I’m a newbie at travelling but eversince I was a kid growing up in one of the remotest (but nicest) part of the Philippines, I’ve always wanted to travel.
I could remember my excitement each time my Mom takes me to the market on Saturdays. I love the crowd, the constant chatter and the sights. There is this static electricity that makes a childs’s heart beat faster.
I’ve travelled to Batanes, some parts of Visayas and Mindanao mostly to climb mountains and then soaking in the culture of where that mountain is. I hold a desk job that mostly supports my travel and when I return to it, I would hear people say “ang yaman mo,gala ka ng gala” (you must be rich to afford travelling) with that twinge of envy and awe. Within the deepest hearts of our hearts, we all want to be a wanderlust. As an answer, I would often just smile.
If you are a soul that wants to travel but have a very limited budget, my tips may help you.
1. Travel in a group – this cuts half your expenses. But make sure you travel with people you are comfortable with and has the same goal as you which is to travel cheap. If you can’t find a group, contact a travel agency and ask them to merge you with a group. Although, travel agencies prefers a minimum of two but try anyway, an agent can squeeze you in.
2. Book your air fare using promos – Cebu Pacific, PAL, Air Asia and other airlines offer piso fares for local and ineternational flights and usually during holidays. Like their facebook pages and you’ll automatically be updated with news of their discounted fare promos.
3. Or book your flights, tours and hotels via travel expo – The latest travel expo held at SM MOA offered lots of choices and discounts. Brace yourself for long queue’s though on the booths of airlines. The travel expo’s are within the first and last quarter of the year.
4. Walk or ride local transportation – this includes jeepneys not taxi’s. When doing a city tour, make an itinerary. Grouping the places you want to visit into A and B. A goes for museums, tourist spots and restaurants/bars which are close in proximity to each other and if the distance is under 500m, then walk to your destination.
Under category B are tourist spots located outside the city. To cheaply travel to those areas, use the directions of the locals in getting around, they (often than not) show you the easiest route. Travel to this spots using local transportation to save because you will be paying the same amount like everyone else on-board.
5. Know a friend of a friend of a friend who is from the place you are visiting – in short build a network or ask around. This is actually a blessing because you will be given first hand information of the best spots to visit, a waterfalls or lake which are just known to the locals, the exact fares and rates. Since one is often thrilled you are going to visit their place, they’ll even refer you to a cheap but clean place to stay, a local guide that won’t charge too much, etc. However, be sure to maintain courtesy and never forget to say thank you and really mean it. You can even go beyond that and mention them on your facebook or instagtam post. Also, make positive feedback about the place after your visit, focusing on the good sights and experiences.
6. Limit buying souvenirs – it’s not because you are kuripot or what, but I’ve often see the trinkets I’ve bought go unappreciated or unused. Often, they just became clutter in someone else home but remember it was your hard earned money. Avoid buying souvenirs for yourself too because you already have your memories and pictures. Maybe one will do, if you are an avid collector of t-shirts or mugs, go ahead and indulge but avoid buying lots.
7. Stay at inexpensive, clean hotels or inns and eat cowboy – travelling is getting out of your comfort zone. Of knowing the place, eating their food, living like they do. In short, expereincing the culture. You only need sturdy walls, working lock, a bed, t&b and socket for you to charge your gadgets. Since you will be out all day and maybe at bars half of the night, you will only be using the room for 6 hours max. Who needs a room that cost Php2,000 per night? Even if you are travelling with a buddy, that is still expensive. Get a room at Php500/night or less. There are a lot if you ask or look around. That friend of your friend will be a great help here.
8. Travel light – this is where the rule of three’s comes into play. Three sets for clothes, the set you are wearing, another set to change into and one extra set for unknown circumstances. Buy clothes which are easy to dry and bring an all-purpose jacket. This way you don’t need to worry about extra baggage and the weight of your pack. If you can carry your weight around, you only need to check in at hotels/inns when you need to sleep and pay on a per hour basis.
There goes my travel tips. You think you still have more? Share them.
You’ll find more tips on Matt’s site, my man when it comes to travelling.