If you could manage to pack all your traveling necessities into a backpack, that would be perfect. Carrying many clothing items and a lot of in-case-of-an-emergency stuff will make your traveling very difficult in several different ways. The first rule of packing is that you pack only what you can carry – but when you’re lifting your load to check the weight, consider that you could be very tired and irritated because you had the longest day ever. Except for that, you need to match your clothing with the current season.
Get a Guide and a Map
You, perhaps, find tourists ridiculous with their huge maps and a bunch of guides which they carry everywhere, but how else do you think one can manage in a completely strange city? The fact is that you can download some apps and use them to orientate, but what happens when your battery dies? You’ll be alone in a foreign country and you might not even speak the language. If you are smart and if you think in advance, you won’t lose any time (or yourself, as a matter of fact) wandering around.
This one is a huge money-saver. Before you get into your little adventure, you should notify your friends and family members with whom you want to stay in touch, that you won’t be using your cell – when you’re traveling on a budget, you will not want to overload it with huge phone bills. The majority of places you’ll visit will be equipped with an internet café and you’ll probably be obligated to pay just for your cup of coffee.
Become a Cultural Chameleon
When you start traveling, you’ll encounter some customs that you might find completely strange or weird, perhaps. The first time you catch yourself acting uptight, you should stop it right there, or you might ruin your trip. The whole point of traveling abroad is to get to know other cultures – you won’t be able to do that if you insist on judging them. You’re probably familiar with the saying – when in Rome, do as Romans do – which should be your guiding star.
Avoid All Hotels Downtown
You should avoid not only hotels, but everything downtown – the prices could be double, compared to the rest of a city. The smartest thing to do is to find a hotel or a hostel (if you look hard enough, you can find a clean hostel – the only problem could be privacy) where you’re going to stay and book it in advance. By doing this ten minute long task, you’ll save yourself from worrying where you’ll sleep the next day. Besides, you can find a nice hotel that’s really cheap – it’s very difficult to manage that if you go blindly somewhere.
Stay Positive and Flexible
These kinds of travels are actually a problem waiting to happen. It’s going to be hard to get used to not having all clothing items clean and fresh, for starters. You might get sick, your stomach may not like some types of foreign food or you might get caught in a sudden shower, where you and all your belongings will get wet. If you want to avoid having a heart attack, you need to develop a really good sense of humor.
Stack up with Some Snacks and Medicine
The road is unpredictable. You could get lost or hitchhike for hours – loading up with a few bags of energizing snacks won’t add practically any weight to the complete load you’re carrying, but they could save your stomach from painful hunger. Also, having a few antibiotics near is always a good idea.
First and Last Minute Offers
When your budget is limited, you need to think and act fast. If you decide to go with a first minute offer, you need to start planning your whole year’s schedule around it. On the other hand, waiting for a last minute offer implies you having your bags packed and ready to go any minute. Both of these solutions have their consequences, but your pocket will be extremely grateful if you decide to go with either one of them.
Consider a Temporary Job
Some extra cash will definitely come in handy, but it’s difficult to have a side job if you’re following a tight schedule. But, if you’re willing to stay in one spot for a longer period of time (few weeks, a month, a couple of months), you should consider getting a job. If you get lucky, you could earn enough money to prolong your journey, or simply spend it back home.
Take Things Slow
You should always have in mind the reason why you started the whole trip in the first place – to have fun, learn and enjoy. Don’t get too hasty and insist on rushing from one place to another in order to see everything – you could end up with only a fog of memories. Keep in mind that you need to relax and unwind from time to time. After all, it’s better to you really get to know one place then run through three different ones instead.