We all love to travel, but we often wonder if we can afford the next vacation. There are so many things we like to spend money on that we want a luxurious stay, cool shopping, food in different restaurants, but all this takes money and finally we exceed our travel budget. Travel need not be expensive. Here are six ways to maximize your travel funds.
Save on flights
If you plan your trips in advance, at least 6 months or even a year in advance, you will be able to benefit from discounted rates. Subscribe to airline newsletters and receive updates on offers via Facebook and Twitter. It is generally cheaper to travel in the middle of the week. Rates are entirely based on availability and as most people travel on weekends, you will find the cheapest air fares if you travel on a weekday. If you find a non-stop flight too expensive, try adding a stopover and check if it is cheaper. Direct flights are also cheaper than non-stop flights, especially if you travel long distances.
Travel by land
Imagine riding a motorcycle and crossing breathtaking landscapes. Or cycle around majestic temples and historic sites. How about taking the train, trying some delicious food and talking to locals and your fellow travellers? Of course, this is not always the most comfortable option, but travelling slowly by land is one of the cheapest ways to discover a country.
This can save you money in two ways, first it is the unpopular option so it is usually cheaper, then you save money on housing. Most night trains and red-eyed flights are the cheapest options for getting from one place to another. Trying to keep an eye out for a sleeping train is not so bad either.
Skip the hotels
Instead of always staying in expensive hotels, try alternatives such as hostels and family homestays. Not only do you help support the local economy, but you won’t have to spend too much, especially if you only keep a few rights. You’ll spend most of your time outdoors anyway. Another affordable and more convenient option is to rent an apartment or condo if you are travelling with a group. You can choose a place with a kitchen so you don’t have to eat out all the time.
Keep up to date on expenses
Bring a small notebook and list your daily expenses. Write down everything you spend, such as transportation, accommodation, food and even small things like drinks or laundry costs. It is useful to know where your money goes so that you know what you need to reduce. Beware of budget thieves who like unnecessary purchases and excessive parties.
Try local foods
A large part of your travel funds will be devoted to food. So how can you eat well without ruining yourself? Ask the locals for their authentic and cheap recommendations. Usually, if a place is packed, the food is good and inexpensive. Be open to local delicacies not only because it is your cheapest option, but also because it is an important part of the travel experience.