Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Travelers’ Night In — Budget Travel!


On this week’s round of Travelers’ Night In, the interactive Twitter discussion for avid travelers and travel lovers, we focused on budget travel!  As always, ten questions were asked, people responded while tagging their tweets #TNI, and learned quite a bit about some new destinations!

Here are the questions for this week:

Q1. How do you define budget travel?

sean_oneill Scrimping on what’s forgettable (like transportation) to afford what’s memorable (i.e., experiences).

chadkennedy Budget travel for me is researching and only traveling based on the deals w/ few or no splurges

NewYorkGuest Budget travel to us is getting the biggest bang for your buck, regardless of the class of luxury

To me, budget travel is the art of traveling for the sights and experiences — not the relaxation or luxury.  Focus on what’s important, and everything will fall into place.

Q2. How do you save for travel?

yoginitraveler Portions of paychecks go to vacation account. Cut back on going out. Keep travel a priority & at forefront of mind!

TravelMaestro I have been known to sell clothes and at consignment

SlowOveralls move in with mom and not pay the last months rent right before I go

Wow.  I’m currently in super-saving-for-travel mode, and I’m going to do a HUGE post on this — but for now, I’ll say immediately depositing a TON of savings the moment you get your paycheck, having an off-limits travel account, and reducing how often you eat out as much as possible.

Q3. Which destination is the best bang for your buck?

eat_your_world Must give a shout-out to Guatemala: lots of value there (geog. gorgeous, amazing culture) for little $$.

MarinKidsTravel SE Asia if you have time for a long trip but Mexico can be very inexpensive in the shoulder and off seasons.

ianandwendy Of course, if u include the free weight loss program, India is great value! 😉

Buenos Aires is an ideal budget travel destination — it’s a very chic city, but ridiculously cheap! Everything cost about a third of what it would have cost in Boston.

Q4. Biggest buyer’s remorse while on a trip?

cfinjer Eurail pass I bought pre-Spain.. before i realized I was taking all cheap-o regional trains.

nomadicchick Buying a Turkish rug and lugging it across Turkey.

nhaughton Timeshare!! In Orlando!! Still can’t get rid of it. Lol!!

I’ve definitely spent too much on meals in Vegas.  While eating at the table next to Maroon 5 was fun, we’ve found that we have far more fun at In & Out Burger. 😉

Above: Caviar to the N9NES, N9NE Steakhouse, Las Vegas

Q5. What do you wish you would have spent more on while traveling?

ZipSetRachel I wish I would have invested in a nice camera, and buying more art work!

lamonella I regret not have spent more on a local guide when visiting ancient temples or historic building. It alway worth they money

argentinatours nothing, according to my credit card bill!

I wish I had a decent, portable video camera. I LOVE my travel videos, but hate the low quality from my camera.

I just purchased a new Flip MinoHD on eBay.  (eBay, despite it’s used/auction atmosphere, is a fantastic place to buy new or refurbished electronics for less.  I saved $40 off the Amazon price AND got free shipping.)  VERY much looking forward to bringing it on my next journey.

Q6. How do you save on transportation?

artistatlarge Take buses in Mexico, train, subways, & buses in Europe. Buy tickets as I go. Walk a lot. Fly off season. Don’t rent a car.

lynbishop When using private transport (taxis) I try to share the ride with other travelers.

20sTravel Overnight buses/trains/planes- super not fun but such a time and money saver

Nothing beats public transit!  When you buy tickets, estimate how many trips you’ll be taking — you can often save if you buy in bulk in advance.

Above: Lisa and I pretend we’re in a wind tunnel on the orange line.

Q7. How do you save on food while traveling?

hopandjaunt Street vendors (where the food is decently safe). Lived off of the food stalls in Colombia. Best hotdogs in the world ironically

travelerkate Dinner in Paris every night was a cheese plate split with a girlfriend-filling, delish, and cheap enough for a bottle of wine

citymama Hit up grocery stores instead of going to restaurants. You can find amazing things at a tokyo 7-11 or a Roman supermarket.

