Dispelling the myth: Is travel
only for the rich?
By Wander Team | 6 minutes read
How many times were you left thinking: "I wish i could travel the world, if only i were rich 😕"
While this was true in the past, that's not the case anymore nowadays.
Traveling is not what it used to be back in the days.
Long gone are the days when the real adventure was just to ensure a smooth trip to somewhere. Back in the pre-internet era, booking a travel ticket, a stay, along with all the other services, was a true challenge. One of the fewer and simpler ways to accomplish this was the purchase of travel packages through authorized local travel agencies and brokers. Information about places to visit was only readily available through paper guides, books, encyclopedias, TV documentaries, magazines, direct experience or personal knowledge.
More importantly, with the tourism and leisure sector still not being fully developed and mature as it is today, it is quite safe to claim that traveling back then was an activity nowhere as affordable. People used to refer to travel as a rich-only or high-class-only luxury. Most of the population was busy trying to create enough income to put food on the table, or for some lucky ones, create a small bank balance for those times of need. Travel was truly a luxury. Back in the 60's and 70's, commercial flight was a booming enterprise, yet many flight routes between international destinations had not been established, and the number of airlines and airplanes were nowhere close to what they are today. Sleeping in a hotel for leisure or business was not so common, and tourism was not yet ready to unleash its full potential. No wonder, even to consider organizing a tour was just too expensive and time consuming for most.
With the advent of technological growth, globalization, increase in human interactions and development, we have all seen a huge wave of change in this industry. And while some may argue, we can prove to you that traveling can not only be extremely enjoyable, but affordable as well! Do you not believe us? Here are a few tips that will help you explore the world and still cause minimal or even zero dent to your pocket.
Being an early bird has its advantages
The secret in getting most savings and discounts is planning your trip and booking early. Obvious, isn't it? But, by doing so, one can really save big on both transportation fares and accommodation. Many a times, early deals can help one get away with it even for the price of a dinner out. Some airlines reserve fares as low as 10$ for domestic routes, and 100$ for long-haul or international destinations for customers who can buy ahead of time. And that's not peanuts savings, considering that normal prices can easily reach hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on passenger class, airline, and route.
There are still a few tricks that will go the extra mile: carrying a cabin baggage only whenever possible (sometimes lighter is better!), checking in online through the carrier's website, hopping on a ride-share to and from the airports or bus/port terminals (or availing public transportation), and so on. Saving on accommodation costs is more than doable: booking just a couple days before often can make the difference between you paying the full standard price and you paying for two nights at the price of one. So, most certainly, early means stealing a bargain!
Thanks to the rise of tech, it is practically effortless to plan and book all your trips ahead of time, and save up to 75% on transportation and accommodation fares alone.
Prefer shared over private
As the saying goes, everything is better when shared (well, to be honest, almost everything!). Rule of thumb when trying to save up money is, in fact, share whenever possible. You cannot believe how much you'll be able to save just by adopting this rule. From shared transportation, to shared rooming, to group tickets discounts, you can apply this to literally every thing you have in mind. Even hiring a car can set you 75% off of the total price by sharing with 3 other people. Get yourself an Uber or a public bus whenever you are able to do it in a safe and convenient way, avail group discounts for museum tickets, tourist attractions, tour packages, and much more. One interesting way to save up while still enjoying a reasonable level of privacy, is by booking a night at a hostel, especially a capsule hostel. (Just make sure the service rating is high enough and reviews are not appalling!). Your own capsule will ensure you have the same level of privacy as your own private room.
Even better and if you are into the game, try out a Couchsurfing or a Workaway experience. This will help you get in touch and make friends with the locals, and will get you a free stay in exchange of a few hours of social help or small house jobs. You might also have a look at Wwoofing activities or volunteering programs around the globe, which are sometimes open for a limited time of the year, and other times, all year long.
Be a smart and wise foodie
Hi there, food lover! We know that you can't go a country and not try and enjoy the local delicacies and cuisine. We also know how hard it is to resist the temptation to stop by the best and greatest restaurant in the area (keep in mind, if it attracts tourist and foreigners, it's going to be more expensive than the average local prices), and easily get lost from there.
Let's see if we can help you with this conundrum. Our advice would be to try and eat like a local person. Hey, we're not asking you to have canned vegetables soup for dinner! In order to dive deep into the native culture and lifestyle and truly discover the culinary preferences, head to the local food market and buy fresh groceries, go to the night markets, buy from street food stalls and stands, food trucks and kiosks, or even small less known eateries where usually the community tends to gather for meal time.
Hitchhike your way to destination
This is not for everyone, but just for the ones who are serious about extreme savings, are brave enough to stand crazy, long and indefinite waiting times, and are willing to deal with perfect strangers. Believe us, there are thousands out there who are doing exactly this, right now, somewhere. An old friend of ours, while telling us about his adventures, once pointed out how it has been possible from him to make his way back home from Australia to Poland (his home country), just by hitchhiking! His confidence and adventurous spirit got him not only free rides on the mainland, but even across the ocean, by becoming friends with the freight convoy of a shipping company. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?
I am sure we all understand and recognize that things do not always go as planned. Sometimes, plans may actually go hay-wire.
First of all, one can never know how long it will take for someone to stop by and accept your request of a hitchhike - if they ever will. Second, not every person has good intentions. Nevertheless, always be cautious and aware about potential dangers.
Hitchhiking does not only belong to movies! Some adventurous souls have covered beautiful locations across continents just by hailing a free ride.
What are your thoughts? Its all up to you! Are you someone who wants to save big and do not care giving up some comforts? Are you someone who loves a luxurious travel and can't renounce business class and private chauffeur? Share your travel ideas and tips.
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