If there is one thing that many people will start doing after the pandemic, it’s to travel more. Being forced to stay at home highlights how much people miss moving around. But as much as we hate to admit it, travel and vacations are a luxury. It’s not exactly cheap, but it doesn’t have to be expensive either.
You can travel on a budget and still have a great time; this is how you can do that.
Skip the fancy restaurants
For many people, food is one of their top reasons for travelling to a foreign country. Sure, you can probably find restaurants that adopt the same cuisine locally, but it’s nothing compared to the real thing. Surveys found that food is one of the top ten reasons people travel because they like discovering new things.
If you are working on a budget and want to try as much local food as possible, you should skip those fancy restaurants. While it’s good to try a few popular restaurants when travelling, eating exclusively at high-end places will make travelling a lot more expensive. You will find that a lot of these places have significantly higher prices than those hole-in-the-wall establishments.
What you can do is look for local favourites. These are usually more affordable because they cater to the average person. Thus, these restaurants will also have a more authentic taste because it doesn’t try to cater to wealthy foreigners. Street food is a great option as well. It is way cheaper, and you also get the chance to try out more food.
Look beyond the hotel
Hotels are quite expensive. You are paying for luxury after all, but if you’re only staying there to sleep and shower, then it can be a bit of a waste. If your itinerary involves you being out and about all day, then you can look into finding more low-cost accommodation.
Some places have decent two or three-star hotels, while others have business-class hotels made explicitly for just sleeping. Capsule hotels are actually on the rise, even outside of Japan. Studies found that it will grow by 6.3 percent by 2026 as it becomes more popular in even Europe.
Hostels and Airbnb are also a popular choice. You live in a dorm-style accommodation, but these are usually the top choices of travellers on a budget. Most of them are located near popular tourist spots as well. If you want to increase your daily budget for other things, forgoing the standard luxury rooms is the way to go.
The great thing about travelling is that there are always lovely free places. You don’t have to go to amusement parks and towers. Many of them, especially the popular ones, are quite expensive and look way better in postcards. What you can do is go off the beaten path and explore unconventional locations.
You can try to make an open itinerary where you spend a day just walking through the city. You can discover a lot of unique and memorable things that a lot of tourists miss. It may even lead you to find cool spots or restaurants that aren’t typically featured. Often, you can walk in between cities but renting bicycles is also possible.
Parks and mountain trails are also a great way to enjoy your destination without spending. Most are free or ask for small donations. Each country has its beauty, and you can never be disappointed when in nature.
Take advantage of tourist passes
A lot of countries rely on tourism for their economy. As a result, they try to offer discounts and railway passes that are specifically sold to tourists. These usually give you access to transportation services such as buses and trains for a lower price. It can last for a few days to a week, so you don’t have to buy tickets everywhere you go. Some also come with discounts and freebies at partner tourist destinations.
It’s best to look for these passes online before your trip. You can buy them online and pick them up when you get to the destination country. They can be claimed either in airports or at kiosks in the country. In some cases, passes may not always be cheaper, so avid travellers suggest making a rough plan. Then, you can check if you can use a pass for most of them and if it would be cheaper to buy individual tickets or not. If you find that your past won’t be used as much, it may not be the best choice.