As the end of winter nears, many of you are chomping at the bit to start your Spring travel. You probably have destinations in mind, a group of friends you want to travel with, and may have even purchased your plane tickets already. Planning and paying for a trip can leave you mentally tired and financially exhausted. And ain’t nobody got time for that so I’m here to help.
I get tons of questions on how I travel so much, what I do for a living, do I have a sponsor… you name it. And honestly, none of that is anyone’s business lol but what I will say is that I travel on a budget!!! I am not wealthy yet and like many of you, I want to see the world without breaking the bank. Below are 5 ways that I enjoy a trip without dipping into my rent money.
1. I Create a budget for my trip
Before I set foot on a plane, I create a daily budget for each day that I will be gone. The easiest way to do this is to research the place you are going and see how expensive or inexpensive it is. My general rule of thumb is $100 for each day of my trip. That amount can be adjusted if necessary. If I spend more on one day, I’ll cut back on the next day and vice versa. If you are traveling internationally, you’ll definitely want to factor in the currency exchange rates.
2. Live like the locals
Tourist destinations can be a sinkhole for your pockets if you choose to go the typical tourist route. When I travel, I take the off-beaten path and do what the locals do. If you are unsure about what they do, just ask. Most times they will know the neighborhoods that have the most character, which museums are free, the best happy hours etc. If you MUST visit a popular tourist attraction, try to choose one that is free. If you want to see the Eiffel Tower, don’t pay for the tour. Have a picnic on the lawn instead.
3. Pre-pay for entertainment
When traveling internationally, currency exchange rates can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Even the credit card fees can be a surprise. As a way to save money, I scout the events that I want to attend in my destination city while I’m still planning my trip. If I can, I will buy the ticket before I get there. This limits the amount of money I need to exchange and decreases the chance of getting hosed by inflated prices later. It also prevents me from have to spend large amounts of money at one time. When I went to London, I bought myself a ticket to The Lion King play months prior to my trip instead of waiting until I arrived.
4. adjust your focus
When I first started traveling as an adult, one of my to-do’s for every trip was to shop. I would spend the bulk of my money shopping instead of spending on experiences and things that would create memories. There isn’t anything wrong with a few souvenirs, especially if what you’re buying is unique to that locale. I mean, who doesn’t want a bottle of Pure White Hennessy from the Bahamas? Just don’t go overboard.
5. use public transit
I live in Houston, TX. We are one of the most spread out cities in America with, in my opinion, one of the worst public transit systems for a city this size. Having a car or using a ride-share service is ideal here but in other cities, public transit is king. When in New York, learn the subway system. If in London, take The Tube. In Toronto, the TTC trains and streetcars are everything. Public transportation can be a bitch sometimes because of delays or out of service lines. However, the price to get around the city using the train is much cheaper than ubering or taking a cab.
I hope you find these tips helpful in your upcoming travels. If you have any tips for traveling on a budget, please leave them in the comments. Thanks for reading! – Your Travel Accomplice