So you want to travel on a budget? Well, most people think travelling on a budget means using public transport or staying in cheap accommodation. Well, kind of but to travel on a budget for us means cutting down on costs that most people don’t even think of! Especially if it’s a long vacation and you are travelling as a couple.
Remember, every penny counts. We did a 6 month driving tour from Bangalore to Himachal, Kashmir and Ladakh and all of these tips have been tested there.
5 travel hacks to save you money and help you travel on a budget!
Our own extensive travels have taught us much. We have found out our own money-saving ways through permutation and combination. Now we can gladly say we know how to work out a travel on a budget. Watertight budget travel means you learn to travel smart and cheap. We share our affordable travel tricks with you.
1. Carry Home-Made Snacks and Fruits
Once you hit the road, usually it is the journey that requires some effort and can easily take a toll on your body and tire you out. Whether you are on a road trip or on a flight, what you eat during your travel matters a lot. And quite often, we find ourselves gorging on chips, chocolates, samosas, bread omelette as our favourite travel snacks.
As a cheaper and healthier alternative, we suggest you carry home-made food that doesn’t require refrigeration and can last a long time. For our road trip, we carried lots of home-made cakes, biscuits, Mathis, and nimkis. You can pick up bread and veggies on the way and make your own veg sandwiches and salads whenever you get hungry.
2. Carry Your Own Water
This was one travel hack that did save us tons of moolah. Over 90 days, at 5 bottles a day our water expense would be INR 9,000. But we were able to cut this down to around INR 200 because we carried our own water. When we left from Delhi, we had around 10 bottles with us, which were then refilled in the hotels we stayed. Most hotels provide packaged water free of cost every day and have RO’s installed in their kitchen. Try to fill up before you check out of your hotel, so you don’t end up buying mineral water on your way.
3. Check Prices Before You Eat
Scan the menu and prices beforehand, so you know what you are getting yourself into. Just because the place you are stepping into looks like a normal highway dhaba, doesn’t mean the food is going to be cheap.
In a couple of destinations, especially Kashmir we ordered food without checking the prices. We assumed the rates would be at par with other places and got a shock of our lives when the bill arrived. Most of these restaurants also sell beverages and packed water above the MRP. Therefore, you should definitely inquire about the prices before you consume the items.
4. BYOB – Bring Your Own Booze
This one is not for the teetotalers. I remembered that in Spiti when we experienced heavy snowfall, we really wanted to sit indoors and enjoy a drink. A trip to the local bar in Kaza cost us INR 1,200 for a bottle of Romanov vodka, that otherwise would have cost us INR 500-600. Even in Nubra valley, the same bottle cost us INR 1,000. We did not carry our drinks with us from Delhi and hence had to pay a lot of premium!
If there is no problem of carrying alcohol across state lines, then you can follow this travel tip to save as well. Our travel on a budget trip saves you from legwork and last minute rush too, apart from money of course.
5. Carry Noodles / Make your own tea
When you stay in hotels, you might not always get the food you like or maybe it is just too expensive or you aren’t that hungry to order a full meal. In any case, what we do is carry some noodles like Wai Wai, and all we then need is a tea/coffee maker in the hotel to prepare this. This year when we were in Nepal, we stayed in this Kathmandu locality where there weren’t any good restaurants close by so we bought instant noodles and had them for dinner. This helped us save tons of money on our 1 month Nepal trip.
Having chai – An expense so small that it hardly goes unnoticed – having chai during road-trips. It is a must have especially in winters and the rainy season. The innocent looking, small cup of tea now, costs INR 10-20 and we often gulp down 3-5 cups in a day. For 2 of us that INR 100 a day and again INR 9,000 for the entire road trip.
What we figured out is that if we carry a big flask we could get it filled while at our hotels, where breakfast is mostly included in the price. Alternatively, we also carried tea bags, milk powder, sugar, utensils from home. All we had to do was arrange for some hot water to go along with it.
PS – We saved around INR 40,000 using the travel tips we have mentioned above. Therefore, they are definitely tried and tested! Stay tuned for more updates and follow our travels at www.instagram.com/travelmynation