Budgeting sucks but it’s a reality of travelling. Everyone does it differently and some people avoid it altogether but it’s always there – reminding us of the limits of our means. This can either be because of a time constraint or more likely due to money, but deciding how to budget for a trip can be a great planning challenge, even if at its core it’s just a necessary evil. Why is it evil? Well, it’s evil because it signifies that your means aren’t unlimited and things are expensive.
What you choose to spend money on shows a lot about what you value in the experience. Some people go all out on food but skimp on accommodation; others miss out on cultural exhibits or paid admissions to attractions but move around to new destinations to soak up the atmosphere and travel costs. We all do it differently but we all have one thing in common – we’re trying to get the most for our money.
This is especially true for long term travellers who really have to be careful in what they spend so they can make the most of their time and limited means. Unless they are living the dream with some sort of endowment fund or have some other source of revenue, money is a huge part of deciding what will get done and what won’t – so you’d best plan out how to spend your money wisely!
Here are some tips for long term travellers on how to squeeze as much out of their money as possible. Check out the previous list of tips from the last article if you want some pointers on communication or food!
So many sights, so little time! This is a trouble facing many travellers who are on the road for a long time, and while many resort to seeing next to nothing either as a means of saving money or apathy towards the ‘touristy’ things, there is a way to see those things on so many people’s to-do lists without going completely broke. Many museums or exhibits have free or heavily discounted nights that can be taken advantage of if you’re in a place for a long period of time better than for a few days. Know that these days will be busier and plan according though!
Additionally, buying a pass to see many different things can save you huge amounts of money instead of seeing them individually, but it may take some planning and foresight, which can be tough for the impulsive types. If all else fails though, keep an eye out for those great experiences that don’t cost anything, like great views from parks, strolls down streets or festivals in the summertime where you don’t have to pay an admission fee. Some of the best things do require you to spend money but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time without spending a ton!
Things like flights and train tickets are a significant part of travelling, making it desirable to stay in one place as long as possible to cut down on travel expenses. Doing things like waiting for seat sales or booking last minute are good options to save a ton but they can’t always be counted on and don’t apply to all destinations.
This means a great way to save money on travel is in the everyday modes. Walk where possible or take public transit – avoid things like taxis which are always more than buses or trains (and can be more risky in certain countries!). If you need to travel a great distance, look into getting a pass that can save you significant amounts of money, or take an off-peak hour option, like a night bus or train – saving you money on accommodation too!