Traveling, in any language, always connotes money and expenses – loads of it. Even foregoing visions of traveling first-class with first-class amenities and all that, the fact that one does go out of one’s place to go to another (desired) place still means fare money, board and lodging, and those other countless expenses you did not know at all.
On the other side of the equation, you may have noticed that some people manage to travel for months (or, even years) without showing any signs of wear and tear. Nor were there any police squads barging into their houses in the middle of the night and hauling them away for some crimes involving money.
The simple reason is that they are not necessarily rich. They just know how to make their travel money last longer, and afford to travel to more places at more times.
There are many ways to see the world at a bargain price, so to speak. The following are some tips and guides picked up from all over.
Knowing where to go
Knowing where to go is different from knowing where you want to go. All the places in the world have their charms that you haven’t seen on TV or in magazines. We are concerned about travel budget here and ways on how to stretch it.
Many countries in Asia, parts of Africa and South America are much cheaper to go to than North America, Europe or Australia. Your travel money for one week in Europe can last a month in India, Nepal and many Southeast Asian countries.
Initial air fares make the biggest cuts into your travel budget. Knowing the holiday seasons around the world and being flexible with your own travel dates and times is a perfect combination to score some big savings.
Take note that half of the world’s population wants to fly in December for the Christmas holidays. In Europe, the most expensive months to fly around are in July and August which are the European summer holiday months.
Costs of air fares for the same destination can be drastically different according to the actual time you fly. Flying mid-week instead of around the weekend or at “unholy hours” like very early in the morning can reduce air fares.
Booking your flight online and well in advance is much cheaper. Round trip (back and forth) tickets are also cheaper than standard fares.
Unless you do not know the place (and traveling light), trains and buses are good buys for cheap city fares. (Sometimes, they can even be cheaper at night in some places.)
These days, youth hostels can be an affordable option around the world. (These are at places that don’t have a backpacker scene or cheap traveller’s guesthouses.)
Sometimes, discounts can be negotiated in many guest houses (sometimes called “pension houses” in other places) and hotels if you are staying longer. It is cheaper than moving to new places every few days or so.
There are other options in reducing some of the costs of travel. Keeping one’s eyes open to new possibilities (aside from those listed here) can go a long way in helping costs down and make your stay enjoyable and cheap.