Madie’s Top 5 Takes On … Travelling on a Budget

Words by Madieson (she/her), 24 WA

Post-COVID, and in our current cost of living crisis, it can feel so impossible to even think about travelling. However, when you get that itch to travel, it just must be scratched and the only way to do that is by exploring a new place.

To make the idea of travelling not seem so far-fetched and out of reach, and to help scratch that itch, I thought I would give you my five hot takes on travelling on a budget.

Interstate travel.

When it comes to trying to save a bit of money when you are travelling, not having to pay for an airfare is a great way to save some money. Opting for exploring the country you live in and taking a few road trips is a great alternate to flying. As even flights to the cheapest of destinations can be around $400 at minimum.

Australia is one of the most beautiful countries and it has so many different nooks and crannies waiting to be explored. Living in WA means I have almost half of the state to explore before I even need to get on a plane. But all the states and territories in Australia have so many diverse and beautiful regions, why not explore them first and save a bit of cash before heading on a flight out of the country?

It can also help build a feeling of connectedness to the state/country that you are from and living in.

Allow yourself time to save.

This is a big one for me! When I get the idea or the niggling to explore/travel more, I will immediately set up a savings goal. Usually, I will set a rough goal, but this may change as I start exploring and doing more research into the travel destination.

This goal may be a 2–3-year goal to allow myself to save enough to comfortably travel. When my partner and I were starting to discuss the idea of a holiday together to Vietnam, I began saving, even though we had not made any formal plan. This meant that by the time it came around to creating a bit more of a solid plan, I had over a year’s worth of savings.

Explore low-cost options.

If you are the kind of person who goes on holiday and spends most of the time out of the hotel, exploring the locations and scenery, is it necessary to be staying in a 5-star hotel? No, not really.

If you will be spending more time at the hotel, then it may be worth spending a bit more there, but if you are only really using it is a rest place or a place to store your things, explore the possibility of low-cost hotel/motel options or even backpackers/hostels if you are comfortable with that kind of thing.

Having recently travelled to Vietnam, which is one of the cheapest destinations to travel to, it was a great experience, and I loved every second. I would love to explore some other Asian countries, but I am mindful that there are destinations (such as Singapore/Korea) that are significantly more expensive, meaning I will need to be mindful of spending, but also aware of how much money I need to save before travelling there.

Book big expense items before, in increments.

This is a great little tip. Even though you are still spending the money, if it is possible to pay for and book big ticket items, like accommodation and tours beforehand, it helps give you a realistic idea of the money you will have left over to spend on food/drinks once on the holiday.

It is also helpful as it gives you the opportunity to explore a variety of options on these more expensive items and find the lowest cost options (that are still quality), that are available.

Consider travelling in off-peak season.

As we all know, travelling during busy times can cost a lot more than travelling in off-peak season. Although it would be great to always travel in off-peak season, I understand this may not always be an option. However, if it is an option to you, I highly recommend exploring the idea.

When my partner and I went to Vietnam, we went in off-peak season. This meant that we had different weather to the typical Vietnam hot and humid weather. But this worked perfect for us as we prefer a cooler temperature and it meant that we were able to explore and try new things and feel comfortable in a foreign country. It also meant that we were able to save a bit of money on flights and accommodation. Meaning we had a bit of extra money to spend on drinks and eating out! As well as fun novelty activities like lantern making!


Illustration by Aileen. You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenngstudio

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