Yearning to take a trip overseas but fear breaking the bank? Travel and lifestyle blogger Jemimah Wei gives us the scoop on how you can stretch your dollar while taking the trip of your dreams.
Penny-pinching can take the fun out of any vacation. Having spent much of her travels as a broke student, blogger Jemimah Wei knows all too well the need to make every dollar count. However, this does not mean that your enjoyment should be compromised! Jemimah gives us her eight tips on how to travel well on a budget.
1. Splurge on one great meal a day
“Budget travel shouldn’t be miserable. Surviving on dry baguettes can dampen even Paris for anyone. What I do is plan for one great sit-down meal per day, then snack my way through the rest of the day. It works out cheaper than having three average sit-down meals, and justifies trying really special places while on a budget!”
2. Download these App-solutely useful tools
“Two of the most useful free apps I have for travel are Foursquare and citymaps2go. Foursquare is good for getting recommendations around you, and you can often find useful community-based tips from it like Wifi passwords of places and so on. citymaps2go lets you download offline maps of cities that also include GPS tracking without using mobile data.”
3. Ditch the high-end hotel option
“When it comes to accommodation, forget hotels unless you’re in Southeast Asia. They’re usually way more expensive than newer, more affordable options like Airbnb or hostels. On a really tight budget? Couchsurfing is great fun and is a great way to really get into the local’s way of life. Despite its name, in my years of couchsurfing, I’ve never actually been offered a couch – usually you get a bed or mattress, but you always, always, come away with a new friend.”
4. Don’t waste daylight hours
“I’ve found that overnight trains and buses save both time and money when travelling – you don’t waste precious daylight hours stuck on a bus, and you save on a night’s accommodation by stacking it on top of your transport cost. Overnight buses may not be for everybody, but sleeper trains are quite an interesting experience – and the option to lie down to sleep on a train is certainly a luxury compared to sitting on a bus all night!”
5. Do as the locals do!
“Talk to locals for the best insider tips to any city. The best way to do this, I think, is staying in an Airbnb or hostel run by locals. They’ll tell you things like how to get around having a reservation for popular places at the last minute, the best local market to hit that hasn’t yet had its prices inflated by tourist influx, and so on.”
6. Whither wifi?
“If you’re a student, or if you have a student in your travelling party, you’re in luck. Campuses all over the world have eduroam wifi, easily accessible in major cities via your eduroam account created back home. This saved me so much money all over Europe.”
7. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes
“This seems obvious, but if you’re in Eastern Europe, take advantage of the free walking tours offered in most cities. It’s a great way to see the city and the guides tend to also have a running commentary on the history of the place. This is especially interesting in European cities because of their involvement and proximity to the world wars, and getting a local’s insight on how the war and policies affected living, breathing people is really interesting and adds another dimension to your trip.”
8. Book your bargains in advance
“Before booking anything, search the web for a discount code or promotion. Lots of places have deals for certain days of the week, or run sales in the summer. Either way, all it takes is a quick Google search – it’s minimal work, and the extra step can really save you up to half your ticket prices if you get lucky!”
What are some of your budget travelling tips? Share them in the Comments section below!
All images courtesy of Jemimah Wei.
11 Nov 2016
28 Oct 2016