6 Hacks To Make A Low Budget Travel Plan

Often, we find ourselves scrolling through our social feed, daydreaming about faraway lands, inspiring photography and life-changing adventure. And then, we wake up to check our bank balance and drop the idea.

I wonder, how do people actually fund their travels? Not everybody has been saving money for years to make it happen!

After reading a lot of stories on known travelers, I’ve realized this one thing, everybody didn’t have a huge amount of savings. In fact, some were even left with less than $200 in the first place!

They learned how to make it work, how to survive on a budget and how to handle it in difficult times. Most people travel with savings, which I guess is the best thing to do!  It might be difficult, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to travel on a low budget.

People always wonder how much they should save for their next trip and also how to save money on the road, or prior to their big adventure!

Sure, traveling costs money, but there are ways to make it easier on the wallet.

Here are our 6 best tips on how to plan a trip on a budget:

1. Make the most of sales events

airplane over a dollar bill  - low budget traveling

While people are loading up on new TVs and tablets during Black Friday and the Boxing Day Sales, skip straight to the flight sites.

Bookmark the sites that compare prices of travel tickets and subscribe to their newsletters or notifications to get alerts and updates via email. You’ll be intimated if specific fares have changed or reduced: farecompare.com, farecast.com, yapta.com, travelocity.com.

2. Do you know how much a visa costs?

stamped passaport  - low budget traveling

Some countries, like Nepal, don’t require a visa for entry as a short-term traveler, and others charge for the privilege of entering.

Be aware of what you’re getting into, as you can plan your journey around destinations with cheap visa processes.

While there are a few countries with easy and cheap visa processes. Make sure you have done your homework already! 😉

3. Stay in hostels

hostel in the mountains  - low budget traveling

This is the best deal you can buy when traveling on a budget!

Hostels are much more wallet-friendly compared to hotels, resorts, and rental homes. Not only do you get your accommodation sorted at an affordable price, but also a backpacker atmosphere, and memories to cherish for a lifetime.

There are a lot of hostels in different cities and you get a chance to interact with people from different backgrounds.

Some of its advantages are that usually, you end up meeting people traveling to the same destination as yours, so you may end up finding someone to share transportation, dinner or day trips.

3. Walk as much as possible or rent a bicycle

bike san francisco  - low budget traveling

Travel will turn you into a walker.

It’s amazing to explore large swaths of countryside on a moped or by bus, but whenever you can (and especially when you’re in a city), stretch those legs and stroll!

When you need to travel that bit further, rent a bicycle.

You’ll burn those pesky calories, save some pennies, and definitely get to know the nooks and crannies of your chosen city in far more detail. Not only does it allow you to get around on the cheap, but also, it also keeps you fit. 😉

4. Street food definitely means cheap food

street food  - low budget traveling

Eating street food tends to be the cheapest way to feed yourself on a budget.

If you’re someone who fears how hygienic or healthy the food may be, there are places where you can actually watch the food being prepared and cooked, so it’s better than being hidden away in a kitchen.

While traveling, make sure you have a taste of the local food before leaving, it will definitely make your experience worth it!

5. Get to know the locals

people around the bonfire - low budget traveling

There’s no better way of getting to know a place than talking to the locals. They know the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts, the where-to-go – and the where-not-to-go.

They are, in a nutshell, the best tour guides you could wish for.

Some of them might even end up asking you to stay with them, enhancing your travel experience and at the same time cutting on your accommodation and food costs.

You might even end up learning the local language. 😉

 

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
– Anonymous

 

We hope that these hacks worked for you. Let us know in the comments section below if you have some hacks of your own. 🙂

Till then, you can browse through the opportunities in budget-friendly countries to enhance your travel experience while serving the Global Goals!

If you liked this blog, you may also like: 5 Reasons Why Traveling Can be Your Best Teacher


Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.

3 Ways How Solo Traveling Can Make You A Better Leader

Whenever it comes down to thinking about what traveling alone can mean to me, these words define it the best – initiative, intuition, decision and action.

It’s more like designing an art. Taking a leap of faith to start, listening to the calling of the heart, and just doing it the way we want.

Philosophical? Maybe.

Before we begin, this space is not about telling you what solo traveling is or how you should probably do it. Google has enough for it.

The idea is to understand the relevance of grabbing any travel opportunity that comes our way, to help ourselves become more of who we are.

Being on your own, for your own self, in an unknown place, around unknown people can be frightful. But that’s exactly why one should do it.

It’s fearful. It’s daring. Hence, it’s exciting.

You’ll never know what’s coming your way and how will you deal with it. That’s what makes it so thrilling. It’s similar to taking risks in a business.

