Five Advantages of Low-Cost Traveling
Endless bus rides, bad street food, and dirty hostel rooms – all these are associated with low-cost travel. But it needn’t be this way! If you’re flexible and motivated low-cost travel can be an incredible experience, and maybe even more rewarding than an expensive holiday.
Along with saving money, this style of traveling has SO many advantages, not only for you but for the places you visit. It’s really a win-win!
1 You’ll travel lighter
Travelling on a budget means carrying fewer things, and there really is no getting around this. You just have to pack light. But bringing fewer things with you also means having fewer worries about losing and forgetting items, and getting things stolen.
Travelling with only one bag (hand-luggage or backpack) makes your life easier in so many ways! You’ll move more smoothly around airports, train stations and cities. Instead of packing clothes or items you ‘might’ need, you can focus on packing those few things you use every week, and some clothes for cold and warm weather.
Packing this way enables you to free your mind from the stress of worrying about your possessions and lets you focus on enjoying the moment instead. You can live in the present, travel fully, and enjoy new experiences without the material constraints of heavy, cumbersome luggage!
2 You’ll travel more slowly (and more locally)
Reducing the budget you have to spend on your travels makes you move more like a local, ie. going to markets to buy food, taking the bus, and finding cheaper ways to enjoy yourself.
It also means saving on plane and train tickets. Instead of doing the full tour of Asia in three weeks, you might opt to visit just one or two countries. In my experience, this slower pace gives you more time to connect with people, which can at times lead to funny and unexpected situations, like eating fried rice with a bunch of fishermen in a wrecked Balinese warung, or singing and playing drums with a bunch of Greeks on the sands of Santorini.
Travelling with less and spending less doesn’t mean you have to give up on the things you want to do. It just means you need to carefully select the things you really want to do.
3 You’ll plan less
Having fewer objects with you allows you to follow your heart and take unplanned decisions. How can you sleep in a treehouse if you’re carrying a 40 kg suitcase? Or change your plans and go island-hopping?
If you’re free from heavy possessions, it tends to leave more room for improvisation…
Planning the whole trip ahead can load you up with expectations that you might not be able to fulfil, which can eventually become a burden and ruin your trip.
Spontaneous adventures can create some amazing memories! Bite the bullet and give it a go!
4 You’ll travel more!
Once you learn how to economise effectively in and out of travel, you won’t have to save for an entire year before going on holiday. The more you learn about managing your budget and about what is essential to make the best travel experiences, the more you’ll learn to let go of the things you don’t need.
Rather than thinking about saving up specific amounts for travel from your earnings, why not also think about the money you spend day to day? You may end up realising how much money you were wasting every single day! By simply trimming down a few extra purchases, like clothes you didn’t really need to buy or gadgets you’ll only use once a month at most, you can potentially save $100 or $200 a month and get to your travel adventures even quicker!
5 You’ll waste less
Instead of packing many bottles of shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner, you could just carry a multi-purpose bar of soap with you that does that same job. It will take up less space AND you won’t need to throw away any plastic.
You can wash and reuse objects, such as drinks bottles and cutlery, instead of throwing them away. Travelling with a smaller bag also means you likely won’t buy as many useless souvenirs, because you won’t have any place to put them!
Your actions to help the environment in small but significant ways could inspire other travellers to do the same, and reduce your expenditures as well!