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Budget travel guidelines will vary based on the length and nature of the trip, as well as the destination. There are a few general tips for budget travel, however, that will benefit most people who plan to travel on a budget. These include outlining a preliminary budget, finding cheap airfare, and finding cheap living arrangements.
The simplest and most necessary step for budget travel is planning a preliminary budget. Decide ahead of time how much you intend to spend on airfare, hotels or hostels, food, and daily activities such as tourist attractions, cab fare, and museums. This will help you plan the length of your trip and notice any potential inconsistencies in how you’ve allocated your money. For example, in certain cities it might make sense to cut back on transportation costs and walk between sites. Additionally, it is crucial to add in extra money for each day as a buffer to account for unanticipated expenses include cab rides, luggage fees, or missed flights.
Finding inexpensive airfare is also an essential part of traveling on a budget. To find the cheapest flights, plan your trip as far in advance as possible to get the earliest, and often best, air travel deals. Consider comparing prices from various airlines and travel websites, and look for potential savings with package deals if you plan on plane hopping between countries. Private travel agents might also be a wise choice, as they have access to a wider range of budget travel resources that might lower the cost of your trip. If you plan on checking a bag, be sure to look for ways to avoid unwanted fees by keeping your bag under the specified weight or checking in online the night before.
Another budget travel tip is to find the cheapest available living arrangements, which are generally either hotels to hostels or, in some areas, vacation rentals or bed and breakfast stays. Hostels generally tend to be the cheapest option per night, and most feature shared bathrooms and dormitory-like sleeping arrangements. Safety is a concern in some hostels, along with potential theft and bed bugs. Bed and breakfasts offer greater safety and cultural exposure than hostels, but usually cost more. Vacation rentals are generally considered a good option for travelers who intend to stay in one location for weeks or months, and although they might cost more than a hostel or bed and breakfast, rentals that have a kitchen allows the traveler to save on food expenses by preparing their own meals.