How to Travel on a Budget with Ruth Rieckehoff

Be determined to add adventure into your life and start planning!

By Ankita Seth


Ruth Rieckehoff writes for people interested in exploring life’s off-the-beaten-path options. Lately, she has been obsessed with wild beaches, piers and ethnic neighborhoods. Originally from Puerto Rico and Californian by adoption, she aims to use travel as medium to learn, explore and form meaningful connections.


My name is Ruth Rieckehoff and I am the editor of the Blog, Tanama Tales. I started this project because I believe every person have many options to bust the routine and live an adventurous life. I am not trying to funny or unrealistic.

I believe you do not have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have meaningful experiences.

Q: What do you mean in the previous statement?

Ruth: We have been sold the idea that in order to be considered an adventurer we have to be exposed to the natural elements 365 days of the year or go to places where only a few have been. On a similar note, we also have the cases of people who are considered bold because they hop from city to city in a matter of days. But, the reality is that you can have the time of your life by going on a camping trip, visiting a nearby city or going on a short gateway. You may come back full of energy, knowledge and contacts without having to go that far.

Q: How do you search for cheap flights?

Ruth: To me, everything starts with flights. In order to book cheap flights, I travel depending on what is on sale or low priced for the season. I have a list of places I want to visit. About six months before my desired travel dates, I start to look for airfare on aggregator sites. I usually book the cheapest deal. In addition, I am subscribed to several newsletters. In that way, I receive e-mails notifying me about sales. It is a good idea to check what others have paid for a similar trip. In that way, you have an idea on how much you should pay. This works better when you book way in advance. Do not leave things for the last minute!


Q: How do you travel with low budget?

Ruth: The way you are going to spend your money on a trip is up to you. Nowadays, travel is open to more individuals than ever. If you are working with a small budget, here are some recommendations: * Many cities have a wide arrange of accommodations. You can find a bed in a hostel for $30-$40 per night. A nice hotel room or apartment can be booked for $70-$80. You can decide to spend as much as possible on a room. However, do not feel obligated to spend triple digits on a place to stay. * Use public transportation. * Eat at markets, festivals and street stalls. * Cook your own food. * Make lunch the biggest meal of the day (because it is usually cheaper). * Decide what attractions you are going to visit. It is not realistic to want to see “everything” if you are in a low budget. * Find alternatives to high priced attraction or activities. * Organize your own day trips (or rent a car and drive yourself). * Do a free tour. * Make an effort to meet the locals.

In other words, there are tons of ways to have fun and learn even if you are traveling with a low budget.


Q: How do you start to add more meaningful experiences to your life?

Ruth: Start by making a list of nearby places you want to visit or things you want to do. Search local resources for interesting things in your city, region, county or state. Once you start the search, set apart a small amount of money. If you do not think you have the discipline to save the money, have it deducted automatically from your pay check.
Then, pick a place or thing, decide where to stay and go. Invite family members and/or friends if you want to share the experience. Make a point of repeating this exercise every couple of months. Believe me, you need this! This doesn’t have to be complicated. I bet there are tons of places to visit close to where you live (and maybe you have never been). Work with your budget and be creative.

Q: What if I want to travel further or internationally?

Ruth: Well, welcome to the club! Stretching your travel wings will add tons of developmental experiences to your life. With all the resources we have nowadays, travel is open to all types of budget. Now, a longer trip requires more preparation. I will start by determining the amount of money I will need for the trip I want to take. Then, I will need to decide how long it will take me to put together the money needed. It is very complicated to give a general figure of how much money is needed for a trip but I will start working towards having $1,000 per week of travel. Locations farther from your home destination or with a high cost of living will cost more than that.

Be sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook and find her travel stories on her blog Blog.


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