A traveller who's visited over 120 countries explains why the most expensive places make it easiest to save money

Patrick martin schroederPatrick Martin SchroederPatrick Martin Schroeder, above, has travelled to 125 countries on $US15 a day.

Trying to plan a budget vacation?

You could start by looking at countries that have a low cost of living, like Indonesia or Thailand.

But sometimes, that strategy backfires.

Patrick Martin Schroeder, who has travelled to 125 countries on $US15 a day, finds that it’s actually easier to spend less in expensive countries with a high cost of living.

In a recent Reddit “Ask Me Anything” discussion, he explained why:

“Curiously enough, it’s easier to spend less in expensive countries.

It’s easier to say no to a $US25 hotel room and camp, than to say no to a $US5 hotel room and camp.

In Europe I’d go camping and couchsurfing all the time out of necessity, but here in Asia I’d happily pay for accommodation, because it’s cheaper.

But of course that adds up, and in the end I pay more.”

Schroeder’s point applies to other aspects of travel, like shopping and dining, as well.

If you’re vacationing in a country where everything is cheap, you may find yourself buying extra snacks, drinks, and souvenirs, not realising that the equivalent of $US5 here and $US5 there will add up quickly.

But if everything in the area where you’re staying is expensive, you’ll be more thoughtful about what you buy.

So if you’re planning a budget trip this summer, keep in mind that it’s not where you go that matters — it’s what you do with your money once you get there.

Small things like avoiding “dynamic currency conversion,” packing a carry-on bag with essentials like a reusable water bottle and a first-aid kit, and staying in a B&B instead of a fancy hotel can help you to spend less, while still taking the vacation of your dreams.

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