When it comes to travel, it can often seem like the world is your oyster – there are so many amazing places to see and things to do. But for many of us, the reality is that travel can be quite expensive. If you’re looking to explore new places without breaking the bank, here are 10 tips to help you travel on a budget:
Come up with a travel plan
The first step to take when trying to save money on travel is to devise a plan. This means deciding where you want to go, how long you want to stay, and what you want to do. Once you have a plan, you can start looking into ways to save money on transportation, accommodation, and activities. A plan leaves little room for unexpected expenses that can quickly add up. It also ensures you get the best experience on your vacation.
Choose your destination wisely
Not all destinations are created equal when it comes to cost. If you’re looking to travel on a budget, research ahead to find out which places are more affordable. For example, Mtwapa is generally much cheaper to travel to than the South Coast. Once you’ve decided on a destination, look into the specific costs of transportation, accommodation, food, and activities. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and help you budget more effectively.
… and preferably to countries where your money goes far
This is perhaps one of the greatest tips to travel on a budget. Traveling to countries with weaker currencies – like Uganda, Tanzania, etc., makes you richer. For instance, a 1000 Kenyan shilling converts to about 30,000 Ugandan shillings. There’s a lot more you can do with that money in Uganda than you would in Kenya.
Don’t travel during peak season
Another way to save money on travel is to avoid traveling during peak season. This is when prices for flights, accommodation, and activities are at their highest. If you’re flexible with your travel dates, try to book your trip for shoulder season or low season instead. This can often lead to significant savings.
Look for flight deals
If you’re looking to save money on transportation costs, one of the best things you can do is to look for flight deals. There are several websites and apps that can help you find the cheapest flights available. It’s also a good idea to sign up for email newsletters from your favorite airlines. This way, you’ll be the first to know about any sales or special offers.
Buy a local SIM card
If you’re traveling to a different country, one of the best ways to save money is to buy a local SIM card. This will allow you to have a local phone number and access to cheap data rates. This is especially helpful if you need to use map applications or make calls while you’re in another country. Roaming calls and data can be very expensive, so a local SIM card is a great way to save money.
Look for flights at the right time
When it comes to booking flights, timing is everything. Generally, the best time to book domestic flights is between four and six weeks. For international flights, it’s best to book even further in advance – anywhere from two to three months ahead of time. Of course, this isn’t always possible. But if you can be flexible with your travel dates, it’s worth it to try and book at the ideal time.
Try the SGR experience
The SGR is a new railway system in Kenya that connects Nairobi to Mombasa. It’s a much cheaper and faster way to travel than by bus or car. The journey takes about 5 hours and costs $10 for the economy and $30 for first class. The best part about traveling with the SGR is seeing diverse wildlife, including elephants, antelopes, giraffes, monkeys, zebras, and birds. You’ll also get a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Consider alternative accommodation
Another way to save money on your trip is to consider alternative accommodation options. This could mean skipping the expensive hotels and going for cheaper options like Couchsurfing or Airbnb. Several websites can help you find cheap hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts. Regarding accommodation, it’s all about being willing to be flexible and doing your research ahead of time.
Travel with an agency or group
If you’re looking to save money on your trip, another option is to travel with an agency or group. This could be anything from a safari tour to an all-inclusive resort. The benefit of traveling with an agency is that they often offer discounts on transportation, accommodation, and activities. Plus, you don’t have to worry about planning everything yourself.
Use public transportation
When traveling to a new place, it can be tempting to take taxis or Uber everywhere. But the costs can quickly add up. A better option is to use public transportation. This is often much cheaper and can be just as convenient. In Mombasa and other coastal regions, tuk-tuks are a popular and affordable form of transportation. You could rent a tuk-tuk for $1. And in Nairobi, you can use the Matatus, which are minibusses that operate on set routes.
Don’t eat away your cash
When you’re traveling, it can be easy to overspend on food. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are several ways to save money on food while you’re traveling. One option is to eat at local restaurants rather than5-star hotels. Another option is to buy food from markets and street vendors. This is often much cheaper than eating at restaurants. And finally, if you’re staying in a hotel or hostel, take advantage of the breakfast that’s typically included in the price of your stay.
