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BUDGETING General

Traveling on a budget: What you need to know

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The biggest “problem” for most travelers is money. If I’m going away for a few weeks, this is one thing I always have to keep in mind. If you’re looking for tips on traveling on a budget or saving money while traveling, you’ve come to the right place. One thing is for sure: traveling on a budget doesn’t make it any less fun. So grab your suitcase and get ready to discover the best travel tips (on a budget) that you can’t miss.

Destination
It may seem obvious, but choosing a destination matters a lot. Some places are naturally more or less expensive than where you live. Before you go, research where it is possible to travel on a budget. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save in different types of places. In addition, it’s also wise to think about your stay. You might be tempted to stay in a fancy hotel, but a hostel will be much more cost-effective, especially if you are traveling alone. Sure, you’ll be sharing a room with other people, but think of it as a learning experience. You’ll make new friends and save money by skipping the hotel room and participating in more group activities with your new buddies!

Get travel insurance
Should you purchase travel insurance in addition to the expenses of flights, hotel, food and other costs of your trip? If you want to secure the money you’ve set aside to relax on a beach in France or visit the sights of Tokyo, travel insurance is a wise choice. Travel insurance is a small price to pay for the travel expenses you can protect, especially when there are so many unknown factors and surprises along the way. Travel delays, missed connections, misplaced luggage, medical problems and trip cancellation are just a few examples. So travel insurance is always a good idea.

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Transportation
When you travel, transportation is a must. Fortunately, there are many options to choose from and some of them are really affordable (depending on where you go). Most places offer inexpensive and reliable transportation options. City buses are available in almost every place and are usually the cheapest way to travel abroad. Skip the Uber and give your feet (and your credit card) a break by using public transportation to get around.

Walking is, of course, the cheapest mode of transportation and by far the best method of discovering a new area, outside of public transportation. If you need to go a bit further, renting a bike is often a good option. Both biking and walking are great ways to stay fit while traveling! Be sure to check the safety of transportation in the country you are visiting.

Free Activities
You can often save a lot of money by foregoing a planned visit and doing it on your own. Some museums may be free on certain days or there may be local activities. Don’t forget the classic “free walking tour”, which is a fantastic way to get a feel for the place you are visiting. Either way, make sure you do enough research ahead of time, as this will save you a lot of money and time during your stay.

Food
Food is another thing you will need during your vacation. It can get very expensive if you are not careful with the costs. If you’re living in a hostel or Airbnb with a kitchen, it’s a good idea to stock up on cheap produce and easy-to-prepare meals to keep you full throughout the day. Most hostels provide an open kitchen for all guests to use. There may even be a shelf with leftover food from departing backpackers!

ATM fees
Withdrawing and exchanging money at an ATM can be expensive. However, it is often cheaper to withdraw money while traveling than to convert it before you leave. Take as much money as you can afford to avoid fees. The more money you withdraw, the less you will be charged. The downside is that if you carry a lot of cash, you will be a little more vulnerable.

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