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Five Ways to Travel Well on a Budget

Whether you a backpacking solo or with your loved ones, you are very likely going to have to stick to a budget. However, any rational traveler would like to make the best of the time and money spent on a vacation. We have therefore put together a list of 5 ways you can travel well on a specific budget.

1. Choose destinations that have cheaper flights

As obvious as it may seem, some destinations offer amazing deals in terms of flight tickets just so that they could appeal to more tourists. This is especially true during the off-season when the tourism boards of certain destinations team up with hotels and travel agencies to offer its visitors with some amazing deals. It is therefore up to the traveler to take advantage of it. Take advantage of sites such as Skyscanner, which help scan through the different flights and will find the cheapest one for you. If you are flexible with the dates, you can let the platform scan for the cheapest month too.  

In addition, look out for destinations that have flights run by budget carriers. They will come in handy if you want to fly within domestic/regional boundaries. They are very common in Asia and some budget carriers have extremely cheap rates to fly from one destination to another. Saving money on flights means that you will be able to splurge more on shopping and food!

2. Consider multiple stops across countries in one trip

If you plan on traveling on long-haul flights, you may find it beneficial to make stops at different cities along the route. This way, chances are that you are likely to save up on flights (as opposed to booking connecting flights) and it is also a wonderful way to explore another city at no extra cost. Many airline carriers stop over at the country of origin before taking you to your destination. For example, if you are flying from London to Melbourne on Emirates, it is highly likely that you will be stopping over at Dubai. If you are flexible with your dates, you could consider spending some time exploring the city by booking separate flights to get to your ultimate destination.  

At the point of booking, however, ensure you have the visa to the country you hope to visit without which you will not be able to disembark. Also, ensure you have left enough time between layovers. This way, you are giving yourself enough time to rest and explore a city leisurely instead of making it a rush. The chances of missing the connecting flight will also be minimized.

3. Plan and book flights and hotels in advance

You will find the rates of flights and hotels will increase the closer they are to the actual date. Hotels and airline both understand that you are desperate to find a place to sleep or way to get to the destination in the last minute. So naturally, your willingness to pay for the service would be higher than normal and they are going to take advantage of it. A simple application of the law of demand and supply.  

However, the reverse holds true as well. Hotels and airline booking platforms continuously offer promotions on rooms and seats respectively. Itís a strategy to monetize them well in advance to improve their cash flow. Look out for the price alerts that most platforms offer. This is an effective way to ensure you donít miss out on any deals. This trick can especially come in handy if you intend to travel during peak seasons. The prices can very easily hike up, so make sure you book them well in advance to benefit from the lower-priced sectors. On average, the sweet spot for booking in advance is around two to three months from the date of your trip, though this may vary.

4. Avoid hotels located at city centers

It is highly likely that the hotels located in the city centers are priced at a premium compared to hotels around the suburbs. So, if you are either traveling alone or with your family and friends for leisure, it might be more suited for you to book hotels away from the city center. Most developed countries have a well-established transport system making it easier to travel between the cityís attractions and the hotel even though itís a bit far off the city. 

This may however not work well in certain countries where it is inconvenient to get around the suburbs of a city especially when public transport systems are not well established. In such countries, you are very likely to find cheap hotels nevertheless and shouldnít therefore be a problem. 

Whether you are travelling in a group, or alone it will be wise to consider alternate accommodations as well. In addition to Home Exchange, ExchangeZones.com offers up Vacation Rentals and HomeStays. Renting a whole house will be perfect for families, letting your kids have the space to run around, while HomeStays provide a warmth thatís often lacking in Hotelsí pristine look. For more destination guides and accommodation recommendations for hotels and vacation rentals, check out Trip101.

5. Make the best use of public transport whenever possible

Most developed countries have a very well-established public transport system from buses, to trains to metros. These transport networks make it easy and convenient for locals and visitors alike to get from one place to another. Most importantly, however, is that it makes it very cost-effective compared to hiring a private taxi. It is highly likely that if you do intend to visit more popular tourist sites, they are usually accompanied with an easy access through the bus or rail network. 

In addition, most public transport systems offer tourists a transport card/pass that allows for discounted travel. Make sure you get hold of one especially if you are in the city for a fleeting period. Some cities offer unlimited travel for a specified period which can be extremely cost-effective. Another benefit of using public transport is its ability to avoid the busy roads. Most rail/metro networks work on schedule making it a wonderful way to get around a city. 

Travel need not be an expensive affair 

By saving where you can, your budget will allow for a longer trip, or more frequent trips. There are more options out there to consider then never before, so make use of sites that will help you find the best deals!

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