THE SECRETS OF BUDGET TRAVEL

Do you sometimes catch yourself feeling jealous that some people can just travel while they work? Does the memory of your last trip or your budget estimations keep you from exploring the world? Keep calm and read these selected piece of advice from our travel authors and rediscover your wanderlust.

Planning

Make all necessary reservations as soon as you set the dates for your adventure. Prices tend to go up closer to the date. Watch for various special offers if you are flexible with dates or even locations. Decide how many locations you are going to visit – if it’s a road trip, you may benefit from staying at multiple off-the-beaten-track accommodations, reminds Melisande Aquilina. Once you get the basics (tickets and accommodation), plan how you will move around – will you rent a car, carpool, or use public transport?

Don’t stick to a single airline you’ve tried before. Compare prices on Skyscanner or a similar specialised search engine. If you are travelling with an airline that charges for check-in luggage, skip it altogether. “Don’t bother with that extra luggage and put that cash towards some memory-making instead,” Kelly Dent suggests. How do you fit everything into a small backpack or suitcase? Read further.

Packing

First off, make a list of the things you need – best on your phone. Opt for basic colours that are easy to match, and resist the temptation to take more than 2-3 pairs of shoes, Lyndsey Grima advises. “Shoes take up too much room and are heavy, whereas accessories are smaller and weigh much less!” Trinity Camilleri Burlo’ seconds her. Plan the combinations of your clothes so that you look different every day without actually carrying too many items – that’s a suggestion from Elizabeth Franklin. She has many more pro tips. Roll your clothes, store your socks and accessories in your shoes.

Going away with hand luggage only will challenge you to optimise your make-up and toiletries. Opt for minis, refillable containers, or collect free samples at shops in advance. In any case, plan carefully and think what you’ll really need.

Experiencing

Do your homework and find what’s actually free in the place you’re visiting. It may be museums, galleries, or even free walking tours, according to Kelly Dent. Tickets to museums, events and special locations are often available online – and cheaper if you buy them this way. You’ll save time and money.

You may want to bring home some souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones, but you prefer to avoid spending a fortune, coming back with useless stuff, or contributing to unfair and environment-harming trade. Susan Breslow Sardone advises in TripSavvy to collect souvenirs as you go – hotel folders and stationery, candy wrappers, drink coasters, promotional postcards, sea shells, ribbons, dried flowers, etc.

Also, why not make a few prints of your travel photos and keep them for memory or share with your loved ones? Framed photos taken by you will make a more memorable and meaningful gift. If you feel you absolutely must go shopping, opt for something practical and/ or visit fairs and flea markets, the Thrifty Vagabond blog suggests.

Travelling on a budget is easier than you think!