Updated: Jan 15
One of the things that we strive to do during our travels is to stretch every dollar in order for us to do and experience as much as possible. If you’re someone that seeks to travel at a low cost like us, then you’ve come to the right place. This will walk you through steps to save money while travelling and also how to budget for your trips. We do acknowledge the fact that at times, our trips would take a turn to a more extravagant night out, which includes staying in a higher end hotel. These costs were all accounted for in the budget and is within the saving regime that is the Roaming Ramotars approach.
When we planned to take a trip to Shanghai and Thailand in May of 2018, we had our minds set on saving and budgeting well in advance. The funding for our trips began several months beforehand and for us, November 2017 was our starting point. This allowed us to plan the cost of the flights, approximate daily cost for food, hotels, nights out, and tours prices.
Start in advance
What do we mean by start in advance? Do we plan all the details of the tours in 5 months in advance? The Roaming Ramotars way is far from that, we are definitely inclined to making last minute decisions of tours, alternating nights we go out and live to the fullest. What we mean by start in advance is that you should approximate the cost of the trip in advance and start saving for that a few months ahead of your trip. We took the initiative to save from our paycheck to fund these trips several months ahead of them and also have a maximum spending on the trips. This allows us to fully explore the countries that we visit.
There is no problem with being a bit under or over at the end of the day but allows us to gauge how we did money wise.
So, for example, our budget for Shanghai and Thailand was a total of 2500 each. A total of 5000. So now we had the maximum set and saved towards that amount. Next steps, sourcing the flights.
Flights can be the one thing to make or break the bank when it comes to travelling. Sites we used continuously are Booking.com, Cheapoair, Skyscanner and Skiplagged. This helps with finding the lowest cost possible. Keep in mind that this was a constant search. It took about 2 full months of searching for the lowest flight. Even if you do not have the time for this, the prices offered from these sites are much lower than if you were to book through the airlines booking page, which is why we highly recommend it.
By far, the choice of our accommodation is in hostels. We have been able to stay at some pretty cool hostels where everyone is on their travel journey but you can learn so much from each other. These hostels vary in parts of the world, in south east asia you can find hostels as low as $4 a night and higher end maximum per night was $20. That is $4 a night to stay in a clean and comfortable hostel with all your needs met. The best part is that some offer complimentary breakfast. Some other parts of the world like Puerto Rico and Peru, we found that some of the nicer, party hostels run up a bit higher ranging from $14 to $36 a night. This was no problem as it still fits our budget. The two main apps we use for our accommodations are Hostelworld and Agoda, as they provide quick and easy bookings if you don’t know where your travels might take you on any given day.
Our approach to travelling and eating is a bit unorthodox but if it's something you can do then go for it! On a regular basis we skipped breakfast, unless hunger really hits, then breakfast it is… The amazing thing about staying in places that offer breakfast is that you can load up in the morning and no need to eat until later in the day!
Often we skip breakfast and start with lunch and have dinner at the end of the day. This keeps us to two meals a day but really allows us to enjoy the local food
One of the great things about traveling is that there are tons of affordable meal options, but our go to option is street food. Breakfast can range anywhere from $3 dollars to $7 for the street food (depending on which country you go to). If you are looking for something more hearty, breakfast spots or hote
This part of the trip can get very interesting in terms of savings. Depending on where you are your best bet is negotiating, when we were in phuket, there were many places to see but the issue was getting around. You can get around with taxis, tuktuks that cost $2 to $10, but what really makes it worth it, is if you find a driver. We were very lucky to find a driver to take us around for a few days. The best of this is that you can negotiate a good price, in our case we were able to get a driver to take us around Phuket for two days for a cost of 600 baht. Approx $25 CAD at the time.
In other instances we found that group tours really lower the costs, this is the case all over the world. In Thailand Phang nga bay tour we lower our cost of the trip by $20 by waiting for more people to join the tour. Similar to the tour in Guyana where cost of the trip decreases per person as the cap is met. So overall we highly recommend travelling with groups or meeting others and deciding to do tours together which lower the cost.
To wrap up, there are many ways to enjoy your trip to the fullest while also saving costs. That is what travelling is about for us... you do not need to spend a lot of $ on a trip in order to enjoy the fruit of it all. At the end of the day, these tips have helped us create lifelong moments and experience and enjoy as much as possible in every country visited so far and we will continue to use it.
Thank you for joining us and until the next one... More travel on the way!