Preparing for a Trip Abroad

Hello, my name is Kyle and I live in a small town in Eastern Australia. Ever since I was a boy, I have loved to travel. My parents would often take me abroad on trips around Asia. I remember the first time I saw the skyline of Hong Kong, it totally blew my mind. When I turned 21, I decided I wanted to go and see the world myself. However, I realised I didn't have a clue how to plan and prepare for such a trip. Thankfully, my parents helped me out and taught me a lot of cool things about vaccinations and visas. I decided to start a blog to help others who are planning to travel.

How to have a great holiday in an expensive capital city when you're on a tight budget

Travel Blog

A lot of capital cities are hugely popular holiday destinations, and with good reason; a large, thriving city will usually have a plethora of fascinating cultural attractions, beautiful scenery and an amazing nightlife. However, because the cost of living in these types of places tends to be quite high, they are often very expensive to visit. If you're on a tight budget but would love to take a trip to somewhere like Canberra, New York or London, here are a few tips which may help.

Cut back on day-to-day expenses

If you book in well in advance and are flexible about your travel dates, it's actually relatively easy to nab affordable flights and low-cost city accommodation, even if you're travelling to a very popular destination like Canberra.

The expenses which tend to take the biggest toll on holiday-goers' wallets are those day-to-day things, such as restaurant meals, takeaway coffees and souvenir trinkets, etc. In an expensive city, the cost of these purchases can add up alarmingly quickly. Buying a takeaway coffee and bagel each day, for example, could end up costing you a small fortune overall, particularly if you're staying for longer than a couple of days.

As such, if you're on a tight budget, it's important to try to cut back on those unnecessary daily expenses; remember, it won't be the overpriced coffee or silly souvenirs that will make your holiday memorable, but rather the experiences you have during your exploration of the city.

Try to book self-catering accommodation that is within walking distance of a supermarket; this will allow you to whip up your own cheap-and-cheerful meals, rather than having to splurge on costly restaurant food each day. If you intend to spend most of your time out and about in the city and would prefer not to have to traipse back to your accommodation when you get hungry during the day, make sure to prepare some sandwiches and other snacks to bring with you before you leave each morning. This should help you to avoid the temptation of popping into expensive cafes or restaurants for a bite to eat during your daily tour of the city.

Additionally, when drawing up your itinerary, search online for free attractions in the area you'll be travelling to. Most capital cities have plenty of places, like botanical gardens, historical buildings and parks, which are free for the public to visit. If there are attractions which you want to see that do cost money, consider making an inquiry about discounts; many galleries and museums, for example, offer cheaper entry fees to students, seniors and large groups of tourists.

Be mindful of the cost of transportation

Capital cities are generally quite large; because of this, if you're not careful, you could end up using public transportation constantly throughout your holiday. Given that the fares for buses, trams and trains in most major cities tend to be very high, this could be a very expensive mistake.  

To reduce this expense, plan your itinerary in such a way that you can minimise the need for public transport; that is, each day, try to visit attractions which are within walking distance of one another, so that you don't have to travel back and forth across the city throughout the day to reach the sights you want to see.

Additionally, when planning your holiday, check to see if the city you'll be visiting offers discount cards for its public transportation system. For example, if you intend to stay in London, you can purchase and top-up an Oyster card, which will allow you to travel via bus, Tube, overground train and tram at a discounted price.

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8 March 2017