Sunday, June 29, 2014

Viewer Question Answered: Travel Tips for Small Budgets

One TPD viewer recently wrote in with questions about traveling on a low budget. While I don't always go the most economical route, I do use a couple of tricks and tools to keep costs low.

DOROTHY WRITES:

I am starting a new phase of my life, now that my youngest has moved out. Watched your show on Belize, and I would like to learn more. You mentioned being able to find a private room at $25.00 per night. Did I hear that correctly? I am a government employee and budget is limited, would rather spend money on fun activities than on place to sleep. Any tips for low budget traveling?

HI DOROTHY,

So glad you tuned in; yes, you heard the room rate correctly. 

First of all, congratulations on your new-found freedom! If you are asking specifically about Belize, the good news is that the exchange rate stays right at two to one. So your U.S. dollar goes twice as far. The $25 U.S. rate that I mentioned was for a room on Caye Caulker in Belize in a hostel that has private rooms and dormitories. The price is low because it was a room with a shared bath. And that's the real trick. Sharing a bathroom will usually cut the price of a room anywhere in half, or close to it. In another episode, you'll see that I had a room in the heart of Buenos Aires for about $40 per night because I shared the bath which was women only. So don't hesitate to do this -- conditions are hygienic and sanitary, and the savings is significant. 

The other tool that I find immeasurably valuable, of which I speak in other episodes, is Couch Surfing. It's a hospitality service that allows you to find and stay in people's homes (with them) all over the world for free and see their culture as they live it. So if you're a little more adventurous, it's wonderful. I've used it many times and only had good experiences. Even if you choose not to stay in someone's home, it's a very good resource for meeting locals simply to have coffee with and spend time. 
Let me know where you choose to take off to first! Remember, don't be afraid, be a peregrine dame!

-Rachel 



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