As i travel in Asia, I think I could say that I am already an advanced traveler and quite know some of the techniques in budget, fun and fulfilling travel due to my experiences in recent years. So, in that sense, I would like to share some of the things I know in order to achieve that ultimate travel experience by not hurting your budget and not sacrificing the experience all at the same time. Disclaimer: This is not a paid post.
1.Plan Ahead – This is one of mine and my travel buddies’ secret. But before we embark to our dream destination, we plan ahead by deciding which country to go the following year. Planning normally happens 11 months (October – December) before the actual travel (October-November of the following year). By planning ahead:
- This helps us book ahead and look for cheap flights (in Asia, we use Cebu Pacific due to it’s good record track in safety compare to Air Asia and other airlines). We normally dig that Piso fares at the beginning of the year.
- Plan itinerary and study the country, weather and routes that would sync to our itinerary. I do all the planning, itinerary, accommodation and transportation bookings. So having an ample time helps in learning and making needed changes.
- I use Booking.com In booking our lodging. Most of the properties are cancel-free before hours and days of travel date and allows us to adjust our accommodation from time to time.
- File vacation leave ahead and clear our schedules and save money as travel time goes nearer.
“To foretell the destiny of a nation, it is necessary to open the book that tells of her past.”Dr. Jose P. Rizal
2. Maximize free tourist places – Luckily in Asia, in most cases there are a lot of places that are free like parks, museums and national monuments. As I always say, it’s important to see a country’s National museum because it tells you the history of the country and its current culture. I personally love arts, so going to a National Museum is heaven!
There are tons of free parks in Asia that would give your picturesque Instagram A game. Lastly, this won’t hurt your budget if you’re a BUDGETarian traveler like me, at the same time this doesn’t compromise your quality travel experience!
3. Experience Food – This is second to our priority because your taste buds also need some education of the foreign land. We normally allocate small budget for plane and put a lot of money to food. Yes, pictures are nice to look at, but I’d say, travelling is not complete if you won’t be able to taste a local food. For the love of God, give up McDonald’s, familiar restaurants and fast-foods that can be found in your home country. I’d never emphasize this enough, food is culture, people and education. A different taste would give you a sensation that may lead to questions, education and conversation. So please, give in and loosen up some of your money for food. Say it again with me “food is life”
A Vietnamese once told me “do you know why we have small tables arranged together like that? Because we want to have a conversation as we eat together with locals and foreigners” Isn’t that amazing?
Diversity and education can be attained through eating.
4. Hostels are Friends – Aside from planes, we also allocate small budget in accommodation by using a free breakfast option as we book our hostels. Hostel is a good option for budget, group and solo travel. My idea of this is, in most cases, you won’t be needing a fancy hotel because you’ll be out most of the time, so why spend so much money in a hotel instead of food, transportation or necessary paid must-see tourist spot? Don’t get me wrong, you can still of course choose a wonderful looking hostel. It doesn’t mean that by cutting your budget in pricey hotel means cutting your quality night rest. Bunk beds in hostel provide privacy as I experienced in most hostels in Asia (I love hot showers too!) and the facilities keep on improving as most young travelers prefer this kind of accommodation.
5. Walk in a Day – I am blessed to have friends that love walking in traveling. By walking, not only it gives us good health but also a good grasp of the culture through its streets and saving budget. What I normally do, I study the route first and through that route, I find spots or tourist attraction that we can pass by. So it’s like going from South to North and there are tourist points along the way where we can stop, take a picture and walk again to next destination.
Stop being a tourist, be an explorer, and when I say tourist, those are the people who pays a lot for taxi, doesn’t like to go under the sun and complain a lot. And when I say explorer, those are the people who go to streets, blend with people, smile and love learning.