From the depths of your bed and office desk, you look at your Instagram feed and Facebook friends. It’s just not fair. There they are; those people that seem like they’re constantly travelling with a ceaseless pocket full of cash. Fear not, think outside the box and put on your financial hat; we’re here to help you see The Colessum, The Pyramids and sail around Croatia – all whilst travelling on a budget.
HOSTELS NOT HOTELS A quarter of the price of a hotel and usually providing free or cheap food, Hostels are the first step in saving your allowance. Do your research and make sure to check the reviews for cleanliness and comfortability as you get ready to bunk with some new foreign friends. Also, make sure to book one close to the city centre so that you don’t have to spend as much money on transport.
THOUGHT FOR FOOD If it comes out on a gold plated dish at a 5 star restaurant, then you ain’t budgeting right. Don’t eat out too much. Buy your own groceries and carry snacks or even a sandwich with you when you’re out and about. Immerse yourself in the culture and take to the street markets and local produce stalls, however just be cautiously adventurous with what you choose to buy. Bali belly is not fun.
YOU WILL WALK 500 MILES The walkathon at school prepared you for this day. Walk whenever you can, even if it’s a twenty minute distance. Not only do you get exercise and a breath of fresh air, but you might even find some cool things along the way. Do a free walking tour; they are perfect for giving you a brief insight of the city you’re in, including some history and local secrets. The tour guides also give you great advice, which helps you decide where to eat, the places to see and the things to do!
YOU SHALL NOT PASS Go to places with no entry fee. There are many places you can visit for free and still experience the culture of the city. Some examples include gardens, museums, parks, certain monuments, free shows, graffiti murals, beaches, and hikes.
ONE’S TRASH, ANOTHER’S TREASURE If you feel like shopping, go to the collector markets and second hand shops. You won’t believe the stuff you’ll find, especially being overseas. From Ralph Lauren jackets to vintage Betsy Johnston dresses, it’s all there – and for as little as ten dollars!
BARGAINS ARE A TRAVELLER’S BEST FRIEND Travel off peak: flights, trains, attractions and accommodation will be cheaper, and places won’t be as busy. Look for cheap deals, car rentals, student discounts, and avoid unnecessary costs by packing light!
ADVANCE BOOKINGS, COLLECT $200 It’s hard to sometimes organise everything prior to the day, but try booking in advance as soon as you can. Prices will be cheaper, and you won’t have to worry about spending as much money on the day. Booking overnight transport is also a great idea! Overnight trains and buses may not be the most comfortable means of transport, but they are usually cheaper, and it’s one less night you have to pay for accommodation.
MATES RATES Stay with friends. Extend that networking web, and go to places where you have friends or even friends of friends, so that you can stay with them for free (or at a cheap price). Play your cards right and be a good guest – you may just find yourself with an in-house tour-guide.
WORKAWAY ON YOUR HOLIDAY Work-away’s offer free accommodation and food, in exchange that you help a few hours a week. Hosts are usually flexible with hours, so you’ll still have plenty of time to see the sights. The working holiday is also a great option to look into; pack up your life, get a VISA, get a job and get some experience living overseas!
Do you here that sound? It’s the sweet cling of saved dollars and coins in your pocket. Hopefully these tips have inspired you to start planning your next overseas adventure, and prevent you from shedding a tear the next time you see photos of that certain someone going on yet another trip. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the travelling friend popping up on our desktop screens next.
Renata is a colour-loving, op-shop-going, beach-frolicking writer and designer. She's passionate about supporting local businesses and highlighting local and hand-made brands. She also loves reading YA, napping in the winter sun, and re-watching Gilmore Girls one too many times... find her on Instagram @totesweird