Research your options
Another important tip is to research all of your options before making any purchases. This includes everything from airfare and hotels to rental cars and activities. There are often hidden costs associated with travel, so it’s important to know them before you book anything. For example, many hotels charge a daily fee for Wi-Fi, and some rental car companies charge extra for GPS units.
Pack light and skip the checked bag
Packing light can save you both time and money. Not only will you avoid baggage fees, but you’ll also be able to move around more easily. If traveling by air, aim to pack carry-on only to avoid checked bag fees. And if you’re traveling by car, pack lightly so that you don’t have to pay for extra gas.
Look for free activities
Another great way to save money on travel is to look for free activities. There are often plenty of free things to do in any given city, from visiting museums and parks to taking walking tours. Doing some research in advance makes it easy to find cheap activities or those that won’t cost a dime. And best of all, these free activities can be just as enjoyable as expensive ones.
Stay in hostels or couchsurf
Hostels and Couchsurfing are two great ways to save travel costs. Hostels provide budget-friendly accommodation for travelers, while Couchsurfing offers a free place to stay. Both options allow travelers to meet new people and experience different cultures. Hostels are often located in central areas, making it easy to explore a new city. And Couchsurfing hosts can provide insider tips on where to go and what to see.
Book in advance
Book your flights and hotels in advance if you know you want to travel. This will help you avoid last-minute prices, which are often much higher. Additionally, many travel websites offer discounts for advance bookings. So, if you know where you want to go, it’s best to book early and save yourself some money.
Avoid tourist traps
While visiting popular tourist attractions is fun, these places can often be quite expensive. To save money, look for free or less popular things to do. This can be anything from visiting a local park to taking a walking tour of the city. By avoiding tourist traps, you’ll be able to see a city in a new light and save some money in the process.
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little planning and research, you can save money and still have a great time.
How to Travel on a Budget
- Come up with a travel plan
- Choose your destination wisely
- and preferably to countries where your money goes far
- Don’t travel during peak season
- Look for flight deals
- Buy a local SIM card
- Look for flights at the right time
- Try the SGR experience
- Avoid tourist traps
- Book in advance
- Stay in hostels or couchsurf
- Look for free activities
- Consider alternative accommodation
- Travel with an agency or group
- Use public transportation
- Don’t eat away your cash
- Research your options
- Pack light and skip the checked bag
Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling on a Budget
How do people afford to travel?
Many people save up for travel by setting aside money each month. Others may use credit cards to finance their trips. And some may take out personal loans.
What is the best way to save money for travel?
There is no one “best” way to save money for travel. It depends on your circumstances. Some people prefer to set aside money each month, while others may use credit cards or take out loans.
What are some tips for traveling on a budget?
Some tips for traveling on a budget include packing light, booking in advance, and avoiding tourist traps. Additionally, many travel websites offer discounts for advance bookings. So, if you know where you want to go, it’s best to book early and save yourself some money.
Is it possible to travel for free?
Yes, it is possible to travel for free. There are many ways to do this, including Couchsurfing and hitchhiking. Additionally, some people may be able to get free accommodation by working in exchange for lodging.
What are some of the cheapest places to travel in Africa?
Some of the cheapest places to travel in Africa include Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. These countries offer a variety of budget-friendly accommodation options, as well as many free or inexpensive activities.
How do you travel when you’re broke?
There are many ways to travel when you’re broke. One option is to couchsurf, which allows you to stay for free with a local host. Another option is to hitchhike, which is a free way to get from one place to another. Additionally, you can try to find work in exchange for lodging. And finally, you can look for free or cheap things to do at your destination.
How do people afford full-time travel?
Most people travel full-time because they have saved up enough money to finance their trips. Others may generate income through freelancing or blogging. And some people may travel with a partner or spouse who covers most of the expenses.
How long should I travel for?
The length of your trip depends on your budget and the amount of time you have available. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to travel for a shorter period. And if you have more money to spend, you can opt for a longer trip. Additionally, the amount of time you have available will also affect the length of your trip. For example, if you only have a week of vacation, you’ll probably not be able to travel for six months. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how long you want
How much money do you need to travel full time?
How much money you need to travel full time depends on your circumstances. If you’re able to generate income through freelancing or blogging, you may need less money than someone who doesn’t have these sources of income. Additionally, your costs will vary depending on your destination and the length of your trip. For example, a week-long trip to Thailand will cost less than a year-long trip to Europe.