Have you always wanted to travel but feared the thought of spending beyond your means? Well, here is a piece of good news: travel need not be costly. Travelling is not the exclusive turf of those who can afford to pay their way through anything. Whether you are an ordinary office employee, a student or a retiree, you have every right to enjoy the wonders of this world commensurate to your financial capacity. Be your own travel guide!
Deciding to be your own travel guide will help you find resourceful solutions to the endless expenses involved in travelling. Travelling is even more enjoyable when it is not heavy on your pocket. Cheap travelling is a practice that many people are yet to master. Many travellers have been duped by expensive travel guides and travel agents, not knowing that there are actually several ways to lessen the financial challenges.
Here are ways through which you can travel with minimal costs:
1. Find the Most Affordable Hostel
Hostels are relatively cheaper than hotels. Though structurally smaller and more cramped, they offer the same amenities and, at times, the same basic travel comforts as many hotels. If you are looking for free Wi-Fi connection, free breakfast and free airport transfers, most hostels offer these services, too. Others offer free laundry, staff-sponsored parties and a common room where guests can mingle and get to know each other.
The only things you have to put up with are space and, in certain hostels, hygiene. The trick is to do your research beforehand. Read reviews to know what previous guests think. You will have a clear idea of which hostels to consider and which ones to avoid. Lastly, be on the lookout for promos. Hostels occasionally offer discounts and other perks. A dormitory-type may be a lot cheaper, but if you want a cleaner and less topsy-turvy situation (particularly if you are female), then go for an all-girls dormitory. These rooms are usually less crowded and are more comfortable.
2. Walk More
Travelling on a budget means preparing to give up taxis or private cars. What most comfort travellers do not understand, however, is that they are actually spending more for transportation expenses than they are for food, lodging or souvenirs. Some taxi drivers take advantage of tourists, driving them in circles so that they will be forced to pay more than what is necessary. On one hand, if you use your feet more, not only will you be able to test and improve your sense of direction, you can also see and experience interesting spots inaccessible through regular transportation. If you are not sure where to go, then read through blogs, brochures or local magazines. They can serve as your portable travel guide.
3. Adopt a Flexible Itinerary
The worst that you can do to yourself while travelling is to be a stickler for rules. It is important to have an itinerary to keep things in order, but it is much more important to enjoy your trip and have a blast. Give a little room for unexpected adventures. Do not set your return date if you think you need more time to explore a place. Your itinerary may look great, but first-hand suggestions from locals and backpackers are the stuff that make travelling more exciting. Travel guide books and magazines may not have an inkling about these suggested spots, which are usually underrated, less crowded and far more beautiful than many tourist spots made famous by media mileage.
Spontaneity, experiencing culture, discovering uncharted territories and meeting new people – these are just a few reasons why we must travel. Stick to your budget and money will be the least of your consideration.
Terence Zweni is an expert when it comes to Travel Guide. To find out everything about Budget Travel Guide, visit his website at http://www.booksouthafrica.travel