Traveling abroad soon? Check out these budget travel tips that can possibly save you a bunch of money (and time).
If I had known some of these travel tips before going to Thailand or South Korea, I would have saved tons of money. But hey, we live and we learn.
Traveling can be overwhelming and you might have a million things to do before you leave. However, you might want to leave out a few things that will save you money in the long run.
I am from the US, so as we alllll know, things are quite expensive here. Such as dental visits and doctor’s appointments.
All of these tips also depend on what country you go to, so keep that in mind. The list is also based on my own personal experience and recommendations.
Okay, so these aren’t all about budget travel tips. Some are just tips that I have learned while traveling. Learning from my mistakes will definitely save me (and I hope others) money and time!
1. Pack Light, But Smart
This is so very important. However, it is also way easier said than done. Also, it depends on where you are going. For example, if you are busty (like me) it will be extremely difficult to find sizes in Asia. It’s doable but difficult.
2. Bring Comfortable Clothes/Shoes
You will most likely be walking a lot. It’s important that your feet are comfortable and have good support.
3. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle
Another one of my budget travel tips that could’ve been used way back when in Thailand.
I am obsessed with water bottles. My favorite brand is Klean Kanteen. I have probably bought at least ten of their water bottles by now. They are stainless steel and you can get some insulated.
However, if you are in a developing country and can’t drink tap water, drinking bottled water adds up. It not only adds up money-wise, but it’s horrible for the planet as well. Here’s the one that I will hopefully use at some point. If I had it for Thailand, I don’t even want to imagine how much money I would have saved. Also, how much plastic I wouldn’t have needed to use. SAVE THE PLANET.
4. Bring Toilet Paper
Ever since I lived in Thailand, I always make sure to bring toilet paper or tissues with me when traveling. Developing countries rarely use toilet paper because it cannot be flushed. When I was in Costa Rica as well as Thailand, we had to just throw it in the trash. Most bathrooms didn’t even have any toilet paper in the stalls. It was usually only the touristy places that had toilet paper.
5. Try to Avoid Taxis
ESPECIALLY coming from the airport. They will get you!!! This is probably one of the most important budget travel tips that I can recommend!
When I first got to South Korea, I got scammed. I mean, I knew better at that point but after flying for two days, I didn’t have it in me to care. If you must take a taxi, make sure you negotiate or have an app to compare. For example, in Thailand, we used Grab. If there was a taxi nearby and they tried to charge us more, we’d show them the price on the Grab app and they’d decrease the fare.
6. Dental/Health Appointments.
I swear this will save you a bunch of money.
When I was in Thailand, I got my teeth cleaned for less than USD 50. When I was in South Korea, it was about USD 70.
In Colombia, I got my teeth cleaned and got a mouth guard for USD 200.
In the US, without insurance, a teeth cleaning was USD 180 and a mouth guard was USD 400.
Going to the doctors in Thailand was less than USD 100 each time. I got food poisoning once and paid less than USD 80. I also got reimbursed because my job had health insurance. But, even if I didn’t have insurance, it’s still incredibly cheap.
Another one of my helpful budget trail tips that I will always follow. You can also invest in Travel Insurance. I don’t have any experience with that though.
7. Try to Learn the Language
Well, the basics anyway. If you know words such as “Hi/Bye,” “Thank You,” “Where’s the bathroom/hospital/police station.” That will help you tremendously. You can also download Google Translate and download whatever language you may need to help when you are offline or have no cell service.
Other apps where you can practice the language include Duolingo and Memrise. I love them both.
8. Wait to Get Your Vaccines
This, along with #6 are probably the best budget travel tips that will save you a good chunk of money.
But of course, it’s different for everyone.
Going to Thailand, I was told I needed a few vaccines. I got the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine and some other one for over USD 450. When I got to Thailand, my roommate, Christina was like “uhhhhh I didn’t get any vaccines.” I was confused.
My doctor had told me that I needed to get these vaccines. *eye roll*
Turns out a few of us from Xplore Asia got them and some didn’t. We all turned out fine. Then again, it was my first time traveling by myself so I was not aware of what I didn’t and what I did need. Now, I would never get a vaccine in the US (unless it was covered by insurance). But hey, obviously if you have the money, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
9. Shoes Might Be Hard to Find
If you have somewhat big feet, it might be difficult for you to find shoes in your size. While living in Thailand, I had an easy time finding shoes (size 6/7 in the US) but my friends Christina and Indria (size 9/10 in the US) did not.
10. Clothes Might Also Be Hard to Find
Especially if you are busty. I had a difficult time shopping in Thailand, South Korea, and Ireland. I got lucky a few times at stores such as Uniqlo and Zara. However, with a lot of the local stores, the owners would look at me and say “too big” or something. LOL. So this is what I mean when I say pack light but smart.
11. No Service? No Problem
Go to the local McDonald’s, Starbucks, or Burger King. They will always have free Wi-Fi where you can connect to any app that you have. There will also most likely be Wi-Fi at other restaurants but I’ve found that the international restaurants always have it.
12. Look for Hostels
Airbnbs might also be cheap, depending on which country you are in. Hostels are usually your best bet. There are also hostels on the Airbnb website. Another hostel website is Hostel World. Agoda and Booking.com are also useful.
13. Download Apps
Here are some apps that I recommend using while abroad. You can download apps to meet people, find accommodation, or find transportation.
I love using Facebook and Internations is also great. You can join countless groups on Facebook and meet all kinds of people. Of course, always be cautious. There are groups on Facebook for anything and everything.
14. Always Bring Extra Chargers
I highly recommend bringing extra chargers and also investing in a portable charger. They are cheap and worth it! I have a 20000 mAh portable charger that I bought in Korea and it lasts me a few full charges before I have to recharge it. I take many pictures when I’m out and about and it has been used countless times.
15. Take LOTS of Photos
And I mean it. I have always been known as the one who never puts the camera down. The reason being is that there were a few trips in my life where I didn’t take as many as I should have. I have fond memories, but pictures are always great to look back on.
Now, I take too many photos. But, it’s easier to delete the ones that you don’t want instead of wishing you had taken more. #NoRagrets
16. Relax and Stay Calm
If you are in a new country, chances are they live life differently from you. And guess what, that’s okay. Just learn to be patient and relax. If you are nice to everyone, most of the time, they will be nice to you. Especially if you need help. There were a few times when I was in Thailand and I got lost. Some girl drove me on her scooter back to my apartment and didn’t ask for a single penny (Baht).
These budget travel tips will come in useful, I swear!! They have for me so I hope they work for you as well. And if you can think of any more budget travel tips that have helped you, comment below!