I was asked to write a post on traveling on a budget. I started thinking about my budget, and all of the other cliche articles and stories I've read about traveling on a budget. It's hard to advise when it comes to budgeting because people can take so many different routes with their finances, and have different amounts of support systems surrounding them.
So to be a little different I wanted my post to be more about traveling as a college student on a budget.
As students, we are always seeking knowledge and searching for a deeper understanding of the world. How do things work? What are the daily routines of people who live here? What books do they read? Whats the local music? Where do people go to connect with nature? Where does someone my age go on the weekends? Especially when we travel.
The millennials guide to life.
Here in Cape Town my friends and I googled some places to go on the weekends, read reviews of certain clubs or restaurants analyzed the number of dollar signs to make sure we could afford it and checked out the street view on google maps to see what the surrounding area looks like. Google will save you money and possibly show you that the club you and your girls were about to head out to is next to the local prison.
Befriend the locals
Make new friends!
Find something about a local person that you can relate to, start up a conversation about their fashion if you're at a restaurant ask what their favorite thing is on the menu. The ways you can do this are endless. When you befriend locals you can get the real experience of the place you're traveling to and learn so much more about the culture than you do during your touristy extravaganzas. It can definitely save you money.
You have legs and feet for a reason.
It's a blessing to be able to walk. Since being here in Cape Town I've been thinking about how much I use my car back home, how much money I spend on gas to get places that I can easily walk to. I've been walking about 35-40 minutes to work here in Cape Town and I see a new art mural on a building every day. Walking to places with your friends will help you save money and experience and appreciate the environment. Uber is also a cheaper form of transportation when you have quite a distance to go.
Explore your options
Don't fall into temptation.
My friends will kill me when they read this but I actually have not yet bought ANY souvenirs since I've been in South Africa. Reason being, there are so many options! To avoid buyers remorse I have explored many markets to check out all the gifts and think about what is best for each of my friends and family members. If you dream about it, that's how you know you should go back and get it. Also, you won't avoid going out to new malls or markets because you'll still have some money aside for spending and you'll enjoy window shopping a lot more when you know you have options.
Share meals with your friends!
When you're out to eat order with a friend and choose things that you guys can split together. It will help you with the cost. When going on outdoor adventures you can even pack a bunch of snacks together to eat along the way!
Read a new book.
This one may be obvious but sometimes we think we need money to have an experience. Some cool things may be pricey, but there are always free things to do as well. Go to a park, go visit a local bookstore, look for artsy event flyers taking place during your visit. Free things are the best because you're obviously saving money and you're able to fully enjoy the experience and more than likely learn something new about humanity.
I hope this helps!
Stay colorful y'all