Having the freedom to travel in the way we do now is one of modern life's true blessings. So much can be learned and gained from travel - whether you feel the need to 'find yourself' on a remote island, or whether you want to spend a summer partying with new found friends in a metropolitan city. Getting halfway across the world has never been easier thanks to the intricate network of planes that service our skies - and it's a well-known fact that air travel is the safest form of travel there is, too.
In fact, it is quite hard to imagine a world where we couldn't just hop on a plane and be in an entirely new destination in a matter of hours. This revolution, paired with the fact that the travel sector as a whole is ever expanding, means that more and more of us are getting the opportunity to experience every part of our world.
However, there is one thing that can often stand in our way, and that thing is money. Travel can be expensive - and while everyone with a bad case of wanderlust would agree that cash spent on travel is cash well spent, it can still leave a gaping hole in your wallet. As much as many of us would love to spend most of our time away traveling the world, with the commitments of jobs, bills, and rent, it isn't always that easy. But if you're not a particularly materialistic person and don't fancy splashing the cash on things like clothes, handbags, and shoes, travel is one of the best ways to invest what you have earned. So, is there a way to still see all the amazing places our world has to offer, without running yourself into the ground financially?
Here are a few tricks you may want to adopt for budget-friendly travel that will still blow your mind.
If you're the kind of person who feels most comfortable adhering to a rigid schedule, the idea of being flexible with your flights is probably a little alien to you. But by opening your options up to a little more, you could find that you save hundreds on your air travel. Remember that airlines are savvy and they have learned to intentionally hike up their prices during popular flight time. Weekend flights are typically always more expensive than their weekday counterparts, and any holiday periods (such as Spring Break or Thanksgiving) will always entail higher prices.
To find cheaper flights, utilize the 'monthly search' section that most airline websites have for customers to use. With this tool, you can search flights across the whole month until you find a day and time that sits within your budget. Sure, it may mean that you have to get to the airport at a time you would normally consider ungodly, and you may have to do a lot of referencing back and forth between the flight provider and your accommodation provider. But when you're saving this much money, any 'hassle' will always be worth the result!
Hunt for cultural deals
Unless you're the type who wants to do nothing aside from lying on a beach for a week on vacation, chances are you probably want to experience some of the local sights. Travel is all about embracing another culture, and it would be a crime to visit certain destinations without seeing some of the history and cultures. However, many of these amazing sights often come with an unpleasant extra: a hefty entrance fee. Again, this is usually the local tourist board taking advantage of the flocks of visitors coming in from other countries - it's pretty much the same everywhere you go. These prices shouldn't stop you from enjoying everything that your dream destination has to offer, though. Utilize a website such as DontPayFull.com to find discounted deals on sightseeing tours and excursions - many of them are often combined so that you can see multiple sights all as part of one package. Most excursions include travel, so you don't need to worry if you haven't rented a car during your vacation. Some even include food and drink as part of the deal too, and such excursions can be a great way to meet like-minded travelers too.
Rethink your idea of accommodation
We all know how nice it can be to spend a couple of nights enjoying the luxury of a fancy hotel. However, choosing this kind of accommodation can easily put stress on your finances for the rest of your trip. If you want to be able to travel around with relative free will and enjoy everything your destination has to offer, you may want to consider budget lodgings instead. Now, a lot of people freak out when the word 'budget' is thrown about about accommodation. Images of dirty motel rooms with no locks on the doors and dodgy shared dorms tend to arise - but in reality, modern budget accommodation is often very different.
Companies like Air BnB have revolutionized the way in which people book places to stay while traveling, and you can frequently get a luxurious place for next to nothing. Plus, you have the option to choose whether you would like to rent an entire home to yourself or have a private room in someone else's accommodation. Both depend on your personal preference - although often, staying with your host can be a huge asset to your trip, as they can offer you plenty of local advice and they may even take you out. Hostels are also another type of budget accommodation that has come on in leaps and bounds. Rather than booking a dirty dorm, you can now get private rooms in most hostels too, or smaller dorms that are great if you are traveling with a few friends. They are also great social hubs full of interesting people, so even if you are traveling alone you're sure to make friends in no time.