Low budget travel tips

Sep 4th, 2019, 10:13 PM
  #1  
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Low budget travel tips

A few tips I've learned from my trips:

1. Travel offseason.
2. Eat at street.
3. Avoid taxicabs and its high rates.
4. Buy your flight tickets with months in advance.
5. Pack light and avoid extra charges at airlines.
Does anyone have any more to add? Name:  smile.gif
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chadpartner is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 04:48 AM
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Search for low cost hotels too.
jacketwatch is online now  
Sep 5th, 2019, 05:52 AM
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Don’t shop.
VonVan is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 06:07 AM
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1. Travel offseason.
I've traveled in May and September for years, but parents with kids in schools can't do that.

2. Eat at street.
No. Just no.

3. Avoid taxicabs and its high rates.
Love taxis. A good value if you realize you get to SEE the city if you are tired of walking and/ or don't want to use the metro/subway/tube.

4. Buy your flight tickets with months in advance.
I use FF points.

5. Pack light and avoid extra charges at airlines
I have free checked baggage on my airline but pack light if I'm taking trains. Otherwise, I have no problem checking a bag, especially for the return trip home.
starrs is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 08:27 AM
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With all due respect, not sure starrs understands the "low budget" part of this post.
29FEB is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 08:45 AM
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1. Travel offseason.
Yes!

2. Eat at street.
Definitely!

3. Avoid taxicabs and its high rates.
Depends where you are. Some places taxis are very cheap.

4. Buy your flight tickets with months in advance.
That depends. Sometimes you can get the best price at the last minute. It's always a gamble. I don't have Frequent Flyer Miles.

5. Pack light and avoid extra charges at airlines.
I don't care about this part. A baggage fee isn't going to break me. That's not where the big money is saved. I don't have free checked baggage.

Does anyone have any more to add?

6. Sure... the biggest expense is where you stay. Get to know places so you have connections locally to rent an apartment. Spend time online finding cheap, local hotels. Pick central locations so you can walk places. Get a frig or cooler for the room to keep food.

7. Eat cheap. Not only street food but by shopping at a grocery store, deli, bakery, green grocer, farmers markets.

8. Learn the local public transportation system.

9. Study up and find out about local currency of your destination, where's the best place to get it, change money, using the ATM, banks, etc.
suze is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 29FEB View Post
With all due respect, not sure starrs understands the "low budget" part of this post.
Off season is a good idea.
Street food isn't always the best choice hygienically. However some places have hawker centers which are clean and cheap.
As for taxis yes they are more expensive. Being on a budget to me means having limited finances so yes to save money use trains or buses.
Not everyone has free luggage with their airlines or points to use to fly free. Few do I think. If you do great but if not then booking ahead is often a good idea and packing light to save on airline luggage fees is self evident. We know people who travel extensively the world over. I mean they may be gone for say two months and manage without checked luggage. We met a family while waiting in line to check into a cruise for 7 days and all they had were carry on bags so it can be done.
The idea here is to chip away wherever you can.
jacketwatch is online now  
Sep 5th, 2019, 09:52 AM
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I'll add to starrs' notes:

1. Travel offseason.
I've traveled in May and September for years, but parents with kids in schools can't do that.
Off season getting shorter all the time but you will pay less. What you will miss in tourists, you'll make up for in local, possibly loud, school groups in museums.


2. Eat at street.
No. Just no.
I say maybe but watch the venue. We found that most markets were fine.

3. Avoid taxicabs and its high rates.
Love taxis. A good value if you realize you get to SEE the city if you are tired of walking and/ or don't want to use the metro/subway/tube.
As an older person, taxis are easier for me. Busses are also better than metro as you can see what's going on as starrs writes above.

4. Buy your flight tickets with months in advance.
I use FF points.
That's what DH and I usually did--about 5 months in advance for us. We didn't sign up for FF miles as we didn't stick to one airline.

