Traveling is a great way to relax and enjoy oneself. International travel can be high on fun and excitement. They can also be stressful and backfire with debts and unplanned expenses. That’s why it’s important to plan a budget. The following are some tips for traveling internationally on a budget.
Be Strategic with the Destination.
When you’re good with finances, the location may not matter. But, if you’re frugal or wise with money, you’d focus on destinations that won’t break the bank. Some countries are highly touristic places. You may want to skip those for the meantime. Instead, choose countries that are new to being a tourist destination and are still building a reputation among international travelers.
Checking flights will give you a good idea of where to go. Higher flight costs mean there’s high demand there and naturally, higher spending costs locally. Research conversion rates and choose those that convert to your local currency at a higher value. This way, you can stretch your budget longer.
Be Strategic with the Time You Travel.
There are specific dates within the year where traveling is more expensive. These high-season or peak-season periods are highly-priced for everything: flight rates, accommodation rates, and spending costs.
You’d want to avoid that whenever you can. If time is not an issue, travel during the off-season.
Be Strategic with Your Accommodation.
Find out where it is cheaper to stay. This is important especially if you’re hoping to stay for a week or longer. Find out if there are additional discounts and compare. Some offer discounts when you book for a week and more. At times, you’ll get more value for money by booking for 7 days instead of 3.
Use booking sites that offer discounts. There are booking agents and comparison sites that show you where (and when) it’s most affordable to stay. Be alert though. Sometimes, it’s better to book straight with a hotel or inn rather than through a booking agent.
Be Open to Lodging Outside the Capital or City.
Staying outside the central areas or tourism areas can provide big savings, not to mention, more scenic views.
Small towns tend to charge lower accommodation rates and provide a sense of quietness and tranquility that busy areas lack. Choose inns and hostels over hotels. Try private homestays or rentals, and alternative lodging. There’s Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO, FlipKey, and more. Alternative lodging sometimes offers free stays for help in exchange, like farms, etc.
Minimize Eating Out at Restaurants.
Cutting down on food expenses will save you a lot of money—Nomadic Matt also has some great tips. It is tempting to splurge on food and nightlife experiences. But if you want your budget to go for longer, you have to cut the number of times you’d be going out to dine and wine. If your accommodation rental provides a cooking facility, use it. Also, choose cheaper to dine out places whenever you can. Prioritize which outside meals you want to spend on.
Get Local Intel.
Get intel from the locals. Make friends. Connect with people. Get advice from them. Ask the private homeowner (or whatever accommodation) you’re renting from for advice on cheap places to eat.
Know Where It’s Cheaper To Buy Stuff.
Look for Freebies. Know where the freebies are at. Some accommodations offer free breakfast. Ask the front desk for free activities. Some tourism spots offer free tours and experiences for visitors.
Remember, you don’t always have to pay to take a tour. You can skip the paid tours and go on an adventure yourself. Some even offer free point-to-point shuttle services. There are scenic places you can go to directly with the help of a map or GPS navigation system.
Skip the Taxis and Uber rides.
Local transportation can add up to a large expense at the end of a trip. Try walking. Challenge yourself to go the distance on foot.
There are ways to travel internationally and keep yourself within a budget. Follow these tips for a stress-free holiday anytime.
Photo by Gustavo Fring