Travel Tips: How to travel on a budget for beginners

How to travel on a budget for beginners

Beginner's Guide to Travel: Tips for Budget-friendly Trips

Cheap traveling means research, research, and research for the best deals in town. It takes time and energy. People who don't have the patience for this kind of research settle for expensive hotels and over-priced deals. I believe traveling does not need to use up all your paycheque for the whole month. It shouldn't be a financial burden but an enjoyable, affordable, and memorable trip of a lifetime. Let's go!

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Here’s a list of things that helped me save a few bucks on my travels. As a girl who just wants to travel and does not want to go home broke and happy, this is how I do it. I hope it helps you out in some way. 

1. Airfare

  • Book ahead of time

Simple. The earlier you book, the cheaper the airfare. In this way, you can be flexible with your activities and get an ample amount of time to research. If you save more on your airfare, you’ll have more budget for activities. We've used different kinds of flight comparison websites for the past few years but I personally trust Skyscanner. Most of my Asia trips were possible because I got to book cheap flights. I do all my price comparisons like which months are cheaper to travel to a certain destination and book my flights via the links provided in Skyscanner. I preferred going to the links that go straight to the airline website. My husband also loves using "Hopper" another platform to compare flight prices. 

  • Travel during the off-season

If your travel dates are flexible, consider traveling during the off-season. Flights and accommodation are often cheaper during these times, and you'll also avoid the crowds.

What to do in Amalfi Coast, Italy

2. Accommodations

  • Location Matters

Location, location. Make sure you know what you want to do; if it’s a city tour, shopping spree, hiking trip, or a beach escapade. I used when looking for cheap accommodations at places like guesthouses, inns, hostels, homestays, or hotels. I always went to a backpacker hostel when I was single and traveling around Asia.  It's a fun place to meet fellow travelers, plus a great way to find awesome activities around town. These websites are secured and tested. I haven't encountered any problems with bookings. I also made sure my booking went through my hotel by email confirmation. It's better to call them ahead of your travel date to validate their location and/or to update them for late arrivals.

I love because they have a "pay later" or "pay upon arrival" when booking rooms. This gives you options to cancel bookings, manage activities and figure out the location, and if transportation works going to your destination. 

Apart from, I have also utilized Expedia for booking hotels.

3. Tripadvisor Reviews

If you're going for accommodations with fewer stars and unknown services, then better try to check their reviews on Tripadvisor. I try to check especially when booking for a guesthouse. Always make sure the place is clean and safe. It's always nice to hear advice and reviews from fellow travelers. You'll never know that your future most unforgettable experience might be found in the review section.

Tripadvisor is a great resource for travelers seeking information on hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. It boasts an extensive collection of reviews written by fellow travelers, providing valuable insights into where to stay, dine, and explore. Additionally, the platform offers forums where users can seek advice and receive responses from other travelers or experts on particular destinations. This feature is especially beneficial for first-time visitors to a new location.

4. Things To Do: Vouchers

  • Find Discounted Deals

I love Groupon as there are plenty of deal choices: travel, fun activities, shopping, fitness, and different kinds of services at a cheaper price worldwide. A few rules and regulations to follow, but that's where booking airfare ahead of time is crucial for cheap traveling. This allows you to plan out your activities according to the voucher deals. I have brought all kinds of deals with Groupon like weekend getaways in Indonesia, Muay Thai lessons, wine tours, photo bookings, archery classes, helicopter tours in Canada, cooking lessons in Paris and even my ukulele - the possibilities of discovering new kinds of things to do is endless!

Additionally, "Get Your Guide" offers a wide range of activities to explore, spanning numerous countries worldwide. There are many ways to save money while traveling; it often just requires some planning and hunting for the top deals.

  • When in Asia

Another alternative is Klook, which offers a wide range of activities, particularly in Asia. For instance, during our trip to Japan, we purchased our Mt. Fuji pass through this platform.

5. Transportation

  • Sleeper Bus / Night Bus

It's not really a comfortable ride, but you get to experience more adventure. You save more too. It's cheap and you can just sleep the ride away. By the time you reach your destination, it's already daytime, opening your eyes to beautiful landscapes. Plus, you save yourself a one-night accommodation fee. 

  • Public transportation

Public transportation is a great option for saving money while traveling, particularly in city centers. This can help you save money on transportation costs and also allow you to experience local culture.

