How to Experience the Culture of Your Destination When Traveling on a Budget

Street food
Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Of all of the things that excite us about travel, perhaps one of the most significant is that it offers an opportunity to experience new places and cultures different from our own. While it’s true that certain aspects of traveling will almost always come at a cost, fortunately, some of the best ways to experience the culture of a location authentically also happen to be some of the most affordable. Read on for some of our tips on how to immerse yourself in the local culture while traveling on a budget.

Eat Like a Local

You can learn a lot about the culture of a place through its cuisine, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do so. In most locations, there’s a good chance that the locals get the majority of their food from grocery stores and markets over expensive restaurants. Doing the same can reduce your food costs significantly and expose you to local products you may not have access to at home. If you do decide to eat out, opt for street food or independent cafes in non-touristy neighborhoods where prices are likely to be the most reasonable. 

Find Free Cultural Events

The specifics of this one will definitely vary significantly depending on your destination, but many do host free or low-cost cultural events like festivals and parades at certain times throughout the year. As you plan your trip, be sure to research local event calendars and keep an eye out for anything that interests you.

Explore on Foot

Walking through the streets of your destination will grant you a closer look into the local way of life than you’d get taking taxis or public transportation, but the best part is, it’s totally free. Take your time wandering through historic districts, markets, and residential areas, soaking up all of the sights and sounds. You may even come across unique street art or special shops that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.