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How much money do you really need to travel?

Lalitha Mahaadevan



Travel. Probably the most popular word on the internet today. The benefits of travel are numerous and so are the lessons one learns from it. Better yet, it’s not even the most expensive thing on earth.

Anyone can travel. Sure, it takes a little experience to master the art of travelling with very less money. But if you’re flexible, you can have terrific experiences for any budget! 

So if you’re one of those people thinking that travel is a once-in-a-year investment, maybe it need not be. It could be several short vacations squeezed in together for the same amount of money you would spend on a single luxurious vacay! Nonetheless, if you’re a first time solo traveller, knowing exactly where your money goes during your vacation can help keep your financial stress away when you’re travelling.

It’s simple. When you travel, all your travel money usually goes into one of these four things:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Experiences

Keeping into account these expenses can really help plan your overall budget effectively. 

Transport

Choosing how you get to a place depends on the time and money you have. And impacts the environment. 

If you have short time, say just a weekend, you would ideally take a flight to the location. And if you have more time and lesser destinations you want to see, then you can opt for buses, trains or other public transport. Usually, the cost of commuting by public transport is cheaper. But with flight prices having gone down drastically in the recent years, it’s also possible to find good deals on flights. And this is where a big chunk of your cash is spent.

Apart from this, once you’re in the destination, commuting from place to place within the city also adds up to the cost. If you choose to take cabs (Ola or Uber), the prices are going to be much higher as compared to taking the local bus or even walking. ;)

Accommodation

While on a vacation, some of us prefer cosy private rooms with luxurious baths while some of us are okay with sharing a dormitory bathroom. Whatever said and done, accommodation is one area where the more you pay, better the facilities and privacy. Depending on your budget, you could choose an accommodation that meets your need or otherwise, save up enough to stay at your dream resort!

For me personally, I don’t mind compromising on the quality of stay if it means extending my vacation. On the other hand, when I’m exhausted travelling on a budget (for a loooong time), I don’t mind splurging a little bit to stay in a more comfortable place. So choose your pick! ;)

Food

Travel means different things to each of us. For some it’s all about relaxing, rejuvenating and having comfort food served to us as we sit watching the coastline. But for others, it’s about saving that extra money and taking one more boat ride during sunset. Food is another area where a major portion of our money is spent, and trust me, it does help to plan how much you’d want to spend on food if you’re on a tight budget.

I’ve discovered that having local, homemade food is not only a healthy choice for my stomach, but also for my wallet. Bonus is being able to understand more about the local people, agriculture and way of life. However, in some touristy places where local food is popular, food might be overrated and sold for a much higher price.

If you have ended up in a touristy place with tonnes of restaurants, the best option might be just walking into the restaurants to look at the menu card to see how the food is priced. With apps like Zomato and Swiggy, and even Google reviews, it’s easier to assess the quality of the place in advance too! 

Over time, I have also started becoming more liberal with sampling street food provided I can trust the source. One of the ways I have learnt to judge if the food is trustworthy is when I see it being run by a local family. It is simple food but easy on the pocket.

Experiences

Diving off a plane into the ocean. 
Camping next to a dormant volcano.
Snorkeling close to coral reefs.

Yeah, these are just some items from a Travel Bucket list. Isn’t chasing adrenaline highs our new way of experiencing life? Even several places in India have started offering adventure activities of various ranges, that it’s hard not to try them when you’re travelling. If there are experiences that you might want to have, or are open to try while travelling, it’s better to allocate money for it.

Buffer

No matter how well planned and organized you are, there’s always a possibility for things to move a little unexpectedly. And that’s the beauty of life! For those instances, it’s always better to have some buffer cash. Whether it’s unforeseen medical expenses or even last minute shopping, having some backup money always helps.

Additionally, having a daily spending limit can also help you regulate your travel expenses, so that you aren’t broke when you’re back home (guilty of doing that. A LOT)!


So if you’ve been thinking that you don’t have enough money to travel, let me ask you again. Where are you going next? :D 




Author: Lalitha Mahaadevan

A curious soul who quit her job to travel, Lalitha has spent the past 
two years exploring different parts of the world outside along with her own inner world. Apart from running her own travel blog 'Happy Shoes', Lalitha is keenly involved in conversations about Self-Love, Nature and Environment. And is on a quest to spread Good Vibes wherever she goes. You can follow her Journey through Earth on her Instagram and Facebook handles.

For any queries and special travel tips, shoot her a mail at happyshoesblog@gmail.com
 

 



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