Comfort vs. Extreme: How to Travel with a Small Budget and Not Regret Anything
“I want to travel, but I don’t have enough money.”
Do you know how many times I’ve heard that statement? It’s just not true. We should be thankful for globalization, since it opened awesome opportunities for us to see the world even if we’re not rich.
If you have zero money for travel, then you can start saving some. If you have a small budget, you can already start planning your budget-friendly trips. You’ll still get to see and experience many things even if you deprive yourself from luxury.
Are you wondering how you can do that? We’ll give you some tips on how to travel on a small budget and still be comfortable.
Understand the Difference Between Cheap and Budget Tourism
Budget travel is not about traveling to Thailand with a budget of $7 per day. It’s not about finding the cheapest possible accommodation that would impose impossible living conditions. It’s not about sitting on a bench in front of the lake just because you cannot afford a drink at a bar. That’s cheap travel. It works for some people, but it’s extreme for most. It involves many sacrifices and many regrets.
Budget travel is something different. It can still provide you with comfort. It’s all about getting the biggest value for your money.
Budget travel means traveling on a budget. If you have $30 to spend per day, then that’s your budget and you’ll be looking for the best experience that your money can provide.
When you can count on an unlimited budget, you’ll probably head off to the nicest restaurants every day. You’ll have cocktails on the beach. You’ll go to concerts and you’ll visit museums. It sounds like a lovely trip, but not all can enjoy such a luxury.
Merge with the Locals
When you’re on a budget and you still want the best experience, you’ll get it if you merge with the locals. Take the French Provence as an example. Each village has its festival. Banon has its festival of cheese and books. In June, music is being celebrated all over France, so you can enjoy free music day and night. In September, there’s wine tasting in Cassis.
Wherever you are, you can find out what the locals do for fun. They don’t spend their money drinking cocktails and eating at the nicest restaurants. They still have fun, and you will, too. Just get to know them and ask where the fun is.
Spend More Time in Nature
Why do you want to go places? It’s mostly because you want to see breathtaking landscapes. The good news is that those are free. Nature gives plenty to us, so you may start giving back by appreciating what it offers.
Wherever you decide to go, you’ll discover beautiful places to see. If you’re on your summer vacation on an island, for example, remember that the best beaches are almost always hidden and not accessible by car. It takes some walking and tons of exploring to discover them. So do that!
If you don’t want to be such an adventurer, then do an online research. Where’s the nearest national park? What’s the best beach you could go to? Are there any sites you shouldn’t miss seeing?
Pack some fruit, snacks, and tons of water. Relax and start the day without a specific plan. Head off to the nature and see what it gives. That’s the perfect recipe for a memorable budget-friendly experience.
If you realize that you need more money for the type of experience you want, then you’ll have to earn that money.
You could get a job at a local coffee shop or a restaurant. If you have experience as a bartender, you’ll definitely find something available.
You can also work online! Try selling stock photos or working as a freelance photographer, writer, or graphic designer. You surely have some skills, right? Well use them well! A blog is also a nice idea! It takes a lot of time and effort to make it profitable, so you better start working on it before you start the trip. When you’re there, keep posting about your experience. You can include Amazon affiliate links in your post, or you can start making money through pay-per-click ads.
I said it once and I’ll say it again: thank God for globalization. If you have a laptop and an Internet connection, then you can always find a way to earn money while traveling. Yes; you’ll have to invest some time to make that money, but money also buys you time. You can stay in the foreign country and explore it for a longer period of time. That’s a pretty good deal, don’t you think?
The Budget Does Not Have to Limit the Experience
Your budget is limited. So what?
It will limit some of the options. You’ll have a humbler trip and maybe you won’t eat at that Michelin restaurant. But you know what? You can still explore everything there is to explore, you can make connections with the locals, and you can have the real experience for less money.
Take the time to read this post by a travel blogger. It’s called My 13 Biggest Travel Regrets after Six Years of Travel. You’ll notice that she doesn’t regret the lack of comfort. What she regrets is the lack of experience. That’s something that’s not valued by money.
The important thing is to travel, after all!