Traveling on a budget is a good idea when you want to travel for a long time or to many destinations.
When you travel for a long time you start to think a lot about your budget… the money you want to spend on the main expenses: ✈️transport, 🛏 accommodation, 🥙food, 🕍 cultural stuff (museums and exhibitions), 🍸 fun (going out, trying new experiences) and let’s not forget some 🎁 souvenirs.
Also, you need to have some money for The Unexpected (when something you really need gets broken or you lose it).
So how to keep your expenses to a normal level so you can travel more, but also enjoy as much as you can?🧐
I’m sure there are a lot of tactics out there, but this is what I learned from my trips so far.
It’s all about priorities.
What matters the most to you? A fancy accommodation (that might be expensive) or a tasty and fancy dinner? Visiting a Museum or going out partying? The second ice cream or a fridge magnet?
To keep your budget at a decent level you must choose what’s more important to you during a trip… or do you? 🤔
I tested my “brilliant” idea to do them all, but in a balance.
👉 I book the first night in a new city in a hostel. Ya, it’s that weird tiny room you share with 3 up to 12 other people.
But the cost per night in a hostel in Europe is between 10 to 40 euro (depending on the time of the year and city/country). And rest assured, it’s not that tiny, nor that weird, as most look cute and cozy (but you just don’t get to choose the people in your room, which is a story for another time).
And because the accommodation is cheap I balance it with the good and healthy food I crave for, researching in advance the best place to eat in the city.
👉 But after a night or two of hosteling, I just miss my comfort zone: the privacy, the quiet, and a nice looking room. So I open up Booking dot com and I choose a lovely & cozy private room to rest my head and my thoughts (aka to have a quiet place to write, meditate and be antisocial haha).
So I balance the cost with… supermarket food. I buy some ingredients (depending if I have a kitchenette or not) and I eat in. Most supermarkets have already made salads, wraps, even cooked food, much cheaper. There is always the option of some pastry from a bakery, or some street food, depending on the city/ culture). But always I try to make it as healthy as possible.
👉 Some other times I am purely lucky 😄 to find someone to host me (for free that is) from CouchSurfing App. This is an amazing app for travelers, with a community with many kind, non-judgmental, smart and friendly people. So because my stay is free (in a stranger’s house haha) I now have a budget to visit some museums, or go out for some drinks with the people I meet around, or buy those damn expensive but cute souvenirs (I collect a lot of adorable crap 😆).
👉 Also, I need to add the choice to 🚶♀️walk a lot or take public transport (especially from and to the airports) to avoid the crazy expensive taxi and Uber rides.
I could go on with the examples, but you get the idea, which I’m gonna state anyway: It’s all about a balance between your needs and pleasures, but as the main purpose (mine, anyway) is to keep traveling and enjoying, there is the need not to spend too much money.
And switching from one place or style to another,
brings you experience and many cool stories,
makes you avoid boredom,
helps you uncover different sides of a city,
allows you to meet some crazily amazing people
and, my personal favorite, gets you face-to-face with… yourself. That inner voice who is constantly asking you “What are you gonna do now?”.
And with every answer, you get closer and closer to Who You Truly Are.