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Traveling the world is a passion for many people, but it can quickly turn into a prohibitively expensive hobby. Becoming a frugal traveler is an important lesson for hopeless adventurers with limited budgets. There are many ways to be a frugal traveler that will not only allow more opportunities to travel, but can also help improve the experience of any trip.
Many people love the glossy, photo-filled guidebooks that line the walls of bookstores. Unfortunately, these charming tomes often carry a heavy price tag that can cut into a frugal traveler's budget. Shop for guidebooks secondhand, since many people resell their guides after their trip is over. Alternatively, rely on travel review websites for up-to-date information and ratings of restaurants, lodgings, and services at a planned destination.
At many destinations, tourist accommodation areas boast higher prices and come with the added inconvenience of crowded parking and tourist trap shopping. Save a few yen, euros, or dollars by staying off the beaten path in lesser known areas at inns, bed and breakfasts, or short-term rentals. While this may put a frugal traveler a little farther away from tourist activities, it also grants the chance to live like the locals and find restaurants, shops, and experiences not inflated to tourist prices.
A little Internet research can quickly inform a frugal traveler about the most and least expensive seasons to visit a destination. High seasons usually indicate the best weather, most attractions, and largest crowds. Low seasons are less expensive and generally quieter, but may come at the price of inclement weather and fewer tourist attractions. Consider traveling during a “shoulder” season, which is the period at the end of a low season just before a high season kicks in. Shoulder seasons may still boast better prices, but may bring a better chance of good weather and a revitalizing tourist industry as well.
While eating out at amazing restaurants can be a highlight of any trip, a good frugal traveler will soon discover how to save in order to finance the occasional splurge. Try to find accommodations with a refrigerator and microwave or community kitchen so that food can be bought at a local supermarket and cooked at the lodgings. This is a great way to cut down the expense of at least one meal a day, while also allowing the frugal traveler to save leftovers from restaurant trips for a later snack. Consider bringing or purchasing a box of energy bars and flat of bottled water at a discount local grocery store to ensure that basic provisions are on hand without the extra cost of tourist prices.
Cheap travel is an art. Focusing on free entertainment like concerts in the park, museums and sunsets, walks along a famous river, eating the main meal at lunch instead of dinner will all save you big bucks in the long run on your trip of a lifetime.
Take buses instead of taxis, bring fruit, nuts and bottled water along in your purse or backpack, and enjoy the local pubs and diners instead of the most expensive restaurants.
Purchase small items like stamps, pens or postcards to bring home as gifts. You can learn to be a budget traveler while traveling like a king.
One great way to save money while traveling the world is by house swapping. There are plenty of sites you can sign up with to view homes that you might be interested in visiting. As long as you are willing to share your home in exchange, you've got an extraordinary opportunity to travel without all the extra expenses of hotels.
Exchangeaway is a house swapping site that can help you find that special place you'd love to visit while you travel the world without paying rent. You'll simply exchange domiciles and experience a vacation in a home instead of a hotel.
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