Money is often the biggest factor that keeps people from hitting the road on their own. Most people will think that traveling solo is more expensive, but there are lots of ways to travel solo on a budget. In this article, we will be sharing with you some tips and hacks for budget solo travel to make your dream trip possible.
Since most travel providers offer tours that are applicable for groups of two or more, it can be challenging finding money-smart options when you are travelling alone. You have no one else to share the expenses with, making it difficult to justify the price tags. Activities or entertainment, food and drinks, transportation, and accommodation are the four categories that cover the majority of all travel expenses. You need to put special consideration into these four types of expenses to planning a budget-friendly trip.
11 Effective Tips for Budget Solo Travel
Here’re eleven effective yet simple hacks for affordable solo travel. Go through the tips to make the most of your budget if you are planning to travel the globe solo.
1. Choose Travel Companies Wisely
Since lots of people want to try traveling alone, lots of travel companies have begun to give more importance to this demographic. These travel companies can pair you with other solo travelers so you can share and pay the lowest rates possible. In this way, solo travelers can save a lot of money for their trip similar to others who are traveling with a companion or a group.
So the next time you plan to travel solo, make sure to check if the travel company you will choose has great offers for a budget solo travel adventure.
2. Book Early or Book at the Last Minute
As the saying goes, “The early bird catches the worm.” Hence, the earlier you book your trip, the higher chances you will have obtaining discounted deals. Travel companies always have limited discounts for solo travelers. And since it’s limited, it also sells out fast. So what you can do is always be on the lookout when planning your next solo trip.
But if you fail to catch the worm at the earliest time, then there’s another way: book at the last minute. Many things can happen during the last minutes of the booking period. Most of the tours tend to offer discounted prices for solo travelers just to fill all the slots available. So again, you only need to keep yourself updated.
3. Travel During Shoulder Season
If you want to avail the cheapest or lowest discounts; try as much as possible to book your tour during the shoulder season or the period between the peak and the off-season. During this time, both the flight and accommodation deals are much lower than usual to encourage people to continue booking tours and fill up all vacant slots.
Aside from affordable rates, traveling during shoulder season also offers the benefit of less crowded tourist attractions and destinations. So you don’t just save money for your tour but enjoy your dream destinations with much less foot traffic. This is the most realistic way to have an amazing and budget-friendly solo travel experience.
4. Ask for Budget Solo Travel Deals
Not all travel companies manage to advertise all their packages and deals for all sizes of traveling parties. Therefore, it wouldn’t hurt to ask the tour provider if they have budget deals or discounts for a solo traveler like you.
So the next time you book a tour, make it a habit to ask or negotiate to make sure you can always make the most of the price you will pay.
5. Learn to be More Flexible on Your Destination
Traveling solo allows for you to have total freedom to explore new places and try out new things. Since there’s no other opinions to take into account or keep you from doing what you prefer, you can be more flexible and look for other ways to save your travel budget.
Learn to modify your tour and try out other things that are out of your comfort zone. By doing so, you won’t limit yourself to your initial plan but can adjust anytime you need to.
6. Ride Public Transportation or Share Rides
Taxis or Ubers are not advisable as a mode of transportations for solo travelers. We all know it’s expensive and, much worse, you don’t have anyone to share the expense with you.
To make it easier, it’s best to use public transportation since it’s more budget-friendly. Trains, buses, shared vans, or UberPool are the best options. By choosing to ride on public transportation, you won’t just save your money but also get a chance to meet locals and other travelers along the way. You can also use solo travel apps to connect with travelers on the go.
7. Prepare a Meal Plan
Of course, exploring new places means trying out delicious local foods and cuisines. Traveling is also a tiring activity, and the best way to help you relax while exploring new places is to fill your stomach with scrumptious food and drinks. These are some of the reasons why food and drinks will contribute substantially to your travel expenses.
To help you free up your budget for other activities, why not prepare your meals beforehand? Not all foods can be cooked before you can eat them, so you can try to pack foods that you can bring with you along the trip like sandwiches or salads. You can also bring your favorite tumbler with you for smoothies, protein drinks, or hydrating sports drinks.
If you aim to spend the bare minimum on food, you should avoid dining in restaurants. But if it’s part of your travel goal, then be sure to check out reviews for prices beforehand so you can allot enough funds in your budget for it. Or you can also try out local street foods that you can find along the way.
Your accommodation also plays an important role to help you save up for food. Some accommodations like hostels and vacation homes have shared kitchens where you can cook your meals, all you have to do is to buy ingredients. This is one of the reasons why many travelers are opting for vacation rental homes rather than hotels: you can easily prepare and store food in the kitchens at these rental residences.
If you prepare some food and snacks ahead of time, you can save a lot of money which you can use for other important matters or emergencies.
8. Record all Your Expenses
One of the skills or habits you need to learn as you travel solo is to track your expenses. Even if you have already made a list of your expected expenses, there will certainly be some unexpected expenses that need accounted for.
To help you monitor your budget, it’s important to record every cent that you will spend. Try to make a spreadsheet or download an app where you can easily keep track of all your expenses. In this way, you can calculate your budget and only spend on the things that matter most during your trip.
9. Travel Light and Bring Only What’s Important
Excess baggage costs extra expenses. As much as possible, avoid paying for extra baggage fees. The fees you would have to pay for it can be used instead for other expenses. Think of the foods or activities you will be able to try on your trip using that money!
For your next budget solo travel, bring only the essentials you will need for your trip. You can also learn different travel packing techniques to consume all the spaces in your carry-on bag. If you bring a single bag with you during your trip, it will be easier for you to explore new places without the burden of carrying heavy and bulky luggage with you.
10. Be Wise in Booking Your Activities
Most solo travelers can’t take a day-long tour because of the two-person minimum requirement by the tour provider. Keep your hopes up, there are other options! You can enjoy a free walking tour! You can save your money for activities and attractions while also meeting other solo travelers with you along the way.
Another benefit of going out on your own is that you will have more time to chat with the locals and more opportunities to go to other places that are not usually included in the tour packages.
If you plan to participate in activities such as visiting an amusement park, a theatre, and other forms of entertainment at your destination, it is advisable to buy a ticket in advance. Some platforms offer reduced prices for those who book directly on their app or website. Make sure not to miss their promos and offers, to help you have the best budget solo travel experience.
11. Avoid Single Supplements Accommodation
Single supplements are one of the financial obstacles that are keeping solo travelers from properly utilizing their budget. Most travel companies and accommodations always base their rates on double occupancy. And a solo traveler who wants to book will need to pay double the rate in what is referred to as “single supplements.”
But since the number of solo travelers is rapidly increasing in recent years, travel companies are also offering affordable vacation rentals for those who are traveling alone.
If you are planning to have a solo travel tour in the USA, you can try to check budget-friendly accommodation deals in Rental Trader, an online rental marketplace for people looking for different affordable accommodations.
For more information about Rental Trader, see our Contact page to fill out the web form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
With the booming number of solo travelers around the world, there are also a variety of ways now to make your budget solo travel adventure possible.