It has been said that travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, and that to travel is to live. If you are an experienced globetrotter, you might agree that it is easy to waste money while travelling if no pre-departure plan is put into place.
You don’t want to be worrying about running out of money while you travel, so it’s always a good idea to have a plan on how you are going to manage and spend your money. Even when travelling to countries where life is already low-cost, there is always a way to save some money.
- Use public transport. You might think that hiring a car would be the cheapest and safest option, but you might be surprised to find out that public transport offers a range of advantages. First of all, it is usually cheaper than renting a car. Second, it allows you to immerse yourself in the local everyday life. Third, it is a lot less stressful than driving yourself and finding your way in an unfamiliar environment.
Take Mexico, for example. The bus service between cities is excellent. The buses are modern and clean, with TV and air conditioning. Most importantly, you can get a good deal on tickets if you buy them in advance. If you want to stretch your money further, book an overnight trip for long journeys, so you can save on accommodation for the night.
- Avoid high money withdrawal fees. Get yourself a prepaid card, to avoid high charges when taking money out at an ATM. In some countries, like in Mexico, there is always a charge when withdrawing money.
- Eat out like a local. It’s a well known fact that eating out can be expensive, especially if choosing restaurants that are located in the most touristic areas. Avoid the tourist beaten track, choose places where the locals eat. Not only will it be cheaper, but it will also be a better food experience. It would be a great opportunity to sample the real local dishes. You might have your doubts about the levels of hygiene when sampling street food, but again, do as the locals do and give it a try!
- Grocery shopping. When abroad, the temptation of eating out every night can be strong. That’s understandable, as you would want to discover the local cuisine! But if you want to save yourself some money for your travels, consider visiting the largest supermarkets available. There, you would be able to find pretty much anything you need – from cooked food (cheaper than a restaurant, by the way!) to fresh ingredients, from clothes to electrical equipment. Consider experimenting in the kitchen with fresh ingredients and new local recipes! You’d be able to impress your guests when you go back to your home country!
- Buddy-up. It is easy to make friends while you travel, but it’s even easier to do it beforehand. There are many backpackers communities on social media. Join those relevant to the geographical area you are going to visit and try to synchronise your trip. There is a lot of money to be saved on travel fairs, accommodation and restaurant bills if you are in a group. When looking for accommodation, it might be tempting to consider areas where other foreign nationals live. This, however, might have an effect on the rent. Focus your search where most locals live, for a better chance to get a cheaper deal.
- Re-think laundry. For longer stays, you need to think about doing your laundry. Depending on the country you visit, this could be tricky. Laundry service might become expensive in the long run, but some countries have open air laundry areas – rustic but cheap. Alternatively, you could try hand washing, if you have the space to air dry your clothes.
- Find a part-time job. This would be ideal to make some money while having time to explore the country. As a tourist, or as a visitor, getting a job – any job – might be difficult. The barrier language and the economic situation of the country might be your obstacles. Well, they don’t need to be. If you are fluent in English and have a TEFL certificate, you could teach English as a second language to locals. A bachelor’s degree is often desirable, but not always necessary.
Finding a job would give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting and it will also help you replenish your financial funds.
If you are thinking of choosing Mexico as your next travel destination, there are chances of finding a job as a teacher of English as a foreign language all year around. As in any country, there will be more job opportunities in the main cities. However, schools in Mexico offer around 20 to 25 hours of work per week and a stable salary, allowing you enough time and money to travel in your free time.
If you are looking for an English teaching job in Mexico, holding a 4-year degree, and being a citizen of an English speaking country, such as the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, would be an advantage, but it is not necessary.
As for most countries, you are now required to hold an accredited TEFL qualification from a reputable provider. Not only will this increase your chances of getting hired and give you more options of countries to choose from, but it will also prepare you for your first teaching job. It will lay the foundations of your knowledge and give you the basic elements of a teach english in mexico professional.
All in all, travelling on a budget is possible. There are many ways to save some cash and make your money go further. If you are planning a longer visit to a specific country, consider finding a part-time job that will give you enough time and money to explore and enjoy the new culture to the fullest.
San Miguel Times