12 MARCH, 2020


Traveling has been one of the most enjoyable and soul comforting activities most individuals nowadays invest in. The travel industry is a lucrative business, that’s why there are so many fine travel experiences and activities—be it canyoneering, trekking, skydiving or even when it comes to just simply dining in one of the hottest spots and must-see tourist attractions.

Given that a lot of tours and destinations cost a fortune to join and get to, so many people invest their time in researching various travel hacks in order to save money. Over time, as more people have the desire to explore different countries or places, there has been an increase in various travel beach guides on the internet. Whoever said traveling isn’t cheap simply hasn’t done their due diligence.

Despite what many people might say when you travel on a budget, there are just some places like Alta Vista de Boracay that you wouldn’t want to compromise in order to save a buck. Always remember that when traveling, it’s good to strike a balance between what you can save and what you must spend on.

Check out these 10 uncompromisable things even when it comes to traveling on a budget

1. Safety

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Despite traveling cheap, believe it or not, this is the number one thing that you shouldn’t compromise. If it costs an extra Php500 to get that extra harness or even when it comes to renting that waterproof pair of shoes that you weren’t able to pack for the trip, by all means, spend on it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Always remember that even if you did spend that small extra, it may save you from spending more should you not be careful on your trip. Another safety tip is to be vigilant when traveling. Despite the beauty of a certain place, tourist spots are common areas for lurking thieves so be extra wary (but not to a point where you are already paranoid). If you’re going to a tourist spot, opt to pay for a travel guide, that way you may join a small group of people and you won’t be alone for just that one time.

2. Travel insurance and healthcare

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Nothing is safer than getting travel insurance and health care. Make sure you get the appropriate one that has a lot of partner hospitals and institutions and one that would allow you to get the most coverage even when you are abroad.

Travel insurance and healthcare may be a bit pricey at first but it beats having to spend your pocket money should you find yourself in unnecessary situations such as accidents or if you ever get sick. Presenting your travel and healthcare insurance at the nearest accredited hospital or institution will definitely save you money.

3. Phone data

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This is another travel non-negotiable especially for those who like to stay in touch with their families and friends. Having phone data allows you to check the internet should you find yourself in areas where WiFi isn’t offered. Paying a little bit more on phone data will definitely come in handy unless you make sure that you have access to a WiFi-powered area 24/7.

4. Portable WiFi

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If you would like to save money on purchasing phone data then maybe renting or buying a portable WiFi hotspot will definitely give you access to the internet while roaming around. This would allow you to keep in touch with everyone. Various phone apps will allow you to connect to your friends with just WiFi alone, therefore this is a must when traveling. A portable WiFi also allows online GPS that you could use when traveling.

5. Planning vs. spontaneity 

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One way of traveling cheap is by actually planning ahead of time and sticking to your itinerary. Planning involves researching  the place, the various attractions you will see, and activities you can do solo or with a group. You’ll come across various prices and it will definitely give you an idea of how much you should bring on your trip.

A spontaneous trip gives you a higher chance of spending more as there will be unnecessary expenses or excursions you may want to take in the spur of the moment. Planning ahead gives you time to book places and prepare for their rates.

6. Quality luggage  

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In order to avoid any unnecessary damages to your personal belongings while traveling, invest in quality, durable luggage. Invest in luggage that is perfect for backpacking as well as when it comes to hauling. Cheap travel means not having a lot of luggage. Invest in a quality bag that could withstand any climatic circumstances, that way you find yourself being able to use it long term and spending less on your baggage. 

7. Quality footwear

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Most of your traveling will involve a lot of walking and if you’re backpacking it’s best to invest in an all-around durable and comfortable footwear that’s perfect to withstand any condition.  You will be able to use this in the long run and it’s best to have one solely for your travel. 

8. Transportation card

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This is usually called differently depending on the place you’re visiting. Here in the Philippines, we have the Beep Card, in NYC, they have the MetroCard, and in Japan, they have the Suica card. Point is, a transportation card is usually prepaid.

In order to save time, one non-negotiable to have a smooth trip is to load your card with a huge amount. If you know you’ll be using that mode of transportation often then it’s better to load up than to have to wait in line to put money in your card.

Some countries even have promos on what kind of card you should get depending on how long you will stay in that area. It's best to look it up to avoid getting in line. 

9. Food

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What better way to experience the culture of the area than to eat their local delicacies. Spare no expense on food. You not only get a full stomach, but you also learn and have a better understanding of the culture of the country or place you’re in. Check out the country’s famous dishes and look up the best place to try it.

Pro tip: when researching, do it when you’re there; it's best to ask the locals about the place rather than always relying on popular tourist food spots. That way, you save money while trying an authentic dish.

10. Experiences 

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Lastly, just because you are traveling cheap doesn’t mean you need to miss out on various exciting experiences. Make sure you prepare a portion of your money to the ones you want to do, whether it be skydiving or snorkeling or eating at that must-dine spot in the area. No price is ever worth missing out on different, unique, and once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Besides, how often do you even get to travel to a place like Alta Vista de Boracay? It’s not every day you’re in a new place or country, you might as well enjoy every moment.

These travel non-negotiables definitely vary depending on the personality of a person but one thing is for sure: it is important to book a hotel now and plan ahead to get the most out of your money. Despite being on a budget, know that you can also have fun without having to break the bank. Now that you’ve read some great travel tips, go and have fun researching and enjoy your trip!