7 Things You Will Have To Kiss Goodbye As A Budget Traveller

Life as a budget traveller is more interesting!

When you travel you miss stuff from home right?  I’m talking about “stuff” here not people.

Maybe it’s your favourite big cup of coffee.  Maybe your own pillow.  For me and the kids it was Vegemite!

When you are a budget traveller you have to live without a lot more than Vegemite.  And when I say budget traveller, I don’t mean you stay in a $90 hotel instead of a $150 one!  I mean hostel accommodation for $6 a night.  Eating street food and catching public transport. Mixing it with the locals.

All those things you have to do to be able to make your money streeeeetch and your travel last longer.

So here’s my list of the 7 things you will have to kiss goodbye as a budget traveller.

  1. Towels that cover your arse!  At home we had amazing fluffy towels.  We bought extra large bath towels to cover our fat bums whenever it was shower time.  You don’t get those babies when you stay in a $6 a night hostel in Egypt!  Your towel will be a very small piece of cloth that once wrapped around you will not even be big enough for both ends to join up.  Unless you are a tiny size 6 (which none of us are!)  On a bright note this facewasher sized towel will be so rough that you’ll have no trouble thoroughly drying yourself.  And it will dry super fast!
  2. Travel by private car.  Public transport is your best friend when you are a budget traveller.  The cost of public transport is ridiculously low in developing nations.  How is it possible that a 17 hour bus ride can possibly cost just $9?  How is a taxi for the entire day just $20?  Once you hit Europe you’ll have to dig a little deeper into your pockets but, unless you are travelling in a group, it will still be cheaper in almost all cases to use public transport.
  3. Clean Undies.  And no, I’m not referring to THAT Egyptian toilet incident!  If you’re travelling on a budget and have been sensible and limited your packing, there may come a time when you don’t have clean undies.  Suck it up princess, will it really kill you to wear underwear more than once?  It will?  Well then, you’ll need to keep an eye out for laundry places along the way.  Again, probably super easy in developing nations.  Easy if you’ve managed to score a stay in someone’s home.  Easy if your hostel just happens to be near a coin laundry (if you’re being really cheap you are probably staying in the coin laundry neighbourhood!)  Failing everthing else, you’re gonna have to wash those babies yourself in the hostel handbasin and hope to god they dry by morning!  In fact, in the spirit or sharing, here’s a link to a cool tip on how to get your undies to dry quicker.  Who said you don’t learn anything here at Life Changing Year?
  4. Fancy Restaurant Meals.  No one says you’ll have to stop eating out but you’ll be eating $1.50 pad thai in Bangkok rather than going to the all-you-can-eat buffet at the Hilton!  Be warned though – the more street food you eat, the more you will be horrified at how much a restaurant meal costs.  We’ve had meals with meat, rice, fries and good old coca cola for 5 people in Thailand for about $11 total.  We nearly fell off our chairs!  The same meal at home in a restaurant would have easily cost us $120.  Ok…so we would have been seated inside, away from traffic noise, passing pedestrians and the odd cat.  But there’s no way we would have passed up that adventure for the chance to pay an extra $109 to sit in a sterile air conditioned room at home!  The food was just as good too!
  5. Shopping for random stuff.  When you’re on a long trip and you are watching the pennies, almost all shopping will cease!  Aside from the obvious budget issues, you just can’t fit more crap in your backpack.  In 2012 we travelled to 16 countries.  Imagine if we bought a trinket, a t-shirt and a scarf in each of those places?  Our bags would have been bursting at the seams!  The other thing you realise once you see how other people live is that you don’t actually need all that crap.  We’ve joined the frugal living bunch of weirdos we’ve always teased.  I’m cured of shopping for life!
  6. Clean toilets.  What really needs to be said about this point?  Clean toilets are a luxury it seems, not a basic necessity.  You’re going to see things you never dreamed you could see.  Go with it.  Those sights will make the best stories and you’ll be able to regale your friends for years to come!
  7. Time pressure.  And here’s the most positive one of the whole list!  Time pressure will be at an absolute minimum as a budget traveller.  OK, maybe that cheap bus won’t get to your destination on time.  Maybe you’ll be in a mild panic about making your connecting bus or getting to your hostel before curfew.  But these things are easily taken care of.  Especially if you’re swapping the time pressure of commuting to work, picking kids up from school or rushing to make a meeting interstate.  If a budget traveller misses their connecting bus they’ll only be up for a new $8 ticket!  Not exactly going to stress you into getting a stomach ulcer is it?

