Tuesday, 9 October 2012

10 Ways To Travel Smart and Cheap!

There are many times when we don’t plan properly or we rely on our whims and fancies. It’s okay to take a short trip or two without much planning and preparation. However, when you have a long vacation in the pipeline, it’s wise to plan ahead to save on money, time and energy.
1. Paper Work 

It is always good to pen down what you want to do. List down your itinerary and plan accordingly. Be sure about what you want to do and how you want to do it. If rest and relaxation is topmost on your mind, make a list of hotels that suit your needs.

A good research on the net helps

2. Research

Make sure you have enough knowledge about your destination. There’s nobody else but you, who would know better about what you want. Surf the internet, list down the best hotels and restaurants, shopping options and tourist spots. Find out about the local conveyance and budget-friendly options. 

3. Maps, Important Contacts’ Print-outs

Take print-outs of important phone numbers – hotels and travel consultants. Carry maps of places you want to visit, so that you are able to navigate well.

4. Take Reference From Travel Magazines/People

Cash in on the knowledge of your friends or acquaintances who have already visited the destination you are planning to visit. Find out from them about the best accommodation, eating places, etc. There are various travel magazines like Outlook Traveller, Lonely Planet, Travel& Leisure and others, which give good insight on all the aspects of a vacation.

Like-minded travelers

5. Like-minded Travelers

If you enjoy long treks, while your co-traveler likes to sun-bathe, then one of you needs to figure out what to do. Traveling with people of similar interests helps a great deal. It makes your trip more fun and budget-friendly.

6. Book Your Accommodation

Short-list three to four good hotels and contact their managers, inquire about their tariff and facilities. Consider the aspects like hotel’s location – it should be near to the railway station/airport and most of the tourist spots. Make reservations in advance so that when you reach your destination, you have no worry on mind, but a happy anticipation to begin your holiday.

Plan where you are going to stay

7. Check-List

Once you have booked your tickets and reserved your accommodation, it’s good to make a check-list of all the things you want to cover during your trip. It could be a particular restaurant that you want to visit, any shopping hub, or anything else.

Besides, make a list of things that you would need for your trip – camera, batteries, charger, medicines, basic first-aid, etc.

8. Rest and Relax

The most ignored part – sleep. Take enough rest before your journey. To be able to make the most of your holiday, you need to be fresh. A headache or stress would ruin your trip - waste of both time and money.

9. Pack What You Need

It’s not really about traveling light or heavy. It’s about what you would need on your holiday. Avoid stuffing your suitcase with the things that you know you wouldn’t need – laptop or books. Who would like to work or read on a holiday?

Maintaining a diary helps in managing expenses

10. Maintain A ‘Holiday Diary’ For Future Vacations

It may sound taxing, but it’s important and helpful. If you have jotted down the entire account of a trip, you can use the same format for all your future trips. You will have a clear picture of your expenses and that will keep you from going over your budget.

Well, these are some tips that I have learned through my travel experiences. If you have better ideas, please share!


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