January 9, 2017

Can You Travel With Minimal Savings?

Traveling can be a lot of fun, and sadly, most people think they have to spend thousands if they want to enjoy themselves for a few days.  This doesn’t have to be the case if you know how to travel with minimal savings.  While you will need some cash, you don’t need a ton to create experiences that last a lifetime.

To help you save money and travel for next to nothing, I wanted to show you a few tips and strategies I have used in the past to travel for next to nothing, regardless of my destination.

#1 Avoid the high-cost experiences
Horseback riding, helicopter tours and safaris sound awesome, but guess what?  These tours can easily cost more than $100 per person.  While they could be a blast, this $100 could be spent elsewhere.  For example, would you rather go on a one hour horseback ride or extend your trip by three days?  I think you know the answer.  The simple answer here is:  don’t spend more than $20 on a high-end activity unless you can afford it.

#2 Lower end experiences can be done cheaply
Lower end experiences, such as walking tours, bus rides, entry into parks and renting a bike, can all be done for less than $20 usually; however, it doesn’t mean you have to spend $20 to do so.  If you’re thinking about doing a lower end experience, look for coupons or ways to saves by researching online. For example, what you may find is that there are three options to rent a bike and one is 20% cheaper.  The key here is to make sure you research each activity possible and you’re getting the best bang for your buck.  Again, only do these activities if you truly want to do it.

#3 Accommodations
Accommodations will always be your biggest expense, and while it’s nice to stay at the $200 per night Hilton, it’s going to add up fast if you’re staying for a few days.  Instead, consider local hostels, or if you’re comfortable with the idea – couch surfing.  Each of these options can easily allow you to stay overnight for less than $20.

#4 Saving on transportation
Flights and riding the bus can get pretty expensive, so you’re going to want to create an itinerary that works to your advantage.  For instance, if you’re going to ride the bus throughout the city, you may want to consider walking throughout instead if your destination is within a few miles.  The same can be said with flying.  If you can get to your destination via bus, it’s a lot cheaper to spend $20 on a bus ticket instead of $100 on a plane ticket.  If you really want to save money, hitchhiking can be done; however, do it at your own risk.  Try to avoid using Uber, renting a car or using a plane because the bus or walking will always be your cheapest option.

#5 Food and drink
Food prices can be all over the place, and usually, this is the easiest area to save.  Of course, you can easily spend $50 on a steak and wine dinner, but on the other hand, a simple noodle dish in Thailand could cost you less than a few dollars.  To save, either look at purchasing your food at local grocery stores or if you want to experience the local flavor, consider looking on TripAdvisor or Yelp for cheap eats that cost less than $5 per plate.  As for drinking, try to stick to a refillable water bottle because purchasing anything else can add up fast.

#6 Souvenirs
Yes.  You will probably want to bring something home with you and that’s fine, but there are a few things you will want to avoid.  For starters, avoid the touristy flea markets or shops because we all know these places don’t offer a good deal, and half the time, the items won’t be genuine to the area.  Instead, focus on finding something that can remind you of your trip.  This could be a simple bottle of sand, a small rock or anything you can put your mind to.  You don’t have to spend $18 on a shirt to remember the trip.

#7 Avoiding other fees
The fees mentioned above are the most common fees you will come across; however, there may be other fees, depending on where you go and how long you plan on staying.  These fees to look out for may include laundry fees, ATM fees and doctor fees if you were to get sick.  Again, it’s important to research these things ahead of time to make sure you find ways to avoid as many as possible.

Traveling for cheap can be done, and there’s nothing wrong with traveling on a small budget as long as you’re comfortable.  Traveling is all about the experiences and memories, and this is something you can’t put a price tag on.

Guest Post by: Stephanie Lynch 

Stephanie Lynch is from Howmuchisit.org – the Internet’s cost-helping database.  She currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona, with her two sons and husband.

Thanks a lot for this article Stephanie!

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