This is not the typical blog post on itineraries and breakdown of expenses to showcase how you can make the most out of your Do-It-Yourself (DIY) travels despite the tight budget. My family went to a few Asian countries and I must say that while it’s not lavish, I thought we could spend a little less in those travels. I didn’t go to travel fair yet I ensured that I bought those tickets at discounted prices. I didn’t book in backpackers’ hotel yet I ensured that we have spacious room with comfortable bed to rest and nice own bathroom to freshen up. We didn’t eat at fine dining restaurants for the entire duration of our trip but I ensured that we still have complete meals with snacks in between. Simply, our trips are within mid-range budget-wise so I will leave such blog to the experts.
Rather, I will share with you what I learned from those DIY travels. The things I did or should have done which, perhaps you can relate to or even consider on your next trip –
- Know your travel buddies. Some are nature lovers, eccentric historians, adventure freak or child-at-heart. Whoever they may be, knowing them will give you an idea where, how and when to go.
- Plan ahead. This means book your flight, reserve a hotel room and if applicable, buy entrance tickets months before. I guess this is no-brainer and only for one practical reason – PROMOS!
- Book hotel reservation near the public transport station and in most places based on the itinerary. You definitely need to save time and energy. Start the walking, running and sometimes chasing drama (if the kids are hyper!😁) exactly where you planned to be.
- RELAX and BE FLEXIBLE! Every trip is fun and exciting to think of but if you want to stay faithful with your itinerary packed with places to visit (and time duration for OCs!😉), you will be stressed.
- Be familiar with the place. Sometimes, we became engrossed with taking photos that we forget to look for the story behind those wonderful structures and sceneries. Most tourist spots are founded on history so if you weren’t able to search the internet during your planning stage, take time to read information posted around the area. Remember, your shots will make sense if there are stories to tell.
- Explore one country per trip. Ok, I get it. You bought tickets on sale with only 3 to 7 days of travel. Surely, you’re into HongKong-Macau or Singapore-Malaysia kind of adventure to maximize the time and opportunity. We are similarly situated. But then I realized it is better to observe 1:1 ratio. It will save you a lot of stress rushing towards one destination to the next defeating items no. 4 and 5. You will regret not being able to visit other places in the country because of time constraint. It’s like having an unfinished business. You will end up craving for more and might keep coming back. That’s fine though your return means losing an opportunity to explore other countries.
- If possible, take advantage of business trips. Talk about savings? Well, tug your travel buddy/ies along like you won 1 roundtrip ticket and hotel accommodation. What more can I say?