Genius Travel Hacks for When You’re Broke
Ah yes, traveling, that one thing everyone has on their bucket list. From the majestic capital of France to the soothing mountainsides of the Swiss Alps, the options are plenty. Wouldn't it be nice to have the world at your feet and get to globe-trot at will? As fascinating as that may sound, life isn't some perfect fantasy.
The truth is that traveling is pricey, from the commute itself, most often involving a flight or two, you’ll find yourself spending a significant amount of money. Then there’s lodging and other utility bills to contend with. But you don’t need a ton of cash to get a decent travel experience. Here are a few hacks on how to travel on a budget.
As you may well know, carriers often charge for luggage. So, if you’re traveling on a budget, then consider taking along the bare necessities. You don't need a massive suitcase for, say, a two-day getaway. A great way to get around paying baggage fees is packing your stuff in a backpack since a lot of airlines don't charge fees for those.
Just because you’re traveling light doesn’t mean you have to compromise on comfort. And what better way to ensure a snug trip than to have a comforter. The best comforters come with a premium cotton build and feature thermal regulation and a high thread count to provide maximum comfort. Travel cheap and travel well.
Travel During Off-Peak Season
Peak season often means you’ll have to pay a premium for the same products and services. Travel and accommodation are the two most affected amenities. You might end up spending tons more for a commute that would ordinarily cost a fraction of the price. But you can't blame them; it is a business after all.
Therefore, time your trip around the off-peak season. Hotel prices, flights, cab rides, and most other expenditures will be a whole lot more affordable. Peak season is also associated with lots of crowding. So, by taking that off-peak trip, you’ll get to save on cash while enjoying a more peaceful experience.
Hostels Over Hotels
Since you're traveling on a budget, there are a few luxuries you'll have to cut back on, and that includes accommodation. Hotels typically charge a significant amount higher than hostels. Even with lower-end hotels, say two-star, you’ll still have to cough up a pretty penny in exchange for lodging.
Go for a hostel instead. Sure, you won't get all the glitz and glam of a hotel suite, but there are still decent options out there. With a hostel, you’re not only getting a wallet-friendly option but also more of a backpacking experience with memories to last. Hostels also feature common areas where you can potentially meet people and end up sharing transportation or meal costs.
Get Advance Bookings
It’s great if you love to be spontaneous and do things in a sort of spur-of-the-moment kind of way. But avoid the same happy-go-lucky mindset when planning for a trip, especially on a budget. Budget-friendly trips call for due diligence in terms of getting prepped. And that means booking early.
Book your travel and accommodation way in advance to avoid any last-minute rushes. Early bookings often cost less and give you peace of mind. Also, by booking early, say, on a flight, you might get the luxury of choosing which seats you prefer or in the case of a hotel, the room you feel is ideal for you. It’s a classic case of the early bird catches the worm.
Go Incognito While Booking
The Internet is a beautiful place, but it also has its downsides. You know how your browser keeps a history of everything you search for? Well, travel websites have a sneaky way of tracking your past activity and seeing what prices you’ve been quoted in the past. They collect that data and use it to offer a higher rate based on the options you went through.
So, while making your booking, turn on the private tab on your browser to ensure you keep things on the down-low. Alternatively, clear your cookies and browser history so that your search results remain a secret. You could also use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your PC to make it seem like you’re booking from a different location. You could end up saving lots of cash in this way.
While on vacation, chances are your apartment remains empty (unless you have a roommate). So, what better way to fund your trip than to list it on Airbnb? By accommodating people at your place, you turn your unoccupied living space into a money-generating avenue. The income could supplement your travel budget and let you enjoy the experience a little bit more.
The Airbnb option is even better if you're planning a more extended trip, say a week or two. Ideally, look for a travel destination where your accommodation expenditure is less than what you’re charging. That way, you’ll be making money off the difference and possibly stretch out your stay.
Carpool to Share the Travel Load
If you are traveling abroad, then you’ll have to hire a car to get around. But if it’s possible, find another traveler or a few others and carpool. You all chip in equally and pay for a vehicle that you can use to get around with.
Carpooling is a fantastic way to keep your expenses low while still getting the most out of your trip. There are precautions that you should take, though. Not everyone is trustworthy, so always make sure that they pay upfront. The last thing you want is to take someone’s word then have them walk away smack in the middle of the trip without paying a dime.
Traveling is a luxury that should be enjoyed by everyone at least a couple of times in a lifetime. And yes, times get tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit at home 365 days a year. With these hacks, you can plan a budget-friendly trip and get the most out of the experience. So, get planning without making your pockets suffer.