Budget Travel

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Many travel blogs are written by the people who have travelled the entire world, sold everything to be a nomad, see everything in the world traveler. However, I do not believe in that idea. Also, I do not think you need an art history to appreciate great art.

When people see the places I have travelled on my Facebook page, some imagine I must have a lot of spare income or I must be a trust find baby. I am not one of those. I do not have a lump sum of money to spend on travel. All my travel has been due to the perks of a consulting job I was in.

People’s perception about travel needs to be changed. If you do some planning, some research, and prioritize travel in your life, it is quite affordable. This week’s blog is to give you a deep insight on how to make your travel affordable.

So here’s the deal:

Flights:

A flight ticket could be the only expensive purchase you are going to make in your entire trip. A coach round trip ticket from the US to Europe usually runs anywhere from $700-1200 on average, depending on the season. The trick is: don’t buy your ticket with actual money. Buy it with fake money called points or miles. The trick is to know which cards to open. These cards usually aren’t well advertised, so you’ll have to do your research. Usually Amex and British Airways Visa cards offer huge bonuses when you sign up.

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FrugalTravelGuy.com: This is a great blog for those interested in staying up to date on the latest frequent flyer news and credit card offers.

Flyertalk is another one which you might want to look at. It might seem to be quite intimidating if you’re a beginner, so I would recommend starting from the top and working your way down.

Rooms:

There are credit cards for this too which offer reward points to frequent travelers or some loyal customers to a certain brand of hotels. This might even earn them free stays.

Hostelworld.comThis room search and booking site will expand your idea of what a hostel can be. Often, you’ll find that smaller, inexpensive, and independent hotels will list rooms on Hostelworld even if they have a website and brand themselves as a hotel or bed & breakfast. You can search for rooms nearly anywhere in the world, filter by room type (most hostels have private bedrooms, some with private bathrooms and some with shared bathrooms), location (there’s a handy map view), price and more. It’s also low risk – you just pay a small 10% down payment when you book and the rest when you check in.

Airbnb.comI am a huge fan of this service. A major disruptor to the online travel booking industry, Airbnb offers you the ability to reserve a room in a private apartment directly through someone who lives and is local to the place you’re going. You can book entire apartments or just spare bedrooms, allowing you the choice between having a cozy place all to yourself. A few other perks can involve more amenities than a budget hostel or hotel may offer, such as the ability to wash your own laundry or cook your own food if you need to (it is an apartment, after all).

Timing and Trip Length:

Visiting a country in the right time of the year is very important. I intend to see the world, and I have to do it in 2 weeks per year. So, I compromise. It can be a little tiring, but I don’t take these trips necessarily to relax – I take them to recharge in other ways. Travel is my passion and I crave new cultural experiences. For those who’ve also been bitten by the travel bug, you get it. The rest of the world will go on thinking that we’re rich, and I suppose that’s fine.

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-Naman

(Photo source: author)

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