Budget Travel Considarations – Get It Right!

Lovey Travel of a Nomadic Dad - Budget Travel around the world with kids - money
Traveling can be expensive. It can be very expensive if one doesn’t manage his or her budget wisely. Money can fly away so quickly and in most cases, we have no idea where it went and for what. On our journey, we used to keep record of every small expense, even a candy for the kids. We teach our kids that money had a management aspect and they don’t get it without doing so. For example, in order to get the weekly allowance, our kids would have to record the date, the amount given/taken, and the nature of the income/spend. it teaches them to manage their money.  Money management is a great tool for traveling, especially for budget traveling
Traveling around has many expenses. Spending money on transportation, food, tours, accommodation, attractions, and fun stuff is very common.
Food
The variety of food and the cost is so huge. On one end, you have the very costly, touristic and fancy restaurants, cafes, and bars that would charge for a meal as much as you might pay in Europe. Not doubt that budget traveling doesn’t go along with such a class. On the other end, you have the local, small corner shacks which usually don’t even have a menu. Those places make bulk cooking and you can choose from limited variety of cuisine.  The prices on most cases is very affordable. Here is a great previous post on this topic How Cheap Can Food Get?.
Lovey Travel of a Nomadic Dad - Budget Travel around the world with kids - money
Transportation
Oh.. this is a big one! Statistics show that transportation is the major expense for any vacationer and travelers. Transportation is an important consideration.  Among backpackers, buses are very common as they tend to cost less than flights. Bus rides can be as low as one hour to infinite. In Southeast Asia, a bus from Phnom Penh to the border of Laos can be as long as 30 hours. . Those options can be sometime very difficult and less safe. We had heard on several bus accidents in Cambodia. Another options is renting a car which can be costly. If you drive in Central or South America, be prepared to pay bribes for falsely traffic violations. And there are the flight that usually are more costly than the all the other options. However, in many cases, you can find very cheap flight, especially if you are in Asia. Many countries, such Malaysia and Philippines, have their national cheap airlines which offer many great deals that origin from their capital city. When we decided to get to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, the bus ride would cost for five of us $130 and 6 hours ride where the flight cost us only $110 and one hour flight. Great deals on flights can be found online and in sites.  It is always a good advice to compare prices and schedule. sometimes you get a great price but have to spend on hotel, taxi, and meals when having an overnight connection.
Lovey Travel of a Nomadic Dad - Budget Travel around the world with kids - money
Accommodations
Type of accommodation can vary from fancy, skyscraper hotels to cheap, cockroaches and rats friendly hostels. In  many cases, you can find great deals on hotels online that can compete price wise with normal guest houses or hostels. It is recommended to make a short research before arrival. For example, when we stayed in Thailand, in our first visit in Bangkok, we paid $23 for a cheap, nasty guest house where we had to stick our faces to the A/C unit to get some cool air.  On the second visit, we managed to book 5 star luxury hotel for only $30. Also, when we visited Koh Rong Island in Cambodia, a simple bungalow would cost us no less than $30/night but we decided to go for a local shack on the pier for only $200/month (equals to $6.6/night).
Lovey Travel of a Nomadic Dad - Budget Travel around the world with kids - money
If you are a budget traveler, as we are, you can find many opportunities to lower your travel costs. The most common and the most easy one is to work at places as you go. in many countries we visited, backpackers managed to work at hostels, guest house and bar in exchange for accommodation, three meals, and few drinks.
So good luck on your travels and be safe.

 

Head image courtesy of clarita
Food image courtesy of photojock
Airplane image courtesy of ostephy
Hotel room image courtesy of phaewilk

 

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