travel. Instead of regretting not traveling in the future, take advantage of the opportunities you have now and you will surely not regret it.
Book flights in advance
Maestro CEO Ari Evans says it can also be beneficial to book your flight in advance. Ari Evans explains, “Try to plan your flight relatively far in advance. The closer you get to the day of the flight, the more it is likely to cost. Airlines know you’re more desperate for a flight the closer you get to departure, so don’t let them play you.”
Booking flights in advance, even months in advance, can save you a lot of money. It also seems to give you a more complete understanding of your options, allowing you to make a smarter decision with your money. And an added bonus? You can announce work well in advance of traveling, taking a significant amount of stress off everyone’s shoulders.
Fly in the middle of the week
You may also want to avoid weekend flights, opting instead for less expensive midweek flights. “Have you ever flown on a Tuesday?” asks John Cheng, co-founder + CEO of Baotris, “Not only is the flight less likely to be full, but you’ll also be able to save a lot of money by avoiding weekend premium fares.”
There are several ways to save money on your plane tickets, and deciding to fly midweek can be one of the most effective. This may be the case for you even if you’re relatively close to your flight date, so consider this option if you’re planning to travel on a budget.
Don’t fly business class
Not everyone is used to flying in style while traveling, but in the event that you generally fly business class, you may want to preserve that luxury when your finances are more flexible. According to Benable CEO Tony Staehelin, it might be best to fly economy only if you’re on a budget. “I know flying business class can seem tempting,” agrees Tony Staehelin, “But it’s not worth it in the end. Just get economy. I promise you’ll be fine and well taken care of, even if you spend a little less for your ticket.”
While a little extra elbow and legroom might be nice at first, you won’t be able to appreciate it anymore once the flight is over and you’ve reached your final destination. It might be better to spend your money on luxuries that last a little longer, especially if you’re strapped for cash.
Take advantage of public transport
You may also want to consider using public transportation while traveling. “I love taking public transportation to new cities and places,” says Staci Brinkman, Founder and CEO of Sips by. “You’re saving money, you’re getting to see the country from a local’s perspective, and you don’t have to worry about driving. It makes it so much easier to see the footage.”
Car rentals and carpooling can be quite expensive, although they have their place in our travel needs. However, if you don’t have much time and want to save money on your trip, public transportation may be the best way to go.
Plan your route ahead of time
You might also want to consider planning your route ahead of time, at least according to Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce. “I find that knowing what you’re doing ahead of time, even loosely,” begins Cody Candee, “really helps you avoid unexpected costs. You can see how much lunch costs in the area, the cost of public transport, and entrance fees.”
Avoiding unexpected costs is key when it comes to enjoying the budget you have, so make sure you plan ahead what you want to do in each city or country. Not only will you save some money, but you will also feel guided and confident because of your well-thought-out plans.
Be flexible with your accommodations
According to Anthony Bourdain, a chef, author and travel documentarian, you don’t need to travel comfortably. Bourdain says: “The journey is not always pretty. It’s not always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. Travel changes you; it should change you. It leaves a mark on your memory, your consciousness, your heart and your body. Take something with you. We hope you leave something good behind.”
While travel is sometimes less than perfectly luxurious or comfortable, Alex Wang, CEO of Ember Fund, recommends staying at a hostel. “Instead of staying in a nice hotel,” starts Alex Wang, “Try staying in a hotel. You’re likely relatively comfortable and probably aren’t visiting a new place just to hang out in your hotel room all day.”
Remembering that you are not traveling for your accommodation is vital when you are traveling on a budget. Instead of paying for the thread count of your bed sheets, pay attention to the costs that will be much more worthwhile in the long run. Make memories instead of spending on luxury and you’ll be much more likely to appreciate it.
Cook for yourself
Do your accommodations come with a kitchen? Are you near a supermarket? Don’t be afraid to take advantage of your surroundings. “Depending on where you plan to stay,” begins Jason Panzer, President of HexClad, “you may have access to a kitchen. If you want to cook for yourself to keep food costs down, definitely try to take advantage of your living situation. Every country will have a supermarket, guaranteed.”
Or, for those who aren’t prepared to cook much during their trip, Kevin Callahan, Co-Founder and CEO of Flatline Van Co., has another suggestion. “Many grocery stores or supermarkets have pre-prepared foods in some capacity. Most of the time, these options will be much less expensive than going to a restaurant for every single meal. If you’re on a budget, these foods will be your best friend.”
While the idea of eating meals at the supermarket is not ideal, it is a great way to save some of your money. If you’re ready to try some of the local cuisine, just make sure you choose carefully and carefully to make sure your experiences are worth the money.
Earn while you travel
If you’re the type of person who feels restless without working, you might also want to consider working while traveling. This is suggested by Jorge Vivar, Fashion’s Creative Director, who says, “So many jobs will allow you to work from anywhere as long as you have a computer with you. If you’re really concerned about costs while traveling, taking a few errands with you is definitely not a bad idea. It’s also a lot more manageable than you might think.”
Just by bringing a laptop with you on the trip, as well as devoting a few hours a day to it to get some work done, you may be able to increase your budget by a significant amount. Or, if you’re unable to take your regular job with you, consider taking on some contract work. This is extremely easy to do if you are interested in writing, graphic design, or even simple coding. The options are wider than you might initially expect.
If you’re traveling on a budget, good luck! You deserve to have great experiences while you’re out in the world, regardless of your money constraints or your age. Hopefully, this guide was helpful and gave you some ideas on how to plan your next trip!
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