One of the most common reasons why people do not travel a lot or not travel at all is budget. Saving your money for travel is never a good investment for some. Though I totally disagree with that (read my article “7 Ways Travel Changes You”), I also understand where they are coming from. That is the very reason why I am writing this article on how you can constantly travel without spending too much of your riches. Here are 5 Tipid Travel Tips that you may want to try on your next travel adventure:
1. LEARN HOW TO ‘DO-IT-YOURSELF’
Sometimes, the biggest part of your travel budget is allocated to airfare. This is of course true to those who will be flying to get to their destination. Knowing when to book your flights can actually save you a lot of money. Money that you can later on use during your actual trip. Creating online accounts for airline companies can be a big help. Subscribing to their newsletters and updates will give you an idea as to when will they offer promo fares. Take note that you need no credit card to book your flights online because airline companies now give you the option to send your payment thru partner stores and banks (READ: How To Get FREE Flights From Cebu Pacific) As much as possible, DO NOT ask for a travel agency to book your flights and arrange everything for you. Yes, it would require you to do a lot of preparations but believe me, aside from saving a lot of money from it, the sense of fulfillment you get by carefully arranging your itinerary will make your travel experience more meaningful in the end.
2. TRAVEL AT NIGHT INSTEAD OF SLEEPING IN A HOTEL.
This tip is very effective especially to those who will be planning to travel from one province to another via land or sea. I have personally tried this when I explored five provinces (Zambales-Benguet-Ilocos Norte-Ilocos Sur-Tarlac) in North Luzon last May. I was able to save more or less 5 nights of hotel accommodation and instead spent the night on the bus on the way to my next destination. This would require you to plan when and what time are you going to depart from one province to another so you could properly schedule your trip.
3. EAT WHERE THE LOCALS EAT. ACT LIKE ONE OF THEM.
Every place or province we visit has its own unique delicacy. And when we visit that place we would love to try all their local food especially those we can’t find anywhere else. But what I have learned from years of traveling is that, you can eat the same food for a lower cost, all you have to do is explore more. When you visit a place, do not eat at places where tourists are supposed to eat. Instead, go to carinderias, or walk few blocks away from a very popular street for tourists and there you will find the same food, same taste, but definitely at a more friendly price. Treating yourself as a local will be a big help. Setting your mind with the idea that locals do not eat at these fancy restaurants on a daily basis will help you become more explorative of the other options you have.
4. TRAVEL WITH A GROUP.
This can be true to those who are not planning to try traveling solo. I have listed this one as a tipid tip because of the basic idea that you will be able to divide the expenses when you go with other people during a trip. For example, there are places or islands in the Philippines which can only be accessed by boat and the normal fare for a one-way boat ride would cost more or less Php 1,000, so if you are with friends, then it would be much cheaper for all of you to divide the boat rental. If in case your friends are not available but you have no enough budget to go solo, there are Facebook pages (e.g. DIY Travel Philippines) where people invite strangers to join their group tour to lessen the cost for each person. There is always the danger of meeting new people online though, so you might wanna be careful with transacting with strangers online.
5. SET ASIDE COMFORT.
If you are in your 20’s or 30’s and is physically able, then take a walk of the city instead of riding a tour bus or a cab. Avoid luxurious hotels and look for cheaper hostels or inns near the downtown area. You travel because you want to explore the place and not stay in the hotel the whole day, unless you came for the hotel itself. If you are not planning to stay overnight in that city or province, you may also try leaving your bags in the baggage counter of a mall while you explore the city during the day. Just make sure you claim it before the mall closes. The point is, there are millions of ways that you can cut the cost of your travel as long as you find alternatives that are decent enough for you.
Traveling is definitely not just for those who have millions of money. TRAVELING IS FOR EVERYONE. The key is learning how to properly plan out everything and knowing where to allocate a certain amount of budget. With me, I always save a lot by doing Tip No. 2 as much as possible and I allocate most of my pocket money for the activities that can be done in a certain place. With that, I get to have a richer experience of the place I am visiting.
The key is setting aside your usual comfort and work on whatever budget is available. And believe me, you’ll be surprised. After all, you travel not for the luxury but for the authentic experience of what traveling is really about.