MANILA, Philippines – Before planning a trip that’s easy on the budget, answer this question first: Are you a backpacker or a mid-range budget traveler?
These two are the most common types of budget travelers, but the author of Third World Traveler Patricia Yulo said the difference between the two is almost triple the cost.
A backpacker, for instance, can get accommodation for only $3 for a dorm room and survive on a daily food budget of $10.
A mid-range budget traveler, on the other hand, will settle for a $30 to $50 hotel room and a budget food of $20 to $25 a day.
“Backpacking is a form of independent travel. If you’re backpacking, you can choose to stay in cheap hostels and eat street food. But if you are not comfortable with that, you can also go for mid-range options,” Yulo said on ANC’s “On The Money.”
After the budget has been set, Yulo said it is equally important to get value for money by checking reviews on travel websites such as tripadvisor.com and Lonely Planet.
However, she warned that not all reviews found online are credible.
“Let’s say that your hostel is in Bangkok and you see someone from Bangkok review that hostel, do not believe that reviewer because that person may be a friend of the owner. You have to rely on the reviews of a foreigner who stayed in that hostel,” she said.
She also said that travel expos are great venues for deals on hotels, resorts and tickets from major airlines.
Travel agencies, although typically more costly, are useful to those with no time to book for themselves; those looking to go on a cruise; or those who often cancel or change bookings.
Yulo also suggested regularly checking online sites of airlines for promo fares and seat deals.
She said she usually checks at 11:30 p.m. to be among the first customers to book.
“A good time to look for discounted tickets online is usually during big holidays like Valentine’s Day or Christmas,” she added.