Low budget travel tips

Old Mar 14, 16, 4:51 pm
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Thumbs up Low budget travel tips

A few tips I've learned from my trips:

1. Travel off season.
2. Eat at street.
3. Avoid taxicabs and its high rates.
4. Buy your flight tickets with months in advance.
5. Pack light and avoid extra charges at airlines.


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Old Mar 14, 16, 11:55 pm
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My #1 tip, follow the fare. We go where its cheap, which means usually in the off-season, like Phoenix in summer, Canada in the winter and Florida in May/September, and we always still have a great time. My #2 tip I've learned, is not to be too cheap. I used to make the mistake of traveling for an hour after arriving at our destination for a free/cheap hotel, I've learned when you do that same thing with every aspect of your vacation its not much of a vacation at all.
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Old Mar 16, 16, 3:33 pm
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This might be an obvious one, but remove the SIM card from your phone. You can then use it for wifi, maps, etc without the risk of receiving incoming text messages.

Oh, and always exchange your money in your home country, where you can shop around for the best rate!

Last edited by EmailKid; Mar 16, 16 at 3:54 pm Reason: merge back to back posts
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Old Mar 16, 16, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by gonebabygone View Post
Oh, and always exchange your money in your home country, where you can shop around for the best rate!
Your profile does not list your country, but I can tell you that for Canadian and especially US based travelers, that is about the WORST advice you can give.

Trying to exchange $$$ to foreign currency is very painful in US, and with ATMs it is much easier and usually cheaper to exchange / use ATM once you get there.
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Old Mar 16, 16, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by gonebabygone View Post
This might be an obvious one, but remove the SIM card from your phone. You can then use it for wifi, maps, etc without the risk of receiving incoming text messages.

Oh, and always exchange your money in your home country, where you can shop around for the best rate!
For most plans, receiving text messages won't cost you anything. But definitely turn off roaming.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 5:25 am
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low Budget Travelling

These 10 tips to keep in our mind when going to travel.
1. Avoid touristy restaurants.
2. Travel off-season.
3. Eat with the season.
4. Use a guidebook.
5. Use ATMs rather than travelers checks.
6. Do your shopping mostly in the cheaper countries .
7. Pay with cash, not credit cards.
8. Travel with a partner .
9. Avoid travel agent and tourist office room-finding services.
10. Be smart about hotel choices.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 5:42 am
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Originally Posted by gonebabygone View Post
This might be an obvious one, but remove the SIM card from your phone. You can then use it for wifi, maps, etc without the risk of receiving incoming text messages.
All recent phones allow you to turn off roaming or turn off cellular altogether which is a far easier way, and means you wont risk losing a small SIM card.

Originally Posted by gonebabygone View Post
Oh, and always exchange your money in your home country, where you can shop around for the best rate!
Depends entirely on the home country. Getting cash exchanged generally will not provide a great rate, usually it is far better to withdraw from an ATM in the destination country using a low/no FX fee card.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 12:19 pm
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I only like travelling during the off-season for certain types of trips (eg. Amusement Parks, etc). What concerns us about off-season travel is inclement weather, non-lively environment (businesses and activities closed), etc.

I love eating street food but I've stopped cajoling my friends to eat with me after one travel buddy ended up losing 2 days puking in his room after eating some suspect street food.

Our favourite modes of local transport are public transit/subways and walking but I've got to say that taxi rides in some SE Asian cities are pretty cheap.

I've come across a few interesting articles that talk about the ideal time to buy your plane ticket. For international travel we usually book months in advance. However, we've come across some crazy seat sales and have incorporated our travel around these sales. Eg. KLM seat sale to VCE and BCN but our primary destination was Rome. Ended up training it from Venice to Rome but spent a few days in Venice and Florence to boot. And then hopped on a LCC from FCO to BCN.

Currency exchange is a very destination and card type dependent IMO. Eg. Nearly all ATM's in Bangkok charge a 150-200B foreign card fee. The problem with getting cash exchanged in your home country is that the spreads on the less traded currencies is typically huge. Ideally, you're travelling with a no forex fee CC. With bank/ATM cards, you need to identify what usage fees they have (ideally none) and what kind of spread they charge on top of the interbank spot rate.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by nux View Post
All recent phones allow you to turn off roaming or turn off cellular altogether which is a far easier way, and means you wont risk losing a small SIM card.
I have always just left the phone in airplane mode for my entire trips. Is there are down side to this? Or benefit from just turning off cellular?
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Old Mar 17, 16, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Flamenguista View Post
I have always just left the phone in airplane mode for my entire trips. Is there are down side to this? Or benefit from just turning off cellular?
None really, I just mentioned it as some typically older phones don't have airplane mode or don't allow wifi to be enabled with airplane mode on. Main point was that removing the sim card is completely unnecessary.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 7:16 pm
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My tips:

1. Stay out of town and commute into city on public transit. In many cities, you will get a far better room for a quarter of the price. New York is a good example. Last time I was there, I stayed in Secaucus, NJ and got a king room with a view of the Manhattan skyline for about $70 a night and a $3 bus ride.

2. Avoid tourist trap restaurants. In non-English speaking countries, avoid places with prominently displayed menus in English. Look which restaurants are full of locals. Also, eat from street stalls. The stuff is usually safe to eat, as there is usually a fast turnover.

3. Don't buy anything at the airport. Airport shops are, by definition, tourist traps. Local markets will nearly always be cheaper. About the only exception is duty-free cigarettes.

4. If you are physically fit, do a lot of walking. It costs nothing and is a great way of finding your bearings and exploring a city. You will see and experience so much more than you would from a subway car or tour bus.

5. Avoid overpriced tours, such as the ubiquitous hop-on-hop-off buses. If you don't feel like walking, there will nearly always be public buses doing the same routes at a tenth of the price.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by gonebabygone View Post
This might be an obvious one, but remove the SIM card from your phone. You can then use it for wifi, maps, etc without the risk of receiving incoming text messages.
I just leave my smartphone at home. I'm on vacation. I don't want the blasted thing pinging at me every time someone at work sends some inane e-mail. Instead I keep a dedicated travel phone. It's a Doro Easyphone, which my 68yo mother rejected because it's too old-fashioned for her to be seen with! I, however, think it's great. It has no wifi, no 3g, no nothing. It literally just does calls and texts. On arrival I pop a local prepay sim into it and give the number to family and close friends. No roaming, no data fees, no bills, no getting woken up by colleagues on a different time zone. Bliss!
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Old Mar 17, 16, 7:43 pm
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Originally Posted by gonebabygone View Post
This might be an obvious one, but remove the SIM card from your phone. You can then use it for wifi, maps, etc without the risk of receiving incoming text messages.

Oh, and always exchange your money in your home country, where you can shop around for the best rate!
Exchanging money at home is often one of the worst ways to do it. Use a debit card at an ATM in your destination.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Flamenguista View Post
I have always just left the phone in airplane mode for my entire trips. Is there are down side to this? Or benefit from just turning off cellular?
In airplane mode, you can't use wifi. Just turn off the cellular function.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
It has no wifi, no 3g, no nothing. It literally just does calls and texts.
Yes, but data plans in many countries are inexpensive, and allow you to buy train or local transportation on smartphone. Also can have transit maps - so while this works for you, I believe form many if not most, this is a bad "tip."

I have a couple of antique "smart" phones, and just slap a SIM for whichever contry I'm currently visiting. At the moment, that would be US.
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