I choose to travel low-budget even when I don’t need to. Okay, most of the time I don’t have a choice. It’s either travel low-budget or not travel at all. But on the rare occasion that I do have more money to spend, I still travel low-budget 99% of the time. Does that sound crazy to you? I hope not, because travelling low-budget is amazing. This is why:
More contact with locals
Locals don’t spend crazy amounts of money. They usually don’t eat at fancy restaurants, don’t take taxi’s and don’t sleep in hotels. Why would we as foreigners, do all these things then? Why would we avoid the locals and thereby the culture of the country we’re visiting? That just sounds crazy to me. When I travel somewhere, I want to learn as much about that place as possible. And for that I need locals. Locals have taught me some of the most crazy, mind blowing and helpful things. I’ve had many wonderful experiences because of them.
More contact with fellow travellers
Expensive travel is usually focussed around comfort, privacy and solitude. A private room, private taxi and a private kitchen. You don’t have to share anything. This may be more comfortable at times (or a lot of the time), but it also causes you to lose contact with other travellers. And for me, meeting fellow travellers is one of the things I love most about travel.
Less contact with tourists
I strongly dislike being around “tourists”. Not that there is anything wrong with being a typical tourist, I just cannot stand having them around me. This is why staying in a luxurious hotel is pretty much the equivalent of hell to me. Constantly being surrounded by all these tourists will definitely ruin my experience. This is why I love staying in hostels. I’m surrounded by loads of other low-budget travellers. And I am aware of the fact that I’m generalising right now. I’m not trying to say that everyone staying in a hotel is an annoying tourist, or that there is anything wrong with being a tourist! And I also don’t want to say that the only people staying in hostels are crazy adventurous people. They’re not. But in general, there is difference in people that stay in hotels or hostels. And I just find that personally, most of the time I connect better with the kinds of people that stay in hostels.
Amazing food places
Food is extremely important in every culture. And local food is a-ma-zing. In a lot of countries, it’s also the cheapest food you can get. McDonalds and western pizza is usually what’s expensive. So you’re saving money, and get to experience a vital part of the culture of the place you’re visiting.
Enjoy the simple things
Even though bungee jumping and scuba diving are amazing, I learned to enjoy the simple things while travelling because I didn’t have the money to go on crazy adventures everyday. One of my favourite things to do while staying in a foreign city is find a local park, sit on a bench and just observe everything. I have also made it a challenge to try out the local transportation system in every country I visit. These things are so cheap, and so fulfilling. And they teach you more about a country than watching fish could in a hundred years.
More real adventure
I know I just said that budget travelling usually means less adventure, but this also depends on what you consider adventure. Hitchhiking, sleeping outside and working a million different jobs also sounds like great adventure to me. And that’s the kind of adventure that you don’t have to spend money on. It’s the adventure that takes longer than a few hours and that really changed me as person. It taught me more than I could ever imagine, it made me into the person I am now and it has made me excited to wake up almost every day, which is something I never thought would happen to me.
If you have any further questions or remarks, please comment them below! I’d love to hear your stories