No matter what your budget is, sticking to it can be one of the hardest things while traveling. You have to consider transportation, food, activities, souvenirs, and any unexpected issues that come up. However, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to help keep your budget under check.
Using a Budget Booking Site
Many people go straight to the airlines, Expedia, or Orbitz to book their flights. While this works most of the time, if you are keeping to a tight budget, you may be missing out on budget-friendly flights. Websites such as Skyscanner and Momondo are great options to find a cheap flight.
Skyscanner and Momondo not only search the major airlines, but also budget airlines. For example, when flying in Europe you can take the major airlines AirItalia or British Airways, or you can take the budget airlines RyanAir and EasyJet. These flights are considerably cheaper than the larger airlines. However, they do have their downsides. The flights may be at unfavorable times, there are limits to luggage, and some do have issues with delays. But the pros may outweigh the cons if you are trying to stick to a really tight budget.
Cook in When You Can
One of the best parts of traveling is eating at local restaurants. However, in certain countries, such as France and Switzerland, eating out can quickly blow your budget. When meals are over 20 € ($22), your daily allotted budget can easily dwindle away.
You can negate some of these costs by cooking for yourself or buying from markets. Many cities have fresh produce markets with affordable meals or meal bundles. In Barcelona’s St. Josef Market you can get a whole plate of paella for less than 5€, with plenty for leftovers. If you are staying in an AirBnb or have a kitchen in your hostel, you can make your own meals. Sprinkling in homemade meals can keep your budget down and allow you to use money for other activities.
Take Public Transportation
For all of those people out there that don’t like to be in crowded areas, you may have to get over this phobia if you want to save some money. One of the best ways to save money while traveling is to take public transportation. Most major cities around the world have high-functioning public transportation at an affordable cost. Also, most of them sell bundles for a couple of days for those who aren’t going to be in the city very long. Madrid and New York both sell subway multi-day tickets and you can load additional time if needed.
While many of these modes of transportation may be packed, it will save you money in the long run.
Travel During the Off-Season
Everyone wants to see Japan in the spring or the Greek Isles in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also visit these places during the off-season. Travel during the off months can save you money not only on airfare, but also on accommodation and attractions. Most flights during the off-season are considerably cheaper and accommodations are easier to find and nicer on the wallet. There are even some attractions that are cheaper to visit during the off-season.
Don’t Stay in the Main Areas
Being close to everything is a must for most travelers, however, that means you will have to pay more for being centrally located. Staying in the historic or city centers can increase your accommodation budget, but you can still be close to attractions while also saving money. Staying just outside of the center can save you hundreds of dollars. If you are worried about being farther from the sites you can take public transportation to reach places. Staying outside of the city center can also immerse you in to the local culture.
Guest Author: Chris Slack
Chris is a travel and lifestyle blogger who left the legal field and office world in 2017 to experience the world around her. Chris has traveled to 25 different countries and is looking to travel to more in the future. Chris’s blog, Wandering Feathers, focuses not only on her travels and experiences but also how these travels have affected her day-to-day life and future. Check out her blog: http://wanderingfeathers.com/