Traveling on a budget – yay or nay?

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Some people live with the common misconception that traveling is very expensive and they need to give an arm and a leg to visit some exotic country on their bucket list. While that may be true when you wish to travel in luxury, the reality is yet another. You are perfectly able to travel on a budget, but only if you go through a process which I like to call ‘careful planning.’ My process takes longer, requires more research, finding great deals, and a few tips that save money along the way. Stay with me, and I will share some of the suggestions that allow me to not spend a lot of cash when I travel.

Always buy plane tickets a few months before you leave

That may be tricky because of unexpected circumstances. For example, you are never 100% sure if you can go on a trip six months from now. Even so, if you plan ahead, you can get some great deals on plane tickets. They are the least expensive a few months before departure. Of course, the season is an aspect that matters as well, but even so, you still get to scrape a few hundred dollars if you plan way ahead. Another suggestion is to travel to exotic countries off-season. After all, the weather is almost always nice, and you can enjoy what a location has to offer even when most people stay away from it. Take Tenerife, for example. It is perfectly enjoyable in February, even if most people choose to go there in the summer.

Never pack too much

Another common misconception is that you need half of your wardrobe on your trip. That could not be more false. If you pack lightly, not only that you will not pay much at check-in, but you can also move better. In my experience, three sets of clothes are almost always enough. You can wash and dry them at the hotel. After all, a trip is not a catwalk. The memories matter more than what clothes you are wearing. However, depending on where you choose to go, some particular recommendations are in order. For example, if the destination is humid, you need as many pairs of socks as you can carry. Foot fungus is no joke, and it can ruin your entire vacation.

Use the internet…as much as possible

Service providers, such as hotels, transportation, scuba-diving guides, and so on, offer great deals if you make the bookings online. It may be something like 10% or 15%, but if you put all those discounts together, you will see that you can save quite a lot. On a single trip, I was able to save $213 only in discounts. Of course, you need to look for them, and it may take weeks to find them all, but it is possible.

Get your documents online

Foreign countries usually require you to have a passport upon entry, and some of them will ask for a visa. However, you may get lucky because many countries provide those documents online. For example, let’s say that your destination is Cambodia. You can get a visa online. All you need is a passport and a few other documents, but they are easy to obtain. Even the photos can be taken online. The internet has changed the game quite a lot in the past few years, and it will cost you less to get your papers online than going to an embassy.

The whole point of the tips above is to make traveling on a budget possible. The good news for you is that it is. Most people think that if you travel on a budget, you cannot have the time of your life. That is so untrue. The experiences do not cost you much. It is the fancy hotels and not thinking when you spend 10 extra dollars on whatever you buy is what makes a trip expensive. But you should do what I do. Whenever you are tempted to spend money on something, ask yourself if your experience will somehow suffer if you don’t. You would be surprised how much money that question can save you.