5 Hacks For The Young Budget Traveller
Passionate about travelling but worried about burning a huge hole in your wallet? One of the biggest advantages of globalisation is that travelling isn’t as expensive as it used to be. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still have that dream holiday of a lifetime. Here are five travel hacks to send you on your way:
#1 Subscribe to budget airlines’ mailing lists
This is kind of a no-brainer for every traveller on a shoestring budget. Forget about flying on commercial airlines and opt for low-cost carriers. You won’t enjoy the same perks but hey, as long as you get to your destination in one piece that’s all that matters right? Follow airlines like Scoot and Jetstar Asia on Facebook or subscribe to their mailing lists, so you’ll be the first to know whenever they release crazy deals at the last minute (which happens quite often). However, be prepared to fly at odd timings like 3.25am as these flights are significantly cheaper.
#2 Skip the hotels
It really doesn’t make much sense to spend a fortune on your accommodation when you’ll be out and about most of the time. All you need is a hot shower and a clean bed to sleep in, which a hostel provides. It might feel strange not having your own space but think of it as a great way to make new friends. If you’re travelling alone and worried for your safety, fret not - many hostels also have gender-separate sleeping quarters. Furthermore, hostels usually provide free breakfast (sometimes free-flow!). If you’re really on a budget, there are hostels that allow you to work in exchange for accommodation. Try websites such as Hostelworld and Booking.com to help you find that perfect place to stay in.
#3 Whip up your own meals
For those on long road or backpacking trips, whipping up your own meals can be a lot more cost-effective. And it’s not like you have to survive on bread and water — do your research. For example, a DIY juicy steak for dinner will cost you less than ten dollars in places like Australia and New Zealand! Many serviced apartments and hostels also offer cooking facilities to prepare your food, so do take advantage of that.
#4 Try Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing is like staying in a hostel, except it’s always completely free-of-charge and you’ll be living with a local in his/her home. And if you’re keen on exploring the city, especially the non-touristy spots, who better to ask than a local? Many locals who open up their homes to travellers often take it upon themselves to show their guests around the city, making for a unique travel experience. However, be sure to do your research carefully, as there have also been horror stories of locals cancelling bookings at the last minute, or being downright nasty.
#5 Use offline maps
Forget about overpriced data plans and rely on free wifi. However, it can be tough to find your way around the city since you won’t be able to access your navigational apps. Fortunately, maps.me is here to save the day. It provides detailed, offline maps of numerous cities for your phone and you can download it for free on the App Store or Google Play. Apps like Google Maps also allow you to download offline maps that you can access without a data connection.