Travel ideas and tips are easily accessible these days. Many individuals share inspirational travel experiences to worldwide readers daily. In the numerous pool of information available, budget travel topics are very popular. For instance, there are a lot of tips for Asian destinations, and this is one of them.
One famous place to visit in Asia is China. There are various places to go to, and people can always find a cheaper means of traveling in this country. But before buying that plane ticket, here are three tips to remember if you decide to go traveling in China on a budget.
- Prepare your itinerary
It is exciting to go to a foreign country and just let your free spirit take you on an unforgettable journey. However, if you are tight on your finances, it is better to prepare in advance. There are many places to see in China so you would want to keep your expenses low but not forgetting comfort and maximizing the experience.
Decide which places you want to see first. It is advisable to stay away from the major cities. Everyone wants to see a lot of tourist attractions like Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors or the very famous Great Wall in Beijing. However, these places usually cost three or four times more than in other local towns. If you are traveling in China on a budget, it is better to visit the main cities but do not stay there for too long. The expenses for food, activities, and lodging are way cheaper when you stay in other local towns.
The smaller communities would also give you a look on the real China instead of the “tourist-centered” China. Here is a recommendation: spend at least a day or two in a major city (like Beijing) and visit famous landmarks that you like to see. Do not try to squeeze all the tours in a day because you will just end up exhausted. So before traveling, go online or read a book about places to visit and choose the ones you like. Then plan which local towns you are going to stay in.
- Assess you budget allocation
Once you finish making your itinerary, you have to check your finances and decide what amenities you have to use them for. As a budget traveler, you need to set a certain amount of money to the necessities. These are accommodation, food, transportation, and entry fees (if you are going to visit some tourist’s areas).
Many backpackers will recommend staying in a hostel instead of a hotel. This will save you a lot of money because the prices of hotel accommodations in the major cities are expensive. Finding four or five star hotels will surely give you a comfortable place to stay, but people will not really have to stay in their hotel rooms for a long time (unless they planned to enjoy their vacation inside the hotel), so it is more economical to find cheaper places to stay in.
There are plenty of affordable mid-range rooms available because of the growth of China’s middle class. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but if your budget is very low, you can still choose to stay in dormitories or even try couch-surfing.
This must receive an important part in your budget, but it does not mean that you have to spend too much on food. It is good to eat like a local and not like a tourist, meaning you can choose to get some delicious meat buns from a street cart or go to the restaurants where locals usually eat. However, there are still various fancy places to taste China’s delicacies, but you must prepare to shell out some big amounts of cash.
- Transportation and Fees
Allocating a separate budget for transportation and fees depends on your prepared itinerary. There are places that you can visit by foot so no need to pay for transport, but it is still safe to save money for taking a taxi as part of your contingency fund. Traveling in China on a budget should make someone travel wisely. There is cheaper access to public transportation, for instance, such as trains and city buses.
Entry fees, on the other hand, would be unavoidable in some tourist’s areas like the Forbidden City. There are also additional fees when you visit the Yangtze River if you want to join a tour.
- Limit your extra spending
Visiting a foreign country would give you a lot of opportunities to see a different culture. Some would want to experience the life of the local and try to go to bars for a night drink that can affect your budget. Others might want to buy some souvenirs. As a budget traveler, you have to limit these kinds of spending.