J.R.R Tolkien once said “Not all those who wander are lost.” The travel freaks wander because they want to get lost. They live to travel. It’s in their genes. A mundane life and a 9 to 5 job bore them to death.
But the rising travel cost takes their smile away. They wouldn’t be happy to know the forecast from Amex GBT. 2016 has been predicted to be the year of high hotel rates.
Being frugal can help, but being frugal while traveling doesn’t sound like a good idea, right?
Budget travel tips can save you money. There are two sets of tips; for dummies and for serious travelers. Tips like using travel apps to book flight, or book a hotel belong to the first category.
The Second set of tips (the more effective and innovative ones) allow travelers to push all financial worries under the rug and enjoy the trip.
Here they are:
Pick the right season
If you travel during the high-peak season, the cost would be huge. The first budget travel tip, therefore, is to select a low-peak season to travel. Summer and spring are high-peak seasons. Avoid them. Winter is a low-peak season but not when Christmas is around. In fact, any season with holidays around is high-peak season.
Everything is expensive during the high-peak season, including hotel and transportation fare. An off-season trip, on the other hand, can save you money. However, in places that are diametrically opposite to where you live, the concept of low-peak season may be different. This includes the tropical regions. If you are planning to visit South-East Asia, winter is the ideal time. So, do research and gain some geographic knowledge before you set off.
Currency ups and downs
Check the currency of the place you are visiting. If the currency of your country enjoys the reserve currency status, and that of the place you are visiting doesn’t, then you shouldn’t have financial problems during your stay.
Currently, there are five reserve currencies with Chinese Yuan being the newest among them. If you are from an European country or from any of the four other countries, then your trip would be smooth. Of course, you have to visit an African, Asian or a South American country to get the benefit of forex.
Visit Australia or Canada and you won’t find much of difference there. As I am writing this article, 1 Dollar equals to 1.30 Canadian Dollar and to 1.32 Australian Dollar. But if you visit India with a meager budget of $1000, that’d be enough for a whole week. In fact, that’s just about the average vacation cost per person in the US. But since India’s currency is far below the US Dollar, you won’t even feel the bite.
As hotel stay is getting expensive, you need to find an alternative. How about investing in a timeshare accommodation? Some dismiss the idea calling it a bad investment.
The money you save by investing in a timeshare benefits you in the long-term. Here long means 25 years. That too if you have a family of four and go on a trip every year. On the flip side, however, you may burn a hole in the wallet by paying for the property’s maintenance fee. Add to that the increasing property tax and the hidden expenses hit the ceiling.
Many have been turning their back on timeshare and opting for vacation rental and cheap hotel booking. Despite the increasing cost, booking hotels is still what most people prefer. There are plenty of apps to find such hotels.
As for vacation rentals, booking cabins and beach houses cost less than booking condos and cottages. Owners offer exciting deals. Finding such deals is easy. They are just a Google away.
Airlines and cruise lines often reposition their flights and ships. Take advantage of that. What’s great about repositioning is the cost gets cheaper but the service standard remains the same.
But keep in mind there’s a catch. Repositioning cruises run longer than normal cruises. Because these are one-off voyages, the average timeline is 2 weeks. So don’t board one unless you have plenty of time to unwind. Repositioning cruises spend more time in the sea than in the port. So, if you don’t enjoy the sea as much as the port, it’s not for you.
Most repositioning cruises sail in the spring or in the fall. In some sailing regions, the weather tends to be stormy in those seasons. No such issue will arise with a repositioned flight. Because one-off flights take only a day to take you to your destination (and less if it’s a domestic journey).
I don’t want to be a party-popper, but falling sick while traveling is not uncommon. The last thing you want is to get sick in a foreign country. The treatment can be expensive. Language barrier may create problems. And on top of that, the medicine prescribed to you might come from a shoddy and unscrupulous company.
It’s best to carry a few medicines with you. Traveler’s diarrhea is common among tourists who visit places with high humidity. Always carry a pack of Rifaximin tabs. It can stop diarrhea.
Budget travelers either use bus or just walk. This can cause muscle pain, especially if the roads are uneven. Visiting a place with heavy air pollution can irritate your lungs. So carry anti-inflammatory and antiasthmatic drugs.
Check your health insurance. If it doesn’t cover your health while you visit a country abroad, then look for an affordable travel insurance policy that includes doctor’s fee, medicine and treatment cost in an overseas location.
Budget travelers are an odd bunch. They want to have all the fun while at the same time, go gentle on their wallets. Well, the two are not mutually exclusive. Follow the five tips discussed here in this article. This way, you can travel your heart out and keep the cost under the affordability margin.
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