Travel the world in panache. There are multiple ways in which travel can be not only inexpensive but also enriching. From food, transport, accommodation to flight tickets employ the tricks up your sleeve to travel smart.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries” when English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley said this he may have been referring to the unique perspectives of people which often unfolds when someone is at the receiving end of that experience. Travel does so. In the ancient times, people used to navigate using stars and sun while travelling. In fact, some historians think that Polynesians used to memorize the positioning of stars and even named them to be able to travel. Needless to mention, the challenges were different back then.
Thankfully, we don’t have to purposefully make a mental picture of every star in the sky. However, modern-day travel has its own set of challenges. Places are many but, resources are limited. The longer you travel, the cheaper it gets. The longer you travel, the more your work suffers. The more frequent you travel, the more money you need to shell out. If this tradeoff is already sending anxiety hormones in your brain, then relax.
There are multiple ways in which travel can be not only inexpensive but also enriching. Not everyone can become travel writers and bloggers, but we are not telling you to become one.
So, if not having a countless penny in your bank account and someone to sponsor your Venetian dreams, then what makes it even possible? Here, presenting you experienced and tested travel hacks which are not available at the disposal of google search. Well, until now.
Leverage your early investment in real estate
The Income Tax Act requires you to pay the taxes on the house property put on rent. However, the renting landscape has changed tremendously over the past couple of years. Homestays and customized travel experiences have become quite popular nowadays. People prefer to rent an apartment instead of checking into a hotel nowadays. It is not only cheaper but also give a unique experience.
If you are travelling somewhere, then consider putting your home on rent instead of letting it sit idle. Homeowners can make extra money by leveraging their earlier investment in the real estate. And, if you are not travelling, then you can even rent a room in your apartment even as you continue to live in the house.
It will help you make money while you are away and you need not worry about incurring expense twice on accommodation. Start with getting your property listed to start earning short-term rental income on it. This listing can be done on websites like Airbnb, an online marketplace for hospitality properties. At the time of listing, specify the number of rooms, number of guests your property can accommodate, the unique features of the property such as a beautiful balcony and the rent you expect. The expected rent varies according to the location, size, features and season. You can refer sites like Tripadvisor to arrive at a price which seems attractive to the guests.
Check your Origin city before you take an International flight
The happiness which we get on saving even a paltry sum on flights is almost intangible. It sure feels like another achievement. Recently a couple saved more than Rs 20,000 on a flight from India to Malaysia.
Atishay Jain, the husband, says, “This is the most unbelievable hack. The trick is simple – before you book your flight, make a list of nearby airports from your origin city. If your location is “New Delhi” then cross-check the price difference from Jaipur, Amritsar or Lucknow. You can get the flight at half the price from New Delhi and it takes an overnight bus or train to reach that particular location.
In their case (which was New Delhi), they found that flying from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur was Rs 12,000 and from Jaipur to Kuala Lumpur, it was around Rs 6000. So they ended up saving Rs 6,000 here on a one-way ticket per person. It is over Rs 20,000 for two people on a round-trip journey.
Travel with less baggage
Yes, it’s true that you can save money if you don’t take your 15KG check-in bag. There is an option to deselect it at the end of the payment page (Flights like AirAsia provides an option to travel only with 7KG of cabin baggage). Travelling light is not only cheaper but it is comfortable too. Moreover, if you forgo the check-in baggage, the chances are that your cabin luggage may not be weighed. We need not elaborate further.
Stay and eat for free
One advantage of globalization is the opened door of possibilities which we could not fathom a decade back. Now, you can stay and eat for free on your abroad travel. “We had registered ourselves on a website called workaway.info. It gives the opportunity to volunteer and helps local communities, in return they provide you accommodation and food for free,” says Astha Jain, founder of newfangledgirl.com and the wife. There are companies like Couchsurfing, trusted housesitters, Helpx, the global work and travel company similar to workaway. This arrangement even allows you to learn about your hidden skills and talent. While volunteering one can do anything like teaching, cooking, blogging, photography, writing, marketing etc. It not only enriches your travel experience but also helps you in learning about the local culture better. After all, what can be a better way to learn about a place than living with the locals?
There are various options which can make your local transport free. So, before you take any cab, train or local bus, make sure you check if the city has a free bus or any other complementary services. There are cities like Kuala Lumpur which offer free bus ride across the entire city. Places like Phnom Penh in Vietnam offers free boat ride from one place to another. Also, if you are travelling for a longer duration, then make sure to get the bus or the subway pass. Like Indian Metro, the travel cards come with discounts.
Travelling is not always in conformity with your fitness routine. Most of us tend to indulge our senses while travelling. The truffles of Italy, Balut of Southeast Asia, the French cheese and the Italian gelatos are on every traveller’s gastronomical dreams. You need not deprive yourself of these delicacies by building a diet plan while on the road. Look for places where the locals eat. Since you may not find all food menus on an app, hence, use google maps to find nearby and economical eat. Travel experts advice to buy supplies from the departmental stores and eat cereal for breakfast to save on food while travelling. Alteration between routine and new can help you create a balance. Win-win. Ain’t it? Not only to your pocket but also to your health. “Airport restaurants are always expensive. Hence, don’t forget to take fresh fruits and packed food along to go an extra mile in downsizing your travel budget,” adds Atishay.
Atishay and Astha have travelled to 7 South East Asian countries for 3 months in less than Rs 2 lakh. They have volunteered in countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. They have not compromised on experiences and emerged wiser. In the words of English historian Thomas Fuller, “Travel makes a wise man better but a fool worse”.