When I asked my two friendzies what we would do if we could go away on holiday with our current budgets, the laughter was endless. It was one message on top of ridiculous fantasies, and in the end I had to call it because it was just getting out of hand.
Camping – albeit my least favorite thing to do – was the topic of conversation. One suggested we cook spaghetti on the fire and eat it with tin tuna fish… uhm… respectfully declined. Another suggestion was bread rolls and crisps. Ok, ok, my friends are NUTS!! So, I did some research on my own and came up with some really cool ideas.
If you and your squad are into backpacking, this can be the cheapest form of travel. You carry all your stuff in a backpack, sleep in hostels that charge really next to nothing. Most of them have kitchens, so you can either buy food from a grocer on the day and cook at the hostel or carry (if you are ok with all that extra weight) non-perishables like 2 Minute noodles around with you. To save even more, don’t drive there, fly or go by train or bus. Once there, walk to your destinations and buy a weekly bus or train tag.
I’ve never tried this before, but I am definitely not opposed to it if we are a group of 4 -6. Backpackers hostels are usually not opposed to renting out one room to a group of people who are together, but those rooms usually have more than 6 beds in them. So when you book, make sure you have all your ducks in a row because if there is a bed available in your room, they will rent it out if they need to.
Full disclosure, I’m not a nature gal and this is probs my least favorite on the list. Also full disclosure, I haven’t ever been… but I’m not super hoping to either! Ha! But this is not about me so I can freely comment on the pros and cons here. Firstly, this is the least expensive once you have the equipment. According to my Google maps search for “free camping”, there are hundreds of free campsites all over the world, and there’s an awesome site called HipCamp, where you can find unique camping spots! If you like fishing, depending on where you camp out, you can eat what you catch and won’t have to spend money on buying from the grocery store. (Update: I’ve just been told by my husband that this is no longer a thing. So you should scratch that idea.)
Another option is to rent an RV or a caravan for the vacation and split the costs. Of course, you will have to include fuel money for this option. Some places also charge for the stand you occupy while camping.
The wisest items to spend money on are good quality solar powered lights, camping stoves, and an airhorn, in my opinion, is a must have. Not only to ward off stray animals, but also to ward off stray humans looking for stray company…
Stuff you have at your house already that you will have to pack in are, pots and pans, cooler box, camping chairs, more than enough water, disposable plates and utensils and a good tent with sleeping bags. You got this, outdoorsy girls!!
Self-catering resorts are very comfortable. You have your own space which can fit up to as many as 16 people. The cost can be split amongst everyone and food can easily be taken with or can be bought when there. You have your own bathroom and kitchen and are only obliged to share it with the people you are there with.
This is my absolute favourite on the list. BNB’s offer comfortable beds and bathrooms and of course, the most important meal of the day is included. The rest of the day can be spent exploring and food costs for the remainder of the day can be easily split between the members of the group.
This is the most expensive option, however, if you do a proper search on the web, you can compare prices easily, and with AirBNB this exercise is easily accomplished.
It is important to have a complete discussion with everyone involved.
Use this list when planning for your trip:
- Decide who is coming along.
- Choose an option that is right for everyone involved.
- Thoroughly research each and every available backpackers, campsite, resort or BNB with all the participants.
- Choose one person who will be in charge of keeping track of all the finances. Too many people involved in finances may cause friction in the group.
- Keep your belongings close to you at all times.
- Be careful for scammers.
- Buy pepper spray for each member of the group.
- Take a small emergency kit with you. It is smart to make a list beforehand like hand sanitizer, aspirin, plasters, mosquito repellent etc. Be extra prepared.
- Plan for everything. Remember you are not going by yourself. Others’ ideas and feelings need to be considered at all times and you cannot just change your mind wily nilly as you wish.
- Lastly, have the best time of your life!!!