Traveling is a unique way to see the world and have a memorable experience that will stay with you for years. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be an expensive venture! Everyone can enjoy their time at their destination by being creative, open-minded, and exploring the local culture through cheap or free activities.
But while every person has a different way of traveling, you should consider experiential traveling from time to time. Experiential traveling is when you try out new things and make the most of each moment while exploring a new location.
It may require some planning, even if it’s just taking time before your trip, to brainstorm cheap or free activities. It will make your experience memorable and allow deep insight into another culture without breaking the bank.
What’s great about experiential travel is that there are many ways to do it on a budget. Here are some ways to make the most of your experiential travel on a budget:
1. Stay at budget-friendly accommodations
One of the first things to consider is where you will stay while you are visiting your destination. There are several options for choosing where to stay that won’t break the bank. Family members or friends may have a spare room or futon for you to crash on if they live in the area.
If possible, it’s also a great idea to look up local hostels and see what lodging they offer. Many people overlook staying at a youth hostel because of images associated with them from previous decades. Still, hostels are a great place to meet people and can be an excellent option for those looking for a more authentic experience.
2. Get involved in the local culture
Another way to have an affordable, memorable experience is by participating in activities that locals do. This can be anything from cooking with someone who lives near your destination or touring their town by bike. You may even consider volunteering for an organization to improve your experience.
Of course, experiencing the local culture is the main point of this type of traveling. So, going to local hangouts and restaurants is a great way to experience the staples of the area. These places are often much cheaper than larger establishments, allowing you to eat well while still being able to afford your trip
3. Find budget-friendly tour guides
For those who prefer guided experiences but don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, you can find an affordable tour service that will give you the information you need to make the most of your trip.
These services can be inexpensive and provide great insight into hidden gems that wouldn’t be found on your own. These tours will also give you a chance to interact with locals, making it easier for you to get tips and tricks about off-the-radar activities.
4. Use public transportation or walk instead of cabbing it
You can also save money by using public transportation or walking instead of taking a cab. Depending on the destination, buses and trains are often cheaper than driving around in taxis.
This is especially true for those who are visiting a new city or country they aren’t familiar with. So rather than paying extra to be driven across town, you can cut costs by getting around on foot or taking public transportation.
Of course, suppose you’re in a city with unreliable public transportation. In that case, it pays to do some research about the local cab companies and their rates to ensure that you aren’t spending more than necessary getting from one destination to another.
5. Find cheap or free entertainment
The best things to do when you’re on a budget are often the free activities that allow you to have fun while experiencing the local culture. Consider going for a walk or hike. You can also check out festivals in your area, which often occur at no cost.
To make your experience even more affordable, visit museums in the off-season. Many places offer discounts when tourism is slow, which can be a great way to see the local attractions without breaking the bank.
6. Look for entertainment in unusual places
Finally, look around and find something fun in an unlikely place: like in the park or your hostel. This will give you entertainment options that aren’t available at conventional tourist attractions.
When you’re looking for a way to spend your free time, consider activities like playing pool or Foosball with locals. You can also throw darts or play cards in the common spaces of your hostel. This is a great chance to meet people and make friends.
When traveling, you should do it for the experiences, not for the prestige. However, to have a good time, you’ll want to manage your funds well and make the most of them. Try some or all of these six ways to save money when you’re on an experiential travel adventure and enjoy the trip!