Traveling to a new destination is an opportunity of a lifetime that everyone should experience at least once. But the thought of traveling can be worrisome to many due to a number of reasons, and the most common reason is money. The good news, however, is that traveling can be both fun and easy on your wallet if you follow these tips.
1. Budget Before You Arrive
An essential way to control your spending is to create a reasonable travel budget. Decide on the amount you want to spend on your entire trip. Then, decide how much to spend on an average day or week, depending on the length of your trip. Your budget will typically depend on the city or country you visit. You can find many cost of living calculators online that will help you to budget, such as this one. Determining your budget ahead of time will not only prevent you from overspending, but also allow you to plan activities more strategically during your trip. Determining your budget ahead of time will not only prevent you from overspending, but also allow you to plan activities more strategically during your trip.
2. Public transportation
Paying for Uber rides and cabs can become costly overtime. In many locations, fortunately, trains and buses are available to help you get around efficiently while you save money. Be sure to research how to pay for public transportation in your destination ahead of time. In Detroit, you can purchase 4 hour, 24 hour, 7 day, and monthly passes. There is even an Detroit transportation app you can download where you can pay for and use passes directly through your phone.
If public transportation is not available in your destination, walking is the best option for saving money, sightseeing, and getting a work out in during your trip!
3. Hostels and Coliving communities
Hotels have always been the first lodging option many people consider when they travel. However, hostels and coliving spaces are increasing in popularity due to their advantages. Not only are hostels and coliving communities budget friendly, but they also provide many opportunities to meet other travelers. At Detroit International House, there are common areas with sofas, tables, board games, and many interesting books to read. There are also free activities and community events to partake in such as English language tutoring and carpools to various sights and attractions in Detroit. A coliving space such as Detroit International House is also beneficial because, unlike many hotels, it provides a complete kitchen filled of food staples where you can cook your own meals, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
4. Less Souvenirs, More Memories:
Instead of buying tons of touristy paraphernalia that will add weight to your suitcase, get creative by making your own souvenirs! Some budget-friendly ways to relive moments of your trip after returning home include keeping ticket stubs and event booklets, taking lots of photos, and even writing in a travel journal. I find looking back on photos and journal entries more meaningful than holding onto trinkets that will eventually collect dust. With that being said, it is still great to support local businesses in the country you visit, and many souvenirs in these shops are actually pretty awesome! However, for the traveler on a budget, don’t feel pressured to purchase a souvenir when you can easily create your own!
5. Free Tours
You don’t have to spend large sums of money on a paid tour to enjoy the history and culture of the town you visit. One great way to explore a new location is to participate in free walking tours. Many major cities have a free walking tour company. For example, Pure Detroit offers amazing free tours of the iconic Guardian and Fisher Buildings on weekends. You can reserve a spot here. In addition to an organized walking tour, you can also meeting locals who would be happy to give you a tour of their homeland. Just remember to tip or treat your tour guide afterwards!
For the more independent traveler, create your own self-guided tour by looking up attractions in your destination, creating a list of a few places that seem worthwhile, and go out to visit them! Or, you can spontaneously step outside to go for a walk and let the adventure find you!
If you consider these five budgeting tips when planning your next trip, I can guarantee you will have a very rewarding travel experience. Plus, your wallet will thank you later!