I’m not an expert on this, but i will share some tips & tricks on how to keep your trip low budget!
Accommodation & Transportation! I think these probably the top two that will dry your pocket fast. Other cost would be food and entrance fees.
Do you know that there are lots of hospitality clubs in the world?
and lots more … seriously! There are many travelers community in the world where you can meet other travelers and exchange thoughts or travel experience. The best of all, many of them allow you to stay at their place either for free. But don’t see it as a free hotel?! That’s a big NO! Remember, it’s a give-and-take between travelers community!
I use couchsurfing a lot during my travels, whether to stay at someone’ place (with similar interests), finding travel-mates, to get to know the city from a local’s point of view, or just just to get general/specific information about the places that i’m about to visit. It’s always fun and interesting to experience a city with the locals. They will show the places you wouldn’t normally find or go by being a tourist / visitor.
Another form of “couchsurfing” is where you are staying at someone’ place you already know. also check if you have some family relatives/ a good friend’ friend/family that might be able to host you. It’s safer than staying at a stranger’s place, right?!
If staying at someone’ place is a weird concept for you, then your other option is hostel / homestay / low budget hotel / (my least option) hotel. You can go to lagunatrip.com to search hostel/hotel worldwide. The rates on lagunatrip.com should be lower than the hostel/hotel’ rack rate.
For transportation i guess there are options like hitchhike and ride-share. Hitchhike can be a saver, but takes time. I often travel by plane because it’s faster and sometimes even cheaper than taking a bus/train. Click here to see the tips & tricks to find the free flights / cheap flights. If i have plenty of time, hitchhike is definitely my option to travel around. Just remember to do it safely, not all places are hitchhike friendly. To explore the city i would walk around – or rent a bicycle or rent a scooter or (my least option) rent a car.
Food is essential, without food you will get sick, and that will ruin your whole trip. When i travel i often interested to try the local food. Somehow i often find that food from small stands / vendors are tastier than posh restaurant. Especially in S.E. Asia. When you eat something you don’t normally eat, your stomach needs time to get used to it. Doesn’t matter you eat the cheapest or the most expensive food there is, Every food has germs in it no matter what. if your stomach is not used to the “local” germs, you will get stomach problem. Therefore, always bring your most trusted medicine to handle this kind of problem. There are times where you just have splurge your money for food, it is okay! just remember to budget your food budget for the whole trip.
Staying in a homestay/hostel that comes with a free breakfast is also a way to keep your budget low. and when you travel for weeks or months, a lot of times buying some groceries at the local market and cook it your self at your hostel / your host’ place is can be a gem. Remember, when you live like a local is way cheaper than live like a “tourist”. Drinking water is also very important, you can cross- check between mini-marts where you can get the best deal for drinking water or other products. Usually for fresh products they give discounts a few hours before they close for the day.
Another reason why you should stay in a hostel is that you can get (not all, but most likely) free access to drinking water. Bring your own bottle, fill up before you leave.
I like to visit the world’ heritage sites, unfortunately this will cost a lot especially when they have different rates for local and international visitors. If you visit sites like Borobudur, Angkor Wat as an international tourist, their entrance fee will most likely cost almost the same with one night stay in a hostel. For a frugal traveler like me, that costs a lot. These touristy sites often give discounts for student / ISIC / STA card holders. You can get ISIC / STA card worldwide via online (unfortunately there will be some administration fee), Therefore i think a student card is more useful. a friend of mine travels a lot with his “student” card (yeah he’s not really a student!).
Do you know that sometimes some museums open for public and for free on certain days?! and as for me, i often find that hanging out the park in the city is pretty amusing, seeing how locals spend their day and at the end of the day you would get new friends (if you’re lucky). Isn’t that cool!
Locals know more but not always the best, always gain lots of info from the locals and other travelers! Cross-checked everything. Info about the best place to stay according to your budget, places to eat, Route – Cost- Time for transportation, etc. To gain these info i often use the forums on CouchSurfing, Lonely Planet ThornTree, WikiTravel before and during my travels.
Have a nice trip! 😉
Featured image by Olivier More travel stories are available on blog.lagunatrip.com