Cheap and Cheerful: You Can Travel on a Budget and Keep a Smile on your Face

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Despite the uncertainty of the economic climate, the world is still a magnificent place to explore. No recession can change the curative powers of a vacation. What’s important is that you manage your travel budget wisely and get more for your money. Here are some tips to help you stretch each dollar, while still enjoying an amazing vacation.

Pack Light

One thing that can slow you way down is hauling around a ton of luggage. That rolling suitcase, laptop, and carry-on bag make it impossible to walk long distances and will increase your baggage fees. The remedy is to think more like a backpacker that travels around the world with only a few necessities. They utilize multi-function items like shampoo/conditioner combos and pants that double as shorts. Their clothes are also pretty light, to avoid adding weight to their bags.

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Change Your Itinerary

You’ll enjoy your trip more if you can learn to embrace spontaneity. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan carefully, but rather that you should be flexible enough to mix things up. If you’ve already booked a room at a local hostel, bring information for other hostels or B&B’s with you, as well. If there are other nearby locations you think you might want to see, get information on lodging and transportation options in those areas, as well.

Travel Alone

Another option that might save you some money is traveling alone. If you look carefully, you can always find cheap alternatives for lodging and entertainment. This can be hard to stick with if your traveling companions prefer more conventional (and/or expensive) accommodations. Instead of being reluctant to travel alone, think about all the interesting people you can meet and share experiences with by yourself. You’d be surprised at how many lifelong friendships have been forged among lone travelers who met in faraway places.

Do Lots of Walking

No matter where you go, walking is one of the best ways to get to know an area. You don’t have to walk everywhere, but you’ll save a decent amount of money interspersing car or train trips with plenty of walking. It’s a great way to experience medieval cities, national parks and scenic coastlines on a more personal level. Walking is also the least expensive transportation option for someone saddled with student loan debt. Click here to learn more about consolidating student loans.

Use Public Transportation

If walking isn’t for you, look into the available public transportation¬†options. In most cases, tickets come with a transfer or some way to get a round-trip. Day passes are perfect if you’re planning on taking several rides to different parts of town. One of public transportation’s other advantages is that you get a chance to interact with the locals up close while seeing the city at a more leisurely pace. It’s easier to enjoy yourself when you’re not fumbling with directions or afraid of getting lost.

As you can see, it is possible to enjoy the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank. The tips above are designed to help you get the most out of your travel budget, without sacrificing too much. When employed together, they can greatly enhance the experience.