When traveling on a budget it’s best to keep in mind the following points:
1. Travel in the off-peak seasons. You can save up to as much as fifty per cent off air flights and accommodation costs if you plan to travel in low season times.
2. Stay away from popular tourist spots (unless they are on your ‘must-see’ list). If you can go off the beaten track with your destinations, things can be cheaper to see and do and your cultural experiences will be richer.
3. Try camping. Not only is it the cheapest form of accommodation it’s a great way to get up close and personal to nature. It’s the best way to see National Parks and Heritage listed areas.
4. Look for special travel offers (or packages). But make sure you check everything that they include – and don’t include.
5. Invest in a travel pass where you are able. Most developed countries have a rail or bus transport system where you can obtain day, week or monthly passes that will get you around cheaply.
6. Get a work permit if you aim to gain employment while traveling overseas. Working can help subsidize places that aren’t so cheap, such as Europe and Australia.
7. Look for good exchange rates on the dollar. This may help you decide which country to travel to.
8. Think about shortening your visit to destinations that are expensive and increasing your length of stay in cheaper places.
9. Where possible use your credit card. The exchange rate is better.
10. When staying in a hotel, avoid paying for ‘extras’. Don’t touch anything from the honor bar. Don’t watch the in-house movies and don’t use the hotel phone. And try not to use room service too much!
On the world scene there are some great places to travel on a budget for under thirty dollars a day. In Asia you can try India, Laos, China, Cambodia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Thailand, Sumatra and Burma. In Central and South America you can visit El Salvador, Bolivia and Ecuador. If you are after a budget experience in the Pacific, try Fiji or New Zealand. Over in Africa there are some great budget destinations such as Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Ghana. Don’t forget the Middle East where places like Iran, Syria and Turkey provide excellent value for money and wonderful experiences for the budget traveler.
There is no ‘best place’ to travel on a budget. Just be prepared to look around, avoid the pitfalls of unwanted costs in package deals or hotel bookings. If you want to travel and your budget doesn’t meet your expectations, be flexible and see if there is somewhere cheaper you might like to experience. You could be pleasantly surprised with your stay in India or Iran, when you thought you wanted to go to Tahiti.