Stay at hostels that offer free breakfast.  If not, buy some fruit at a nearby grocery store or market.  That usually holds me for breakfast and lunch.  And don’t underestimate the fun of street food!

Above: my sister Sarah digs into a Belgian waffle in Brussels.

Q8. What’s the best free thing you’ve ever done?

allaboutmexico Couchsurfing all over Europe. Unforgettable!

JSGAnne Scammed my way into an Olivia Newton John concert in Tahoe!

wanderproject Getting the “locals only ” tour from friends in Paris, Vienna, Munich, Amsterdam etc… priceless!

Boston on the Fourth of July — watching the Boston Pops perform on the Esplanade is an experience not to be missed!

Above: my friends Janelle and Lisa as the concert turned into a dance party.

Q9. What is one thing you splurge on even when on a budget trip?

CoTravelGirl my travel regrets are almost always when I didn’t splurge on great local art (still dream about carvings from in Bali)

WhyGoFrance I also splurge on a taxi from transport to hotel in a new city – I just want to get there, not schlep w/ luggage and get lost.

ShannonRTW Private room in hostel lately. So much easier to get work done as a freelancer and budget traveler!

Getting a cabana at Tao Beach in Las Vegas was a huge splurge — and worth every penny.  It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’ve got a good-sized group, it’s a great way to enjoy the pool club scene in Vegas.

Here’s the video of our cabana:

Q10. What’s your best budget travel tip?

artofbackpackin Buy a student card in Bangkok that says Harvard University-like mine does [LOL!]

lax2nrt Let the locals be your guide book. Your trip will cost less and be way more authentic.

soultravelers3 Go slow, immerse deeply, live like a native, take few planes & travel is SUPER cheap & fun!

ALWAYS be saving toward your travel account — not just when you’re planning a new trip.  Staying in the travel mindset will keep you motivated — and lead to better trips!

And that’s the week!

Travelers’ Night In takes place on Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 ET.  The discussion is organized by the lovely ladies at ZipSetGo.  All are welcome!  Follow the #TNI tag to see the questions and conversation!

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7 Responses to “Travelers’ Night In — Budget Travel!”
  1. Shannon OD says:

    Thanks for the fantastic recap and shout-out Kate! It was a lot of fun this week and heaps of good tips 🙂

  2. Got to love traveling well on a low budget! Thanks for including us! Always fun to participate & you captured some goodies! 😉
    .-= soultravelers3´s last blog ..Can Globe Trotting Location Independent Kids Have Friends? =-.

  3. Michael says:

    Whoa made the list. Thanks! The student card has come in handy several times. heh
    .-= Michael´s last blog ..2010 Best Budget P&S Cameras for Backpackers =-.

  4. Sofia says:

    Great sum up, and a good topic! So much can be said about budget travel.

  5. Mary says:

    i was wondering, how much did you spend when you went to Europe, approximately? What did you do as well?

  6. Neha says:

    Hi Kate,

    I read your blog and have been quiet inspired by it. I have always harboured the desire to visit Spain and soak in the culture and life. I am 32 years old from India , which is fairly protective a culture of its women. I have travelled in groups of 2 mostly but never travelled solo anywhere, barring day tours in London etc. essentially cities which are organized. This would be a big one for me and I think I am finally ready to take the plunge. Would you have any suggestions / ideas on what I should be on the lookout for? I did read your post on tips for travelling solo and it was quiet helpful. Any suggestions on places to visit would be helpful as well. Oh and it will be a budget trip 🙂

    • Hi, Neha — I’m so happy to hear that you’re about to take the plunge!

      There are lots of great hostels in Spain, and most of them have female-only dorms. I particularly like the Oasis hostels in Sevilla and Granada. Those, incidentally, were my two favorite cities in Spain.

      As I always say, go to the place you’ve been dreaming of. Go to the place that calls you.

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