In a Prague hostel, I met an interesting person from Netherland who had been to more than 60 countries and worked as a carpenter. He told me – “you don’t need money to travel but courage.”
Yes, I believe its a combination of both – money and courage.
In this post, I will break down cost effective ways to travel and answer the most common questioned asked to me:
[People]: How do you travel so much?
[PK]: “It’s simple mathematics. I get 4 weeks paid time off where I take two vacations of two weeks each per year. I take one vacation during March and another during November to evenly spread out the gap and avoid holiday season where prices are high. “
Below are a few tips from my personal experiences:
- Flights and accommodations are the biggest expenses.
- To budget my trip, I prefer Hostel and Airbnb.
- I prefer Hostel for the below reasons:
- You meet amazing fellow travelers and exchange stories.
- You can join a random group activity.
- You get more Instagram followers.
- Above all, you meet a stranger for a short period with whom you develop a strong bond, discuss anything and rarely meet again. \
- Always search flights in Incognito mode and use Google Flight, Sky Scanner and Kayak to track the flight.
- Have a heavy breakfast, light lunch, and moderate dinner. Avoid fine dining and buy groceries for your stay.
- Carry snacks, energy bars, and nuts. I like to carry thepla (Indian Gujrati snack) on my trips.
- Refill your water bottle. It’s an environment and budget friendly.
- Go to any tourist attraction early to appreciate the beauty, avoid the crowd and get better pictures.
- Avoid hangover to ruin next day plans. You can always party in your city. I believe that if I am visiting a new country than I want to explore its rich heritage and culture, not bars. There are better bars in NYC. Go out but don’t over do it. I hope you understand the difference.
- A lot of museums give student discounts. I still carry my Johns Hopkins ID on every trip.
- Carry a light rain jacket for unpredictable weather. Also, always pack according to the weather.
- You don’t have to buy a drink to use Starbucks WiFi. There is always one close to a popular tourist attraction.
- Lonely Planet is the best source to plan your itinerary. I love their restaurant and Top 10 things section.
- Note: Do eat at Lonely Planet restaurant recommendation with a [TOP CHOICE] label.
- I like to save money. A percentage of my paycheck goes to travel and emergency pool. Lifestyle is a personal preference and choice.
- The Coffee shop is the best place to meet local people. Generally, people are friendly and love to provide a glimpse into their culture. Anyone is happy to provide local recommendations and talk about their country. They’ve majority of time living in the area, they know more than the internet.
- I prefer to equally split my time between popular attraction and local suggestion.
- Don’t skip popular tourist attractions. There is a saying “Agra gaye aur Taj Mahal nahi toh kya dekha?” //rough translation: What’s the point of going to Agra if you haven’t seen Taj Mahal?
- Popular places have a free city walking tour. I always recommend them. It’s the best way to learn the history of any place in few hours.
P.S: My philosophy is “When you’re young; travel to less popular, adventure and unique countries. Sign up for adrenaline rushed activities such as summit a 6,000 ft mountain, scuba diving, and dirt biking. When you’re old; travel to quiet, serene and beach countries. You won’t be able to hike Kilimanjaro when you’re 60 years old”.
Remember: travel is about memories, create your own version.