Everyone is always asking us to take up challenges, right? There you go: being alone makes you rely on your own spontaneous decisions, and to have faith in them.

It teaches you to take big life decisions.

The more adventurous your experience is, the more enlightening your own reality is.

Here are a few ways how traveling on your own can be a journey to leadership:

1. It helps you understand your inhibitions

men solo traveling standing in front of a cliff

It’s often said that it’s only when you’re put in a hard situation you’ll learn how you’ll deal with it.

Becoming self-aware is one of the key aspects traveling alone teaches.

You understand your fears, attributes that hold you back and your behavior in unexpected or unusual situations. This is exactly how you get to know yourself better and realize your potentials.

You must build on your instincts around people and the environment.

It helps to gain the capacity of dealing with critical and analytical activities like managing teams, assessing people and identifying opportunities.

2. You learn how to find a way in the chaos

As the only person responsible for your life, you learn to become self-reliant and start searching for solutions in a menace.

You try and talk to locals for directions, finding places to feed your stomach, knowing more about the city and its culture. The entire journey revolves around you making attempts to finding a way out.

You’re usually clueless about what will happen next and how, but you still keep moving forward to discover. There’s a solution to every problem, known or unrevealed. To search for it is up to us.

3. It pushes you to stay out of comfort and embrace challenges

As a traveler, if we shift our approach from ‘why do I have to tackle this problem’ to ‘I need to take a next level challenge’, the scope of personal growth intensifies.

Comfort brings in ease, inviting fear and resistance to difficulties. On the other hand, overseeing comfort over opportunity upskills strength, maturity, and quality of life.

Even in business, the best of ideas emerge when a workforce chooses to think on broader spectrums. They come out of distinct realities and not from easy situations.

There might be a hundred reasons for you to escape traveling alone, but if you can dare to dream, you can become what you envision.

Venture on your own to discover, enhance and rebuild a new life.

If this interested you, you can read 7 Things I Achieved, Thanks To My Exchange in Turkey

Would you like to travel alone while working on an amazing project? Learn about our exchanges!


Written by

Vanyashree Chaudhary is a light-hearted Journalism student from Delhi. She’s crazy about her love for graphic designing, Oreo shakes and Daft Punk. Find her the happiest while she’s traveling!

7 Things I Achieved Thanks to My Exchange in Turkey

“It started during my winter vacations. I kept hearing all my friends super excited about going home for a while, and how they couldn’t wait for summer vacations to be with their loved ones for entire 2 months!

I, on the other hand, had a really strange feeling evoking inside me. I didn’t want to spend all that time sitting at home doing nothing! Hence, I spent my entire winter vacation searching about things that would keep me busy during my summer holidays, as well as add on to my CV.

That was when I stumbled across AIESEC.

A few days later, after researching about all the projects and giving interviews, I finalized my exchange in Turkey! To my surprise, it didn’t take me more than a day to convince my parents to let me go abroad all alone – when I was just 18!

That’s how I got to spend 6 weeks in Turkey, and I had the best days of my life.

This Global Volunteer exchange made me explore and uncover parts of me buried deep within, and I couldn’t have been more grateful to AIESEC for giving me this beautiful opportunity.

I wish everyone could live something like that, so I’ll share a bit more with you right now.

Here are 7 things I achieved thanks to my Global Volunteer Exchange to Turkey, with  AIESEC:

1. Contributing to a better world and travel to another country

The concept of volunteering has always fascinated me the most. Helping others around the world while fulfilling your travel bucket list is a really great combination that AIESEC offers you.

I was working at a rehab center with specially-abled kids and adults and at the same time quenching my thirst for wanderlust on the go. All thanks to AIESEC!

2. Traveling on a budget

If at all I have dreamt about something passionately, it was traveling the world. But I never had enough funds to finance any of my trips!

AIESEC was my one-stop solution for affordable traveling.

The thing with traveling that drains out your pocket the most is when it comes to accommodation. But while I was in Turkey, I stayed along with my host family for 6 long weeks and I couldn’t have asked for better hosts than them.

They are more than family to me now!

3. Experiencing solo traveling

One of the most important things of what an individual must strike off his checklist before he turns 30 is a solo trip! I was beaming with joy when I strike this off my list merely at the age of 18! The feeling was just amazing!

4. Getting to know my latent talent

I strongly believe that traveling solo changes you as a person from within.

I never knew I could handle the pressure of surviving in a country without even knowing its native language. I never knew I could keep myself at cool while I changed 5 flights to get back home because I missed my connecting flight. I never knew I had the courage to go around exploring different cities within Turkey, all by myself!

