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.

5 Reasons Why Traveling Can be Your Best Teacher

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.

You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

Cesare Pavese

I live for exploring the world, trying new things, and meeting passionate people    

Very often, when I’m craving for adventure but am stuck with work, I scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and all the social media sites, in an attempt to quench my thirst for exploration.

However, this doesn’t work.

Instead, I just watch people go away on seemingly incredible adventures, having the time of their lives, while I’m at home working on the computer, wondering when I would go on my own.

This entire scenario puts me in a state of despondency, for I know it’s about time that I start to focus on things that nurture my soul.

Hence, I decided to take a break from my daily life and feed my wanderlust!

It’s easy to get bogged down by all the day-to-day pressures and get stuck in a continuous cycle of work and life commitments. However, having new experiences and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone on a daily basis is essential for growth, balance, and happiness.

I have always believed that travel teaches you without a scorecard.

It enriches and molds you gently. When you step out to see the world – meet people, get acquainted with different cultures, taste new cuisines or simply breathe in an unfamiliar city – you learn a lot!

I have had incredible learnings through my travels and  I am keener than ever to learn more through it.

Here are the top  5 things that I have learned from my travels so far.

1. Listening to my inner voice

Being alone for most of the time while traveling, introspection is the one thing that happens to all of us!

Even though I would do the same back home, being completely alone in a foreign environment heightened it.  It can really teach you a thing or two about yourself.

When you’re away from everything you‘ll be surprised by the magnitude of the zen you experience!

Probably the most important lesson of all that comes from traveling is that you are stronger than you thought yourself to be.

2. Seeking out people with different beliefs and views of the world and getting to know their perspective

Some of my beliefs about the world are not in unanimity with a lot of people.  If everyone thought like me, the world would’ve been quite boring.

So when I meet someone with a very different belief system to mine, I try to mix with them rather than trying to “change” them. Despite all the external differences, people are the same everywhere you go.

They’re driven by all the usual urges; from base fear and anger right through to the most awe-inspiring generosity and love. There are innumerable instances when total strangers have strengthened my faith in humanity: chasing me down to return dropped money, inviting me to family dinner, etc.

When you stop seeing people as some different from yourselves, I reckon you can relate to just about anyone.

3. Lessons come in the most unlikely times

While traveling solo, we interact with people around us: on buses, trains, and planes throughout the journey. Every new person we meet offers an intriguing story and maybe even a shred of wisdom.

When we surround ourselves with a variety of different people, we learn a lot.

Go and explore all you possibly can. For not all classrooms have 4 walls. 🙂

Through our conversations, we realize how different our lives are. We also learn that most of us, in spite of the cultural differences,  eventually want the same thing: happiness.

4. To accept kindness with humility

Without even realizing it, most of us follow a cynical attitude towards people.

It’s a great shame because we often overlook genuine kindness in the world. When we travel, we’re bound to meet a whole new variety of people. Not everybody is going to be kind, but accept that some people are.

Meeting people through your travels will teach you to accept kindness – often from strangers. And it is your job to be open to invitations.

Accept the chai latte from the shop owner, accept the invitation to the local family wedding, and accept kindness whenever can – the rewards will be enriching.

5. Amazing things lies on the other side of fear

Fear paralyzes us. We miss out on tons of opportunities because of our fears.

Traveling alone, for instance, may be something you’ve always wanted to do. What stops you from doing it? Besides money, it’s probably fear. You overlook all the excitement and focus on all the bad things that could possibly happen.

Sometimes, we need to do the things that scare us the most because it’s often on the other side of fear, that we discover the most amazing things. Trust me, it’s the most liberating thing ever!

“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.”

– Anthony Bourdain

Travel isn’t always blissful and comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay.

The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your soul. You take something with you.

Depending on where you go, you’ll see the different strata of the society. You’ll realize that everyone, in a way, is fighting the same battles as we are, only the environs are different.

Traveling changes you completely.

It gets you in touch with a  side of the world that not everybody knows. It changes your perspective on things and life.  Explore, dream and discover.

To Live an Experience like this, find an opportunity on aiesec.org.

To read next: 7 Things I Achieved Thanks to my Exchange in Turkey


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.

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.  

Help, Mummy, I’m terrified

Pic 2

Recently, I was offered to opportunity to travel to Egypt as a cultural ambassador to promote student exchange between Indian and Egyptian students. As much as travel excites me, the spirit of this adventure was dampened by a host of people asking me why I can’t choose another country  besides Egypt, whether it was the right time to go, whether I would face too much trouble getting there.

Pic 1Egypt has always held a great fascination for me and like all children growing up I pictured a land filled with men in their regal headgear, speaking a strange beautiful tongue with mummies lying around every nook and corner. The country also has such a unique geo-political situation- part of the African continent with primarily Arabic roots and culture while going through phases of democratic and military rule.

Recent events have seen the media portray Egypt as a land of youth revolutionaries and extremist leaders. So it comes as no surprise that young people are apprehensive about making a journey to the country and that’s fair. I too, had to tackle protective parents and sceptical friends as well and I just want to give you a first-hand account of what it’s like here.

Pic 4The capital, Cairo is a great place to live and experience for any young person! As an Indian, there are many similarities here that will remind you of home. The people here are warm and hospitable, eager to guess which country you are from and always grinning when they guess right (It seems the Indian accent is a cult favourite here ;)). You can always catch a glimpse of the glorious Nile, no matter which part of the city you are at. The tourist favourites- the pyramids, mummies and the sphinx live up to all the hype they are given. The architecture is exciting, the culture vibrant and the atmosphere lively! Alexandria is yet another beautiful city located by the Mediterranean Sea that will captivate you. From kind, hospitable people to the city’s Greco-Roman remains, it is breathtakingly beautiful.

There are many misconceptions about Egypt. It is a land shrouded in mystery and the news out there spells doom, violent protests and unstable political conditions. All that is far from the truth and if you can trust the testimony of a 22 year old girl travelling there alone, then be assured, it is perfectly safe.

Things you should know:

  • Girls will not be stared at lecherously all the time. Honestly, it’s so much lesser than what is on our own streets.
  • Egypt has misconceptions about India. Maybe so, but they LOVE India and adore Amitabh Bachchan. I guarantee you; you will have a conversation about Indian cinema at least twice in your time there.
  • Everybody there is not a protestor or a revolutionary or an extremist. That ended a year ago and there is no clear and present danger.
  • The country is affordable and reasonable. The value of the Egyptian pound although more than the rupee, can buy you commodities for the same value as in India.

If you have 6 weeks to go for an international internship and are apprehensive about picking Egypt, don’t be. I have had an amazing experience there and it is worth the journey- to witness ancient civilizations and modern day marvels in one bustling metropolis. I am back with fond memories, great friends and a second home to go back to someday soon.