How to travel on a Shoestring Budget: The Ultimate Guide

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Travelling on a Budget? Seems tough. Everybody loves travelling.Right? Well, it’s not for everyone, because it takes a lot of patience, effort and above all, Money. For students or Employees, the priority is always to get to Travel on a shoestring or low budget. How to travel on a shoestring budget? This is the most-asked question when it comes to Travelling. People have wishes and dreams to see exotic places, forests or even plains. But they don’t have money. Don’t worry, we’ve got you the ultimate guide to travelling on a shoestring budget. Here are some tricks to help you travel on a shoestring budget:

1. Pre-book to save more than 40% on transport and Stay..

One of the biggest mistakes people do is that they keep on delaying their plans which ultimately leads to the last-moment stress of booking flights, or hotels or whatever. To avoid this, Pre-booking should be done. Some of the advantages of pre-booking are:

1. Prices can go down by 40% if pre-booked.

2. You don’t have to worry about booking any of the flights or hotels, you can just Fly.

3. Pre-booking will give you the right of choice i.e. book your favorite seat or get your preferred room.

2. Pack less, buy more.

Now this one might seem a little tricky, but its True. I’ve seen people going shopping to purchase some clothes or shoes or accessories for travelling. I suggest never purchase things from your the place, you might get a cheaper alternative somewhere during your trip. For example, buying bangles in your city might be a little expensivegetsbut you can get them at a very cheap price in Jodhpur’s market. So pack less when you leave, buy more on the way. Read Top 10 Travel Essentials for a Perfect Trip.

3. Avoid Luxury.

Now if you are going with your family, you might wanna stay in the best hotel, get the best flight but at the same time, there’s something that’s gonna be a problem: BUDGET!!!

67% of families don’t enjoy their stay because they live under the sheet of a budget (The rest 33% are Rich.). You don’t have to do that, instead what you can do is. Avoid some luxuries like living in a 3-star hotel or getting an A/C Cab for the City-Wide tour. Here are some tips you can use to avoid luxury but enjoy your stay:

Avoid private transport, it costs a lot. Use Public Transport. Its cheap, you can afford it and it will allow you to mix up with the Locals.

Avoid eating at High-end restaurants. Try-out some Street food or eat at a budget-restaurant around.

Don’t go for the perfect, high-rated hotels. Instead get  the  budget hotel because when travelling, your room is gonna be empty during the day because you’d be out exploring, its only gonna be used at night. So just consider a bed as the most important thing in a hotel. Don’t go for other amenities, they cost a fortune.

4. Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate.

Negotiation is good, I didn’t know it can be so powerful. Whenever I’m on a trip and I need some kind of transport or a hotel room, I always negotiate with them.

I’ve even got the rooms worth 1500/night at 600/night. Your negotiation skills should be good if you wanna save more than 50% of travel and stay. Here are some negotiation tips for you to save more :

Never express them your need. Always act like you are not desperate to get that room or transport. You express your need and the other person got his chance to fool you.

Always mention your price by half(-50%). For a room of 1500, I said “I want one at 750” He wasn’t agreeing. But then he agreed. Once he agreed, I took him down further to 600 and Bingo! I got my stay.

Know the margins or prices beforehand so you have some research to negotiate upon.

5. Using the Natural Mode of Transport: Your Legs!

Travelling on a shoestring budget? You can’t move on your own. If you travel on a regular basis, you know that most of the must-visit places are located around 5-7 km from each other and getting a transport for such short distances, ummm..Not a good Idea. Instead, walk. Walking is good, its good for your health and also for your wealth as it saves you the cost of inter-city transport. For example, when I travel, I plan all the destinations in advance and also check the distance between all of them(Are they walkable or should I get a transport?). This saves me a lot of time and Money. Plus, when you are walking, you can explore a lot of unexplored lanes, can see things you cant when on a vehicle.

6. Eat light but eat right.

I agree we must not eat a lot when travelling because your body might not be comfortable travelling with your belly full, True. But eating light doesn’t mean you should not eat right. Why do we eat? To keep our bodies healthy and energetic.Right? So When you decide to have a meal, try to find out the meal with the highest number of calories. They’ll give you enough energy to travel around the day and won’t make you feel like you’re full. When you eat the right food with the right number of calories, you don’t have to take another bite for hours, which in turn saves a lot of money spent on food.

7. Get a Camp Tent

Investing in a camp tent is the most important thing when it comes to travelling on a shoestring budget. Not only adventurers but even families are now avoiding the hotels and staying in a camp. I ask you, isn’t it fun to sleep under the stars? Or is it fun to sleep on a nice mattress with Air conditioners ON? I bet you would say STARS! Because why not? Its wild, its feels free and you can pitch your tents almost anywhere around the world(Excluding The White House or any other political residence). Best thing is that you can use these tents for a very long period of time if taken good care. I use this one Quechea Arpenaz 2

8. Hitchhiking is Awesome

Hitchhiking is amazing, you don’t have to spend a penny on transport if you learn to raise a finger( Not the middle one, LOL!!) or just your Thumb. Hitchhiking allows you to get to know new people, travel for free and above all, get to know the city. Don’t be ashamed to ask for a trip from anyone, some people love helping others. I’ve personally never paid much for inter-city travel, I either walk or get a ride by raising my thumb. It’s that Easy.

9. Make new friends.

The reason I love travelling a lot is that I get to meet a lot of people during my journey and it feels great. Making new friends and especially good friends can not only be helpful psychologically(You’ll be happy) but also financially(reduction in overall costs). I make a lot of friends during my journey and believe it or not, it really helps me reduce the costs of stay. I’ve met and shared rooms with fellow travellers and paid only my share. For a hotel room of 1200, if you meet two more travellers and they share a room with you, it will only cost you 400. That’s how it goes.

10. Avoid Travelling during the peak season.

I know you’ll be like “WHATTTTTTT?” But its True. Everything from transport to stay get really expensive in the peak seasons, so its better to visit places during the off-season because there’s less crowd and more time for you to explore. Plus, the smartest travellers always travel in off-season and if you do it too, you’ll get to meet some really good people. When I travel, I often travel in off-season because its cheap, I can be free to do whatever I like and there’s less crowd to interfere.

So these were the ten tricks I’ve always used to save more than 50% on all my trips. I know things like walking, staying in a camp or eating less don’t come in Luxury, but as a traveller, you don’t have to look for luxury, you have to look for places, for people and for more time to explore.

Always remember, the only difference between a traveller and a tourist is that Travellers are always willing to compromise on their luxury for travel while tourists prefer luxury before travel.

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By

Anubhav Bhatt, Travel Blogger and Entrepreneur.

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