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How to Travel on a Budget

Finance & Money

Posted on Thursday, December 2, 2021

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From packing to bookings and even choosing the best route, travelling can be both exhilarating and stressful. With enough planning, though, you can enjoy the journey with peace of mind. Whether you’ll be travelling locally or internationally, use these tips and tricks for a stress-free journey.


Book ahead of time

Last-minute bookings are usually pricier than you may think. Plus, if you book online, you’re likely to get more deals. This includes flights, accommodation, other forms of transport and activities. There may also be sales leading up to your trip that could help you save big! Websites such as Hyperli can help with activity and trip deals, Tripadvisor and Airbnb with accommodation.


Pack a travelling survival kit
Whether you’re travelling solo or in a group, a survival kit is vital in case of emergencies. This should be small enough to carry and not heavy (e.g. a small backpack). Items that it should contain include:


  • non-perishable snacks like dried fruit, trail mix and pretzels
  • water
  • a lightweight jacket
  • sunscreen and sunglasses
  • a power bank for your phone
  • wireless headphones


Eat smart
Planning your meals, including snacks, will ensure you don’t spend money unnecessarily. This includes your budget, food stops and groceries. Some things to consider:

  • Research affordable restaurants, cafés and shops beforehand.
  • If you’re going to eat out, rather go out for breakfast or lunch, as supper tends to be pricier.
  • Avoid purchasing food from hotels, as they are usually overpriced. Rather eat at local restaurants, or cook if there’s a self-catering option.
  • Buy essential groceries if you’re travelling locally so you can cook most of your meals. This could include milk, bread, lean meats, pasta, vegetables and cereals.
  • Find two-for-one deals and online vouchers for discounts at restaurants. 



Put technology to use
Beyond taking great pictures, your smartphone can be the handiest tool on your trip if you arm it well. Cover your bases with these travel apps, available on the App Store and Google Play:


  • Google Maps a geolocation map that has accurate maps of 220 countries. It has real-time GPS navigation, transit and traffic information.
  • PackPoint gives real-time updates on nearly 3,000 airports worldwide.
  • The South Africa Travel Guide Offline app contains GuideWithMe, an offline travel guide that works even when internet data isn’t available. This makes it perfect for local travelling when you’re low on data.
  • First Car Rental Booking App helps with on-the-go car hires.
  • Google Translateis a translator app that covers over 100 languages online and offline.


Earn while you travel


If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to make cash on the go. You can try:

  • online tutoring on reputable apps like Cambly
  • freelancing on sites such as Freelancer and Upwork
  • teaching English abroad, which often includes accommodation and other benefits too


For more budget-friendly travelling tips, check out this article 5 ways to prepare for your annual road trip.