How to Travel on a Budget?
Our site Visitalot is based around everything related to travel. In some of our articles we have covered some of the lesser known places to visit in the world such as Afghanistan and Ascension Island. However, one area where we have not written as much about is how to visit these places while on a budget. Today, we are going to solve this problem by providing you with the best article we can on how to travel on a budget. Just read on and find out more.
1. Find Out Your Budget
This step is one that seems rather self-explanatory and even unnecessary for such a guide. However, many do not do this at all or do not do this properly. Working out what your budget actually is, is vital for the whole process as it determines what you can and cannot do with your trip. Some trips may cost more than others and you may be willing to part with more money on some trips.
So, you may need to do some research into the cost of the trip and how expensive it is to do things once you are out there. It may also be worth looking at a few of the things that you will want to do while you are there so you get an idea of the cost of things.
Once you have that budget, you may need to see how that fits into your larger overall budget. If it all checks out, then you can progress to the next phase.
2. Divide it all up
Once you have your lump sum budget, you will need to divide it up into the various sections. Some examples of these sections would be: accommodation, food and excursions.
Depending on where you stay, you may find yourself putting more money away for some areas like accommodation or food. This may because those areas are naturally more expensive or because you want to invest a little more money on the experience.
This is where the research comes in handy because you can make a more accurate estimate as to the kind of money you will need for each activity. You may even want to go a little further than this an actually designate amounts of money for specific activities that you know you want to do. If you do know these specifics then it may be best for you to book in advance- firstly, this will make sure that you can get a booking and are not turned away at the door, it may also mean that you avoid the queue and secondly, it will make managing your budget far simpler as you have already booked your events. Trip Advisor is the perfect way to do your budget holiday research as it has everything rolled into one. Hotels, Travel and weird places to visit
3. Keep Track
Once you have all of the theoretical numbers in place, you will need to stick to them. Knowing how far into a budget you are and how much you have left is vital for staying on track and to do that you will need to pay close attention to your expenses. However, luckily for you there are apps and programmes that have been designed with that exact problem in mind. Here are a few that you can use…
Apps can be found on most app stores that will allow you to keep track on expenditure for free. These apps will allow you to set a personalised budget for a set amount of time. This budget can then be broken down further- for example, if you have £700 for a seven-day holiday, you can then break that down into £100 a day. Furthermore, you can put in your expenditure each time you spend and you can choose which section it goes in- this allows you to organise your spending. With this information, the app will sort your numbers into a pie chart and you can see your spending in chart form, as a percentage or just as a number. This means you can be confident in how much you have spent and you can easily see how much you have left on a particular budget.
If you wanted a budget service, all in one place then most online banking apps will have some kind of feature. This may be better for you because you can see your account balance and expenditure all in the same place. Although this is a great option, it should be noted that not all banking apps will have this feature and you should check before you travel whether you have access to that feature.
4. What Happens If I go Over?
Going over your budget may happen for any number of reasons and if it does happen then you must not panic. All you will need to do to solve this issue is simply change your budget accordingly in the future so that it can accommodate for the overspend.
This may mean simply spending less the next day to make up for the over spend. If you have underspent on a particular section of your budget, such as eating out, then you could carry on like normal and just shift the money from one section to the other.
Depending on how far over the budget you are, you may need to add money to your budget. If you do end up resorting to this, only do it as a last resort and make sure that you assign the money to the section that needs it most.
However, in theory, if you keep track of your spending, book ahead where you can and budget sensibly, there should be no need for any of this.
Where and How to Save?
Knowing where and how you can save money is a valuable skill when it comes to travelling on a budget. Below, Visitalot have compiled a few tips as to where and how you can save money.
- Book in advance.
This has been mentioned before in this article and did, in fact, form a part of setting up the budget by itself. However, if you wanted any more reason why you should book ahead, here is one. Often times tickets will actually be cheaper if you book them online rather than buying them in person and on the day. If you book in advance, then you also guarantee your place and you will not have to wait in any queues.
- When eating out, look around.
Eating out is an essential part of any holiday experience and if you really want to take in the local culture then you should 100% eat out. However, many places to eat out are very expensive and prey on the fact that tourists are going to want to do so. Do not fall into their trap, make sure that you take a walk around and have a look at the other options that are available to you. This is where the internet is particularly useful as you can rate a restaurant or café based on how expensive it is, where it is and the rating it has.
- Occasionally, eat in.
As in any country, eating in is far cheaper than eating out. So, it is advisable to buy some food from a local shop and cook it in your room. This is a budget friendly option and, you could eat in one night, save some money, and then eat out the next night. It gives you a degree of flexibility and, if you do go over budget, it gives you a great way to get back on track. Also, just because you are eating in does not mean that you have to ignore the culture. You could try and cook some local cuisine for your dinner.
- Bring your own water.
This particularly makes sense if you are going to a hot country, but is equally valid if you are going to a colder climate. On most holidays you will be doing a lot of walking and therefore, you will be getting hot and bothered. Chances are that you will be walking around tourist areas, here everything is more expensive- including the water. Therefore, it makes sense to bring your own water and save yourself some money. Some places will have filling stations, and for those that do not, you can find a restaurant or café to fill them up.
- Maybe bring some food?
Much like the water, you will get hungry when walking around and you will find that stalls and shops that are around tourist attractions are expensive. However, if you buy some light snacks before and bring them with you along with the water, then you will save money and not feel quite as hungry.