So there’s the 7 things you need to plan to do without when you decide to set out on a budget travel adventure!

Travelling cheaply gives you the chance to experience people and places you would never come across otherwise.  Public transport is an adventure all on its own, especially in a country where you don’t speak the language!

When are you off on your next travel adventure?

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7 Things You Will Have To Kiss Goodbye As A Budget Traveller — 23 Comments

    • I’ve found I’m a waste of money at a buffet these days. I can’t eat all the food! I prefer to graze for $2 every so often along the street – just like you!

    • Yeah. Towels that don’t seem like facewashers are a big hit with me! But I’m still too cheap to spring for a nice hotel just to get a great towel!

    • Ewwwww dirty linen flips me out! Notice it wasn’t on my list of stuff to kiss goodbye? lol I find the only real time a dirty toilet is an issue is when I’m sick and my head has to get a little bit too close for comfort to said filthy item! Those are the times you’ll find me in a nice hotel being sickly in complete comfort!

  1. I didn’t click on the link to how to dry your undies but we always travel with one old towel of ours (pref not a white one). You lie it flat on the floor (or bed) and arrange your freshly handwashed clothes on it in a single layer, roll the towel up tightly with the clothes inside and then either twist the heck out of it or put it on the floor and stand on it. Removes 90% of the water and your undies will dry overnight with this method.

    • And that’s why I love you Kerrie! You know all the tricks without even clicking on the link! I, on the other hand, have to read everyone else’s tips to see how to do basic stuff better! Got any other awesome tips I should be passing on to others?

  2. I’m saving up for a couple big trips right now so I’m skipping restaurant meals at home… and I miss them! But re: the towel. I recently bought a travel towel and it’s amazing. It’s very small and thin, but long enough to wrap around your body and because it’s microfiber it’s super soft. It rolls up into a tiny ball so packing it isn’t a problem, and it dries almost instantly. I even use it at home to dry my hair as it works better than a regular towel!
    Anna – The Blonde Banana recently posted..The First Day of Spring Weather in Central ParkMy Profile

    • Hi Anna – bet you’re missing those restaurant meals eh? The secret to surviving is to cook yourself something awesome at home! I’d never bother to carry a travel towel but you are spot on about a microfiber towel being AWESOME for hair drying. I had forgotten what a difference they make – especially great if you have long hair! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Bahahahaha Max! That’s completely gross and hilarious! And doesn’t really help to get the poop off them does it?

  3. I can relate to the clean toilets…..I saw some pretty out there, weird stuff happening in toilets while travelling through Turkey. Stuff you would never, ever come across while travelling NZ, Australia etc. And I am with you on the street food too, I prefer to graze along the way, can never eat my monies worth at a buffet.

    • We are off travelling again this week Renee so I’m steeling myself for the toilet adventures. I’ve been a little bit spoiled in Penang recently! I used to be able to eat my bodyweight in food at a buffer but alas those days are gone!

  4. Hahaha this is hilarious! We ended up buying microfibre towels. They are large and pack up tiny, but they feel so weird to use – we mainly use them for the beach. Still use whatever they give us, where ever we are staying. Actually I don’t think Johns has been used except to wrap around his aging laptop as he was too cheap to buy a laptop cover haha!

    Clean undies is not optional in my life, so I bring plenty and I hand wash them if need be!! I do the towel rolling trick too! I once had to hand wash a whole load of clothes in a tiny sink in a hotel in Bolivia, even jeans!! I towel rolled the whole lot and was so pleased with myself, my hands were like wrinkly old octopuses afterwards though.

    • They need to invent buffets where you just chew the food and then spit it out into a giant trough Joanne! The idea is gross but it would be awesome because it’s really only the taste part that I want!

  5. Haha! Love it. Towels that cover your arse. Totally remember those days on holiday in Thailand and Bali and that wasn’t even budget travel by your standards. When we travelled through South America with our 7 month old son the one thing I missed most was a decent vegetable peeler!! That being said, if we were actually doing budget travel like you we probably wouldn’t have needed a peeler in the first place 🙂

    • Actually Gert bought a stupid peeler in Vietnam. To this day he’s never used it and we sold it right before we came away this time! Such a waste!

    • We really are. I love travelling. I even love knowing that I had to suck it up and live without something I miss!

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