What are some inexpensive methods to traveling?
Years of planning and experience has taught me what follows. The following are the main sources of expenditure during travel.
Transfers/ Local Sightseeing + Tours
Now, lets find a way to minimise each of these costs.
THE definitive factor, which will decide the price bracket your budget should fall in. Let’s say, you are residing in India, and you want to travel International with your partner. The destination choice can be exemplified as follows:
a. Budget close to 1,00,000 INR: Bangkok, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bali
b. Budget close to 2,00,000 INR: Philippines, Maldives, Dubai, Turkey, Croatia
c. Budget close to 3,00,000 INR: Spain, France, Italy, Rome, Iceland, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and so on.
Okay, so you have chosen your budget. Now comes the creative part, the flight tickets. Flight prices can vary WILDLY for a variety of different reasons. The idea is to find the cheapest entry airport and exit point for a country.
Let me explain this through an example. Lets say, I want to travel to Italy, but I don’t know where to start from. Since Rome is the capital of Italy, I decide to enter through Rome. I check the flight prices (as on 5/9/18) and the round trip (CCU to ROM) sets me back by 46,000 INR.
Now I do my ‘research’. Follow these steps:
a. Go to Skyscanner | Find the cheapest flights fast: save time, save money! . Enter the country you are leaving from (India) and the
destination country (Italy). Set the month to ‘Cheapest Month’. We see, that the cheapest combination available is Delhi to Milan.
b. We take that information and go to flight.yatra.com (or India’s leading online travel company – MakeMyTrip.com ). We type in (DEL to MIL), and voila! The cost is now 32,000 INR. That’s a 14,000 INR difference right there!
Okay, now there is a catch. These are all round trip prices. In order to make you trip as cost effective as possible, especially if you’re doing a multi-city tour, make sure you don’t repeat the same road twice.
Again, let me take the example of the Italy tour. Lets say, I want to visit Venice, Milan, Naples, Florence and Rome. Since, we have figured out that the cheapest entry point is Milan, we start our tour in Milan. Then we go to Venice. Then to Florence. Then to Rome and finally, exit through Naples. Note that, Naples is not the cheapest exit point, but the route is the cheapest nevertheless, as we have never repeated the same road, i.e, we have only gone south, and never turned back. Here is the price comparison of the flight fares in 2 routes:
a. Delhi-Milan-Florence-Venice-Naples-Rome-Milan-Delhi: 84,000 INR
b. Delhi-Milan-Venice-Florence-Rome-Naples-Delhi: 68,000 INR
See the difference? The point is, avoid round trip flight tickets if you are doing multi-city, so that you aren’t constrained to end from the city where you started from. AND, always figure out the cheapest entry and exit points into and out of a particular country.
Here’s a quick head start: The cheapest exit points from India is almost always Delhi. For some West European countries, it may be Mumbai. For South East Asian countries (eg. Singapore, Malaysia, Bali, Thailand etc), it is either Kolkata or Chennai.
This is a place, where it is remarkably easy to save a lot and remarkably easy to spend a lot as well. In my opinion, sometimes, living in exotic hotels while travelling takes away from the authenticity of the travel itself. For instance, if you are in Las Vegas, then sure, a very high end, luxurious hotel will only add to the authenticity of the experience. However, if you are in say, Phuket, I would prefer a bamboo cottage by the side of a beach. And these are remarkably cheap on Vacation Rentals, Homes, Experiences & Places – Airbnb . If I am in East Europe, I would definitely prefer home stays, also available on Vacation Rentals, Homes, Experiences & Places – Airbnb . So, end note, it is very easy to save high on accommodation, without sacrificing the authenticity of your travel experience.
This is a tricky aspect to address in general. Sometimes. renting a bike or a car (in you’re in a small group) would be great, especially in you are in the USA or somewhere like Iceland. If you are in Europe, then for inter country transfers, you always have the Eurail. Not to mention, inter country (or inter city) flights are cheap as well nowadays. Honestly, this is something one has to figure out on their own.
Whatever is left of your budget after all of the above expenditure is what you can spend in the country you are travelling to. Have fun!