I’ve been reminiscing about my study abroad days in Hong Kong. My favorite part of being an exchange student was having the opportunity to travel. Despite having a shoestring budget to travel, I got the opportunity to go to Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan, Macau, and China. Now, I was really lucky because I happened to be in Asia and could travel to multiple countries.
Do you want to travel on a shoestring budget? Consider a taking a weekend trip. But with shoestring budget travel, it’s all about location. Not all locations are created equal — you can get your money’s worth spending $100 in a city like Goa, India, but barely get a change to spend the night in a city like Oslo, Norway. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the cost to fly there.
Before going to the infographic showing you how many days you can stay in cities on $100, here are some tips for traveling on a budget while you’re studying abroad:
- Consider traveling in groups. If you’re going to some places that are super cheap, you can live in luxury by renting a house rather than staying at a hostel for equivalent prices!
- Make sure your travel groups aren’t too big. Even if you can split a lot of the costs, too many people can limit the plans you might consider. I’ve traveled in a group of 11, which was far too big, especially because we did everything together. Heck, even traveling in a group of 5 was too big sometimes.
- Use local travel sites. Flying in China, for example, was much more expensive when you used a site like Kayak or Bing instead of a local travel site like Ctrip. If you don’t mind the credit card fees, it’s a better option to use what the locals use to travel!
- Don’t be afraid of street food! Not only is street food a big part of the culture you’re exploring, it can save you so much money while traveling compared to a sit down restaurant.
- Haggle like it’s your job. In most countries I’ve been to, I’ve always tried to negotiate down the price of gifts I’d buy for people back home. Don’t be afraid to ask to bring down the price a little! Examine your items well, make sure you check out multiple shops that sell the same items to scan the market price for the items. And buying in bulk from one place will ensure they are more likely to bring the price down per item.