Travelling on a Budget

I’m being quite consistent lately when it comes to my themed weeks, so I’m doggedly continuing my Labour Day theme today, to talk about how you can travel and spend the least amount of money doing it at the same time. Admittedly I’m not the sort to look at my purse when it comes to travel, as I believe that travel invariably involves some degree of luxury and expenditure, since it’s meant to be a break from work after all, but I also believe that anybody can and should travel once in a while. Travel can bring so many insights and give you new perspectives and experiences you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

And therefore I’ve got some advice on how to cut costs when travelling!

1. Take note of the time of the year.

Travel prices can shoot up drastically during the holiday periods when families go off on vacation. If possible, plan your vacation such that it doesn’t clash with the times schools let out, and you’ll find that prices are a lot more reasonable. In addition, watch out for travel discounts that may sometimes occur during the year, or travel fairs where travel agencies let out their packages at a wonderful rate.

Not only that, some flights and airlines are cheaper than others. Midnight flights are generally cheaper, as are budget airlines or some of the less grandiose airlines that plow your preferred route.

2. Free and easy.

Both package tours and free & easy tours have their pros and cons, but when it comes to price, the latter are undoubtedly cheaper. It can be a whole lot more worthwhile to go on free & easy tours in places where you know the native language, as you’ve more flexibility in managing your schedule and don’t have to go to places you don’t want to go (such as a whole lot of commercial shops that fleece tourists). Going on free & easy does also mean that if you don’t do your research beforehand, you mayn’t be able to find many of the places you wanted to go. After all, if you get up at 12 nn everyday, you’ll only have 6 hours to get to wherever you want to go before the place closes.

3. Currency!

This is an uncommon piece of advice to give, but if you want to save money travelling, wouldn’t it make sense to go to countries with a low standard of living, so that everything you pay for is affordable? Places like Japan and England are almost always no-nos for budget travel. The best countries are China and parts of Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam. These boast beautiful scenery and varied experiences. For those who’re worried about language, people in Thailand are well-versed in English.

4. Garments

No one ever buys new clothes when going on vacation. If you live in a tropical country, you’re going to blow quite some money buying winter garments, so the cheapest thing to do is to travel to a country that matches your home climate. This will also make your stay there comfier. Also, this is quite unrelated to saving money, but most tourists wear the same pair of pants for 2 days in a row, and invest in paper underpants. This reduces your washing load so your washing machine won’t waste so much water and electricity at one go. In addition, wear old clothes that you can dispose of after your trip, minimising your washing amount further. Less washing equates to lower utilities bills, saving cash in the long run!

You may have read the above points and cringed at how un-fun your vacation will be. I’d say that such restrictions can also lead to a fruitful trip as long as you adopt a learning attitude and are prepared to try out new things off the beaten path. If you’re thrilled, anything is good fun!

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