There is a saying that Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien popularized in a poem included in his book Fellowship of the Ring; he assured those who travel and see the world are not lost. By this quote, he was probably saying that some people do it to meet more people, make more memories, do more adventures, and learn more about the world. These are people who want to step out of their comfort zones to explore the world, hence the term wanderlust.
While traveling might be a bit more challenging now because of the pandemic and the fact that flying contributes significantly to the climate crisis, some alternatives could make traveling still safe with less negative environmental impacts. And if what’s stopping you from traveling more is that it costs too much money, then you don’t have to worry as there are many ways to travel on a budget.
Wanderlust on a Budget
Once again, the efforts and work of the medical world and scientific community have paid off. Vaccines against COVID-19 were approved for use a year after the pandemic started. Of course, there is still a long way to go to declare the pandemic over, but as half of the global population are already vaccinated, it’s a good turn of events.
This small win for humanity in its fight against the pandemic signals the return to normalcy everywhere. So you may want to start planning and packing up to get ready to feed your wanderlust when traveling is more accessible again. By that time, the only thing you need to worry about is how you can travel without spending a fortune. Here are some tips on how you can do that:
1. You should book places ahead of time.
When it is less risky to stay at hostels or do Couchsurfing again, it should be your priority to exhaust those options first when you start traveling again. Of course, these two options would allow you to save a lot of money. But if you’re the kind of traveler who prefers paying a little more for a private hotel room with a room service delivering your food through a meal delivery cart, then you have to book ahead of time.
Staying at hotels is undoubtedly more expensive, but if you book a few weeks before you get there, you should still be able to save some money. Also, you won’t need to stay in five-star hotels if privacy is all you’re after, as even two-star hotels should still give you a proper and private room. You’ll probably spend the rest of the day going around and doing touristy things, so get the most affordable private room you can.
2. You should prepare your meals.
While being a foodie and eating the local food may be an essential part of traveling, overdoing it might deplete your budget faster. Therefore, you should consider cooking your meals and lessen eating out as much as you can.
3. You should shop less.
Of course, buying souvenirs is another activity any travelers enjoy doing as taking home a piece of a place you visited is fun. You could keep them as a reminder of your time in a city you’ve been to or give them as gifts to your family and friends. But try to lessen it, and only buy the stuff you really need and have an actual use for.
4. You should plan your travels during the off-peak time of the year.
You should already know how expensive flights and accommodations can be during the touristy time of the year. So if you want to spend less on these things, you should opt to travel during the off-peak seasons, meaning any time that isn’t a holiday or weekend.
5. You should book activities a few days before you arrive.
Another thing you have to pre-book are the activities you plan on doing when you arrive in a city, especially if you’re an outdoorsy person who likes seeing as many tourist attractions and doing as many activities as you can. Travel companies would usually have a discounted rate when you book ahead of time so take advantage of it.
Traveling Is the Best Gift You Can Give to Yourself
You see, traveling doesn’t have to be expensive s there are many things you can do to spend less but have the same kind of wanderlust satisfaction. You should incorporate some of these tips in your plans next time you’re out and about, especially if you’re traveling for an extended period.
After graduating from university, Nikolaj went off to backpack across South East Asia to recharge himself for the next chapter of his life. Realizing there was more to explore, he ditched his return flight home and decided to wander some more. While he sees backpacking as an expression of freedom, Nikolaj gets easily attached to a place, and stay there longer than usual. Over the course of three years, he’s had several jobs, usually at hostels where he stays, bookstores, and restaurants. He’s met people from all walks of life and still keeps in touch with them. If he has time to spare, he reads and writes voraciously, much of which is dedicated to this blog.