How do we travel on a budget? (Part one)

Traveling can get very expensive, especially when you don’t foresee a budget. As exploring the world is something we love to do, we track our costs, plan our travels way ahead and research profoundly. That way, we are able to do multiple trips throughout the year. Every month we put money aside that we use for traveling. Due to our savings behavior, we’re able to safe a significant amount every year for traveling. Besides that, we always try to find great deals.

Traveling on a budget starts with planning and research. Due to this, we are able to eat and sleep for an honest price, without downsizing the quality of our stay. To be completely honest, a lot of credit goes to my girlfriend. If she says activity X, flight Y or ticket Z costs that much, you can be sure there is no cheaper alternative. It’s important to make sure you don’t spend more money than actually is necessary. For instance, the price of a hotel room can vary a great deal between websites.

The destination country is a huge factor to decide on accommodation. When we visited Indonesia, we were able to book incredible hotels for a very affordable price. We mostly used  because on almost every occasion we were able to get our hands on an extra discount voucher. We simply googled “discount code” . The same counts for food. Of course you have more expensive restaurants but if you want to taste the local cuisine you have to try the “Warungs”. These are dining spots next to the road where you can have the most amazing meals for a few euros. They don’t always look inviting but looks can be deceiving. We used Tripadvisor to find great places in no time.

Now that we’re traveling in Australia, we have to change our tactic. Accommodation, food and transportation is way more expensive in comparison to Indonesia. However, being flexible is the key. For accommodation we almost entirely relied on Airbnb. You can find places in all price ranges. It was the most amazing experience. Not only did we meet incredible families and heard amazing stories, we got access to a lot of helpful tips and tricks from them. Besides that, we can only praise the services of Airbnb for our stay. On one experience we booked a room which didn’t turned out to be how the description was stated online. The “room” had 3 walls and a garage door that didn’t close completely. Being just at the edge of a national park, full with poisonous snakes, freakishly big spiders and other creatures, this was not our cup of tea. So after finding a dead lizard in the fridge, we took our bags and got the hell out! The customer service at Airbnb is top notch. Our stay was cancelled and refunded, plus, we received an additional $75 voucher for the inconvenience.

If there wasn’t a room available through Airbnb or it turned out to be a bit more expensive then we hoped for, we used the services of hostels. I for one thought these were more popular amongst younger people. On the contrary, we met a lot of families with young children traveling this way. Many of them wanted to show their children what this world has to offer. By renting a room at hostels they were granted with the opportunity to travel to destinations far away. We preferred staying in the YHA hostels because we had the impression the standard is higher, they’re easy accessible for families and there are lot’s of private rooms. Thinking about going to Syndey? We stayed at the Sydney Harbour YHA. A great and affordable accommodation in the centre of the city! Bonus points for YHA, you are able to get 10% voucher codes and discount for trips. Keep in mind that there are several other ways to accommodate your stay. You can go camping, rent a minivan or even house sit. However, we haven’t used these methods so we can’t review them properly.

Food and alcohol is expensive in Australia! How do we solve this? We cooked mostly at our Airbnb location or used the huge kitchens of our hostels. Quite a fun experience to see the food habits of other residents. And the atmosphere is amazing. To the Asian girl eating frozen pizza with grapes one morning…respect! My stomach couldn’t handle it.

There are loads of public BBQ available in Australia. This was truly amazing to us. You can use these for free. Having a BBQ picnic was one of our favorite things. You feel like a pastry or muffin? Plan ahead and go to the grocery store around closing time. You’ll find great discounts! We loved the mud cake they had in store and we always bought it at half price. Yes… we gained weight. Coles, Woolworths and IGA are the stores to use. We were amazed that non of these offer alcohol beverages though. You can buy these at separate stores like Liquorland or BWS. Keep your eyes open for discounts!

Throughout our journey in Australia and Indonesia we gained a lot of amazing experiences…just too much to write about in one article. Therefore, I’m going to write a second part about transport and the tips and places you have to see.

See you soon!

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