Travelling is great fun, but it can also be very expensive. You need to keep a close eye on your spending to ensure that you not only stay within your budget, but make your budget stretch as far as possible too. Planning ahead is the best way to make sure that you have enough money for everything you want to do, especially if you can get an idea of what each thing you want to do will be costing you. You should also be aware that travelling at certain times of the year is much cheaper, and know in advance what things like food, sightseeing, flights, transport and accommodation will cost you.
The all-important budget
You may be planning to go to a place where eating out and getting about are very cheap, but this doesn’t mean that everything will be. Make sure you understand what accommodation prices are like in advance, as well as sightseeing and other activities.
The internet is an invaluable tool for preparing your budget as you can access special offers and discounts that you wouldn’t normally know were there. Virtual tours around your accommodation also ensure that the money you do spend will be well spent. Utilize the internet and you will definitely be able to make the most of your budget.
Check out loyalty discounts and memberships, and discounts for signing up for newsletters and similar things. Liking the Facebook page is another popular one these days, and you should make the most of it because it’s so easy to get a good offer this way.. Some airlines will do flights as a package, with accommodation or car hire, or sometimes offer free or heavily discounted airport transfers. Lastminute.com is a great site to use to find cheap flights with added extras, and it is often well worth booking a package rather than selecting elements individually. You can sometimes travel for less than the change you have in your pocket because it’s so cheap.
If you turn up on the day looking for a room, it will come at a premium, so you should book as far in advance as possible. There are websites like TripAdvisor, where you can compare different places to stay based on all sorts of different criteria, ensuring that you get quality as well as good value for your money. You could pick up some excellent tips from people that have actually stayed in these locations, like the best public transport options and local restaurants and bars. If you do your research, you could save loads of money, get some useful tips and pick up a few complimentary services along the way too.
Many countries that you go to will have a local currency, and you will definitely need to know what this is. You should also understand what will be accepted where though, as some places (especially some African countries) may have their own currency but trade in US dollars, so you may not need to change your money at all, or change in US dollars instead of the local currency, which could be much cheaper for you. Just make sure that you factor changing money into your budget, as it is something that many people forget.
When you’re choosing what clothing to take with you on your trip, there are two main things to bear in mind about your destination: the weather, and the culture. This is because you don’t want to waste money on buying clothes you won’t wear on your holiday because they’re too thick, too heavy, or not respectful enough for the place you’re visiting. If visiting Buddhist countries, for example, you should dress respectfully at all times and keep your shoulders covered. It may be better to buy a few key pieces when you get there, because local markets will stock whatever you need.
Have you ever lived in a dormitory? Students are renowned for their ability to survive, while having a very small number of things (and still have time to study and write essays!). Take the example from them.
You don’t want to be hauling around unnecessary amounts of heavy bags, because not only will it be hassle but you’ll have to pay extra for it, both at the airport and potentially for a taxi too. Try and just take a backpack if you can, especially if you’re going somewhere warm, because you can just pack nice lightweight clothing (ideally no iron ones) and light shoes. If you want to take walking boots, trousers and a heavy jacket, wear them on the way there and again coming back so you don’t have to try and fit them into your luggage.