I’ve been traveling almost every month since 2013 and I’ve learned a lot in the past 5 years. In our time today, travel is no longer a luxury. You can have your dream vacation without going over budget. But how can you travel on a budget and still have an amazing time? Here are some tips based on my experience:
1. HAVE A TRAVEL FUND:
Save, save, save! First things first, if you want to travel – you need to save. And you can only save if you have a steady income or job. I’m blessed to have a stable job that helps me pay my bills and responsibilities, but still have extra to use for traveling. I have a travel fund that I keep an eye on monthly. There are different ways to save, here’s some of them:
Budget – As a mom, I’ve mastered the art of budgeting. I have an expenses tracker that I update monthly. This way, I know how much I can save and use for my travels.
Here’s a sample of my expenses tracker (crossing out the amounts, of course haha!)
Dining Out – Are you a foodie? Do you like eating out and trying different restaurants? There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if your main goal is to travel, you might want to consider cutting that out. The money that you’ll spend eating out can be used on your future travels. Better cook your own food, you’ll save a lot!
Shopping – Do you love buying the latest gadgets? New clothes, shoes, and bags for your OOTD pose? You might want to think twice. As for me, I don’t buy expensive clothes. I usually buy clothes/shoes in bazaars (Greenhills, online, and sometimes Ukay-ukay) which is way cheaper than buying in malls.
Scored this pink Zara blazer for only Php 320! Thanks to Anonas Ukay Ukay!
For my gadgets, I’m on a Smart plan which provides a smart phone already. My contract is for 30 months, so I won’t have a new phone until I renew my plan. I still use my iPhone 6s for taking photos since 2016. 🙂
Piggy Bank – I dream to go to Maldives. So, here’s my DIY piggy bank (a.k.a tissue holder) exclusively for Maldives travel fund. Every pay-day, I put a specific amount here.
Bank – It’s always safe to save in the bank. When you have your money in your wallet or at home, the more that you’re tempted to use it. Put your travel fund in a bank.
2. PLANNING YOUR TRIP:
Research – A lot of it! I read other blogs to know the culture, cheapest accommodation, best places to eat, activities, tourist spots and transportation going there. Google is your best friend!
Travel Booking Websites/Apps – I usually book my accommodation through travel apps, it’s 30-70% cheaper! Here are some of the websites:
Promo Fares – Oh yes! I liked and followed the Facebook page and subscribed to all local airlines to save up since airfare tickets are expensive in some places. You usually get cheaper rates if you book at least 2 months in advance. Follow these pages on Facebook to get notified of the seat sales (links will direct you to their Facebook page)
Travel with a Group – Join travel groups to save from the expenses. As they say, the more the merrier. But really, the more the cheaper. You can go with your friends or be a joiner and join a travel group.
DIY Travel Philippines – Since I joined this travel group in Facebook, I was able to go to places I never knew existed in my country. Strangers turned into friends and it grew my network. 🙂
My loves! One of my best travel joining a group. Here, I met the Girls GoPro Users of the Philippines and we went to Mt.Pinatubo. They’re now my friends! 🙂
3. WHILE TRAVELING:
Transportation – These tips are applicable when traveling in the province or out of country.
- Rent a Motorcycle – When we were in Siargao, we rented a motorcycle. It’s only Php 350 for 24 hours. You can go anywhere as long as you put gas on it. As compared to a one-way tricycle trip, we paid Php 100 per way. We also did this when we were in El Nido and Cebu.
- Train/Buses – Almost all international countries I’ve been to have buses and train stations that will bring you to tourist spots. All you have to do it buy a 3 days, 5 days or one week pass and it has unlimited rides.
- Explore on Foot – OMG the wonders of walking! You save travel money plus it’s a workout! How can you say no to that? Just make sure you have Waze or Google Maps apps downloaded on your phone for directions
Accommodation – When we traveled to Taiwan, our arrival time was in wee hours. We arrived at 3:00 AM. So instead of booking a room for that day, we stayed in the airport. Most international airports have nice couches that you can sleep on while waiting for the bus schedules to your hotel.
For beach trips, instead of reserving a room, why not bring a tent? You can buy a tent for Php 1,000 and bring it everywhere! Of course, you have to make sure that the beach you’re going to allow pitch tent. And also, it depends if you’re comfortable sleeping on it! As for me, camping once in a while is a good idea! 🙂
Dining – Ask the locals of the best affordable places to eat. Trust them, they know better. Google will also be useful as you can read a lot of blogs and it will give you suggestions on where to eat and spend less.
Time Management – If you have limited time, you should make the most out of it. Meaning, every hour counts. Go to the major attractions, rest if you must. Be creative with your itinerary.
Lockers – With international travels, there are times that your flight schedule will be in the afternoon or night and check out time in hotels are usually 12:00 PM. What we do is go to the Train station, rent a locker, and put our luggage there. That way, we still have time to explore other places without having to bring our bags.
Emergency Fund – You’ll never know if there will be an accident, cancelled flights, or something might just come up while traveling. Make sure to secure some extra cash in case of emergency.
Overall, you really have to learn how to be strategic when traveling. Be a smart traveler! I hope you learn a thing or two from this blog. For more of my budget travels and adventures, please check out my website Althea’s Adventures. You can also follow my Facebook page and Instagram. Happy travels! 🙂