I’ve posted about my love of travelling before and given some tips on how to plan a trip, including how to get there and where to stay. But I thought I would add to this by digging into a few pointers on how to stay on budget while you’re away. I find it’s quite easy to stay on top of your money whilst in the initial planning stages. You can shop around for the cheapest flight, decide whether you’re going for a hostel, Airbnb or splashing out on a hotel. And throughout this you can clearly see what’s adding up and how much you’re spending.
But while you’re away on your amazing travels it’s always a bit trickier to stay on top of your budget. Sure, you’re now dealing with local currency but your also trying to menatally convert prices and put it into perspective, and sometimes the budget just creeps up and up. I first experienced this in Barcelona – I was with a group of new people, we were going out for meals and drinks most days, we were experiencing what the city had to offer and slowly but surely I blew through my budget faster than I did the freshly poured mojitos. Since then I’ve learnt to plan a bit better and picked up a few tips to use in order to space out your spending but still enjoy yourself.
- Duty Free – It always take some persuading, but I really try to hold off spending at the airport. Sure everything is cheaper and tax free, but you haven’t even left the country yet. It’s hard, and while it makes sense to buy now rather than in the shops at full price but I guarantee there will be shops on your flight back, so just hang on and spend any spare pennies on your way back.
- Transport – If you’re not careful this can end up being a big spender while you’re away. My first tip would be to plan your trip from the airport. Do some research and find out what bus/train you need and avoid the taxis like the plague. They can be a big con when you’ve only just arrived. The drivers know you’re not sure about costs and things can get very pricey. While on your trip I would also recommend walking as much as possible – it’s the best way to see a new city. If you prefer to use public transport then get some advice on the cheapest deals. Often there are travel card options that work out cheaper than buying individual tickets.
- Attractions – Now I am all for the attractions. If I’m visiting somewhere new then I want to learn about the place, I want to visit the important landmarks and historic sights. But these can really up your budget so it’s wise to shop around and find the spots that make the most of your money. There are often free museums to visit, or ones that are free on a certain day of the month. Pick one or two things that you really, really want to experience and spend money on those. Spend the rest of your time doing low cost/free things. Visit the best parks, find quirky neighbourhoods to explore, really get to know they place.
- Eating out – This is where things can get real pricey. Personally I found that Rome was the worst for expensive food. Not all the time, but we definiately made the mistake of having a drink in a pricey tourist trap area and eating in a hotel one night, which has to be the worst value for money I have ever experienced! I would highly recommend going out of the centre a little bit. Find a lively little neighbourhood where your bound to find the locals. The best example of this is Kreuzberg in Berlin where we had some of the best but cheapest food ever.
Travelling on a budget is not always the easiest thing. Everything in life would be a whole lot easier if we could all spend whatever the hell we wanted. But it’s not impossible and sometimes you can find the best places and experiences by shopping around a little bit. Do you have any other tips and tricks for travelling on a budget? Don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin for more travel posts coming up soon!