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5 Tips for Traveling on a Tight Budget


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Today’s post comes from Robert who writes about all things personal finance over at Money Bulldog. You can follow Money Bulldog on Twitter.

If you want to travel the world but don’t have a huge travel budget then you shouldn’t give up on the idea. By using some of the following ideas you can stick to your budget and still live life to the full by seeing the wonders of the world.

Plan Ahead

People who travel with a lot of money can just afford to turn up and hop in a taxi to a hotel in the city or go to any restaurant. However, if your funds are lower then you will need to plan ahead in order to make the most of what you have. This means working out which area of the city is cheapest, how to get around without spending much and what there is to do for free once you get there. Some places even have days in which entry is free to things like museums and art galleries, while some restaurants and bars might have special deal days too.

Use Your Feet

Walking is the best way to see any new city and it is also free. This is going to let you get a real feel for the place and get to meet more people as well. Moving about in taxis and other methods of transport would save you time but if you have more time than money then walking is your best bet. In order to do this effectively you will want a map, appropriate clothing and footwear, and a backpack to carry your essentials. If you have these things then you can head out early and enjoy a memorable day of sightseeing which costs very little money.

Get Local Information

If there is one thing which helps a tourist save money more than anything else it is local information. The people who live in the city you are visiting know where to go to buy things cheaply , what bars offer the best prices and all sorts of other things which could help you spend less while there. You might get this information off other travelers you met there but speaking to locals is often more rewarding. Take any chances you can to speak to the locals and find out anything which could help you out.

Spend Time People Watching

Another free way of enjoying a travel experience is through people watching. In most countries it can be an absolutely fascinating experience to watch the locals get on with their daily lives. This is especially true in countries and cities where they are famous for gesticulating and showing their emotions. The likes of Naples in Italy and Buenos Aires in Argentina are great places to sit and watch how people communicate in such a varied and passionate way. The best way to do this is to get a comfortable seat in a busy square and watch the world pass you by. You might be surprised to find how much time you can pass this way and how enjoyable it is too.

Eat with the Locals

One of the biggest expenses on most trips is the food. If you eat in the hotel restaurant or in eateries in the main tourist areas you could end up paying a lot more than you need to. Instead, you should look to eat where the locals do. In some parts of the world this could mean waiting till it gets dark and trying some interesting street food from mobile vendors. In other cases you might end up in a pleasant restaurant which is only a couple of blocks away from the tourist traps but a lot cheaper. Don’t ask for direction to a restaurant; ask for directions to a place where the locals go to eat and you will save money while having an authentic experience as well.

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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  • It is amazing how much money you can save if you just take a little more time to weigh your options, especially when it comes to eating. Eating with the locals is not only cost effective, it also is the best food in the area.

  • Awesome tips! My wife and I recently went to PR on a budget, and we walked everywhere we could (except at night) and would just get a cheap coffee or snack and watch the locals. We also made friends with one of those locals, who helped show us around and gave us some great tips that really saved us money. My wife is a super big planner too, so booking the hotel in advance and knowing which places in town to stay at were also keep. Keep up the great work!

  • I like to either use my feet as you have suggested OR get a transit pass for the week. When we went to NYC, it was really cheap and very user friendly. The city is just too large to go everywhere by foot and be able to see everything but we walked where we could!

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