Traveling should not only be a pastime for the rich and famous. Staying in places such as those listed above is not only a means of saving money. They can allow for a fuller travel experience. You will see things that are ordinarily off the beaten path and will meet a more diverse group of people. Often travelers are herded into trendy places instead of seeing the true beauty of their destination. Use these “traveling on a budget” tips to plan your next vacation.
A major consideration is that travel is about sightseeing, not where one stays. It’s important to have a clean room and bed, but as priorities lie, the experiences outside of the hotel are the ones to remember. One way to save money is to book a hotel that isn’t centered in the middle of major tourist areas, usually on the outskirts of town. Safety however is always a consideration; so don’t ever sacrifice this when trying to save money. Depending on the area, bus fare or even walking to tourist hot-spots can add even more to your savings. So leave the neon signs and under-the-pillow chocolates for the tycoons and moguls. The internet has many sites that cater to budget travelers.
Today’s hostels are no longer for youths only. The price range is $6-$20 a night, depending on the location. If you have never stayed at a hostel, you should know that you sleep in a dorm-like setting with 10-20 other people. Many hostels offer single-sex rooms and co-ed rooms…make sure to ask! Lockers are available for luggage and valuables, and typically there is a common area for food preparation or a cup of coffee, thus cutting back on the cost of eating out. There are also bathroom areas to shower and change. Hostels offer a wonderful opportunity for meeting fellow travelers. Make sure to ask them for money saving travel tips. Each hostel is different, so make sure to find out the rules of the establishment at check-in. Noise and lack of privacy are the drawbacks, but in the long run these are small prices to pay when trying to keep travel costs low.
A third option is camping. Campsites typically have a water supply and bath and shower facilities. During the warm seasons, camping provides a great opportunity to experience the natural setting of your travel destination. Obvious drawbacks are possible wet or cold weather and rustic sleeping conditions. When circumstances allow, this is the cheapest option for the budget traveler.