Unlock the Secrets of Budget Travel: 20 Expert Tips and Tricks for Your Adventures

Unlocking the secrets of budget travelling also means to travel-smart. We often make very easy mistakes every time we travel. All those missed flights and buses, not booking in advance, not researching about the destination, cultural unawareness, and many more small tiny errors, eventually makes us a Travel Ninja.

I am here to share a few tips that will speed up your learning process and help you avoid the mistakes I have already made. (I still make a lot of mistakes but hey, it’s a learning curve, right? ) So this is a list of the best travel tips that I can compile with my own experience and acquired travel habits from family and friends.

My Top 20 travel tips will help you save money while traveling, meeting locals, sleeping better, and in general, becoming a better traveller.

20 Expert Tips and Tricks

  1. Carry an Extra Debit Card or Credit Card with you.

This tip alone will save you from a potential travel disaster. Carry multiple credit/debit cards and if possible, they should be of different payment networks., Visa, MasterCard, and Rupay.

Similarly, another time we needed more cash in Bhutan and Visa didn’t work nor did Rupay (though it is advertised everywhere that Rupay works, it didn’t). That day, MasterCard saved us.

I say this from my personal experience itself. Once I ran out of cash and had to check out of a hotel in Kathmandu, their machine didn’t accept Rupay or MasterCard but luckily I had Visa with me and it saved us. 

I think you get the vivid picture.

  1. Always carry a lock (it’s key too).

This is very useful. If you are on a budget traveling experience, you generally stay in dorms and lodges. There you get a locker to store your luggage and stuff when you sleep or when you go out to explore, then a lock 🔐 comes in handy. 

If you are one of those, who can easily lose the little key, then you can go for combination lock.

(Please don’t forget the code!)

  1. Book flights in advance, say at least 2-3 months.

We all have been through it. I personally have been through it so much that now, I know, you can start booking your tickets 180 days before the date of the journey. 

Do not lose 2 to 3 precious hours of your day, just trying to save a few bucks on already inflated prices, at the last moment. Plus, the stress you get along with the ticket is not worth it. 

Planning is important.

  1. Try new food.

When you come across some new delicacy, please don’t ask, ‘What is it?’ Just put it in your mouth and then decide. If you are too judgemental even before trying, you might miss out on some unusual yet super delicious local food and cuisine.

  1. Buy a small backpack. 

Not everything small is bad. I know how cool that huge rucksack looks in those travel photos you keep looking at. But, my dear friend, it doesn’t feel that cool when you have that, on your back and you have to walk or rush to a said location. 

We have this urge to fill all the space available. So, the bigger the bags, the more free space to fill up, and more regrets for later.

Ideally, I have found a 40/45 lt. backpack to be sufficient. And remember, two 45-litre backpacks are always better than one 90/100-litre backpack.

You will thank me later, for this.

  1. Pack Lite.

Picking up from the last point, a small backpack will motivate you to pack lite. Trust me, you only need 50% of the stuff you ‘think’ that you need.

Packing Lite, Travel Packing, Travel Tips

Golden rule to keep packing sorted: note down the things you ‘think’ you need, cross out half, pack what’s left in the list. Easy-Peasy.

  1. Pack extra socks and undies.

This is one of the most important part of my packing. Nothing makes you feel more fresh on a long trip, than a fresh socks and undies. One for each day and two extra.

Q-What happens on, lets say, a 10 day long trip?

Ans- Well, we don’t talk about that here. 

  1. Don’t be shy my honey!
20 Expert Budget Travel Tips

Take photos. And take a lot of it. When you travel far and wide, it is natural to forget a thing or two. Taking photos will help you gaze back on that night to remember or that day out with amazing people.

Smile !

  1. Carry an earplug (noise cancellation type)

Your sleep is important. Snoring people and screaming kids are found everywhere. A good noise cancellation earplugs will do the job, plus you can also watch your favourite series/movies without disturbing fellow passengers. 

Psst! Did you know a really cheap yet fascinating attachment known as ‘The Splitter’. It works wonders.

  1. Take your good shoe

You walk a lot, while on a trip. So, always choose a comfortable shoe over any fancy shoe. Never torture you leg and yourself just to be Instagram worthy. 

  1. Keep emergency Cash

Always keep emergency cash on you, separate from the cash you have for general spending. You never know when that might come in handy. 

I, have also included this habit in my travels recently, as, not everyplace accepts Cards, QR and likewise.

  1. Avoid taxis.

Private taxis will always ruin your, so dream, budget trip. Take a taxi only when you really have to, like rushing to the Airport or Rail Station in the last hour. Otherwise, there are better options always available including public transport that locals use.

  1. Do not skip Street Food
20 Expert Budget Travel Tips

It is said that if you miss street food, you miss an important part of the culture. If you are still worried, look what street food the kids are eating. If it is safe for them, it is safe for you too.

  1. Be open yet shielded

When you are at a tourist destination, be open enough to talk to locals. It is not a crime to ask something or take help. You can get bonus local recommendations sometimes which is priceless.. Keep that smile up, it looks good on you. 

But, keep a degree of suspicion. Do not blindly follow everything, always double check. Touristy places can sometimes be really bothersome and you might fall prey to some scams or get into uncomfortable situation. 

  1. Carry water bottle

If you run out of it, refill or buy a bottle again. Never think that softdrinks or other carbonated drinks can serve the purpose of water. Water is life and you already know it.

  1. Visit city Tourist Centre

These places are generally government owned. Here you can get all types of information required to help you travel better. 

Many a times you can book a city sightseeing tour at amazingly low price from these tourist centers. Sometimes a guide is provided for the group at no extra charge.

If you are in a city famous for historical monuments, palaces and museums, you can get a whole day ticket that includes all the tourist attractions and save valuable time. This will help you to skip the long queue for tickets at every center.

I did this, when i visited Agra, India. Also, I did it online, so win win.

  1. Carry a basic Med-cum-First-Aid-Kit

Carry the meds that you are prescribed to use (keep the prescription along with it). A basic first aid kit to treat your cuts and bruises and then take professional help, if required.

  1. Be Respectful, Be Patient and Relax

You must have heard, travelling is about the journey not the destination. It is also about the people you meet and memories you make. 

So, do not burden yourself by over planning a day. Plan 2 or 3 places and then relax and let the day fill your memories. 

If things go wrong, that they sometimes will, keep your calm, do not stress yourself and rationally sort things out. 

19. Buy Souvenirs

20 Expert Budget Travel Tips

We mostly travel to a destination only once. So, anything that you wish to buy, buy it. Because later after a month or an year or so, you will see same items in some store in a mall with 10 times the price on it. So when travelling buy local handicrafts, gift items, fridge magnets and Souvenirs.

20. Apply Sun screen. A lot of it.

20 Expert Budget Travel Tips

If you ask me, that you need just one travel tip from me, just one. This is what I will always say. Wear Sunscreen. Daily. Without fail.

Buy the one that suits your skin type, carry it in your bag and apply multiple times if the need arises because using a Sunscreen is easy but getting rid of the sun burns and skin tan is not.

There you have it all. Yes, I will update the list again if I make some silly mistakes yet again. Till then, keep smiling, get vaccinated, stay healthy, stay safe and… and… Travel everywhere you desire.

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