It helps to select an economically advantageous destination. And to purchase the cheaper, sometimes even logistically uncomfortable fairs. But a severe factor to economically sustainable travel involves your choices on a day-by-day basis.
Stay busy with your projects, hobbies or even work (provided your work is your hobby). Don’t expect or even crave to be a tourist for the entirety of the day. It’s not sustainable: nor energetically, nor financially.
Speak the local language. You’ll save fortunes by avoiding the expensive tourist oriented amenities catered towards English speakers.
Avoid the costlier superficial activities.
Personally, I don’t care for tours, packages, most museums, extras, beverages, alcohol, or (I can’t believe I even mention) tourist buses.
Focus on what’s most important to you. As for me, that involves the inherently free experiences: the sights, the sounds, the conversations.
If you’re travelling for any extended period, beware of the ‘popular local dishes’.
They facilitate a cultural and academic curiosity - even in myself on occasion. But if you have the sensitive stomach that I do, no exotic cuisine justifies the days of illness due to a food infection.
Take public transit.
Avoid splurging meals.
Select the cheaper lodgings - private apartments/rooms on AirBnB, or even Couchsurfing.
Sacrifice a small bit of your comfort for an economically sustainable travel. Who claimed that travel need go hand-in-hand with deluxe quarters? In any case, if you’re reading this, it’s most likely the experiences you’re after.
Pack light: whatever you can carry for kilometers without much effort. Doesn’t matter if you’re enabled a free carry-on of a certain size or even checked-in luggage.
Pack the smallest, feasible amount of belongings, accounting for laundry (or hand) washing, as well as local purchases for anything lacking. Never mind that you might suffer some cold one day as you leave your entire wardrobe at the laundromat.
Pack a single backpack if you can.
You can thus arrive at small towns and walk to your destination, rather than counting on taxis or Uber, ultimately limiting further expenses.
This enables you to pack and repack quickly. You can easier adapt to changing circumstances. You can comfortably enter public transit or establishments. You feel freer.
Be okay with uncertainty, such as not knowing where you’ll stay in two or three days. Last-minute economic options are not terribly difficult to arrange in most places.
I’ve presently been doing this in Mexico.
In the past, I’ve encountered travelers that arrive to a town with nothing yet arranged. These travellers really inspire me.
If you carry a smartphone, you can find options right then and there. Otherwise, find some nearest internet café or WiFi.
Don’t necessarily commit to too much to economize little. Long-term lodgings are economically advantageous, but they can also limit your options. Be wary when you’re okay with the sacrifice of movement.
Most important, don’t neglect exercise or proper nutrition. Follow the same ritual as you do at your home base, without compromise.
With a solid base, you are far better equipped for any eventuality, especially that characteristic of alternative, cheaper travel.
Questions, comments? Connect.