I was truly surprised getting to know my all the things I was able to do by myself.

And most importantly, this experience helped me realize that I was a person of content, and to ignite my latent passion for writing once again – so much so that my first travel blog made to the top 5 on Google’s first page!

5. Learning about a different culture

Being a huge fan of Turkish drama, I thought I knew almost everything about Turkey, but I was so wrong!

It’s only when one goes and actually stays there, one gets to understand the real essence of the culture. I ended up loving their culture so much that now my house is full of Turkish chai and souvenirs.

My vocabulary of Turkish words and phrases increased from a mere 50 words to approximately 250 words when I returned from my exchange. By the end, I was even speaking in Turkish with my family members for almost a week since I got so used to the culture.

6. Making new friends from all around the world

My favorite and the most exciting part of the Global Volunteer was that AIESEC conducts a lot of cultural evenings!

Volunteers from all across the world gather around, wearing best of their traditional outfits, and bringing a bit of their traditional cuisines.

At first, I was skeptical about how it would all turn out to be, What will these people think about India? But the cultural eve was the best ice breaking session we all had.

We tasted flavors of different countries, danced in Spanish, French, Turkish, Hindi and Arabic music and what not! Now I can say that I know a bit about many many countries around the world.

7. Winning the trust of my parents

It wasn’t just me who started believing in myself, but also my parents and the people around me.

I was a whole new version of me when I returned from my exchange. I was more confident and even more independent, and my parents, my friends, and family noticed and felt the same.

I could see that my parents were really proud of me, and I could make out from their sparkling eyes that I had won their trust.  Sending a girl all alone when she just turned 18 to a country overseas was a brave thing my parents did.  And AIESEC made sure it reaped great results for their daughter.

To summarize it all, my exchange has helped me grow as an individual.

This trip has invoked a unique kind of spirit and passion in me.

I have never felt closer to accomplishing my dreams. It made me turn my CAN’Ts into CANs.  It truly was a life-changing experience for me.

So if you are someone having second thoughts about going for an exchange, don’t!

Just go with the flow and you will do wonders. You won’t even realize, but you will be surprising yourself each day on this journey!”

Nimisha Modi did her Global Volunteer in Turkey in July 2018. If you also want an experience like her, check out our opportunities at aiesec.org.  

4 Valuable Lessons I Learnt from my Exchange in Mauritius

Mauritius is a stunning island nation, known widely for its beautiful beaches, lagoons, and reefs. However, Naman Ahuja, who went for a Global Volunteer Programme as an Exchange Participant has a lot more to add, besides the aesthetic landscapes of this republic.

This is the story of how this exchange helped him develop his personality while adding to the positive changes that these programmes sought to initiate in the world!

“IT HELPED ME LEARN MORE ABOUT MYSELF”

“The exchange made me self-aware in so many ways! I got to know and explore my own abilities and capabilities. For example, I didn’t know I could deliver a  speech in front of 50 students and teach them too!” says Naman, who had been a reluctant introvert.

“Another self-realization I had was about my physical fitness.

We went on a lot of trekkings and that’s when it posed a challenge. I realized I wasn’t as fit as I needed to be to go hiking, unlike everyone else (who did not face this problem). It made me self-aware that I needed to build my stamina in order to live up to the tasks which were essential for my exchange projects.

exchange on Mauritius

If there’s something I couldn’t do, I had to work on that.

One more thing that this exchange helped me realize was how efficient I was with introducing myself to a group of total strangers, getting to know them and building a strong bond with them. These are qualities I thought I really lacked because I never really put myself out there.” he adds.

“I LEARNT WHAT IT MEANS TO EMPOWER OTHERS”

Communicating effectively in diverse environments, and engaging with others to achieve a bigger purpose play a pivotal role in empowering others, which is a key component of AIESEC’s leadership development model.

“My job role was to work on projects that were assigned to us: The Women Empowerment Project with the National Women Council of Mauritius, which was a huge deal.

There were three projects under this: Awareness Project, Self Defence project and the IT project.

One of the best things about this programme was that we were allowed to introduce our own projects, give our inputs and ideas for an entirely new scope, and they would create it for us! It was absolutely amazing.

“We worked with the National Women Council, and all their employees were women. Me and two other EPs from Kenya and China were the only males working in the organization, and all the other people who worked on this project were women!

The team I worked with conducted workshops on Information and Technology, teaching women basic Microsoft skills, etc. We taught around 500 women regarding this.

IT workshops for woman in Mauritius

We also took part in teaching specially-abled children during some days of the week, and it was an enlightening experience.

