Budget travelling is a great way to create the means to extend your travels and not break the bank! I believe in slow travel opposed to rushed travel as you will get a much more genuine experience and be able to appreciate the local culture, foods, and surroundings.
So you’re planning an epic getaway to a new part of the world but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, I got you covered! After traveling around for almost a full year and currently prepping for my next backpacking adventure, I have the steps to trip planning down to a tee – and I am happy to share them with you!
Booking your flight
When looking for a trip, we all want to find the best possible prices on flights. There are so many websites on the internet to choose from but my recommendation to find your cheapest ticket is through Skyscanner. I have used this site to book most of my tickets and I end up with the best possible price every time. Skyscanner is an aggregator that searches through millions of flights and lists them based on your preference – being cheapest or quickest. The site also offers options for hotels or car rentals for ease of travel.
Link to Skyscanner here
The next biggest stress for most people is accommodation. It can be tricky finding the best deals on accommodation that also meet the quality standard you desire. If you’re a backpacker like me, make friends with the website Hostelworld. Staying in hostels while you’re a young traveler can make for some of the best experiences and closest friendships throughout your journey. I have used hostels all throughout my adventures in Europe and Asia. Also, most hostels offer cheaper rates on group tours and ticket stubs for cheap drinks at the local pub! Although, for those new to the hostel lifestyle, prepare to throw your privacy out the door!
Link to Hostelworld here
If hostels aren’t your cup of tea, I highly recommend using Airbnb. Airbnb is a site used to find accommodation such as homes, cottages, villas, and everything in between. I would say Airbnb provides a more authentic experience to your travels because you get to live like the locals. You have the option of just renting a room (in a shared space) or renting your own private space (such as a villa).
Link to Airbnb here
If you’re looking to stay comfortably in a hotel at a cheaper rate, I would suggest booking through Hotwire. Hotwire is a website that offers discounted prices for hotel rooms, flights, vacations, and car rentals.
Link to Hotwire here
Travel Insurance is super important to get before you begin your travels. Whether you are travelling for a week or a year, travel insurance is absolutely necessary. It covers travel emergencies such as lost luggage, trip cancellation, and medical expenses that would potentially cost thousands if you did not have travel insurance while abroad.
In my opinion, the best travel insurance company is World Nomads. After looking at my options such as my bank and other online sources, I found World Nomads to be the cheapest. Although the price is cheaper than most, the coverage and quality are optimal.
I can say from first-hand experience that World Nomads is a great insurance company to go with from my experience while travelling Asia. I was in Vietnam at the time and got extremely sick from the Dengue Virus and had to be hospitalized for over ten days. The first hospital I was at was extremely sketchy and not treating my symptoms properly as I was getting worse. I had people get a hold of World Nomads and they were available to assist me 24/7 and directed me to a very clean, high-quality western style hospital. I spent the next 10 days in the hospital with the best medical team possible and World Nomads calling in to check on me each day. I had quite a heavy medical bill by the time I was better and released from the hospital. World Nomads assured me that they would take care of it once I sent in all the proper receipts and forms. I did this once I got back home and once my papers were processed, I received a deposit of all my money back!
Link to World Nomads here
The debate between the suitcases and backpack… I may be a bit biased but I hate traveling with a suitcase. Backpacks are convenient in most situations and allow more freedom as to where you go. I see luggage as something that should be durable, long-lasting, and convenient – but to each their own!
The type of luggage you choose varies based on the type of travelling you will be doing. As a backpacker, there are many backpack requirements I would suggest to make sure you have a loving relationship with your #1 travel companion. For long trips, I recommend purchasing something between 50-60L to not overload yourself. I love the front zip feature to be able to open your bag like a suitcase from the main compartment and to see everything inside rather than having to take everything out from the top.
The backpack I currently use and highly suggest is the Women’s Gregory Amber 60L. This backpack is great for many reasons: the internal frame, padded shoulder and hip straps, and front zip for access to the main body without needing to unload everything from the top!
Link to Gregory backpack here
Once you land at your new destination, it may be your first instinct to hail a cab and head to your accommodation. But throughout your trip, taking a cab everywhere you go can get quite pricey. With the ease of technology and millions of new apps being created, there are many ways you can get from point A to point B on a budget. My favorite apps to use while getting around are Uber, GrabTaxi, and Lyft! Each of these apps is similar to a cab but a fraction of the price. You link ‘order’ a driver to pick you up via the app and type in the destination you want to go.
If you don’t have a sim card while traveling, you will be reliant on Wi-Fi. This makes it tricky when getting around, especially if you’re lost. Of course, the most simple solution to this is to get an actual paper map and figure your way – but again, with technology being at its finest, there are plenty of apps you can download to use offline. My favorite offline map is the ‘Maps.me’ app. All you have to do is load up a map of the area you are in while connected to Wi-Fi and afterward you can use the map to get direction whether you are walking or driving. You can also save locations to your accommodation, favorite restaurants, and sites you want to check out later!