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Monday, March 16, 2009
How To Travel With Limited Budget

(Another essay task for My Writing Class and it is a process essay..)

Life is more meaningful if we have a dream to be achieved before we die. Some people have made it and others probably still fight for it. I wrote my bucket list two years ago after my mom passed away. Traveling to beautiful places is at the top of my list because I believe that there are only two types of persons in this world: those who like to travel and those who will die in boring. There is nothing more fascinating to me than waking up in the morning, putting on the shoes, carrying my backpack and getting ready for my next journey. Go wherever I want. I remember one of my trip to Mumbai, India several years ago. I went there as a backpacker for ten days and I donít have to steal money from a bank or to born as the daughter of Raam Punjabi to make an amazing Mumbai journey.  Itís easier and cheaper than you think. Based on my experiences, there are three steps that must be done in order to travel with limited budget, which include the pre-departure preparation, the journey itself and the going back process.

The first thing to do is preparing the journey carefully. Goggle on the internet Ďthe must-see placesí that you are dying to visit, choose one destination and browse for information  about it. Then, decide when you will visit it. Do not go there during the long weekend and peak season, otherwise you will end up among crowded of tourists and go bankrupt. For example, if you want to visit Thailand, you must look for details about the cultural ceremonies, accommodation availability, the map, places that you are interested in, and so on. Usually, the prices are cheaper if you are traveling on working days. Submit your absence proposal to your boss a few months before so that you can arrange your schedule and have enough time to collect money. If you travel by plane, book your airplane ticket a few months in advance in order to get the special promo. In order to save money on your expenses on food and accommodation, you may join many social networks such as Facebook, Friendster, My Space, Hi5, and Orkut. Make friends with people that come from the places you want to visit. Tell them that you want to see their hometown someday. If they are offering you their house to stay or want to escort you once you are there, say yes immediately and make them promise so that you donít have to spend your money for lodging, local transportation, and meals.

Besides that, you should also join travelersí networks such as WAYN (Where Are You Now), Passportstamp, TravBuddy and Travellerspoint to connect you with all travelers around the world so that you know who has the same schedule as yours while traveling to your destination. Maybe you can share transportation costs or share accommodation with them. Furthermore, never forget to prepare your documents such as ID card, passport, etc, make copies for all and put them in different pocket. If you lose your document, you have to make report to the nearest embassy of your citizenship and it probably cost you much money. Write down important numbers on your notebook, just in case you are in emergency situation and need to contact someone. Donít bring many things in your backpack. In fact, for two week journey, you only need to carry about four t-shirts, two pants, two packs of disposal underwear, one pair of sneaker, one pair of sandal, one jacket, two socks, and a hat. Buy a t-shirt with a slogan on it, ďsame shirt but different daysĒ to make people understand why you wear same clothing every day. You can wash your clothes later or re-wear them.

After checking your travel list above, you are ready for the journey. Make sure that you already contacting your friends for places to stay. Donít spend too long in one house because you will burden your host, thatís why you need to be a member of several social networks. Invite some travelers who have the same schedule as yours to that place to go together in a group. At lunch time, you and other travelers in group may order the menu but not too much and share the food and price together. It is cheaper and still make you full. Unless you are an insensitive person and donít care what people may say about you, wait until they all already order their food and ask them whether you can taste their food. Do that to all of them until you full. Join different group at different places and do the same thing. Furthermore, you must also remember to come back exactly in dinner time and give compliment for the food so that the host family feels happy to welcome you as a guest. Moreover, if you want to visit areas which are quite far from your host familyís house, you may try hitchhiking. It is free but a little bit dangerous for female travelers. If you donít like that idea, probably you can rent a motorcycle, which is cheaper and more efficient. You may also try local transportation to experience native life. Nevertheless, if you get used to jogging and walking, maybe you can go there by hiking and trekking. You can enjoy the view and save your transportation cost, not to mention you will be more healthy. Also, a mp3 player and a digital camera are a must for you so that you wonít be feel boring. Bring extra full-rechargeable-batteries just in case there is no electricity. Explore the beauty of places that you visit by taking as many pictures as you can. One thing that you must always put in your mind is the travelerís motto that says ďtake nothing but pictures, leave nothing but your footprints.Ē You may send your pictures later to travel agencies after you go back home, maybe they will buy some for their promotion. Write down every day on your journal about your trip and expand it to a short-story, a novel, an article, or even a poem. Post them on your blog or send them to local newspapers. You will get famous and people will invite you to come to their hometown for free and then suddenly your agenda will be filled with traveling schedules.

The last thing to do is the going-back process. Before you start your trip, remind your family and friends that you are going as a backpacker, which means you cannot carry many things with you. They wonít ask you for souvenirs or request you to bring or buy something. If they still insist that you bring them souvenirs, you may buy something but only postcards or key-chains or anything under one dollar and give them just to people who help you most. For those who have no contribution to you, tell them that you donít have space in your backpack anymore for additional goods. Say it nicely because you never know that someday you probably will need their help. Then, call your family or friend to pick you up at the airport or bus/train station a day before your departure. Likewise, ask your host family politely to take you to the nearest spot from the airport or bus/train station. Later on, you can continue by doing hitchhiking again to get there. Be a good guest by taking pictures with your host family and thank them for the accommodation and help. On your way back home, be friendly with your seat-mates and look for another opportunity for your next traveling destination. When you are using the toilet, take a bottle/bar of soap that is usually provided on the airplane because you can use it later. After you arrive, show your happy expression when you are seeing your relative or friend who has came to pick you. Share your stories and thank him/her indeed when you are already at home. Furthermore, send email to those who have helped you during your trip or post a gratitude message on their social networksí walls, or if you know their addresses donít forget to send a thank-you letter to them.

Henceforth, do not wait until you have much money to do your traveling. You donít want to spend the rest of your life in just one place, right? You must want to see other places, see in person what people say as the most beautiful places, and have your own experience there. You can still have a memorable journey with limited budget only by following my steps which consist of the early preparation, on the-trip-skills and the going-back approach. When you succeed with one journey,  I bet you want to do more. Just do whatever you want to do and go wherever you want to go. All you need to do is take a single step to start your adventures. So, why donít you begin it now?



Posted at 12:03 am by dejablue


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