Traveling seems to have become the century’s favorite past time. We would do anything to get rid of the constant buzz of that freaking fax machine for one day. We search for relief. We yearn for a getaway.
But we are caught in the never-ending cycle of guilt-excuse-compromise.
Travel is not just a sport of the rich
There are many of us, who believe traveling is a ‘luxury’. A sport for the rich and famous. Budget is our most common excuse. The time comes in, next. Fear of disappointment, steps in third. However, contrary to popular belief, traveling isn’t that demanding. All you need is a bit of courage and willingness to accept the world as it is. Tomislav Perk, YouTube sensation and travel writer from Croatia mention in his book “1000 days of Spring” the various ways and means of traveling with very less or almost no money.
So if money is your excuse, we have five wicked ways you could actually use to travel on a budget.
Disclaimer: These travel hacks are extremely practical, useful and you might want to hit the road traveling immediately.
1. First and foremost…always book in advance!
Booking ahead of time in terms of accommodation and transportation is always a smart idea. It is no hack, rather a common sense. If you are planning for a destination far away, this is, in fact, a major factor that could significantly affect your travel budget. In many such cases, the destination costs less than the journey itself.
The solution lies in planning. Doesn’t mean you have to plan years ahead. If you are intended to travel, at all, why not make a cute blueprint of your own? Make a travel calendar and a list of things you need to do before the actual day arrives. Coordinate days with tasks and get it done. Having a pre-travel period of a month or at least a fortnight gives you enough time to choose between options and go for the best. Both in terms of money and luxury.
2. Explore the local cuisine, instead of ordering in
Now, here’s the deal. You don’t always have to eat at a restaurant. While in Rome, do as the Romans do. Give the English Breakfast tea a pass for a day and have a sip-ful of French Tea at a Parisian Tea Parlour on a sultry afternoon for a change.
The Eat Street culture is catching up in many cities of the world. The streets of Phuket and Marrakech would definitely get you starstruck. Who cares about a bar of Bournville when you have a specially curated chocolate box from the Swiss Teuscher. These eateries have a lot to offer than meets the eye. Another smart way to save is to go grocery shopping. Supermarkets give you loads of options at a very business-to-customer price. Take you’re ready to eat and enjoy your meal at a park bench..doing absolutely nothing. Dolce Far Niente!
3. Hitchhike. It’s fun! But safety first !!
Hitchhiking is one very effective and fun way to save money. All you need is a decent pair of clothes, safety measures, and a thumbs up. But the most important thing to remember while hitchhiking is, to use your common sense and intuitions. If you sense danger, trust your guts and avoid the scenario. Having a pepper/mace spray always comes in handy.
Opt to travel with families, if possible instead of a solo driver. Be on your guard but don’t be grumpy. You could even go round the city in public transport instead of booking a cab. Most of the cities provide Smart Cards that cost way less than a cab. And for the outdoorsy travelers, make rotopax your best buddy.
4. Earn while you travel
If your idea of a vacation is to lay low for a while and soak in the sun like an alligator, you got it all wrong buddy. There is a very thin line between traveling and exploring and it is good to cross that every once in a while.
Give your long lost hobby a second chance and get to the streets. Literally. Play guitar, cook at a restaurant for a day, volunteer at events. Do whatever your heart fancies, even for a day. You could even make a vlog or start a blog of your own. It’s fun and a little bit of extra money never hurt.
5. Consider Couchsurfing: Be a host and a guest
Couch surfing helps you make new friends and save a buck load on accommodation. Hotels usually charge a higher price and blame it on their ‘Luxury Taxes’. Homestays, P.Gs, and hostels are a good option, but couchsurfing is the best!
All you have to do is sign in to a chain of travelers (Couchsurfers) connected globally and stay updated. You get to share your home with fellow couchsurfers when they visit your hometown and they return the favor. No harm sharing a serving of sweet potato wedges with a complete stranger. Couch surfing makes you both a host and a guest. You make new friends, explore the culture, enjoy authenticity and come back with hilarious stories.
The most important thing to remember is not putting a lot of faith in horror stories. Traveling does come in with a lot of pros and cons of its known. Getting out of your comfort zone is never easy. New place new people bring in new anxieties. But at the end of the day, the question hangs upon you.
Would you rather regret the chances you didn’t take or laugh at the ones you did?
“Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. She loves reading, be it a newspaper, a book or anything. She also loves cooking, traveling and dancing. She wants to be a successful writer as writing is her passion. She wants to travel the whole world as traveling helps her calm her body as well as mind and explore fashion and style game around the world”.