In the self-defense project, we had to organize a proper workshop and invited a self-defense trainer from Lebanon, the only woman in the entire middle-east for the job. So we understood the level we were actually working on.” he adds.

“I BECAME RESILIENT AND SOLUTION ORIENTED”

“One time we were locked in our house for two days, because of a Level 3 Tropical Cyclone that was going on at the island.

It was a sudden crisis, as we had to arrange food for everyone, and we had no external resources in case we ran out of food! Besides that, we also had to come up with ways to protect the house we were living in from the physical damage of the cyclone.

So the ten of us came together and planned out how we were going to protect the windows, we rationed food and cooked it together to effectively manage the limited resources we had!”

Hence, being solution-oriented in times of crisis is an essential lesson that one can learn from such circumstances.

“I LEARNED ABOUT DIFFERENT CULTURES AND BROKE MY MINDSETS”

People from all around the world aren’t so different, according to Naman.

Living together with people from different countries under one roof taught him that people may look different and dress different, speak different languages, but they connect. Because deep down we are all humans and that is the power of human connection.

exchange participants from AIESEC connecting in Mauritius

“There wasn’t a huge cultural shock as I expected. Mauritians are mostly of an Asian-African descent, and I kind of felt at home, within a few days of being there.

The nationalities of other EPs differed: there were people from Kenya, Australia, China, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Taiwan. These were people with dynamic personalities who helped me develop and even discover the hidden aspects of mine.

One thing I was worried about before going for my exchange was what do people think of India? Everyone I met in my exchange loved India and were totally fascinated by the Indian culture, so being the only Indian in the exchange was an amazing experience.

The one thing that absolutely stood out for me were the people of Mauritius. They are one of the kindest, most considerate and grateful people that I have ever come across. They are always there for you.

I didn’t know the local language, but whenever I traveled alone, I felt that there were people who would help out with the smallest of things. Even if I found myself lost for a second, they helped out and were super-approachable.

I still remember some of the shopkeepers and the people I used to wait with at the bus stand.”

“EVERYONE SHOULD LIVE AN EXCHANGE”

group of young people on exchange in Mauritius with AIESEC

For as short as it is, and exchange really teaches you how to bond with the people, be vulnerable, strong, flexible. You connect with those with similar vision and goals as you, you achieve something by putting in your hard work, and appreciate the result together!

Naman’s experience changed his way of seeing life and helped him become a better version of himself. If you want to read about another breathtaking country, check this article about Vietnam!

If you also want to live an experience like this, check our exchange programs at aiesec.in!

The Power of Understanding Different Cultures

AIESEC believes in developing socially conscious leaders of today who are passionate about the world and solving its issues, to leave behind a positive impact. We envision “Peace and fulfilment of humankind potential”, but how do we achieve this “peace” that we envision?

Simple. We send young people on exchange experiences.

Here is only one of the 26,000 stories we create every year!

La’ala and Tünde – A friendship forged through an exchange of cultures

La’ala is an Exchange Participant who recently went on exchange to China; she believed teaching kids in rural areas would bring about a new perspective and meaning to life. What she didn’t know was that the people she would meet while on exchange would leave behind an even greater impression on her than the kids.

Tünde is an Austrian Exchange Participant whom La’ala met and taught classes with during her internship.

La'ala and Tunde - 2 different cultures on exchange

Now, La’ala and Tünde come from completely different backgrounds – one is a Muslim; the other is a Christian. What lies in the beauty of this friendship is that these two exchange participants managed to find a connection in spite of their “differences.” La’ala said, “the topic of God came up and we just got lost in it, sharing similar perspectives and agreeing that religion is just a way of life”.

This friendship developed through exchange is just an example of how we are truly one as humankind. It’s not about anything else other than being connected – to recognize that we have differences- in culture, religion, and more – but also to find similarities through those differences.

The answers to the problems the world faces today are simple; they do not revolve around complex chemical weapons and war plans to solve issues and achieve peace. It simply lies in the love and friendship we make with another to fulfil our potential as human beings.

This experience has prompted La’ala to come back to Bahrain and take on a career of being a schoolteacher through which she aims to pass upon her learnings that she received while on exchange to her students. The exchange experience has also inspired Tünde to deliver a sermon at her local church, sharing her experience in hopes of inspiring her community to develop more awareness about other cultures.

Have you had a similar exchange of cultures? Where did you experience something like this?

 

If you are looking to go on an internship that will provide you with a different cultural experience, please go to opportunities.aiesec.org and check out all our available internships or read about other cultural experiences at culture-shock.me