10 easy tips to consider when travelling on a tight budget

Thursday, 27 February 2020 07:00 AM

The truth is, anyone can travel! It’s just a matter of getting the right information (how to get there), choosing the right time (when to travel) and choosing the right destination (where to go) to match your budget.

We all travel for different reasons and whatever yours is, we at kulula would like to encourage you to think of travelling as an investment and gift to yourself, to explore the world. As the famous Chinese proverb goes “Don’t listen to what they say, go see.” Now, the only question you should be asking yourself is “Where to next?”

Here are things to consider when you’re in planning mode or already have plans to travel on a low budget:

1. Plan your travel way in advance (book early!)

It’s true! the earlier you book the easier it will be for your pocket, and even better for the hard-earned cash you’ve been saving throughout the year. 😊

2. Travel during off-peak times

Try to travel during a period when there are no major events and avoid, school, public or national holidays as it becomes easier and less expensive to travel. You may also SAVE on accommodation, flights and holiday packages, as demand will be lower when travelling during off-peak periods.

3. Choose accommodation that serves breakfast

Selecting accommodation that includes “free” meals (the most important meal, breakfast!), are definitely a bonus. Essentially, this means there’s one less meal to worry about and more money to spend on sightseeing, as well as other fun activities like visiting museums, or bungee jumping for the adrenalin junkies.

4. Shop from the locals

Take a break from popular restaurants and you will soon realise that you can generally save more when you shop from a local store, especially if you choose to stay in a chalet, vacation rentals or even a Bed & breakfast (B&B). If you’re travelling with kids always make sure you have light snacks, water and fruits so they are always catered for and there is never an urgent need to buy takeaways, as it might turn out to be more costly. You may even prefer buying at local markets, as they tend to be a bit less expensive, and also nothing beats the taste of local cuisine.

5. Talk to the Locals

When making your way around the beautiful place you’re visiting, take a leap of faith and ‘ask the locals’ about the best hangout spots, and where to get the best value for your money food, clothes, local tour guides etc. Side note: For safety’s sake, always make sure you verify all the information you find via the internet or from the hotel reception where you’re staying, before travelling to any of these suggested areas.

6. Consider travel stokvels

Stokvels in South Africa are informally known as a financial saving schemes, where group members pay a specific amount of money for a certain period of time to gain monetary or non-monetary returns. The latest buzz going around is “travel stokvels”. It’s like having your very own travel savings account, where you deposit money every month so you can travel later in the year. There are formal and informal groups you can join, some of which are hosted on WhatsApp groups. Safety precaution: Make sure you join a reliable and credible group, where you can monitor your savings every step of the way. You must always have full control over your money.

7. Plan groups trips

Travelling with loved ones or friends can be pretty cost effective. Typically, when you make a booking as a group, you are most likely to get a discount for accommodation or even group activities you partake in whilst on holiday.

8. Go to places where you know people

When you travel to destinations where there are people you know, you are certainly in a great position. They can be your tour guide and show you all the cool spots with the most delicious and affordable food. You’ll even get to taste some of the local cuisine and learn more about the destination culture.

9. Go for travel packages – Make it a package deal

Choosing travel packages can generally help you save more and it makes planning a trip less stressful. When making a booking for accomodationflights and car hire seperately, you are often likely to spend more money than when you've booked an all-inlcusive holiday package deal.

If you are struggling to find a decent place to stay or don’t entirely trust the accommodation reviews, selecting travel packages from credible service providers can assist you in narrowing down your choices. You will also be able to select the most suitable vacation spot with great suggestions for those who want to travel solo, with family or even someone special at the perfect honeymoon spot. Another great benefit which is sometimes included are tour pacakges which give you the perfect opportunity to explore the destination you're visiting, and if you're lucky enough, you get shuttle services too. You can never go with a travel package deal! 

10. Save, save, save!

There’s no better way to prepare for travelling than setting a budget aside and saving for your travels. If you plan on taking international trips, you would also need to consider the local currency and other expenses.

As the old saying goes: “Work. Save. Travel. Repeat.”

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