Hello folks! After sharing you on my previous post about my Korea trip in the border, allow me to introduce you the different ways on how I traveled (and will travel!) with less cost before I make my content regarding my other trips.
Traveling and Money
Traveling could be quite expensive to some, especially if you’re very eager to go and experience as many places as possible. I have known my thirst for travel and adventure since I was young but I also have a love for my future — I would never want to be broke and thus growing my finances would be equally important as well.
But how can you even go to places when you don’t have lots of money? Yes, you can, and I did. 30,000PHP or $600 would be quite expensive for me when I traveled (Note: I haven’t been to Europe and the Americas yet so let me update you on my expenses if I do so). Of course, when you have a lot of money, you don’t need to limit yourself. However, if you’re still on the process of making money, that’s the time where you need to cut down costs. It would be challenging at first, but it would be extremely fun. With that, let me share to you the ways on how I made it overseas with less cost.
1. Be updated with airline promotions.
I know most people go really insane when there are seat sales. Booking sites are getting a lot of traffic and people are very aggressive just to get that cheap flight to their beloved destination. I have tried booking through seat sales (Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to the flight) and I could say that if you are persistent and early enough, you could get it. Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, AirAsia and Jetstar are the ones which I saw that have different promos for the year (If no sale, I usually use Skyscanner). Prices could get as low as less than 1000PHP or $20 for domestic travels and 5000PHP or $100 for international travels nearby. The thing about seat sales is that, it happens in a short span of time. Thus, if you really want to push through this method, be fully informed when that will happen and stay in tuned. Most of my friends succeeded in this method, but I wasn’t aggressive enough and so, I just found other ways — to get tickets for free.
2. Join international camps, volunteering activities, or competitions.
If you’re a student, you are very fortunate to have this kind of opportunity. I’ve got tickets for free on the first time I went to South Korea. Also, I just had 5000PHP or $100 in my pocket. If you’re not a student, there would still be opportunities you could find within a specified age range.
This is the method I highly suggest. You’re not just going to some place for leisure, you’re going to travel to learn. Who wouldn’t want additional knowledge? However, as I traveled through this, my main purpose wasn’t to really relax, but to engage. For most of the camps I attended to, they accommodation and food is free. Some provide free airfare, some do not. Another great thing is that I was able to extend my travel before and after the program (the cost incurred would be mine) to explore on my own. I started knowing these opportunities since I was involved in international activities when I was college. You could be updated for various student (and non-student opportunities) through these pages and sites I know:
- ASEAN Opportunities
- Asia Pacific Youth Service
- Student Opportunity Portal
- I Am Scholar
- Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI)
I am a Southeast Asian thus these are the sites I follow. Of course, it’s not an easy process. There would be application procedures that you needed to encounter. All for the experience.
3. Make international friends.
If #1 intends to lessen the cost on transportation, this time, it would lessen your cost perhaps on accommodation, food, or tour guides. I am not telling you to use your friends but in my experience, my international friends tend to volunteer on giving me the best experiences in their home country.
How? Of course, it’s not instant. While your’re staying in your home country, make meaningful connections with people. Most of my friends appreciated the help I gave them as they are adapting to my country and when I go with them whenever they ask me a favor of touring them around. It’s a very big thing for them to have someone by their side while their going around a new place, especially to those foreign nationals who are uncomfortable to travel. There are vast opportunities on how to make friends with them but as for me, I met them when I was in the university and as I am working. These friends of mine come and go, but at the end of it, they would be very thankful and offer you their place, all for free. It’s not just words, they really mean it.
I didn’t book an accommodation on my second trip to Korea. That saved me 7000PHP or $135 (if 1000PHP or $20 a day). And if you have plenty of friends, they would not bother to treat you a meal. Thus aside from the money, you were also able to catch up with a friend from afar. And it would feel really different and special.
Of course if you have relatives, that would be easier.
4. Bring less.
I haven’t experienced this one, but I have experienced the opposite. Heavy luggage would always be an inconvenience and a costly thing to bring in your travel. Here are my not-so-good experiences when it comes to luggages:
- I love bringing goodies back home. It made me buy another bag when I was in KL because it didn’t fit in my luggage anymore.
- Because my friends are nice, I received a lot of gifts from them yet I still bought more goodies.
- I had an experience of carrying two big carriers and a backpack while I was getting lost somewhere.
- Every time I move to a city in Korea, I had to find a place to leave my luggage. I can’t just leave them anywhere.
- I had bulky winter clothes.
However, I know some people who are able to stuff things in their backpacks. If there would be a lot, the key is to bring a bigger backpack. Just make sure to comply with the airline rules when it comes to cabin baggage. Moreover, there are lots of videos on how to properly fold your clothes (even winter clothes!) so that it would fit in. Lastly, invest in a durable carrier or backpack that you would not be in trouble even though you stuff a lot of things in it. Though it would deduct a minimal amount to your overall cost, it would still be a help to your wallet and to your overall comfort.
5. Plan your itineraries and budget everything.
As much as possible, do not be too impulsive during trips if you still want not to hurt your wallet. I always have a “I can come back there” mindset. It enables me not to splurge just because you’re already there. I had experiences before when I was impulsive that I quite had negative emotions about the trip. Trips should be mostly fulfilling and positive! Thus, I have tips for you when you plan out and budget your trip:
- If you’re going to attractions, research on the entrance fees and the transportation costs.
- Be comfortable in public transportation. Private cabs are usually expensive everywhere. Research the ways on how to utilize public transportation for the country you will visit.
- Instead of connecting flights, travel by land in neighboring countries.
- A travel buddy would be helpful in splitting accommodation expenses.
- Have a specified budget for shopping.
- Have an emergency fund, but use it only for emergency. I had an experience wherein I was just impulsive so I used it.
- Pre-booking activities would save you time. It can be costly, it can be not. As for me, it is better since if you get lost somewhere, that’s an additional cost incurred. You can search in booking platforms such as Klook, Tralulu, and Trazy.
- Eat local! Research on the best but but budget friendly restaurants that are popular with travelers. I usually get tips from TripAdvisor.
These things worked for me but of course, we do have our own traveling styles. Being a fast traveler (I can go to many places in small countries in a day), the need of luxurious hotels, fancy restaurants is not yet a priority. I guess at our youthful age, we would like to wander more. As time passes by, the need for pure relaxation would arise and I think that would be the time that I would be updating my preferences on travel.
What tips have you got? Make sure to share them by leaving a comment below! Bon voyage!
- Cebu Pacific – http://cebupacificair.com
- Philippine Airlines – http://philippineairlines.com
- AirAsia – http://airasia.com
- Jetstar – http://jetstar.com
- Skyscanner – http://skyscanner.com
- Get the latest opportunities for ASEAN nationals – http://aseanop.com
- Empower your youth in Asia Pacific Youth Service – https://www.facebook.com/APYouthS/
- Follow opportunities even on IG – http://instagram.com/studentopportunityportal
- Learn and travel as a scholar – http://iamscholar.com
- Be a leader at YSEALI – https://asean.usmission.gov/yseali/
- Book your activities with Klook – http://klook.com
- Explore experiences with Tralulu – http://tralulu.com
- Find deals at Trazy – http://trazy.com