Quick guide to cheap travel
Many people associate "cheap travel" with missing out: missing out on must-see attractions, good food, decent accommodation, comfortable transport... but it is possible to travel cheaply without imposing unnecessary limits on your experience. Here are some top tips to help you keep your travel within budget, without missing out on top experiences...
Identify your priorities
Before you set off on your adventure, take some time to think about what it is you want to get out of your experience. Do you want to explore the cultural side of the destination? Taste the local cuisine? Visit a natural wonder? Or just to let your hair down and enjoy yourself? Questions like these will help you focus your travel plans and identify areas that it is worth splurging and others where you can save - for example you don't care about souvenirs, so you'll spend more money socialising - which is important to you.
Set a budget... and stick to it!
Cheap travel requires organisation. When it comes to travel, flexibility costs. Make a travel itinerary and stick to it. By booking transport and accommodation in advance, you'll usually save money. Once you have an itinerary, identify which attractions you would like to see or tours you would like to take in each destination. Also look into accommodation and transport prices. Then draw up a daily budget, including realistic allowances for unforeseen circumstances, spending money etc.
As you travel, keep a record of the money you spend -and if you deviate from your budget, make a plan to get back on track.
Having said all that, remember that the aim of cheap travel is not to spend as little as possible or to stay away for as long as possible, it is to experience different locations and ways of life and - obviously - to enjoy yourself. Don't get so caught up in budgeting that you lose sight of the bigger picture.