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Would you believe that there are advantages to traveling on a budget?
Not having much money while you’re traveling can lead to problems. With every dark, threatening storm cloud in life, though, comes a bit of a cool breeze. There are actually several advantages of travelling on a budget, advantages which people who have plenty of money will probably never discover. Here are five benefits of travelling on a budget which you may never have considered.
5 Advantages to Traveling on a Budget
1. Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences – When you can’t afford the big tours and the admission at each and every famous sight, what do you do? You make your own fun. Walking around, asking around and trying harder can lead you to secret beaches, unknown neighborhoods and tiny eating establishments that the typical tourist never touches. Hanging out in spots off the beaten path will give you a little insight into the life of the locals and maybe even a little conversation with them as well.
2. Authentic Local Food – When you’re traveling on a budget, one of the easiest areas to save money on is food. In some areas of the world you can easily spend less than $5 a day on meals. When you eat this cheap, you’ll probably be eating local dishes on the street or in tiny, super casual places. The people who cook these meals probably aren’t trained to make Western customers happy, as staff may be in nice restaurants. They’re more likely to just be themselves. So eating cheap while traveling not only will help you eat more authentic local dishes but also bring you closer to the real lives of the local people.
3. Motivation to See the Sights – Too often people who stay in expensive hotels actually stay there. At the hotel. Inside. Far longer than they should. The rooms and grounds are swanky, there’s a spa and a pool, there’s fancy restaurants. Upscale hotels give you a lot of comfort and plenty of reasons to spend all of your money and time right inside their doors and not on the streets where you should be. Hostels and budget hotels, while very often quite nice, don’t exactly inspire you to hang around inside all day every day. They want you to sleep and get out to see the sights, as you should.
4. Interesting Transportation – Sign up for a $100 per person bus tour and you’ll be easily and comfortably taken to precisely the spots promised in the itinerary. This is an excellent way to ensure you get to see the sights you desire in an efficient manner. In other words, this is boring. Walking, travelling on buses and riding rattling tuk-tuks is far more interesting. Budget transportation may frequently be uncomfortable and the logistics may be difficult, but difficulties can make you stronger. Also, the vehicles themselves can be quite photogenic and fascinating.
5. Slow Travel – Travelling on a budget usually means we have to travel slowly, as buses, cars and ferries can’t travel as fast as planes. While many people realize the benefits of slow travel, it seems most of us would rather fly if the cost was similar to traveling overland. And that’s a shame. Traveling by land or sea enables you to see more sights more thoroughly and for longer periods. And isn’t spending as much time as you want seeing as much of the world as you want one of the greatest advantages of travelling anyway?
If you’re interested in traveling but don’t have enough money, check out my post on 26 ways to earn money while seeing the world.
Sabina Lohr is a lifelong freelancer turned entrepreneur who created World of Freelancers to help others discover how to work for themselves online and live the freelance lifestyle. She’s always really enjoyed the freedom that freelancing brings, including several years on and off of working online while traveling and living abroad.