The most common question we are getting of late is “How do you afford to travel so much? Some even tell us that we must be having lots of money or are just simply lucky. Yes, we love travelling. But we also work and we are definitely not very rich. We have worked quite hard for getting what we wanted in our life. Travelling is something that we have made a priority and we do have to plan ahead for making it happen. There are certain delicacies of life that we have given up for travelling.
It is said that saving is an art. And we both are trying to master this art. Saving is an essential part if you want to travel. Here are our 10 tried and tested tips for saving money for travelling.
Make a budget
The first thing that you can do is get hold of your expenses. Create a budget for yourself. Keep a track of your daily expenses for at least a month. Write it down in your diary or make an excel sheet. You will be surprised to see that there will be many things from where you can cut expenses. You can also make a yearly travel budget and start saving accordingly. You can open a recurring deposit in a bank and save monthly.
Sell unnecessary items
If there are things in your home that you are not using, sell them. These days, OLX and Quikr are great platforms for selling stuff. Your old and unused items can get you money from unexpected sources.
Reconsider your current expenses
This is the trickiest part, I think. Cutting down on current expenses are quite tough. There are things that we simply don’t want to let go. For example, cut on your cable bills. We do not have a TV in our house for the last 5 years. So there are no expenses for cable and set top boxes. Also, both of us do not fight with the remote over watching serials or the cricket match!
You can also save on the Gym expenses by going out for a walk and exercising by yourself. Walking is a very good form of exercise. Instead of sweating it out in the closed room, work out in the open and feel the nature.
I know that man is a social animal, but we can definitely spend less on socialising. We hardly eat out and go for expensive dinners. There are excellent places to eat in the city which are less expensive than the fancy restaurants. We prefer to visit those whenever we get bored of my cooking.
Spend less on clothes
Cut down on your unnecessary shopping. If you are going for shopping, make a list of what to buy and try to stick to the list. And SALE is the time when we mostly get carried away. If you are the type that cannot resist spending in Sales, then avoid them. Because it is really hard to resist buying something that we absolutely do not need, when it is giving an upto 50% discount.
We have finally got over our temptations to buy new clothes these days. During the last three years, we have not bought any new clothes during the festival time. We had rather spent on travel gears and things we needed.
Now a few tips on the travel itself
Plan your travel early. You will not only get a lot of time to research the place, but you can also save money while making bookings, especially the flights.
Off season is the best season
I think this is the best tip that we can give you. The off-season is the best time to visit a place. Visit Darjeeling during the winters. Not only will you find the place less crowded, but also the rates of hotels and transport will be lesser.
When it comes to booking hotels, we are followers of the old school way. We do not generally book hotels but prefer to book them on the spot. Also, we usually avoid the expensive hotels and resorts. Places that are neat and clean, even though smaller are our choices while travelling.
And if you are one of the safe kinds, then try booking hotels online a bit earlier. The earlier you book, the chances of getting a discount is more.
Get your train tickets intelligently
If you are travelling between cities, try to travel by the railways if possible. Railways are faster and much cheaper mode of transport in India. Also, try to get your train tickets during the night. This will save you the cost of staying in a hotel at night. And also the day will be free for travelling. We prefer to book trains and even buses for the night journey.
Preference of local things while travelling can also save a lot. We usually prefer homestays over expensive hotels. We try the local food joints than the fancy restaurants. In this way, you can get to know the place, its people and the culture as well as save your money. You will be amazed to find shops where they provide excellent food, but also at very cheap rates. And finally, make use of the local transportation. While travelling, we generally take shared cabs or local buses.
These are our ways of saving for doing something that we both love. You can try a few of them. You can even invent your own ways. Feel free to drop us a line and share the idea if you like our travel tips.