Travelling the world under £500
Okay I’m not talking about the wholeee world but yes for the last few years every trip and holiday I have been on has cost me under £500! That’s including flights, accommodation, food and touristy stuff 🙂 I don’t know about you but I definitely see that as an achievement and this post will be an explanation of how I have been travelling on a budget!
*Side Note* I might say ‘we’ a lot – we meaning my sister and I. Most of the places I have travelled to have been with my sister, there’s only two holidays that were with my friends.
Getting permission from strict asian parents!
First and foremost I did say I would explain how on earth I got Ami and Abu to even agree to let me go wander the world . Now this was a tricky one, growing up in a culturally strict Pakistani environment we were always told you can only travel when you get married (insert rolling eyes emoji). When I left uni I had a whole list of things I wanted to do and places to go and finding a husband first to do all this was NOT my priority.
So here’s the thing my dad is a lot stricter then my mum (naturally right), anyway to give you a short background story my siblings and I have always challenged cultural views and customs at home. So prior to my first holiday we had spoken and debated about travelling a lot!! So for my first holiday my sister and I got with my cousin and planned a trip to Morocco, we spent months pestering our parents and convincing them that we would be safe. At this point I was 21 and my sister was 23 so we felt we were mature enough to take on the world. Oh yeah we only told our mum and uncle, our dad found out a couple of days before (not something I would recommend but I guess he was left with no choice) but after all that pestering and through gritted teeth they said fine go 😀
I guess when we came back from Morocco in one piece they trusted us to travel but this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily over the moon to see us go but they no longer bring up the marriage card (probably because years later and we’re struggling to still find a decent man). So in conclusion work on your relationship with your parents so you can build on their trust. I’ve never done anything stupid and nor has my sister and my mum basically knows my whole life, my friends, where I go and what I do. This is important!
It’s all about the timing
Avoid peak times!!! Number one rule of travelling on a budget is just to avoid peak times or book in advance, I’m talking a couple of months in advance. When I travelled to Morocco and Greece I wanted to go during the summer so I could catch that warm Mediterranean sun but June to August is the most busiest and most expensive time. So we started looking at ticket prices at the start of September when all the kids are back at school and ‘summer holidays’ are over. It was much cheaper and these countries still generally stay warm as their summer season is much longer then London! Our flight to Morocco was roughly £160 and to Greece it was £140.
*Small tip* When browsing the net for flights/hotels always use the private browsing window as the websites have a sneaky way of tracking what prices you’ve been quoted in the past, so in order to make things competitive and cheap, make sure you’re browsing secretly!
Air BnB will be your friend
We didn’t really trust Air BnB on our first holiday but luckily we ended up with an amazing Riad in Marrakech. But for the next few holidays we would go on we ended up saving our pennies by getting an Air BnB! Honestly if you do your research and find a trustworthy place (always check the reviews) it’s so much better for your pockets and you will end up having more of an authentic experience as you’ll be living amongst the locals! When picking out a place we always checked out the area on Google to see if there was any local supermarkets nearby, makes shopping for food and water much easier! On average we would spend approximately £180 on a place to stay and on average we stay either 6 or 7 nights.
Do the maths
So far on average we have spent around £320 on flights and accommodation, now that’s all sorted. So before you even catch that plane it’s time to plan out how much money you’ll be taking with you to spend on food, activities and general expenditure. I’ll be honest with you there are some countries that will obviously require a lot more extra cash than others.
For example you could never do Dubai or Bali under £500 so I must note your location is pretty important when you’re going on a budget. Start doing some research of places that you would want to visit and things you would want to see, and start taking notes of roughly how much it will cost you. Google is another friend of yours, it’ll tell you all the free spots, the highly recommended tourist attractions and average costs so you don’t end up getting ripped off.
Get around smartly
Transportation costs can be quite high if you have no idea what the locals are paying! Always google what the best way to get around is and also the average prices of taxis and public transport. When we went roaming in Barcelona we literally used the subway for everything and the best thing was we shared one train ticket between us. In some countries you can get away with small things like that, in London if they catch you sharing train tickets or Oyster cards then you’ll be in trouble. There are some countries that have a very poor public transport system such as Egypt but their Uber was dirt cheap so always check Uber prices too. Lastly travelling is all about roaming around, getting lost and just lots and lots of walking so if you can avoid transport just walk and take in the views!