7 Tips on How to Enjoy Traveling Without Spending Much


Traveling without spending much is possible. In 2009, I trekked Mt. Pulag for only 1000 pesos. In the following year, I conquered Mt. Pinatubo for less than 3000 pesos.

My interest in traveling started in my early 20s when I was working as a call center agent. Fresh from college, I can vividly remember how I was able to hover around different provinces with limited budget.  In 2009, I trekked Mt. Pulag for only 1000 pesos. In the following year, I conquered Mt. Pinatubo for less than 3000 pesos. Now that I am working overseas, I still manage to travel frugally. Whether going to a different province or embarking on a journey to another country, cheap traveling has always been my rule of thumb.  Want to know how I do it? Here are my seven reliable suggestions to cheap traveling without compromising safety, comfort, and of course – fun.

1. Plan early – From knowing when your next holiday is to polishing your itinerary, everything must be planned ahead of time. Rushing them may cause you to pay more. Most airline companies provide promos and discounts for flights booked as early as 3-6 months before you travel. The same applies for accommodations.

2. Go for hostels – or do couchsurfing if you are more adventurous. Couchsurfing is a cheap form of accommodation wherein hosts offer their homes to travelers. Look for verified host wherein being safe is 100% guaranteed. If couchsurfing does not appeal to you, there are plenty hostels that are clean and offer free breakfast. Opting for hostels also allows you to meet other backpackers and share insights about cost effective traveling.

How to Enjoy Traveling Without Spending Much
The old quarter in Hanoi, Vietnam offers affordable hostels ranging from 2 USD per night.

3. Research – Read some travel blogs, reviews, and ask people who have been to the place you want to travel. Doing your research is very important because first, there may be parks, landmarks, museums, and attractions that are for free. Second, you want to know how you can go from places to places like renting a bicycle or motorbike, riding a train rather than bus, or if the place you want to go to is just a 10 minute walk away from your accommodation. Third, you want to have an idea of the cost of living there, allowing you to have a clear estimate of your travel budget.

4. Ask for discounts – especially when you are shopping for souvenirs. Don’t be afraid to ask for cheap bargains. Avail those coupon cards if you can. Grab those promotions whenever possible. There is no harm in doing them anyway.

How to Enjoy Traveling Without Spending Much
Traveling by train in Thailand is famous for being cheap. You can easily admire the beauty of nature through its windows.

5. Be careful of scams and rip-offs – That is why you need to research a lot before traveling. In my experience, before I traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia, I found out that there were a lot of scams made at the border. Locals were selling arrival forms and officers were asking for money. These made me decide to take a government bus that provides arrival forms to passengers. The bus operator also cautioned us of possible rip-offs to avoid. Thanks to my extensive research!

6. Have your US dollars handy – Always find time to convert your currency to US dollars before heading out to another country. Converting your money at the airport may cause you to lose some money due to weak conversion rates.

7. Incorporate social work with traveling –If your passion is reaching out to others in different places, then traveling is actually fulfilling for you! If you happen to belong in a group that supports community welfare, you can visit a province, do some charity work, and tour around the place before heading back home. When I was still in the Philippines, I volunteered my time in setting up a village library in Ifugao. In return, the locals toured me around the municipality for free.

Souvenir shopping in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Most of us love to travel and traveling does not need to be expensive. With these travel tips in mind, you can definitely enjoy your next holiday. Remember, a cheap traveler is a smart traveler!

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