5. Pack light and avoid extra charges at airlines
I have free checked baggage on my airline but pack light if I'm taking trains. Otherwise, I have no problem checking a bag, especially for the return trip home.
We usually went for 2 weeks and were able to use only carry-ons. It required doing laundry 2 times as we only took 3 outfits.

We only purchased small items as souvenirs. Something that could lay flat or go into an empty shoe. In the U.S. I once sent home my dirty clothes to make room for more than usual purchases!
TDudette is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 11:35 AM
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Hotels.com. 1 free night for every 10 stays. Usually their rates are the same as the others. Even though they're owned by Expedia.
baldone is online now  
Sep 5th, 2019, 02:37 PM
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Starrs is getting at “value” which is different than budget. For some folks, taxi is a value. HOHO can even have value. Taxis made it possible for my gran to save her energy for the actual tourist things, for example.

i think my biggest “budget” tips would be:

1. Don’t take taxis.
2. Stay in a hostel or other budget lodging in a central location.
3. Don’t eat somewhere you’d have to tip. (Mostly applicable to US.)
4. Don’t drink. In fact, try to only drink water, tea, and drip coffee. Carry a water bottle.
5. Do your research—is that reseller actually selling something you can’t get elsewhere for less?
6. Pick one “costly” thing per day, or organize days around geography. I.e. Don’t jump from neighborhood to neighborhood.
7. Pick your destination wisely. There are places I’ve never been because transit and lodging are so cost prohibitive.
marvelousmouse is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by marvelousmouse View Post
Starrs is getting at “value” which is different than budget. For some folks, taxi is a value. HOHO can even have value. Taxis made it possible for my gran to save her energy for the actual tourist things...
.
Exactly.
I also add in the factor of time. Time IS money. If I have a limited amount of vacation days, I want to do the things I want to do in those days. Are the choices the absolutely cheapest in cost options? No. But if the combination of choices give you the TIME you want to see the things you WANT to see, then it's a good choice.

I loaded up an Oyster card for London, but had limited time there. I took the tube on the first two days, but from then on, I took a taxi when I was tired of walking OR needed to get some place quickly - or more quickly than walking. I gave away the Oyster card to friends who happened to be at the airport at the same time I was there. I texted them and told them if they wanted it, to come get it. Win for them. Glad it could go to good use for me.

I try to average 100 euros a night for hotels on trips to Europe. I almost always do a splurge item/ event but when airline tickets are pretty much free, some of my trips are definitely "budget" - by anyone's use of the word. And if someone isn't taking advantage of bonus miles or points when they have the option to accrue them, they are leaving money on the table.
starrs is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 03:21 PM
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Those are not "low budget travel tips" per the topic of this thread. Most people don't have pretty much free plane tickets.
suze is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 04:26 PM
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People on a low budget are very unlikely to take a taxi in London. And given London traffic, the tube is usually faster. When I had to give the tube a miss on my last trip, because I was having trouble with my knees, I took the bus (the regular, London Transport, bus, not the ridiculously expensive Ho-Ho).
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 05:28 PM
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I was going to say, I don’t think taxi always saves time. The last few times I’ve used a taxi it was because of weather. In NYC, it probably took me three times as long to use the taxi, but the temp was in the single digits, and I just couldn’t do that any longer.

Starrs—I agree with value but I don’t really agree with the idea that time is money. I’ve travelled with people on a tight budget, and they’re not taking taxis unless they have to. Saving a half hour doesn’t qualify as “need”. That’s definitely in the “splurge” zone for a lot of people. And while time is worth something, it usually doesn’t translate into cash, which is needed for lodging, food, etc.

I’d also probably disagree with the idea that 100 euro a night is “budget”, but I do know that it is for a lot of people on this board...


