Holidays On a Budget: See the World Without Spending a Big

After the end of World War II tourism became one of the biggest industries. Whole countries organized their economies around it and nowadays when the consumer’s society is at its peak, the average cost of a basic vacation increased significantly. Even besides the tough competition, the deregulation of transportation, the explosion of on-line offers and bookings, and the easing of entry requirements especially for EU citizens.

Not to mention the massive appreciation of the EURO and other European currencies against their counterparts. Everyone saw movies and documentaries about people, who travel around the World without worrying about money and to be honest, anyone is a bit jealous that he cannot have the same experiences. But since Christmas is coming, is it possible to have a one month holiday in an exotic destination with a budget of 1000 EURO? Well it is and millions of young people do it and without starving or sleeping outdoors.
Holiday costs are actually easy to manage, since they are well distinct and therefore anyone can organize them with ease, making the process of budgeting simple. The main vacation costs are transportation, accommodation, food, and entertainment. Below there are a few tips on how to save money on all of them and still enjoy a holiday without major sacrifices, which may negate the whole purpose of travelling. Of course it is possible to save even more-backpackers are the masters of low-budget travelling- but this type of vacation requires a shift in lifestyle that most people are unwilling to endure.
Keeping transportation costs down is vital, especially when travelling to multiple locations. Inside Europe the best way to travel is by train. The continent has a great and interlinked railway system that allows a fast and comfortable trip. There are also numerous train passes, which reduce costs dramatically, especially for students.

Travelling by air inside Europe is becoming less and less attractive, mainly due to airport security procedures, increased fares combined with low quality services, and flight delays. Budget airlines are a tricky business due to hidden costs and they are suitable only if anyone travels light and does not mind the possibility of landing in a non-hub airport. In general, one should travel by air inside Europe only if his destination requires more than two hours of flight time, and never when travelling to multiple locations. Of course, when going to other continents, airplanes are the only reasonable option. In this case there is not much anyone can do to save a lot of money. One good thing is that long flights are actually quite cheap compared to flights within Europe. Airfares of major airlines to Asia, or Africa range from 400 to 600 EURO depending on the location.
Regarding transportation costs there are a few golden rules that any traveler must follow in order to keep them down.

  • Always travel on weekdays and never on weekends. Both train and air fares can be up to 50% cheaper.
  • At your destination always walk or use public transportation and never rent a car, or use taxis. Besides the low cost, a traveler will get to know his destination in a deeper way.
  • Always book round trips and as early as possible.

Thanks to the internet it is quite easy to find cheap accommodation. If anyone does not mind sharing facilities, then the obvious choice is a hostel. Prices in Europe range from 10 to 40 EURO per night and in exotic destinations from 3 to 10 EURO. Single rooms and private facilities should be avoided, since the price is similar to a 3 star hotel. Choosing a hostel requires a thorough research, since the majority of them do not offer what they advertise. Do not take into account on-line reviews since they are unreliable and most of them written by Indian content farms.

In cases of groups of friends travelling together the best option is a vacation rental. They are usually private apartments operated by companies and individuals. They offer quality accommodation and prices can get as low as 15 EURO per person.

Perhaps the best option and surely the cheapest is home exchange. Although, it has not become mainstream yet it gets increasingly popular and therefore there are many available destinations and dates to choose from. They are suitable for individuals and groups of friends and if anyone is worried about damages on his property there are the possibilities of insurance and security deposits.
Food and entertainment
Food cost is perhaps the easiest to contain. Instead of dining out, one should prefer cooking, especially when travelling in Europe. Grocery stores and open markets are always available and additionally they will offer better quality meals than fast food and budget restaurants. Cooking can easily limit food cost up to 70 percent.

As for entertainment, travelers should look for discounts and free entries to museums, zoos, theaters, landmarks and other sites in their destinations. In all countries there are free days and discounted time frames and in most cases a tourist will enjoy his visit since there are not huge crowds.

In the nights it is recommended to find bar tours, which offer affordable entertainment especially in Europe, where alcohol is overpriced. The best option is open parties, which in most cases offer low prices in drinks and snacks.

In exotic destinations the cost for food and entertainment is not as important as in Europe. A meal in Phuket can cost as low as 2 EURO per person, and it is of good quality. A local beer in Thailand and Vietnam costs 0, 3 EURO. Therefore, depending on their budget, travelers can afford dining out and visiting bars and nightclubs. And of course, the open beach parties in South East Asia are considered to be the best in the world.
Where to go?
Europe is not the best destination for a lone traveler with a low budget. For a group of friends it is possible to get the cost down to 600 EURO per person for a one month vacation, especially if hostels are avoided and the group chooses a vacation rental and a maximum of two locations. In the case of home exchange the cost will fall even further. A lone traveler will certainly need around 1000 EURO or half that if he chooses home exchange.

Exotic destinations in Asia and Africa are more affordable besides the increased cost of flying. A traveler can easily spend more than one month with a 1000 EURO and in cases of groups, the time frame can reach up to two months. Of course multiple locations will increase the cost significantly except in the case of Indochina, where different locations can be reached by trains and boats. The most popular Asian destinations are Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and India. In Africa tourists prefer Tanzania, Namibia, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, and South Africa. In most countries safety is not a concern if a traveler sticks to the tourist trails, except for Kenya, which now is in turmoil and should be avoided.

Travelling the World can offer unforgettable experiences and all people should have the opportunity to enjoy them. Nowadays the economic situation is deteriorating limiting the number people that can afford holidays. But small sacrifices and efficient money management can offer the amazing opportunity to explore our beautiful planet, explore new cultures, meet interesting people and enjoy life changing experiences.

Photo: Shutterstock

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