Thanks everyone for all your love and support over the blog. While everyone wants to travel but we all make or cancel plans according to our budgets. I have heard a lot of queries about how am I traveling so cheap (according to some) or atleast in the budget. I have never been a big spender first of all. Since I love to travel I try to work my way out within my limits. Easier said than done eh?
I think the first and most crucial part of any travel is booking the tickets. The day you have booked your tickets the countdown starts. First rule for traveling “in budget” is deciding and booking the tickets early which helps you cut down close to 5-10k INR easily.
Next is planning your trip and booking your hotels.I usually plan my whole trip by myself. Since I am not a fan of organised tours, I research and make my own itineraries. I do a lot of reading about the place over the internet and books. Lonely Planet has been my guide through all the trips and has never failed me. Planning by yourself is time-consuming but it does make me feel good and provides me with more knowledge about the country.
Booking you hostels/hotels is something I am getting used to. I usually go through hostelworld.com or Hostel.com to book my accommodation. Since I travel on budget I try to get dorms as they come the cheapest and it also helps you meet more people from across the country. Another option is to go without the booking and search for places after you arrive. I know it is a bit tough but that can get you a better deal. At rural areas, staying with one of the families is the best way to experience the country, culture and its food there. Also couchsurfing is another option. If one can adjust on their accommodation costs they can save a lot of money there. Also why spend a lot on accommodation when you are just going there to sleep or freshen up. Again its my logic which won’t apply for everyone.
Once you reach your destination, and not taking the usual taxis etc, travel by local transport. It cuts your traveling costs to almost half. In Europe and other places where local transport is good thanks to planned and organised Metro system, traveling becomes much easier and cheaper. For example during my visit to Turkey, especially for Istanbul we took this ticketing card IstanbulKart which is quite similar to your monthly rail pass. You just fill it up once and then use it for all your local travel anywhere in the city.
Another place where you can save costs in travel between cities. Traveling through night buses and trains will help you save the travel and accommodation costs for atleast couple of days easily.
Since we were in budget, we kept a count of how much money we have spent everyday. So we tried to cut it wherever possible by either walking down if possible or not splashing on lavish food or drinks. Eating lavishly once in a while is okay but you can experience more of the local food on the streets. Just grab your meal, your drink and pick a nice spot in the town. Trust me it will be the best meal you can enjoy.
I will give you an example of the break-up my recent travel to help you plan
Return Flight Tickets: Mumbai-Istanbul- Rs 32,000 (booked close to 3 months in advance)
Daily Budget- 100 Lira for a budget traveler as recommended by Lonely Planet ( 1 Lira is close to 29 rs)- This involved our travel, food, accommodation, drinks etc
Food: Daily Spend- 20 Lira max. per person on basic local street food like dorum, shawarma etc
Accommodation- 25-30 Lira per day (dorms)
Internal travel- 10 Lira
The cost of entrance to various historical sites and museum is not included in the daily allowance, but it ranges between 15-20 Lira per site.
Night Buses to various places cost anywhere between 10 Lira-30 Lira depending upon the distance. The Intercity Buses in Turkey are very comfortable with TVs on each seat and they provide coffee and refreshments onboard.
I spent close to INR 62,ooo overall on a trip to Turkey over 10 days. I am sure the more we explore we can cut down further on this.
I am not a seasoned traveler like many pros and other but I try to be in budget wherever possible not compromising on comfort. We are all chasing an experience. The thing is to make it worthwhile
If you are looking to travel and want some help with creating Itineraries or help over some place I have traveled to, I will be happy to help you. You know how you can contact me 😉