Hello everyone! My name is Sarvini Dahmohtharan, lecturer from Faculty of Business Management. This week I had been assigned to write up for the SMART blog. When I was a student, I have still managed to keep up my passion for travelling. So, I decided to share the tips on how to travel on a budget. As a student you’re in a very unique position because this is the one time in your life when people are keen to shower you with discounts and great deals. Therefore, don’t miss out in taking advantage of student discounts!
Exploring exotic places doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you certainly don’t need to win the lottery to travel the world – not if you know how to watch your pennies. Check out the tips to help you plan a holiday on a budget.
1. Come up with a plan
Traveling spontaneously is great, if you have the luxury of time and money to spare. But if you’re travelling on a budget, the first thing to do is come up with a plan. You don’t have to need a tight, hour-by-hour itinerary, but you should at least have an idea of how long you’ll be spending in each city or country, and know the route that your epic adventure will take.
2. Travel out of season
Avoid trips during the school holidays, this is when the travel industry hikes up prices to take advantage of families who can only travel during these weeks. Research the best time to visit your intended destination, and then travel just before or after these dates. This is called the ‘shoulder season’, where you’ll still have a great trip but maybe the sun won’t shine quite as brightly (and, on the plus side, it won’t be quite as hot.) Hotels and airlines lower their prices to attract customers during this time.
3. Be accommodation-savvy
Trade expensive hotel suites for dorm rooms in hostels. Sharing a room naturally divides the costs and communal bunk rooms offer the opportunity to meet people who might be keen to explore with you. It’ll halve the price and allow you an authentic snapshot of real life in the city. Consider your host your very own, personal tour guide, filled with insider tips for the best eateries and tourist spots in that neighborhood.
You could even stay with family or friends. Reach out to people you know or plan a trip to somewhere that a long-lost cousin or school friend now lives – this could take you to visit places you’d never have thought of before.
4. Pack properly
Make sure you bring everything you need so that you don’t have to shop while you’re away (apart from a few souvenirs). No matter where you’re heading, take at least one pair of long jeans, warm hoodie and waterproof jacket for unpredictable weather incidents.
5. Don’t eat away your cash
Cheap lunches can be bought in a supermarket or even a local fresh food market, rather than in an overpriced cafe or restaurant. Aim to wander around before choosing a place to eat dinner too; if you just pick the first restaurant you see you won’t know if you’re overspending. Alternatively, look for hostels and spare rooms that often let you have access to a kitchen if you want to save a little money by cooking for yourself.