Everyone wants to travel the world, but the overwhelming costs associated with vacation travels often scare people away from pursuing travels. Every vacation you take seems to cost twice as much as you expected, and the cost of living temporarily in another country seems overwhelming. But that’s because most people frequently adopt unintentionally costly vacation habits.
Traveling doesn’t have to be an incredibly costly venture. Although plane tickets are often an unavoidable large expense, you don’t have to add on to the bill with high day-to-day expenses. Here are five hacks to help you see the world without breaking the bank
Go grocery shopping on your travels
It’s easy to rely on eating out for every meal when you travel to a foreign country, but that habit is certainly not a requirement of vacationing. Rather than pay for cooked meals for lunch, breakfast and dinner, stop by local grocery stores during your trip. Take advantage of store sales and explore local ingredients, which can help give you a taste for foreign cuisine you wouldn’t necessarily see on a restaurant menu.
Groceries can stave off snacking in airplanes, trains and ferries as well, saving you a lot on food in the long run. Buy materials for sandwich making, snacking, and easy-to-transport foods like crackers, jerky or cheeses. When you do eat out, try to eat during lunch hours, when restaurants typically have cheaper, smaller lunch portions, and look for happy hour events at bars and nightclubs for drinking.
Pack light and recycle often
The easiest way to make traveling difficult is to give yourself too much to carry. If you’re going to be traveling to multiple places, you’ll want to pack as light as possible. Rely on finding washing machines to keep your clothes clean, rather than trying to pack enough clothes for everyday of your travel. Use a travel backpack instead of a suitcase, which can be cumbersome to transport, and make sure that you pack a reasonable amount of clothes and don’t overdress. You won’t need fancy dress clothes for your travels, nor do you need more than two pairs of shoes. Be picky.
Be sure that whatever you do bring is recyclable, easily washable and durable, so you don’t have to worry about replacing anything. Be sure to include a good Thermos and a Swiss army knife with utensils as part of your collection.
Find hostels or rent a room
In order to avoid racking up expenses, skip the hotels and look for local hostels or Airbnb renters in the area to save on living expenses. Places like Costa Ricka, Thailand, Jamaica, or any other popular tourists spots are replete with holiday homes available to rent via Airbnb. These arrangements often come at favorable prices, and can often give you a chance to meet locals or other travelers, providing for easy socialization and interaction with the local culture. Hostels and Airbnb rooms are also often more conveniently located than hotels, which tend to be at the heart of an area’s tourism district; renting someone’s spare room or a hostel will likely put you closer to the locals and away from flashy tourist traps.
Look for good ticket deals
Signing up for travel clubs can give you great deals on airplane or train tickets, allowing you to travel when it’s cheapest to fly. In addition, if you’re looking for a particular ticket, be sure to use a private or incognito window to prevent the airlines from showing you inflated prices on tickets you’re interested in.
Looking for options other than plane travel can also save you money and may give you more of an opportunity to see the countryside of a local area. Ferries, boats, buses, subways and trains are all frequently significantly cheaper than plane tickets, saving you hundreds on travel expenses.
Travel by public transportation
Speaking of travel expenses, avoid renting a car and use public transportation to move around a city. The stops will often be at key areas, saving you the hassle of finding your own way to popular locations, and the cost of a bus ticket or metro ticket is often a fraction of that of a taxi or of renting your own car. Look for options, as well, to rent a bike for a day to travel around the city, which will give you the chance to exercise and see everything for yourself.
Traveling the world doesn’t have to be an incredibly expensive venture. If you plan ahead, live simply and throw yourself into the local culture, you can enjoy a low-cost, interactive and unique trip you might never have experienced in a more traditional, expensive vacation.
Featured photo credit: Asaf antman via flickr.com