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Tips for travelling on a budget
Ever wanted to hand in your notice, put all your furniture into storage and just travel the world? For far too many of us, this is just a dream. Whether you want to travel the world for a year after your studies or just spend 6 months on a road trip around South America with your partner, the lack of finance has stopped many people from making the most of what the big wide world has to offer. Well, don't let it stop you any longer, thousands of people have managed to travel the world on a budget, here are some tips, resources and Travel Information that can help you plan that perfect trip.
Get a Job
There are many ways to earn while you travel and one of the most popular choices is to teach English as a foreign language. All you need is a bit of patience and a friendly manner and you're ready to go. Have a look around online for some tips on how to get started and what companies have the best deal for you. This is a great way to earn a bit of extra cash on your trip and can be very rewarding too.
A very helpful site is The Wanderlust Times, a guide to independent travel for those on a budget, offering travel inspiration and advice from around the world. As well a tips and advice for saving money, the site also has a section dedicated to finding a job while you are abroad.
As english is the most widely spoken language in the world, most popular tourist destinations tend to have a few english run bars or restaurants. Getting a job at one of these is a great way to meet new people. Also if you work nights, you've got your days to do all the fun stuff. Whether it's sight seeing or getting to see a slice of culture you have never experienced before.
Take a look at Exotic Visitors Travel Blog for a post called Make Money While Travelling. The site is run by Mike, who has been travelling for the past 30 years. You can also find lots of useful posts and videos, including the interesting video travel guide on Granada, Spain.
If you want to have a look at some experiences of a traveller who is working as she goes along, take a look at The Professional Hobo - aka Nora Dunn. She is a Canadian who sold everything she owned over three years ago to travel the world in a financially sustainable manner. She works or volunteers in trade for accommodation in many of the places she goes, using her writing income to cover the rest of her expenses. This allows her to travel slowly (she counts herself among the world's slowest travelers), and gain a true sense of what daily life is like in many of the places she visits. She is currently in New Zealand, and on her way to Europe for four months, then Australia for two months, and back to New Zealand for another three months or so.
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Avoid the tourist traps
You are probably most likely to get a job in a touristy part of the place you are visiting, but this does not mean you have to eat and drink there. These places are notorious for overcharging because they know a lot of people will not know the difference between these parts of town and the less crowded parts, and even if they did, would probably not even dare to venture to them. Find those little restaurants that the locals eat in. Here you can get a real view of how the locals live and for a much cheaper price too.
Street food is also a quick and tasty option when your on the go, some parts of the world are famous for the variety of good quality foods the street stalls have to offer.
Souvenir shops are usually full of over priced goods, so if your family are all expecting a present when you get back, avoid roads that are filled with countless numbers of shops all offering the same tat, ask around for when the local markets are on. But make sure you are prepared to haggle. Most market vendors can spot a non-local coming a million miles away, and will try and charge you at least double what the locals pay.
Hiring a car can also save you money while you are away. Booking bus and train tickets in advance can save you lots of money but when you have to book your tickets on the day, the prices increase dramatically. if you are not sure of the exact details of your adventure, hiring a car can save you lots of money in the long run. Take a look at sites like Malaga Car Hire to help you find the lowest prices for Malaga car rental services at Malaga airport and the Costa del Sol.
Make sure to avoid all the overpriced accommodation there is out there. One website than can help you with your booking a budget place to stay is DarnGoodDigs. A website that is dedicated to helping you find the best small hotels, hostels, and b&b’s around the world. Their "out-a-sight inns for in-the-know travelers" are all priced at US$150 or less. So you can be sure to find somewhere to fit your budget. However, these hidden gems are usually small so you have to make sure you book early enough to get a room.
People often forget that when they are abroad, just because they are taking a break, doesn’t mean the thieves and hustlers are too. Make sure you keep your wits about you at all times. Being on holiday often means you are a target for the local petty criminals. Take a look at Thailand tips for some very helpful information on how to avoid getting scammed in Thailand that can be applied to most holiday destinations.
Split the cost
Another option for traveling on a budget is to travel with a large group of friends and split the cost of renting a holiday home or a large hotel suite or timeshare rental. Larger suites and timeshares tend to cost less per bed than renting separate rooms, plus these rentals typically have kitchens so you can shop at local markets and prepare your own meals rather than purchasing pricey restaurant dishes three times a day.
