Final exams are done and it’s time to fly for exciting new experiences!! When I think about traveling to other countries, I feel like I really want to go somewhere right now. Money is a big issue that can hold me back because I’m a student. Before I became a full time student, I had traveled to many places. One time in India, when I was in line for the Taj Mahal I noticed that there was a separate line for non-tourists and they were paying a much cheaper admission fee in that line. After reading the fine print at the ticket booth, I found that Thai passport holders could pay the cheaper entry price for the Taj Mahal. Instant discount! A little knowledge can go a long way when you’re looking to save money while travelling. Today I would like to share my experience on how to keep your budget low while travelling overseas, so now anyone can travel on a low budget.
Looking at countries that have a lower-valued currency compared to
own is a good start because you can stretch your money further. In Canada for two dollars you can buy a Coke, but in some countries you can buy 4, 5 or even 6 cans of Coke for the same two Canadian dollars. Many interesting countries have very low costs of living such as India, Thailand, Nepal, Bulgaria, and Romania. Many of these countries are still not popular tourist destinations, so you can try a new experience in a new world.
Saying goodbye to your old clothes can actually save you money! Pack your old clothes that you’re no longer going to wear, and while travelling you can go shopping for new clothes often at cheaper prices. You can donate your old clothes to people who need them. If you think your suitcase might be too heavy, wear the extra clothes as layers to avoid baggage fees.
For travel to tropical countries, you can pack lightweight clothes and save some extra luggage space for souvenirs to bring back to your friends and family. You don’t want them to think you’re a selfish traveller, right?
– Money Changing
Exchanging money at the right time will keep more money in your wallet, so don’t be in a rush to exchange your money. The rate of exchange for most currencies is different at different times of year, so you can wait and see when you’ll get the best rate. Ozforex.com can help you decide when is the best time to change money, so you will save more money for overseas travel expenses and still spend the same budget you started with.
Booking tickets early can help you save some money on planes, trains, and buses, but another travel transport trick is to travel during low season. When booking airplane tickets, Skyscanner.ca (hyperlink) is a good choice because it will search many other travel booking websites. When you choose your itinerary on Skyscanner, it will bring you to the original booking website. I also recommend comparing prices with a travel agency near you because they might have access to better deals depending on the time of the year. Booking airplane tickets can be tricky since you might have a very cheap ticket, but the baggage fees and other taxes can make it more expensive depending on the airline. Checking with each airline about their baggage policy could help you keep more money in your pocket.
Connecting fights are often cheaper than direct flights, and this will help you travel more. You can schedule a long layover and treat your transfer destination as a travel opportunity, helping you to save money on transportation by getting two trips out of one.
Using local modes of transportation and staying away from taxis as much as possible is another way to manage transportation costs, while also getting more sightseeing and local experience.
Staying as a Couchsurfer as I mentioned in my last blog “The Secret to Touring Canada on a Student Budget” is one option, and another budget choice is Homeexchange.com. People who want to rent out their house use this website to connect with travelers. It’s often cheaper than staying in hotels and it’s more private than Couchsurfing. Backpacker hostels are very cheap, but be warned that they often come with late night rowdy travelers looking to party, so maybe this is a pro or a con – you decide!
Eating at local markets and food courts gets you yummy food, fresh ingredients and cheaper prices than eating at the hotel. Shopping at local markets can be a fun experience in case you like to cook for yourself and explore new recipes.
Now you can use these tricks to plan your next overseas trip as cheaply as possible. By doing a little research and planning in advance, a cheap and exciting trip to another country is right within your reach. If you’re a student, you know that this world has a lot to offer. Don’t forget to travel with an international student card for many discounts along the way! It’s often the journey that is more memorable than the destination. For your next break, don’t simply ask yourself “Where will I go?” but instead ask “How will I get there?”
About Jarucha Janmekha: His friends and family call him Oh. He’s a
Humber College student and world traveler who likes to do interesting things asthriftily as possible. He also loves to eat good food, enjoy something new, and have fun with new people.