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How To Travel on Your Own With a Tight Budget: A Guest Post by Finnegan Pierson
Planning a solo vacation is exciting, but when you’re trying to do it on a budget, the process isn’t always as simple as you’d think. You’re in charge of what you spend and what you see and do on your trip. Balancing your budget with your desire to see more of an area can leave you feeling a bit confused about where to even start. Here are a few key ways to make sure you enjoy your trip without breaking the bank.
Travel on a Tight Budget:
Prioritize Your Dining Budget
No matter where you’re traveling, you’re going to need to find places to eat. Rather than constantly looking for the cheapest hole in the wall, give yourself permission to splurge a little. Allocate more of your budget to food if you can. This will give you a simple way to experience the local culture and come to better understand its people. Once you arrive, start choosing restaurants by searching the internet for “breakfast near me” or “great lunch spots near me.” This will bring up tons of results within walking distance of your hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast or vacation rental.
Look for the Right Types of Lodging
When you’re traveling alone, you should always make safety your top concern. Choose lodging in areas where you know you’ll be comfortable. If you have to pay a little more to stay in a safer part of town, do so. It will make your trip much more enjoyable. That said, always look for ways to save money without sacrificing safety. Ask about discounts when getting information about rates and consider staying in a hostel rather than an upscale hotel. You’ll share your space with other solo travelers and may even be able to make a few friends in the process.
Travel During Off-Season Lulls
Travel to some destinations is cheaper during some parts of the year than others. Use this to your advantage and try to travel during the off-season. Lodging rates will be lower, airfare will be cheaper and you won’t have to deal with long lines at the most popular tourist attractions. You’ll be able to do more without spending more money.
Travel on a Tight Budget: Shop Around for Flights
When you’re traveling alone, you set your own schedule. This means you’re able to choose flights based on price alone rather than choosing a convenient departure time. Get in the habit of shopping around and look at prices at different airports in the area. Often, you’ll be able to save hundreds by choosing flights at lesser-known airports or ones that have you in the air overnight.
Visit Free Attractions When Possible
When you get to your destination, you’ll want to take in the sights and sounds of the area. If you can, try to visit the many free attractions at your destination. Many museums offer free entry on certain days of the week and the staff at your hotel or hostel will be able to recommend other activities that won’t cost you a dime. This will help free up money to let you explore more expensive attractions a couple of times on your trip.
Pack Only What You Need
Believe it or not, almost all airlines charge for checked luggage these days. The heavier your bag is, the more they’ll charge you at check-in. Instead of packing everything you could possibly want in your bag, keep it simple and keep it light. Pack just a few changes of clothes to free up space in your bag. You can always do laundry in your hotel room or take your clothes to a local laundromat. If possible, try to pack everything you need in a small backpack or carry-on. Airlines typically won’t charge you a luggage fee if it fits in the space under the seat in front of you.
Traveling alone on a budget can seem difficult, but it’s easier than you think. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without wrecking your budget. (Solo Trekker 4 U’s Personal Tip: If you have an extended stay or a special event like a destination wedding, think about shipping excess baggage ahead before leaving home.)
For more ways to save on cheap solo travel deals with no single supplements, see: