5 Things First-Time Travelers on a Budget Need to Know

By Brittany Loeffler on March 9, 2017

Traveling abroad while in college is extremely popular. It’s eye opening and humbling to travel abroad and learn more about a culture. Comedian Trevor Noah claims, “Traveling is the antidote to ignorance.”

Whether it is studying abroad for a semester or a summer, or traveling on your own during spring break, it doesn’t hurt to do some research if you are a first-time traveler.

In order to get the most out of your travel experience, we have come up with the five most important tips you need to follow if you’re a first-time traveler.

via Pixabay

Destination

The idea of traveling abroad while still in college can be intimidating when thinking about how much money it will cost. Most people believe that it costs an arm and a leg to travel through Europe. They are wrong. If you’re smart about your travels and are willing to “rough it” a little, you can travel on a budget.

The price of your travels will determine your destination. I’m sure you’ve come across one of those articles on Facebook where it lists the top 10 cheapest destinations in the world. Forbes came up with a great list of potential places to travel.

Something else to think about is if you have any friends or relatives who live abroad. If you do, they may offer you free lodging and can offer a native’s perspective and tour of the country.

How to Get There

Another thing to consider when traveling is which airline you will fly. Sometimes the plane ticket will influence where you decide to travel. There are plenty of websites that search the Internet for the best airfare deals. I prefer SkyScanner when looking for airline tickets. It’s easy to use and very straightforward.

If you plan on traveling throughout a continent, it may be smarter to buy two one-way tickets so you don’t have to end up where you started. It may also be cheaper to buy one-way tickets compared to a round trip ticket. If you are traveling to a major city, consider flying into a smaller airport in the suburbs and taking a train to your destination for cheaper tickets.

You should also consider the time of year you are traveling. Each country has its own “tourist rush.” When you go on the off-season, lodging and tickets will be cheaper.

Lodging

It would be nice to stay in a hotel and come home to a made bed each evening, but let’s face it: hotels are incredibly expensive.

Hostels are great for young travelers because they’re cheap and you can meet a ton of different people from all over the world! A lot of hostels have dormitory-style rooms, which consist of a bunch of single beds that are sometimes separated by gender. Private rooms are available but tend to be more expensive.

AirBnB is another option for lodging. Sometimes it is less expensive than a hostel. It’s all about the experience and location, really. If you are looking for an entire home or apartment, then AirBnB is right for you. But if you are looking to socialize and make friends, I would recommend staying in a hostel.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

No matter where you go, you’ll run into some fantastic meals! Dining out for every meal can get expensive. Stop at an outdoor market or a grocery store and pick up some simple food items for a quick lunch or breakfast. Depending on the country, things that are expensive in America may be much less expensive.

Now, I’m not saying that you should never eat out while traveling. This is an opportunity to splurge a little and embrace the culture. Try something you’ve never had before. Order something famous and native to the country. Don’t think of it as spending money on food, but as spending money on an experience.

via Pixabay

How to Deal with Tourist Spots

When you visit a popular tourist attraction, be prepared to wait in lines and move with large crowds of people. You must be patient while walking through a museum or famous site because people come from all around the world to see this attraction.

If tickets are required, try to buy them ahead of time. If “Skip the Line” tickets are available, get them. It’s worth the extra money. A 6-hour wait can turn into a 10-minute wait if you spend the extra $12. This gives you more time to explore and do more with the rest of your day.

Pay to go on tours also. It’s fun to see a famous attraction, but sometimes it’s even better to have a guide telling you about what you are looking at.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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