When you travel often, people will frequently tell you; “You are lucky!”. I don’t think luck is what makes a person travel, but yes, I am quite lucky.
Some people believe if you are traveling, it means you have (“a lot of”) money to spend and sometimes you can even hear a bit of sarcasm behind it. Of course, it’s not really recommended to leave home with 5$, £,€, in your pocket – but you don’t need to have thousands of dollars to get away from home! Neither do I believe that money itself makes you travel! 😉
Hearing “you are lucky” sometimes makes me uncomfortable so I would like to share ideas and tips about traveling on a budget and still enjoying discovering our beautiful world…
First, stop “waiting” for your boy/girlfriend, your friends, or even your dog to be ready to make a trip. Life implies some delays and setbacks, that free you at times that can be different to your friends. Stop making excuses – traveling is still very enjoyable on your own.
Second, a condition that is more about what travel means to you. If you are all about 5 star hotels and luxury holidays, you can quit this article right now. Same if you are a princess waiting for her Prince Charming with his MasterCard or if you are planning to win the lottery.
To travel is all about priorities.
Whether you do it by passion, for adventures, for holidays, for love, or to visit a friend, you can stick to a budget. Of course, if you want to go to the opposite side of the world, I can’t promise anything. You’ll just have to save up for longer as long distance tickets are more expensive.
If you live in Europe for example, you can find good deals – even at the last minute. Ryanair gave me the possibility to visit London for only 20e (from Marseille), same prices for trips to Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin… Almost all European capitals have good platforms for moving from place to place. Same as Asia. -for short distances. The only condition you have to respect is; don’t bring your house with you! Since the ticket price increases with luggage, it’s recommended to bring only your essentials.
Also, you have to keep your boss updated. As long as you don’t have the chance to live in France and be unemployed (!), you can’t just book anything you want to before receiving permission from your company. But still – with this price – you could even buy a ticket for your boss and bring him with you to make sure he will say yes with a smile. (Just an idea).
Well, another expensive part of traveling is the accomodation. If you don’t have a friend to stay with, you can find other solutions. Couchsurfing, for experiencing life with locals, Camping for the most adventurous, and, of course, Hostels are a good way to meet people and never be alone even when you travel on your own. hostelworld.com, booking.com … Are valuable when searching as they are full of feedback which can help you to have a nice stay.
Airbnb is worth checking if you want some privacy.
FOOD… Another part of the budget. And, has to be as enjoyable as the city does I guess. McDonald, Subway, Burger King offer good deals but if you want to be energetic after the two first days, it’s better to choose something else to optimize your health during your stay. Here are some tips that might help;
. TimeOut, Tripadvisor, blogs, are going to be your besties if you are a food lover. You can check the price ranges of each restaurant as well as their reviews. You will make sure to visit only the best. Same for bars and coffee shops.
Street food! And markets. What is better than having plenty of choices when you are about to eat? International + Local, you will find anything you need. + The ambiance is as cool as the prices.
. Cooking at your hostel. Don’t laugh, it’s not that stupid! Supermarkets near your place will sell local specialities as cheap as you will find. Cooking in hostels doesn’t automatically involve pasta and tomato sauce, but you don’t need to be a chef either. Why not give it a go? You can even share your meal with other backpackers, a good way to meet new people and make contacts. If happiness is sharing, you know what you have to do.
Time is money.
I would recommend buying a local SIM card for a big city as it isn’t worth spending hours trying to find your way without Google maps…
Be organized and prepared. Make the most of everything.
You too are lucky enough already- see how easy it is to travel on a budget?
You will head back home richer than you would have been with a lottery ticket.