7 Secrets To Budget Travelling

By Lim Hwei San Sep 27, 2016 911 Views

        Are you in the midst of preparing for your final exam and can’t wait to be done so you can flee to your dream vacation destination with your BFFs? Planning a YOLO graduation trip before you embark on your quest into the adult working world? Well, if you don’t have any travel plans anytime soon – go and plan one! As a working adult I can assure you that as soon as you start working, you will not enjoy the privilege as a student to travel anytime, anywhere you want to. So, go on and tick off those items and places from your bucket list before you start pursuing your career. If money is an issue (which is for most of us), read on for I will be sharing with you my personal tips on budget traveling and making the best out of what you have for travel.

1. Plan Early, Buy Early

MyEducation Malaysia - Planning Early


"Let's focus on planning the trip and not get carried away with unnecessary distractions."

As much as spontaneity would triple the fun of your trip, having your trip planned out in advance can save you a lot. Planning ahead your entire trip allows you to gauge a rough estimate of how much you need to spend and prevent overspending. Do loads of research on where you want to go: how much is the average spending in the city you plan to visit? What is the cost of a meal? Are there any transportation freebies for tourists or day passes for a short visit? Map out your entire journey so you can book flights or train tickets in advance. Fun fact: Do you know that in Europe, train tickets booked a month in advance from the travel date is about 4 times cheaper than booking it last minute or near the travel date? Point of the matter is, plan ahead so you can always get the best deals and you can also gauge an estimate of how much you need to save!

2. Get A Travel Buddy

Travel With Friends


"Let's wear matching outfits so everyone knows we're a team."

To share cost of cause! As much as we embrace solo travel nowadays, having travel buddies definitely helps to save up a lot of money. You can afford to stay in better rooms, enjoy fancier meals and have someone to share the cab fees too! Having a few more people in the team sometimes do smoothen up your trip and also bring that bit of merry into it. In my case, I always have several friends traveling with me. “The Guide”, the one that is good at circumnavigating and can make good sense of directions, “The Photographer”, the expert “wefie” taker to capture all that nail biting, jaw dropping, stunning moments and of course, last but not least, “The Deals Hunter”, which applies directly to me since I guess I am good at finding the best deals around town! If somehow you’re still not convinced and you’d still prefer to travel at your own pace, go explore new places separately and only meet up for meals together in the evening then travel back to your shared accommodation, that would work too!

3. Don't Buy Just Because It's Cheaper

Look For Cheap Deals


"Let's buy and buy it all ... Even if we don't need it."

Especially when you don’t really need it! We often make impulsive purchasing decisions when traveling overseas, because we’d think that we will never come back again any time soon and we don’t want to miss it when it is priced so low! But think again, do you really need it? Many of my friends spend hours in Primark when we visit UK just because the clothes are slightly cheaper after conversion but when asked if they really need it or really love it, the answer is no. And the struggle is real when they have to stuff all that new clothes into that already packed luggage, spending extra on luggage allowances and to some extent, getting a new luggage bag! Talk about going the extra mile!

4. Buffer In Extra Time

Buffer Some Time


"Do you really want to live dangerously? If yes, don't buffer in time in between plans."

We all know we want to travel to as many places as possible within the shortest period of time but do add a little buffer time in between while planning. This is extremely important and I had to learn it the hard way. I was travelling from Edinburgh back to Lancaster and the train got delayed, so instead of arriving at 7pm to catch the bus, we arrived at 10pm, which, for a town like Lancaster, is practically already a dead town and we had a hard time finding a cab. We had to pay a stranger on the street to agree to find us a cab. Similar events happened to me every time I arrive at a new place when I travel across Europe. My point is, despite having your maps and everything ready, it’s still your first time in that foreign city and do keep in mind that it takes more than one minute to read a road sign sometimes! So navigating the city for the first time will take more time than expected and might incur more cost. Moreover, flight and train delays are very, very common. So, don’t go on booking your train ticket at 5pm when your plane lands at 4pm. That just doesn’t work! By 5pm, you’re probably still waiting at the luggage belt!

5. Consider Cooking

Consider Cooking While Travelling


"Time to bring out the master chef for cost saving purposes."

I enjoy going to local markets when I visit new places. Somehow you just get that feeling and know that these are the places where you can really learn and experience how locals live. Also, markets are where you can find interesting local delicacies and unique cool-looking souvenirs to buy for your friends and family back home! It’s always cheaper to buy the ingredients and cook yourself and think about it, you’re saving up on cost and at the same time, getting to indulge and experience what it really feels like living like a local in a foreign country.

6. In-Flight Snacks and Beverages

In-Flight Snacks


"I present you the life saviour, in-flight snacks and of course, these two biscuits."

More often than not, flights serve small packets of non-perishable food which you can keep it for later consumption. No, I’m not telling you to stock up a whole bag but sufficiency is key. In my time of travel, I’ve collected packets of biscuits, cheese sticks, chocolates, and, oh, even a small bottle of whisky! These comes in especially handy when you have to wait for a transit or if you’ve arrived too early or too late at your destination and have nothing to eat. Travellers usually skip their breakfast or lunch so they get more time to travel so these snacks can definitely keep your stomach satisfied and prevent it from making noises that’s akin to a mating call of a whale. Oh, by the way, if you’re thinking of killing time by drinking alcohol, I’d say it’s a terrible idea and to address the whisky I mentioned earlier, I used that to cook a really nice homemade lamb chop I bought from the local market. Picture watching the sunset at Badalona beach while savouring that sumptuous lamb chop fordinner. Absolute highlight of my trip!

7. Get Sponsored

Get Sponsored to Travel


"Time to be proactive and get working!"

Get involved in more extra-curricular activities; look out for opportunities that can hop you onto that plane! I’ve hadthe privilege of getting sponsored by my university to the UK for a 3-week exchange trip. This was part of the intership program offered by the university. That was definitely one of the best choices I’ve ever made. How much better can it get? Getting sponsored to go to the UK, interning at the department related to my course major, and enjoy being the spearhead of the exchange programme! It’s An absolute win!

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