When the homework is piled high and our motivation is at its all-time low, we have all sat down and longed for the day where our graduation certificate is in hand and we are able to finally start living.
From the majority of people I have talked to about after graduation plans, the idea of traveling seems to be a commonly shared one. Who doesn’t want to get on a plane and explore places that most people have only seen through a phone screen. Now days a plane ticket to anywhere even remotely far away from New Zealand plus all the other holiday expenses would cost about seven year’s worth of Study Link pay plus a left kidney. Luckily traveling doesn’t just consist of five-star resorts and sipping on cocktails at a beach bar, in fact it could mean the complete opposite. Roughing it out in a tent and having a wardrobe that fits in just a backpack has proven to be a great way to get to places, experience things and learn more than just the name of the country you are visiting. Asides from camping and packing light, there are many more ways to make traveling just that bit more affordable and less stressful, saving you money whilst giving you a lifetime worth of memories. So, here are some of the most common and effective methods of traveling that I have found will give you more bang for your buck, without lessening the amazing experience of traveling!
Booking in advance
One thing to realise when planning a trip overseas is that often ticket prices increase the closer you get to the departure date. The hype of counting down the days until you’re on that plane is always a great motivator to get work finished, as well as being a significant part of the holiday experience. Extending that hype by booking dates and accommodation in advance will not only save you some dollars but will also provide daily excitement and guarantee you won’t be stuck stressing over finding last minute flights. Another tip – booking flights for a Tuesday are usually a lot cheaper as that is the day the least people tend to fly.
Another thing to be aware of when booking flights, train tickets and accommodation is making sure you clear your browser cookies or even using a private/incognito window when searching online. Many people aren’t aware of the sneaky tricks Google uses to track prices we have been previously quoted, making markets more competitive and judging our level of interest in their services. By browsing on private windows, we can see the ultimate deals that travel and accommodation services have to offer without being sucked into spending extra dollars.
Location and destination
Tourist traps are usually popular for a reason but can be the source to all your financial struggles. Any country will have so many incredible places to explore regardless of whether you are going to the Eiffel Tower or a hidden street market in Asia, so choosing a destination a little off-the-beaten-path could in fact lead to some magnificent and underrated discoveries whilst also saving you just that little bit of extra money. Also, you are less inclined to get sucked into other tourist targeted marketing strategies and will certainly avoid large crowds and queues by visiting more remote locations as opposed to iconic land features and big cities, (save those fancy tourist holidays for when you’re older and have become a highly successful business person!)
Man vs Wild
Instead of paying all that cash for a hotel bed to sleep in, why not invest in some good quality sleeping bags, a waterproof tent and immerse yourself in nature. Most travel destinations provide some sort of camping spot and so (unless its torrential weather or there are wild bears roaming around) why not get a dose of the wild and save that hotel money for something more worthwhile! Another cheap accommodation option is hostels – despite their gross reputation some hostels have proven to be great for putting up a warm comfy place to sleep and can also be a great place for meeting new people traveling just like you. Bringing your own bed sheets is probably a good idea though.
Become your own chef
Holidays don’t always mean eating out at restaurants every night. By buying your own food from the supermarket and having homemade meals (which most of us have gotten used to doing at Uni already) you could easily save hundreds. Most supermarkets offer a lot more substantial and long-lasting food compared to restaurants anyway.
Also, when eating out - depending on where you are - make sure you check little side streets for food places. The main streets in big cities always have the biggest tourist flow and therefore more touristy prices, which are not that great when traveling on a budget.
Traveling with only the essentials may seem like a difficult thing to do, especially for girls who like to bring eight different clothing options for a two-day trip. Limiting your travel items will save you heaps of luggage fees, avoid check-in luggage and also means that you can hop on low-cost carriers for a way lower price than normal plane flights. It also makes it much easier to load one bag onto a crowded bus rather than paying someone to drive you and four suitcases somewhere. Traveling light also saves the stress of having to leave large suitcases somewhere when exploring for the day, so we may as well become experts at packing!
Now you’re pretty much set to go out and explore the world, and hopefully still have enough saved dollars for a cheeky ice cream here and there.