How To Stick To Your Travel Budget.

I get asked all the time how I can afford to travel for a year so I thought I’d write an article showing how I stick to my travel budget. Obviously there was the initial saving up to travel in the first place, you can read how I did this by clicking here: How To Save Money Fast So You Can Travel On a pretty tiny budget I’ve been in the road for eight months now and have managed to stay in some beautiful accommodation (as well as terrible!), eat delicious food, have had nights out in sky bars and clubs, taken flights, trains and buses all over and have seen some of the most beautiful sights in Asia. When I first began travelling I did make mistakes and overspent. I tried to cram in everything, determined to see every little temple, museum and site Asia had to offer. A few months into travelling I realised no one can keep this kind of travel up both in terms of energy and budget. That’s when travelling actually became easier and more fun! After all that’s why I decided to go backpacking, to simplify my life and to experience other cultures. So here are some tips which can help you stick to your travel budget.

1) The first thing is to pick the things you really want to see and do, not what a guide book tells you, you HAVE to see and do.

2) Explore all the street food, it’s super cheap and so tasty.

3) Buy fruit and other snacks at markets.

4) Go to a 7 Eleven or local shop and stock up on large bottles of water. If you see a refill place, take advantage.

5) Before you go out drinking, become your teenage self again and drink at the hostle or on the street before going “out, out”. In Hong Kong and some other countries in Asia, it is common to drink outside 7 Eleven shops. They even have plastic chairs for you to sit on. You can read all about my experience of this by clicking: Backpack Hong Kong On A Budget Forget the shots, spirits and cocktails, take up drinking beer. I’m not going to lie, I still don’t care for beer very much. It simply doesn’t taste as good as a vodka lime and soda water however you can buy a beer for less that a pound in most Asian countries.

6) Reduce the coffee intake… although I must admit, I’m currently drinking a decaf cappuccino while writing this. Limit your intake at least.

7) Laundry is so cheap in Asia, however I hand wash where possible with detergent I’ve purchased from a market. About twice a month I’ll then get all my clothes professionally laundered. To be honest I’ve hardly got any clothes with me so hand washing doesn’t bother me.

8) Don’t shop! Save all your shopping for the last month of your travel. You’ll only have to carry it around.

9) Download Skyscanner or a similar app and use the ‘explore’ toolbar to purchase cheap flights. Tim and I did this a few days ago and consequently we are in Taiwan, a country we had never thought of coming to. We purchased our flights for less than a hundred pounds each!

10) Consider travelling to countries where you are entitled to a free thirty day Visa Waiver. Visa expenses can add up.

11) Use local transport wherever you can (so much fun) and walk as much as possible. I always find I scout out the best places when I walk. If you do get a tuk tuk or taxi, settle on the price first.

12) Haggle. It’s expected in most places in Asia. If you haggle, be friendly, remember these people earn a lot less that you. Offer a third or half of it then you and the seller can settle on a fair price from there.

13) Take out lots of cash at once from ATMs to avoid bank fees. Different machines charge different amounts so do some research. If you are going to an island, they always charge WAY more than normal, so take out what you will need before you go.

14) Cross over borders by land where possible although do research flights first as sometimes it can be cheaper to fly.

15) Take care of your cash and valuables. Use a stomach wallet and a Pacsafe to ensure your valuables are safe. It’s game over right there if you have to replace everything. Ensure you have travel insurance should this occur.

16) Taxis from airports can be expensive, so if there’s an option to take a MRT, bus or shuttle, use it.

17) Walk in rates at hostels can be cheaper but sometimes it works out cheaper to use sites such as, booking.com or Agoda. Consider booking one or two nights then ask the hostle what the walk in rate is and begin your haggle.

18) Try not to move around too much, although I am guilty of this, wanting to move every three or four days! Moving around too often will eat into your budget.

19) Have a budget in mind per day and try to stick to it. Of course there are days where you will go over this so try to be extra careful for a day or two to make up for it.

20) Some countries are more expensive than others to backpack so consider backpacking Asia or South America to keep the costs down.

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