Budget Travel: 5 Off-the Hook Travel Tips

Budget travel tips! Is it easy to travel on a very tight budget? Is money matter when you have an innate desire to explore the earth? What do you say?

The ‘corona-times’ is not over yet and most countries are economically shattered. People losing their jobs, MNCs doing mass layoffs, and people still frightened to travel like the way before COVID-19 happened.

While it is necessary to stay indoors to avoid virus explosion again, it is also worth noting that people are missing travel, terribly. Nonetheless, we are not advising unsafe travel or disobeying the rules of authorities. We are trying to tell you – money is going to be a problem for a lot of people and it will surely affect the way we travel. So why not learn the art of budget travel?

Go ahead and tell me how many times you’ve canceled your travel plans just because your budget was outreaching your estimation. When it comes to traveling, money is the biggest hinder you encounter – especially if you are a student or jobless fella. But worry not, there’s a crack for money too.

A Little Game of Budget Travel

The purpose of this little experiment is to make you asses the destination. And it requires honesty and a bit of patience.

I want you to lay on your bed for a minute. Just lay easy. Before you pack for the next venture, I want you to think a little bit about the place you’re heading to. Are there winters, summer, or rainy season? How is the place-based on your education? Is it near or far from where you live? Do you see yourself traveling lavishly or are you on budget travel?

A Girl Standing in front of a monument - A Little Game of Budget Travel

Plan accordingly, leaving unnecessary behind (the secret to budget travel). Do a walkthrough of your travel in your imagination and see it as you lay there.

COVID-19 may have altered your perception of travel wholly and it is a good time (and excuse) to explore your ‘neighbors.’ But I am not talking about just the present but also for the future when the world would have dealt with the pandemic.


Analyzing your travel destination out of thin air will give birth to expectations, and expectations don’t always get fulfilled. So before you do this little experiment, make sure you have well-educated yourself about the place. Knowledge is power, indeed.

The Money-Misconception & Budget Travel

With a staggering economy and people going jobless, will travel be as it was or everybody will avoid traveling? Truth is, travel will go nowhere, never ever. Humans have been wanderers ever since they lived on this Earth.

First, understand why you need money? It just a piece of paper which have a mutually agreeable value as perceived by the world. But we don’t need to go this deep about money. We live in an organized society and with zero rupees in your pocket and bank, you can’t travel (except when you decide to live like cavemen, no offense). But what you can do is budget travel.

Budget travel is easy, fun, and sometimes enthralling as well but unfortunately, it is also misconceived as tough or impossible. When I explored Manali in just INR 3500 for about 3-5 days, my friends couldn’t believe and they just wanted to know how did I do this. No, this doesn’t work like this. I did not get a sponsored trip, nor did that restaurant-with-soothing-music gave me a 100% discount and neither my hostel owner was so generous to host me for free. This is a fantasy.

The Indian currency notes of 500 and 10 - The Money-Misconception & Budget Travel

I did budget travel by managing my money and educating myself about the place. I did not stay in a lavish hotel with a jacuzzi or ate dishes whose name I can never learn. I did so by staying local, relying on local dishes, and behaving like I am a part of that place.

Yeah, sorry to burst the bubble but this the price you pay. If you have the desire and passion to truly explore, I believe, this is a fair deal. However, here’s my help to you, in the form of budget travel tips that you’ll find next.

Planning Budget Travel (Tips)

Recently I asked 4 top travel bloggers of the industry about the future of travel, and they’re pretty much sure that how we travel is surely going to change after the pandemic. This calls us to better prepared than we were in earlier days. These budget travel tips are targeted for the same.

1. Accommodation

For cheap and comfortable stays, book properties via Booking.com or Airbnb.

Couchsurfing is another excellent service that lets locals host you in their house, completely free of cost. Check it here, it’s available in most parts of the world. And in hostels, you can try Zostel or Hostelgeeks to search for cheap and comfortable hostels.

2. Sharing

It’s like making pillars for a building, the weight overhead gets shared to support the total weight of the building. Sharing alone can save half of your estimated budget.

Stay in shared accommodations such as home-stays, hostels like Zostel. While on the road, share cabs and taxis with other travelers, use public transport if available. Don’t forget to hitchhike though if it excites you.

3. Eat at Locals

Don’t be glamoured by the flashy lights and appealing settlement of restaurants! Most of them are overpriced and charge you double for the same food.

Instead, try to eat at local stalls, cafes, and your own comfort. But be sure that you maintain sanity and eat hygienic food so that you don’t get poisoning. Health is wealth after all.

You don't have to be rich to travel well - budget travel
You don’t have to be rich to travel well.

4. Medics

Prevention is the cheapest insurance. Take basic medics such as painkillers, stomach ache tabs, loose motion, and paracetamol tabs. Why? you may ask. Well, it’s better to be on the safe side and be prepared for the worst. Moreover, it can save you from discomfort and ease the tiredness of last night’s expedition.

The bottom line, it’ll save you a lot of money and that is the goal of budget travel.

P.S. This doesn’t mean you ignore your travel insurance.

5. Try Your Foot

Sometimes, as it can happen, that you will not be able to get many options for public transportation due to which private taxi and cabs will try to charge double or triple the deserved cost. Don’t be fooled, and if the destination is just a few kilometers, try your foot! Hitchhiking can be another way here!

6. (Bonus) Stay Smart

Stay ahead of time and plan early for your travels. Last-minute reservations are usually hyped up prices and can dig holes in your pocket. Reserve your accommodations or tickets ahead of time to save money.

Also, it is advisable that you visit your destination in the offseason when there are fewer population tourists and seasonal travelers prefer to not be there. At these times prices are not skyrocketing.

Budget Travel is Not a Facade

A collection of rusting bags - Budget Travel is Not a Facade

These tips are earned by the real experience of traveling. I had walked kilometers on my foot and believe me it’s amazing when you do it in a foreign land. Hitchhiked and found that people are really helpful in my country. Stayed at shared accommodations and saved thousands of bucks. Personally, I prefer Zostel, if that’s available in my targeted destination. Had Couchsurfing and I think it’s a really good community-driven service.

Read my first Couchsurfing experience here.

Apart from this, you may also discover your personal methodology for budget travel. For example, negotiation is a skill that can save you money. We are mostly unaware that we are being overcharged when we shop as a traveler or tourist.

In case you have discovered and know some methods, please share them in the comment box below. I would love to hear them.


Vipin is a techie, traveler, and entrepreneur. He has done engineering in computer science and is an Apple Fan Boy. He is behind all the tech and content management of this website. Often, he shares his entrepreneurial learnings and thoughts on his Twitter.

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