If I had a pound for every time friends or family asked me how I afford to travel as much as I do, I would be rich by now! I tuck away every penny to be able to see more of the world but there are also some things I do whilst away to help me afford a longer trip and experience more of a country. I now know not only how to travel on a budget but how to travel for less.
You too can travel without breaking the bank by following these tips.
Be Budget Conscious
The easiest way to save money whilst travelling is to keep money in mind whilst abroad. Instead of splashing the cash everywhere, wasting money at cafes, restaurants, expensive tours and pointless shopping during the day, set a budget and stick to it. Aim to only spend a couple of pounds each day on transport or use overnight buses and trains to save on hostels and hotels and prepare food at home, taking a pack lunch to the project.
Weekends can be filled with free activities in the local area, especially if staying for a longer period of time, there is no need to jet off every weekend to bordering countries or taking part on the most expensive tours. Ask the locals what they do for fun, you may discover a free activity which is exactly the same as some of the expensive tours which advertise globally.
Say Goodbye to Luxuries
It is amazing how much money can be saved, simply by trading in western luxuries and deciding to live more like a local. This doesn’t mean giving up a flushing toilet and having to do your business in the bushes. Perhaps, showing with cold water and using a fan to cool a room rather than the air con. A lot of hostels charge high luxury fees to use these items and avoiding them could save lots. If you think you might be tempted with them being there, instead choose budget accommodation which don’t offer these luxuries and are considerably cheaper because of it.
Before choosing to give up luxuries, make sure you know your comfort level and don’t dive in at the deep end. Know and respect your limits, otherwise you may hate every second of your trip just because you chose to start the day with a cold shower.
Help develop a community abroad and choose a volunteer holiday. Days are spent on a project helping others and there is no time to waste money in town or on expensive tours. Instead volunteers get to know each other in a group of like-minded people and weekends are spent exploring the country on affordable excursions recommended by the local staff, who know the best places to book any tours.
Most novice volunteers will choose an organisation to help plan a volunteer trip but these can charge high fees. Affordable volunteer organisations do exist, but they are harder to find. The first page of search results is often dominated by expensive organisations advertising all over the internet, whereas affordable organisations offer the same thing at a fraction of the cost and are found on the second or third page of results.
Some volunteers prefer to bypass the costs of an organisation to volunteer directly with a charity abroad. This will mean finding and contacting a charity which accepts volunteers to make arrangements. This is well suited to the confident and well-travelled, as charities will often require volunteers to be more independent. Charity staff will not have time or resources to offer out of hours support and most will not offer accommodation. Be sure to stay in backpacker hostels and guest houses close to your project otherwise costs will soon add up and you won’t have saved anything.