Budget Travel: Hardship in a Foreign Country
Ah, to travel the world without a care, that's what it's all about, right? Who wouldn't want to pack a bag, book your chosen transportation and just go discover new places and experience new cultures? That's the dream (well, it's a dream most people have). The reality is that it's not as easy as that... or it can be if you have no issues traveling with a very tight budget. There are thousands of people out there that have travel the world on a budget and they loved it. They say it's the best way to travel and wouldn't change it for the world.
We think these are very courageous and adventurous people because it's not all good. It's true they get to experience some wild and fun adventures and they get to go to amazing places but traveling on a budget can be a hardship, and it's definitely not for everyone. Traveling on a budget can allow you to travel for a long time but as they say, it's a tough road and you'll have to be prepared to get thrown out of your comfort zone.
These are some of the hardships that you could encounter when traveling on a budget in a foreign country.
A lot of walking
Your aim is to stick to a daily budget right? Well then be prepared to walk a lot (like 10 to 20 km per day?) It's one of the best ways to save money on transportation when exploring a new city and its sights. You have the choice of walking to all those new places but those roads sometimes are going to be long and dirty and exhausting.
Using public transportation
Another way to save money is by skipping the plane tickets and traveling by land and sometimes that means using public transportation. The most adventurous travelers will tell you that it's more exciting traveling that way (and they might have a point) but the reality is that public transportation in some places is not good, it can even be dangerous. And going through borders when traveling by land can be challenging and unnerving because some border officials can be nasty and it could turn out to be an uncomfortable and scary experience.
While traveling with a budget you tend to skip hotel fees too so be prepared to trade a comfortable bed and sleeping space with a bunk bed on a train or a bus. If you're picky about where you get to rest at night, then this will be a real hardship because some spaces could really be a challenge. Just imagine a really small place on a train with 3 bunk beds on each side where you couldn't even sit upright?!
No food cravings
Maybe while you travel, food is the least of your priorities... if that is the case then traveling with a budget is your thing because in the name of saving money you get to eat what's available. Sometimes it can be just bread or a cup of instant noodles or what cheap eateries have on their menus. Forget fancy or regular restaurants and any cravings you might have.
9 Reasons Why I No Longer Travel On A Budget
As you see, there are hardships traveling with a budget. If you're young and want to experience the world that way, by all means, go ahead and enjoy it, we're sure you'll learn and you'll laugh a lot and you'll get to live a life of adventure. But if you've already done that and are tired of all the hardships then here are some valid reasons why you could have a very pleasant and unforgettable trip by splurging a little. It's not that you can't travel on a tight budget it's that you don't want to anymore.
Here are 9 reasons why I no longer travel on a budget. Keep reading and see if you can relate with any of them.
1. I'm older and I make more money
When I was in my 20´s I have such a desire to see everything and experience as much as I can. The thing was, my wallet was very very lean, I was in college so there wasn't much money to spare on trips and vacations, still I wanted to travel. I embarked on some memorable experiences and took some unnecessary risks, all to stay on budget.
Fortunately, things have changed and now I'm older and done with college (I have my degrees) and I have a good and well-paid job. So now I can afford to pay for decent hotels, and taxi fares and plane tickets. I very much appreciated those luxuries.
2. I want a vacation, not just to travel
If you're like me and your work is a very demanding one, with lots of stress and deadlines, then you look forward to some time away from it to recharge. Plus, being an adult is great but sometimes it sucks too, right? Now, traveling means an escape from all your day to day routines and stresses, so I don't want that precious time away to be wasted on stinky hostels and bus drives and lousy food. I want a hotel where I can relax and enjoy my time, I want to be able to get where I want to go without struggles and I want to eat in decent restaurants. I want a vacation.
3. I deserve a decent night rest with no snoring from the neighbors
Maybe when I was younger, sleep wasn't a priority (like food) but now I'm wiser and I need my sleep too. So no more cheap hotels where I don't feel safe or hostels where I have to share a room with 5 other strangers (granted you get to know lots of interesting characters but I'm done with that). Now I want a hotel in a safe place with all the amenities, and comfortable beds and no snoring to keep me awake. I want a blissful night's sleep.
4. I enjoy the fun activities on the locations I visit
I love to visit new places where they offer lots of fun activities to experience. I want to experience all of them, sometimes it's not possible because it'll be really costly and while I'm not traveling with a budget I have to be realistic too. But it doesn't mean that I can't experience a few of them and make memorable moments while doing it.
5. I prioritize safety now
I took extra care booking my traveling accommodations. I do a lot of research on hotels before booking, especially in cities that are not familiar to me. Walking is a great way to now and experience cities but I don't do that at night anymore, even when traveling with friends. I splurge on taxis or Uber to get from one place to another even if they're not that far apart.
I also splurge on travel insurance. sometimes you plan everything but there are some things you can't control (like Mother nature), or the delayed flights or the loss of your luggage, so splurging on insurance goes a long way in helping keep my sanity if any of that occurs.
6. I'm not a fan of bed bugs
I don't think anyone is a fan of bed bugs right? And yet when I was staying in some seedy hotels or hostels, this was an actual problem. This is one of the main reasons why I don't travel on a budget anymore. Maybe the hotels I book are not luxury ones but they are clean ones with comfortable beds and very cleans sheets and mattresses.
7. I want to stay connected
Traveling to places outside your wireless provider's coverage can be problematic if you don't have a backup plan. Using the free wifi from hotels or some coffee shops is great but personally I splurge on SIM cards when I arrive at my destination, they could be lifesavers if you get lost or are unable to communicate with your Uber or cab driver.
8. Hygiene in hostels is a must
There are some destinations that only offer hostels as lodging and as you know, there are all kinds of hostels for all kinds of budgets and people. I now find hygiene in hostels a must so whenever I need to book a hostel I checked the reviews putting special attention on cleanliness and hygiene and I splurge on booking a private room.
9. I enjoy eating the local cuisine
Now food is important too, I take better care of myself so I try to find places where I can enjoy the local cuisine and sometimes that is not cheap but it's so worth it that I don't care about the extra cost. Also, there's something relaxing to be able to sit in an outdoor cafe, eating and taking the scene. Good memories.
Summary: Treat yourself better
Traveling is so much fun, the experiences, the memories, the learning... traveling is the best thing you can do for yourself. It's great that you get to travel on a budget because you'll experience so much but now it's time to splurge a little, so go ahead and treat your self better by not traveling on a budget because you know what... We're worth it!