  • Rent a car

Enterprise is a reliable car rental service that we have personally used without any issues. Consider renting a car for the duration of your trip as it may be more affordable than just renting for a short period. This is because car rental companies often offer discounted rates for longer rental periods. Additionally, renting a car for your entire trip can give you the flexibility to explore your destination at your own pace without having to worry about transportation.

6. Read Blogs

Most of my travels are guided by blogs and reviews. Some by word of mouth from friends and family. The blogger community is there to provide tips and feedback for different kinds of adventures. It's nice to have someone guide you in your travels.  Here's a list of all My Travel Destinations.

7. Act like a Local

Blend in and absorb the country’s culture and tradition. If you're just going to a very famous fast-food chain and to the mall, then maybe might as well stay in your country of origin - you have it all there. Try local food and beverages. Check out their famous spots and try their activities. It's way cheaper compared to imported goods and you get to appreciate the wonders of different cultures. 

  • Make Friends with the Receptionist

I'm always good with people; I treat them with respect because that's how I want to be treated too. This totally hit me when I was on my first solo trip. The receptionist took great care of me, offered me cheap deals, and gave me further discounts for my bookings. A few times our rooms were upgraded to a bigger room or we got a balcony. Just being nice attracts more good things to happen in your travels. 

8. Make an Itinerary of Reminders

Keeping yourself organized and efficient during the trip-planning process is a must, which is why a Travel Planner is essential for any type of traveler.

  • Flight Details

Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight, and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

  • Accommodation Details

Write down your hotel/motel/resort/BnB booking number. Contact your place to inform them about when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

  • Transportation

List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back. Car Rentals: Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Make sure to set aside money for fuel and parking.

  • Budgeting

Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs, and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks add up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

  • Activities

Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e.- bungee-jumping, river rafting, or even city/food tours).

best travel planner organizer

Why Every Traveler Needs a Travel Planner

  • The planner helps you organize your trip by sorting out the must-see places, things to do, foods to try, and souvenirs to buy.
  • You can list down important details such as your flights, accommodations, and reminders to complete before your flight.
  • The packing list section is a helpful tool that ensures you pack the perfect amount of clothing for your trip.
  • Lastly, the Travel Planner helps you focus on your budget goal, resulting in a relaxing and enjoyable trip.

How To Travel On A Budget

9. Baggage

Try to bring less so you get to skip the baggage conveyor belt and the hassle of lost baggage. Bring a backpack, carry light clothes, one running shoe will do, and just mix and match your wardrobe. It also saves you a few dollars for your flight ticket, bus or train trips, and even boat rides. In addition, it's also easier to transfer from one place to another with just a backpack on hand.

  • If you really need to bring a luggage... 

Keep in mind to invest in high-quality luggage — we learned this lesson the hard way. In the long term, this ensures durability, reliability, and better protection for your vital travel belongings. Can you imagine attending a friend's beach wedding only to have lost your formal and/or beach attire?  Great luggage can withstand the trials of travel, making your trip more comfortable and stress-free. I recommend a Samsonite Luggage for peace of mind. 

  • Bring a Camera. Capture your memories.

I would never leave for a trip without my Camera. Footprints fade away. Laughter will always be in our hearts but locking it in memory through a picture is priceless. The joy of reminiscing past trips and memorable experiences through pictures is undeniably satisfying. 

10. Connect and Disconnect

  • Check-in with family and friends

Lastly, connect to people and to nature, and feel their presence and existence. Disconnect from the online world. You don't need to travel with a data plan. I don't and I survived; that's why you do your research ahead of time. It's nice to find people who try to help you out and do it in an old school. No data plan means more savings. Besides, you'll have wifi in your hostel; try to message your mum/friend before your hike or scheduled bus trip, and when you get back to your place.

  • Travel with a Gratitude Journal

The wonders of traveling are felt more when you talk to people. We lose touch with the human connection because of the online world. Let's bring back deep conversations and those friendly touches to our lives. Friendly touch for me is like a pat on the shoulder, a tickle on the side, a touch of a hand, and simply high fives. People nowadays seem shocked when confronted with these kinds of gestures. We are so attached to our mobile phones that we forget how to have a good time in real life. Disconnecting for a few days is the best way to unwind. Immerse yourself and write it all down in your Gratitude Journal.