How to travel on a budget: tips & destinations
Trying to travel on a budget? It can be tricky to save enough money to visit the places you dream of. After all, with the rising costs of living, putting cash aside to fund your travel adventures can seem impossible! There’s never been a better time to learn how to travel on a budget and we have a few tips and tricks to help you along the way!
8 tips to help you travel on a budget
- Travel off-season: A simple trick to save cash is to travel outside of peak times. Unless you’re counting on a sun-drenched beach break, choosing the less popular months to travel can save you unnecessary expenses. Indeed, school holidays, such as Easter and Summer break, are among the most expensive times to travel so avoid these times if possible.
- Book your trip in advance: Although we tend to think it’s cheaper to book a last-minute deal, often flight and accommodation prices are cheaper when you book well in advance. So if you’ve got a particular destination in mind, try to book at least 6 months to a year in advance to secure the best deals.
- Fly on weekdays: A great tip to help you travel on a budget is to schedule your outbound and return flights on weekdays. In fact, midweek flights between Tuesday and Thursday tend to be the cheapest, no matter where you’re travelling! Flights on the weekend are almost always more expensive as they’re in high demand.
- Pack light: Nowadays, the cost of travelling with hold luggage can really eat into your budget. If you’re able to, opt for hand luggage only and save yourself enough money for a meal out when you’re on holiday! Plus, you won’t have to waste time waiting to collect your bags at the carousel when you land!
- Search for free activities: Sightseeing doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the best activities are free. From public parks to open-air museums, beaches and hiking trails, no matter where you go you’re sure to find plenty of free things to do. So, next time you travel, rather than opting for the top tourist sights, search out a free walking tour or free natural sights instead.
- Eat where the locals eat: Of course, one of the great joys of travel is the opportunity to try new cuisines. But, we’ve all arrived somewhere, tired and hungry, and ended up with a less than memorable meal at an expensive tourist-trap restaurant. One of the best ways to travel on a budget is to keep food costs low. To do this, look for local restaurants and ask for recommendations.
- Get a local SIM card: We all love to stay connected with our folks back home when we travel. But, if you’re using your own SIM card, you could soon find yourself racking up a hefty phone bill. One of the best things to do if you’re travelling on a budget is to buy a local SIM card. Depending on your destination, these can come really cheap. With a local SIM, you can update your social media or message friends back home with minimal costs.
- Travel with Exoticca: If you want to travel to extraordinary places on a budget, choose an Exoticca trip! Our globe-trotting itineraries include flights, accommodation, transfers, tours and some meals. We offer you the most exotic destinations in the world for unbelievable prices!
Cheap holiday destinations
Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Vietnam is an incredible budget travel destination. Home to beautiful landscapes, captivating culture and immersive history, you might be surprised that you can explore Vietnam without breaking the bank. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest destinations in Asia. Food, drink and accommodation costs are modest, and getting around using public transport is also wallet-friendly. Furthermore, some of the best culinary experiences in Vietnam can be enjoyed in the bustling markets of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. So, you can fill up on delicious local delicacies for the equivalent of just a few dollars.
One of the cheapest places to travel, India is famed for its spiritual sights and vibrant culture. Nicknamed the ‘Land of a Thousand Colours’, India offers a world of discovery. Keep in mind that the south of the country tends to be cheaper than the north. This is due to the popularity of the famous Golden Triangle route in the north. Therefore, if you’re travelling on a budget, consider exploring the idyllic southern regions of Kerala, Tamil Nadu or Puducherry. Nevertheless, if you’ve always dreamed of seeing the Taj Mahal, you can still do it without breaking the bank! Opt to travel outside of the major tourism season of October to March to save money.
Straddling the continental border between Asia and Europe, Turkey is full of captivating sights. From the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia to the bustling streets of Istanbul, travel to Turkey can be surprisingly budget-friendly. If you’re up for eating local food (think mouth-watering kebabs), and visiting outside of peak tourist months, Turkey is an amazing budget travel destination! Furthermore, sights such as the stunning Blue Mosque in Istanbul and the breathtaking white travertines of Pamukkale are inexpensive to visit.
Tacos, tequila and Mayan ruins, Mexico has it all! Plus, it’s well known for being a budget destination! Away from the all-inclusive resorts of the Riviera Maya and Cancun, you can enjoy exciting travel experiences without breaking the bank. Travelling around Mexico on the extensive bus network is extremely cheap. Furthermore, eating out at a local taco bar costs little more than a few dollars. Dining with the locals will allow you to save your travel budget to splurge on excursions to Mexico’s incredible Mayan ruins. After all, you can always enjoy free entertainment in the form of mariachi bands and local parades!
In recent years, Colombia has gained momentum as a tourist destination. With vibrant cities, amazing natural landscapes and exceptional coffee, it’s a must-visit if you travel to South America. Furthermore, it’s extremely affordable. Accommodation, food and transport are all budget-friendly here, and you’ll find plenty of things to do without spending a fortune. If you’re a nature lover, keep in mind that excursions to the Amazon rainforest cost less here than in neighbouring countries such as Ecuador and Peru.
Want to tick the Great Pyramids off your bucket list? The great news is that Egypt is a highly affordable travel destination. Many things are a lot cheaper here. For example, a hearty local meal will only set you back a few dollars, even in the centre of Cairo! In fact, Cairo is one of the cheapest cities in the world, so it’s an excellent place to base your adventures. Furthermore, it’s well connected to other cities and sights in Egypt, and public transport is easy to use. If you’d rather not decipher the local bus times, taxis are also an affordable option in Egypt. Keep in mind that, although prices are cheap here, you’ll be expected to tip generously, so keep some spare dollars handy to show the locals your appreciation.
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