10 ways to travel cheap

by Arjun

Ever wondered about a euro trip, Thought of it as something very expensive?

Something you cant afford? That’s what you HEARD!

I would have said the SAME, to all such thoughts if someone would have asked me some years back. But now I would say it all depends on how you travel, how you manage, a lot of things which can just be tuned as per your preferences. Also here in this post, I have shared some problems we face as Indians while it comes to spending on travel and how can we overcome them. Budget travel can solve a lot of them.

This may be one of the most comprehensive posts written by me based entirely on the facts, figure, and experiences from one of my euro trips. First of all, let me state one basic assumption while doing the budget traveling. We always have to let go of something to get something. So here in budget traveling what we let go off is luxury to travel as much as possible of this beautiful planet.

Following is the detailed break up for this estimate, which may slightly vary with the options you get.

Area of expenseExpense(In INR)Remarks
Cheapest Air ticket25000Click on the cheapest air ticket link to see one such ticket
Visa fees6300This is the fees if you apply through VFS, though you can save if you apply directly at embassy. Google about it
Local sim card with call balance and data1500Buy a local sim card, once you are at your destination. They will be activated instantly. It will need just a passport.
Paid activities budget 17000If we do activity like for 1700 in 10/17 days. Activities like Hop-on city tour, bike tour, monument tour, segway tour or some local festival. Exploring city on your own rest of the days
Stay for 14 days21000Calculated stay for 14/17 days because, do city transfers by over night bus or train to save on stays.
Drinks5000Assuming you drink 4-5 days a week. 2-3 days at a pub or a bar and 2-3 days buy, drink at your stay.
Local commute14000Includes bus passes/train for 10-12 journeys for city commute and low cost carriers for air transfers. If planned well in advance you can get a ticket from Prague to Budapest in 900-1200 INR
Shopping for souvenirs and chocolates 3000Souvenirs are mostly mug or fridge magnets, cheap and best. Nothing expensive
Total928002000 left for misc.

Below are the 10 ways which let you travel for under 95000 INR. This is while you are on a budget.  Do’s are the ways by which you should be doing being a budget traveler and don’t are the one you need to avoid while on budget. This budget is based on my travel in Spain and Germany. I have excluded food as it’s up to personal preference. That would go from somewhere 10k INR to 14k INR if you go by food suggestions given below. As this option varies a lot from person to person.

Do's

  1. Use public transport(Bus, Train, Metro, Low-cost air carriers) like this.
  2. Use Airbnb/ Hostel/ Couchsurfing.
    Prateek Bhatia at AirBnb in Barcelona

    Prateek Bhatia at AirBnb in Barcelona

  3. Eat local, eat quick and popular fast food chains, small restaurants, cook yourself, like this.
  4. Visit natural wonders, architectural wonders, heritage wonders, cultural shows, etc.
  5. Buy a local sim, where ever you go.
  6. File your visa yourself and book your tickets yourself too.
  7. Download city local maps and tour apps in your smartphone.
  8. Visit clubs one a week.
  9. Rent a bike(Bicycle).
  10. Plan and book ahead in advance. The late you book, expensive it is.

Dont's

  • Don’t hire Cabs/taxis.
  • Stay away from Hotels.
  • Avoid lavish, fine dining restaurants.
  • Casinos or gambling are not budget activities.
  • Refrain yourself from buying global sim card from airports.
  • Don’t go to travel agents for visa or tickets.
  • Tour guides are not travelers cup of tea.
  • Clubbing regularly is not what budget travelers do.
  • Rental cars again are directly or indirectly a huge expense for a budget traveler.
  • You have to control your adrenaline, super expensive adventure sports.
  • Do not make spontaneous travel plans.

I would say there are a couple of golden rules to keep in mind while traveling in the budget. First and foremost is

Be like a local.

Eat like a local(whatever they eat), Travel like a local(local buses or metros), Stay like a local(with a local, like a local), etc.

Be open to destinations and time.

Don’t be so rigid, be flexible. Make bookings in advance. Select date, time and destination as per the availability of cheap tickets. As air tickets take the biggest chunk of your travel budget.

Dont try to see it all.

You can not see everything in a visit. So stop stuffing your itinerary with a handful of flights, because you will end up paying a lot in flight or train tickets and enjoying less of it.

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