When traveling, consider the Big 3 Expenses: Accommodation/Transportation, Activities, Food & Drink. You should separate your budget based on these major three categories as we find that these are the inevitable expenses that will take the biggest toll on your wallet. Here are ways that we budget for the big 3 while traveling:
Accommodations & Intercity Transportation
Ideally, you would want most of your hotels and transportation figured out before you leave for you destination but it is also okay to decide while you’re there as long as you keep your budget in mind. For those that enjoy the peace of mind of knowing where you’ll spend your nights and how to get there, here are some tips.
- Where to stay? We like to shop around our points of interest and look for places that are comfortable and easily accessible. Remember to search for different types of accommodations; hostels, villas, lodges, hotels, and AirBnB are all fair game. Be sure to check reviews and surrounding neighborhoods of all options, we want you to stay safe!
- Your money can go pretty far! We discussed how your money is more valuable in certain places of the world. Get the most bang for your buck by just doing a little research on exchange rates.
- Being aware of Transportation options. Being knowledgeable about different types of public transportation is going to save you a lot of money in the long run. Here are some general tips on Transportation:
- Eurail — When traveling around Europe, get the Eurail Pass to travel by train across several countries cheaply and quickly.
- Uber/Lyft — Some countries do not have uber or lyft drivers but if they do you’ll find it is often much cheaper than taxis. If you have not downloaded these on your phone, first time users receive coupons!
- Lomprayah — When traveling around Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, use Lomprayah as your go-to ferry network when traveling island to island. Globalized Citizen prefers this ferry network because it is safe, fast and reliable.
- Buses — One of the cheapest ways to get around a city, but can also be one of the most time consuming. Just remember to look at maps so you don’t get lost or get off at the wrong stops.
- Metros & Subways — Another great way to get around an urban jungle. Although quicker than a bus or an Uber, they can be quite congested during rush hours. Study the map before you hop on and off the metro network as it can get pretty hectic.
- Taxis — The traditional private transportation. While Taxis are certainly safe and quick, they can be expensive. In some countries, taxis are known to pull a lot of scams on unsuspecting tourists. Be wary of any funky business going on.
- Bicycle Rentals — In cities like Amsterdam, renting a bicycle is definitely recommended. It beats sitting in traffic and is cheap.
- Moped/Scooter Rentals — Make sure to wear a helmet and be careful because traffic laws in other countries are very different than in the US. There are also some pretty common scams surrounding vehicle rentals.
If you would like to learn more about common scams when traveling, click here.
Food & Drink
We recommend doing research on how you are going to afford to eat while you are traveling. Some accommodation may provide you with breakfast and some may offer communal kitchens. Utilizing these can be a fun and cost efficient way to taste local produce, just please clean up after yourself. Determine if you’ll want to eat out often, check out some average prices of meals, and then budget accordingly.
Find out what you MUST DO. Once you’ve settled on a destination, make a list of what you want to do there. This list is going to include interesting foods, attractions, restaurants, bars, markets — literally anything that you would DO at this destination. Then, depending on your budget, your time, and what your energy allows, filter your results from there.
Use Social Media for Ideas. Social media allows people to share their experiences and is a very valuable resource to use when making travel plans. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on Facebook Travel Groups or active online forums and check out travel blogs and websites like Pinterest.
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