I haven't found/qualified for a card that lets me accrue points like that, either. So I think a lot of people aren’t “leaving money on the table”—it’s just they’ve got no way of getting “free” flights.
marvelousmouse is offline  
Sep 5th, 2019, 07:01 PM
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kja
 
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My tip: Get a decent guidebook! It might cost a bit, but the cost of even a good guidebook will be nominal in comparison to the cost of the trip, and it will provide cost-saving tips (passes worth considering, options to do things for free (including free nights or whatever at major sites), low cost transportation options, etc.) along with a wealth of information about things one doesn't even know to ask.
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Sep 6th, 2019, 07:49 AM
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A good guide book is a splendid idea and will most likely save the money spent on it with tips on travel many times over. I use them too. It’s nice to have that reference in hand.

I don’t see how “time is money” applies to the budget strapped. As noted you don’t always save time using a cab anyway as well as the overall cost factor. Not everyone can afford to cab it or ride share from place to place.

As for accruing points/miles if you can then do so though be aware some cards that give a lot of points are not available to those with lower incomes.

Regardless of income some people just like to save money and are frugal. And quite wealthy too.


Last edited by jacketwatch; Sep 6th, 2019 at 07:55 AM.
jacketwatch is online now  
Sep 6th, 2019, 10:31 AM
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Also and good advice for any budget try to get a CC with no foreign transaction fee.
jacketwatch is online now  
Sep 6th, 2019, 02:34 PM
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We use buses and trains, Uber, lyft and in Ireland and some other places we use taxis. They are a good deal when there are two or more of you, cheaper than taking the bus often.


Scott's cheap flights Don't worry if it is not the exact destination. Cheap hops are great and the train also, We get cheap winter flights to Paris and there are so many other destinations within several hours from there.

I love apartments, grocery shopping in different groceries like Picards, take out, markets etc to save money.
Eat lunch at the 4 star restaurant or the fix priced menu.
Macross is offline  
Sep 7th, 2019, 06:03 AM
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1. Travel offseason. Maybe for flights from Western Europe and North America during school summer holidays July - September but this is when rooms in much of Asia are a lot cheaper, parts of south and Central America too
2. Eat at street. Markets too. Some of the best food is to be found in these places along with "hole in wall" type restaurants. Booking self catering accomodation or at least plac3s with access to a kitchen enables on to shop cheaply in markets and cook yourself. A welcome change from restaurant food on a long trip
3. Avoid taxicabs and its high rates. We always try to use public transport where possible . Walking is even better and cheaper and enables you to really see what cities have to offer. Had to smile when I saw the comment re transport in London. Even though I had access to corporate taxi accounts, it was invariably quicker to go by tube.
4. Buy your flight tickets with months in advance.Possibly but I usually find the best deals in the sales
5. Pack light and avoid extra charges at airlines.absolutely! We have been travelling with carry on only for many years, mainly because of the time saving and the massively reduced risk of loss. Budget airlines have always charged extra for checked bags, but increasing so do full service airlines like BA for regional flights throughout Europe etc.

Loyalty programmes can help and don’t just have to be just for flights. Car hire , Hotel groups and even booking.com offer "Genius"discounts of 10-15% for regular users.

I often get 4-15% discount on car rental, booking.com, Expedia by using Top Cashback.com

One oft neglected aspect of foreign travel is the cost of foreign exchange. The typical 2-3% fx charge and £1-5 ATM charge can quickly mount up. It can really pay to get a credit or debit card with low or zero charges. It is also safer not to use a card linked to your main bank account whilst travelling.
crellston is offline  
Sep 7th, 2019, 06:37 AM
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I haven't found/qualified for a card that lets me accrue points like that, either. So I think a lot of people aren’t “leaving money on the table”—it’s just they’ve got no way of getting “free” flights.
Don't know about the "qualifying" bit, but "finding" one is easy.

There are cards with no annual fee that allow you to collect points/miles, e.g. https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/ventureone/

There are cards that waive the annual fee for the first year, e.g. https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/venture/

After the first year you can call to cancel and they may waive the fee. I did that for years with Citicard and they used throw in a sweetener in the form of extra miles. Last time, no sweetener, and I canceled. I recently re-applied and got a good bonus as a "new" card holder. I have a friend who would regularly get a new card each year for the sign up bonus.
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