Whether you are a college student who’s put together months of pocket money to make this trip happen or you simply like the idea of budget travel better than luxury travel and think it paves the path for more adventures then here are 5 short and simple tips for you that will help you plan and travel better with less money.
Work Out A Rough Plan: What works for me is to first calculate the miscellaneous expense. All the small bits of purchases and expenses of everything that I need to get by in the day, put together. I keep this at a minimum (though this depends on where I plan to go) and then add a little bit extra to it, so I can include some nutella pancakes if I fancy. There are days I spend less and when I spend more. It balances out.
Shop Smart And Less: So now that I have an approximate idea of how much money is needed to do the actual travelling, I add the major expenses of transportation and accommodation to it. This way I know where to spend and how much to spend because all my money has already been allotted a role. This stops me from making impulsive purchases of fancy products I don’t really need. However, I never shy away from buying what I need or REALLY want.
Know When It’s Okay To Spend: Best way to travel on a budget and enjoy it is to know what you want from your trip. If you are seeking adventure then invest in that. But you can’t eat everything you see or buy fancy socks and umbrellas. Pick the one you want to do and spend your money happily on it.
Know Your Food and Water Goals: Again depends on the place. Himachal has expensive food but not too many great chefs, so I stick to local thali which is relatively cheap (Rs. 80) and almost always yum. In Kerala food was really cheap, I could have a meal for Rs. 40 and I did stick to that for some time. But then I realized it would be a pity to miss out on the awesome local cuisines to save money and switched to eating biriyani (Rs. 100 – Rs. 140) and meen curry rice (Rs. 80) every day. Try to keep empty bottles to fill up fresh and free drinking water where you find it. Rs. 20 a bottle might seem innocuous but adds to make a hefty total.
Keep Backup: Ultimately this is travel and the idea is to have a good time. Travelling on a budget can be hard and stressful at times. The way I beat this is to have enough extra cash in my account while on the road. So every time I feel the budget is slipping out of my hand I shrug and tell myself, there’s more if I need. So far, I have not needed more but it’s very comforting to know that there’s backup and I’m not broke.