Simply put, budget travel is travelling on a budget, that is, planning to spend so much and not more on every aspect of your trip; then, trying hard to stick faithfully to your plan.
It means that you first have to decide where you want to go; then, do a lot of research on that place or the places you intend to travel to; then, decide on what you would actually do there; and, put a cost to each and every thing along the entire return trip.
To summarise, before leaving home, you have to map out your travel; add a cost to everything -transportation, baggage, food, accommodation, entertainment, purchases, services; and, while travelling, try not to exceed any of the various costs.
It will mean having to check costs and prices before leaving home; having to adjust some along the way; and, being forced to change up your itinerary to stay within your budget. This calls for flexibility.
Here are what some expert blogging travelers have said, followed by my comments or my own experiences.
Budget Travels Photo Gallery
“Budget travel is not about spending as little as possible but about getting the most experience from what you have to spend.”
Indeed, trying to stick to your budget can, at times, make you appear to be cheap; for, you might feel forced to haggle for cheaper prices along the way; or, forgo doing or eating or seeing something special in a particular place that is known for whatever it is that you might feel you have to give up on experiencing, for example, diving the amazing Great Blue Hole in Belize or visiting the Bagan temples in Myanmar for “a trip of a lifetime” as the UK Telegraph online puts it.
Most would say it makes no sense to go to what was originally Burma and visit a lesser attraction like Mount Popa and not visit any of the many, beautiful and exciting historic temples; or, to go to Belize and pass up on the amazing 400 foot deep Blue Hole; maybe, feeling quite content to do the second blue hole there instead.
When I cruised to Mykonos, I felt I should not just stay around the town and be content with walking the white lined, narrow cobblestone streets in the shopping area; or, stand and stare at the super-sized white pelican drinking water at the fountain. I could not miss taking a taxi to the famous party beach; or, to see the six hundred or so white, iconic churches or the numerous windmills.