How many times have you found yourself daydreaming about your next vacation? Do you have dreams of exploring far away and exotic destinations, giving yourself a chance to explore some of the most striking architecture, history, scenery, wildlife, and dining the world has to offer? It’s about that point that reality kicks in for many, and they wrongly assume that their dream destination is far too expensive.

Exploring exotic destinations on a shoestring budget may sound like an impossible feat, but in reality, there are all kinds of tips and tricks you can use to make it happen. Let’s take a closer look.

Plan and Book Early

Where it used to be that last-minute travel deals were the best prices out there, today’s demand for travel has made these last-minute packages almost non-existent. Instead, it’s all about planning and booking early so you can get discounts on your trip.

Many tour operators offer early booking bonuses, and some even allow you to pay in instalments. This can make budgeting much more affordable if you don’t have to pay the total all at once.

Do Not Pay Top Dollar on Your Flights

Airfare can end up being one of, if not the most expensive part of your holiday. If you’re not careful and not savvy, you could easily over-pay on your flight thereby leaving less in the budget for all the other parts of your trip. There is no need to pay top dollar on flights. Instead, use this strategy and be on the hunt for cheap flights.

Rather than work with a specific date in mind, experts suggest you pick the destination and then look into the cheapest time to fly there. Mid-week and red-eye flights are known to be cheaper, and traveling in the off-season will also help save you money. Even the airports you fly in and out of can impact the airfare. Just imagine those hundreds of dollars saved on your flight being redistributed to other aspects of your holiday.

Create Your Own Tour Package

If you’ve been swayed by the pre-packaged tours that big tour operators offer, it’s time to think again. While they may seem like a decent deal on the surface, in reality, you can likely plan your travel and tour itinerary for much cheaper. When you piece together your itinerary you have control over the accommodations, the length of stay, which attractions you visit, the restaurants you go to, and so forth.

The same can be said for pre-packaged tours within a destination such as a walking tour, a biking tour, or any other type of pre-arranged tour. Self-guided tours will save you a lot of money and you’ll still have a great experience.

Research Free Activities and Attractions

Another tip is to research free activities, sights, and attractions before you leave for your trip. If not free, the attractions may have discount days or times of the day/night, and you may even find coupons online. This takes a little more work instead of just showing up to an attraction, but you’ll be grateful for all the money saved.

Skip the Car Rental – Use Public Transit and Ride Share

Car rentals are another huge expense when traveling and for many destinations, it may not be necessary. If there are public transit options or ride-share services available, these will prove to be much more cost-effective. Even renting a bike to get around can be highly affordable if it’s a bike-friendly town or city.

Your Shoestring Budget Doesn’t Have to Be a Limiting Factor

Just because you’re traveling on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a fabulous holiday in an exotic destination. It just takes a little creativity and planning to ensure your dollar stretches further.