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The Forecast is Summersalt’s global content hub for all things travel, packing, style, and discovery, packed with informative and inspirational pieces for (and featuring!) women who are going places.

Travel Hacks: Adventuring on a Budget

Jasmine Alley knows a thing or two about travel. The travel-inspired Instagram account she started just about a year ago has already garnered tens of thousands of followers who tune in to keep up with her many adventures. And when it comes to exploring the world on a budget, she not only says it’s totally possible, but that it makes the experience even sweeter. “When you are tight on money, you often find the best hidden gems that a place has to offer. It forces you to be creative about how you experience a new place.” 

Planning on a budget can be overwhelming. What are your tips for getting started?

First, get the best deal you can on a flight. Often times, that is one of your biggest expenses. If you check sites like Skyscanner or Kayak, or have a subscription to a low fare finder, those can end up saving you money! Also, if you already have a destination in mind, you can track flight prices to ensure you’re getting a good rate.

Secondly, remember that if there’s something that you want to do that is expensive, it doesn’t mean you automatically can’t. You just need to compensate elsewhere! For example: visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is a MUST, but it’s also about $100 per person. Instead of saying no to such a once-in-a-lifetime experience, just make a commitment to cooking your own food instead of eating out for a few days.

What was the last trip you took, and what were some of the highlights?

The last international trip we took was to Iceland, and there were too many highlights to list them all! Iceland is a country that just blows you away at every turn. My favorite things were the otherworldly landscape, the many hot springs all around the country, and going on a trail ride on Icelandic horses at a local horse farm.

What’s the best city to visit on the cheap?

Though I haven’t been there, I’ve learned through my traveling friends that Bali or cities in Thailand are the best places to go if you’re on a budget. Of cities I’ve visited, though, I think that the best has actually been Singapore. Singapore is actually known for being expensive, but if you avoid fancy hotels and restaurants, transportation is so easy and eating at Hawker Centers (like the locals do) gives you an authentic experience while saving you plenty of money! It also gives you a real taste for Singaporean cuisine which is absolutely delicious.

Any recommendations for fun, free activities in different cities around the world?

Though Iceland can be expensive because of food and hotel costs, you can see so many beautiful things for FREE! Mountains, glaciers, black sand beaches, and so much more. You can find these kind of free activities almost anywhere you go, actually. Hiking offers the best views and gives you a real sense for what a city offers.

Where are you headed next?
Ruidoso, New Mexico for a ski vacation!

You can see so many beautiful things for FREE! Mountains, glaciers, black sand beaches, and so much more.

Of all the advice you could give, what are your top 5 hacks for traveling on a budget?

• Track flight prices using websites like Skyscanner or Kayak.
• Don’t eat out all of the time. Instead, buy and cook your own food.
• Use public transportation.
• Skip the alcohol (trust me, it’ll save you plenty of $$).
• Rent an AirBNB instead of a hotel room.

How does a low-budget trip impact the experience for the better?

When you are tight on money, you often find the best hidden gems that a place has to offer. It forces you to be creative about how you experience a new place. You also get to know cities more like locals do, using public transportation, shopping in local markets, and living in cheaper, non-hotel alternatives.