Top Ten Budget Travel Tips

By Des Gettinby

1. Buy a good quality travel Guide Book . Everything you need to know in one compact book. Find a bed, a feed, a train, plane or bus – it’s all there

2. Be brave. Book your flights and go. Budget travelling can be easily achieved. Apart from your return air ticket, all tour bookings, sightseeing, accommodation and ongoing transport can be easily and less expensively organised when you arrive at your destination. Keep your eye out for discount air fares.

3. Travel lightly. Buy an airline carry-on sized backpack – this will stop you from packing the kitchen sink. Choose a light bag that is the perfect size for onboard luggage.

4. Dress comfortably in lightweight, wrinkle-free, quick dry fabrics. Travel clothing is available at most camping and adventure stores. Buy more clothes as you travel, if needed, and continually post home extra purchases and unwanted gear.

5. Shoes? What shoes? One pair of top quality comfortable walking sandals will take you everywhere. In winter, take one pair of boots that look good day or night, are comfortable and are snow-proof with good grip.

6. Bargaining – apart from the savings, it becomes a fun pastime. Almost every purchase can be bargained down and can drop by 20% or more (including accommodation). Read our How to Bargain Guide

7. Money. Use ATM’s to draw money in local currency. Available almost everywhere except in remote villages. Choose the best travel credit card with low fees. Best to have two credit cards – not linked. For emergencies, carry some US dollars.

8. Security. It’s smart to leave all valuables at home and wear a next-to-skin money belt for passport and big money. Theft happens mostly because of carelessness – if you value it, carry it with you and don’t leave it unattended anywhere. Most accommodation provides security lockers – use them.

9. Precautions. Scan all documents into an email and send to yourself (eg Hotmail or Gmail). If ever needed, simply login to your email account and you will have passports, visas, home contacts, tickets, insurances, vaccination details, drivers licences etc. all available to be printed out. Alternatively, carry all these documents on a memory stick. Other travel precautions include registering with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade incase you need to be contacted in an emergency.

10. Travel Traps. Don’t run up accommodation tabs. Pay as you go or at least every day – this way you stand some chance of checking the amounts.

For more tips, purchase Budget Travel Secrets – S.E. Asia or India – Footloose and Almost Free.