Planning, planning, planning
While you have probably heard your stories from people about how they made no real preparations for their trip, don't be fooled into thinking you wont have to either. Planning your trip properly means you have a rough idea of the things you want to see and do, and the things you want to avoid. If you know you want to spend a year travelling around Australia and Thailand, having a good idea of how much time you want to spend in each will help you budget your trip better. The amount you should allow for daily spends in Australia will be a lot higher than the amount of money you need to live off of in Thailand. Traveling-Savage has a great post about Choosing a Phone for World Travel that has some tips on making local and international calls abroad. Make sure you don't get stung by being on the wrong tariff.
TravMonkey World Travel have a great selection of article about planning. Whether you want to know if you should book that around the world ticket, or you want to know what is the most suitable footwear to take with you, TravMonkey’s planning section is full of very helpful hints and tips to help you plan your trip.
www.american-in-france.com is run by an American woman, Cynthia, who has relocated to France and writes about her experiences in her blog. If you plan on visiting the southeast France, you can contact Cynthia and she will help you plan your trip. There is no better way to get to know an area than with the help and advice of someone who knows the area inside out. She’s also got a great selection of videos on the site so you can see what it is really like being an American in France. Cynthia also has a great photoblog - France-and-beyond-photoblog - full of some great images of the France that will make you wish you where there now.
Visit Greentravelerguides for some very useful tips on how to travel green while you are away, the tips not only help you to lessen the impact your journey has on the environment, but to also keep your spending down.
If you're planning a city break, check out JoinNewYork for New York travel information. This is a comprehensive tourist guide of New York and will help you get to know more on the different options this city has to offer.
Most people think of backpacking as being only for the young. But if you’re that little bit older, you don’t have to hang up your hiking boots in favour of your slippers just yet. Backpacking is a great way for people of all ages to get to see the world on a budget. Don't get fooled into thinking backpacking is all about partying and sleeping in dodgy accommodation, it's just another way to be an independent traveller who is travelling off the beaten track a little with only a rough idea of their plans for the next few weeks. For some backpacking tips whatever your age, take a look at the ArtofBackpacking.com – where they aim to cut travel costs, but not cut the exciting elements of adventure.
Gapyearescape.com have a great post on Top 10 Travel Essentials for your Gap Year Backpack. A very interesting read if you do plan on backpacking for all or part of your trip. There is also a post on 10 Tips for safer travel in South Africa. These tips are not only useful for people travelling to South Africa, but can also be helpful if you’re planning to visit other areas with high crime rate.
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Tools and Resources
A great Travel Budgeting Tool available to help you plan your expenses while you are away is Budgetyourtrip.com. Here you can work out your estimated travels costs broken down by country, city and category. They give you charts, tables, and an itinerary so you will know where, when, and how you plan to spend your money so that you can adjust your budget accordingly. A fantastic resource for anyone who needs to keep an eye on their finances while they are away.
For more budget travel advice, take a look at travelindependent.info. If you’re not too sure about where you want to go or what to expect when you get there, take a look at their section What should I know about the places I might be going? The site has been running for 8 years and covers over 70 countries worldwide. Because all the information is updated regularly by the travellers themselves, you can be sure that the information you are reading is the most recent and up to date.
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Here are a few other sites you may find helpful before you book your next trip.
- Visit Cheap-weekend-breaks.com for lots of tips on How to Plan a Perfect Weekend Break Away
- Travelocafe: Eyewitness travel guides, breathtaking photos, travel news and tips for traveling on a shoestring.
- If you know where you want to go but you're not sure what to expect when you get there, take a look at Travel eguides for a wide selection of free travel guides. Each guide is a PDF file which can be printed off for you to take away with you.
- A great way to save money when you're abroad is to not make the same mistakes as those before you have. Take a look at Tipsandtrip: tips from travelers and find out what other travellers have experienced during their holidays. The site allows members to upload their tips on destinations all around the world and then users can filter on subjects such as nightlife or shopping, and find tips most relevant to them.
- India is usually on a lot of peoples top places to visit. If you want to save some money on your accomodation when you get there, take a look at kukrejagrouphotels.com where you can find a range of different budget accomodation ideas for areas including India, Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Haridwar and Hyderabad.
- ayearinmotion.com - An Irish-Honduran duo roam the planet. Take a look at their site for some amazing images and also a few tips they have picked up along the way.
As always, if you have any other tips/sites you think I should add to the post, just leave your suggestions in the comments below.