Burrard Toastmasters
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5 Ways To Minimize Cost Of Travelling

By Kim Lai

Since most of us share the same passion for travelling, I wanted to inform the audience on how minimize the cost of travelling by completing five simple steps when preparing to travel. Wouldn't it be great to live passionately by maximizing your experiences around the world without breaking the bank? Now how do you travel on a budget?

The five steps are as follows:
1. Plan ahead
2. Know how to search for deals
3. Get travel guide books
4. Be prepared to sleep in less admirable accommodations
5. Buy groceries to minimize sit down meals at restaurants

Step #1 Plan ahead: Identify what kind of trip you want to experience and know when to go. The main information to seek are the visa requirements, currency exchange rate, and weather. To decrease the cost substantially, research the off peak times and make sure the weather is still within your standards. Understanding the weather conditions allows you to pack accordingly. Plan ahead to avoid unexpected costly surprises.

Step #2 Know how to search for deals: Start your search early by shopping online frequently to get an idea of the pricing if you have a place or activity in mind. You get the best deals when you do not have a set destination and time to go. When going through travel search engines such as Travelocity or Expedia, price check the surrounding airports and be flexible with your dates to determine the best possible price. I have flown out of Richmond, Bellingham, and Seattle with a date range of three days and saved hundreds of dollars per person based on these two criteria alone.

Step #3 Get travel guide books: There are many types of travel guide books that have different layouts of referencing information or styles of travelling. These guide books encourage independent travel with most up to date and trustworthy advice. Be prepared and know in advance what to expect when it comes to transportation, accommodation, food, activities, and tours. I was able to backpack for an entire year spending only $12,000 travelling around Australia mostly due to my travel guide book.

Step #4 Be prepared to sleep in less admirable accommodations: Tripadvisor is a great website to check other traveler reviews about the cleanliness as well as service levels of the accommodation you plan to stay at. Stay in hostels or private rooms for a fraction of hotel prices; just to give you a personal example, I just booked a trip to Belize during the New Year and we looked at the various options on where to stay. There were hotels that cost about $90/night; we chose to stay at a place for $50/night with 4/5 star ratings on Tripadvisor. With the money you save on your sleeping quarters, you can use it to spend on new experiences that will create joy and lifelong memories.

Step #5 Buy groceries to minimize the need to eat at restaurants: Having local fruit and pastries readily available will save you money. More importantly, it will save you time. Imagine all the things you could be doing that make you happy. By all means, it is important to enjoy the local food prepared professionally and served to you. My suggestion is to eat out once a day rather than 3 times a day. You will appreciate eating out more when it is by choice rather than necessity.

By following these five simple steps you will be able to travel on a budget and put the money you save towards more important priorities. Now that you have tips to cut costs while travelling you can go more frequently while maintaining your financial goals for the future. Have fun with it. Live PASSIONATELY! Thank you.

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