(Last Updated On: June 17, 2018)

Different budget travelers.

different budget travelers - forever roaming the world

There is no rule book on how to travel!

You know, the beauty of traveling, is that anybody can travel in whichever way they see fit. And, that is something you should remember if you’re thinking about traveling for the first time; nobody should ever dictate to you how you should travel. There is no particular way, there is no structure, there is no rule book – you do it how you want to and in a way that best fits your means.

Some of you might watch vlogs and read blogs daydreaming about roaming the world but think you can’t. Well, as somebody who used to think the same, let me assure you it is possible.

Since I took the leap and packed my bags for the other side of the world in 2010, I’ve met so many inspirational people from all walks of life,  different backgrounds, circumstances and financial situations – The one thing we all had in common though; a desire to travel! And, if you do then carry on reading.

Different budget travelers.

Here’s the thing I’m sure we all know there are different types of travelers out there from luxury travelers, solo, family, adventure, nomads to budget backpackers.

But…Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? That’s right, different levels of budget traveling…who would have thought it? A budget traveler is a budget traveler right?

Well no we’re not! Think about it for a second, you might be thinking about traveling and know you’ll have to on some sort of budget but what’s the reason?… Is because like many of us you can’t afford to travel any other way? Do you have other commitments? A family to provide for? Or do you just want to challenge yourself and see if you can travel on a budget?

What type of budget traveler will you be?

 (Note: The following are ‘different budget travelers’ I’ve met and in some instances been inspired by whilst traveling since 2010.)

The pretenders!

These guys, well, are more often than not luxury travelers who want to experiment, they have a curiosity, just to see what it feels like to ‘slum it’. I’ve come across these types of travelers in hostels before and the funny thing is, the first day or two they try their best not to flaunt their cash and try to stick to a budget but as soon as they see something shiny (so to speak) the floodgates open. I met one couple who didn’t like the locals because they were poor and left the next day to check into a 5-star resort. But I’m not knocking them, fair play to them, they tried it didn’t work and they have the cash, so why not spend it right?

The holiday fund budget travelers.

These guys have a life to tend to, they have other commitments, bills to pay, families to raise, they can’t just use their money for traveling. So they have to save,  I mean save hard to make a holiday/travel fund and what they manage to save; that’s their budget.

During their trips, whether that’s for a week or a month, they will do their best not to go over budget because they really can’t afford to dip into their everyday funds. I can’t do anything but applaud the effort and sacrifices they make to save their money; I find it hard enough just to save for myself let alone a whole family.

Mid-level flexi budget travelers.

The ones that travel on a budget but also have a little extra in reserve to splurge out at times. While the frugal budget traveler will have strong will power these guys know before their trip has begun they will splurge a little, so they make provisions for that when saving. They might even have a secondary fund for their splurges that they allow themselves to dip into.

The ones I’ve met will normally try to save on expenses for a few days, try not to spend much but then allow themselves to spend freely and more than normal another day.

It’s not uncommon to see a flexi budget traveler, leave the hostel for a couple of days to go and get some comfort in a hotel or pamper themselves. Sometimes they will eat locally 6 days of the week so they go and fine dine on the 7th or take the luxury transport option as long as they don’t go too far over their budget.

The strict budget traveler.

This type of budget traveler is on the ball, they are the ones that have worked out 100% of their costs before the trip. They normally have strict itineraries planned out, activities booked, already know the places they will eat and sleep in. They are the ones that can’t and won’t allow themselves to stray from their itineraries otherwise their budget goes into disarray. Having come across this type of budget traveler before it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve planned out forecasts in the months they spent planning their trip.

I do have to mention, it’s these types of travelers that I meet that are the most stressed out while traveling because they have to stick to their strict itinerary; always on the go and don’t take the time to enjoy or take in what they are doing.

The frugal budget traveler.

The type of budget traveler that has the most willpower. They will only spend money when they need to, and they will make sure they are getting value for their buck! Budget travelers all have to be frugal at times but most of us will buckle at some point, we will get tempted to spend when we don’t need to, buy something needless; we all get tempted and sometimes fall to temptation; not these guys. They will stand firm.

I’ve seen these guys in action, while I have buckled they have not, they will scrutinize every cost, squeeze their money and in most cases are really organized.

Long-term budget travelers/nomads/drifters. (9 months+)

This is the category I fall into. We’re the ones who love to travel the world but just don’t have much money, to begin with. We are the ones that strip away everything we don’t need and travel on bare bones. We’re not the best at saving money and what little we do have that’s our budget.

While other budget travelers will have set a budget, whatever money we have is our budget, we are the survivors, and in most cases get very creative in making our money stretch. Is hard? Yes but it’s also fun making our money stretch. You will also find bare-bones budget travelers to be quite open-minded, laid back with the loosest of plans and you’ll find us just drifting around letting the wind dictate when and how we move on.

The broke, no frills…free is my favorite word budget traveler.

The most resourceful of all the different budget travelers, these guys have such a desire to wander the earth, even the lack of money will not stop them. These budget travelers have little or no money but they don’t care. Free is their favourite word in every sense; they will search out anything going for free, they have no qualms in exchanging work for food or accommodation, hitchhike, slum it out, seep in the wilderness, take the cheapest local transport to get to their next destination and will just survive on next to nothing.

However there is a flip side to this type of traveler, some of them resort to begging, their not begging to survive, they’re begging to prolong their travels and this is something I strongly disagree with. If you get into that much of a state then it’s time to go home! These are the type of people who give us budget travelers a bad name. Don’t be that guy or girl!

***

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Did you know there are different budget travelers out there?...Think about it for a second, you might be looking to budget travel but what type of budget traveler will you be? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

 

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  1. Haha, I can see that you’ve met and analyzed all kinds of ‘budget travelers’ from across the world and you’ve definitely managed to nail the categories and the descriptions of each kind! I would categorize myself as a Mid-level flexi budget traveler, I usually have a budget set for the trip that I want to stick to but I always have this little extra fund set out for small luxuries, maybe 1 night at a really amazing property out of the 10 that I am there for or a dining place or an experience 🙂 I read your description of the people in this category and could totally relate – very insightful!

  2. This was such a well written piece, I can vividly remember people from each of these categories on my trips (from the woman who left our hostel after one night because someone came hope after 11pm to the guy I backpacked around Thailand with wearing ripped pants for a month because they were still ‘doing their job’).
    It’s great to see so many people enjoying the world in their own ways. I’d say I’m a long-term Flexi traveller. I will spend majority of the time in a hostel, largest dorm room, but if I know I’m visiting a location for a few days I’d like to splurge in (e.g. Santorini/Florence) I’ll try and book a cute air bnb or a budget hotel. That being said, if it came down to it, I’d happily budget more tightly and have the opportunity to travel if it came down to it

  3. you have nailed it, I could fully relate and smile to all you said here 🙂 I think, I am frugal kind and my husband is mid flexi+, now you can imagine the extra fun we have when we travel and we try to travel as much as possible. We don’t save for travels, we simply don’t like to buy and accumulate stuff, but prefer to spend on experiences.

  4. I’m definitely the mid-level flexi budget traveler! I hate spending money on useless things then I’ll find myself splurging every couple of days on a night out or a nice meal

  5. This article made me smile. Mainly because I’ve definitely met people who fit into all these categories and I’ve definitely fitted to a number of different categories. Having been travelling on and off for the past 10 years I think I have progressed from frugal to mid-level-flexi, only through determined saving when I’m not travelling. And I must say I’m glad my frugal days of travelling are over and now. I’m grateful that if I want to eat something other than pasta aI can.

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