Are you a budget conscious traveler or you want to travel, but think it’s too expensive? I have news for you, travel can be a lot cheaper than you think! I have gone on budget trips for many years as a teacher and an unemployed individual. I have been to over 45 countries! If I can make it work, so can you.
Over the years I have found ways to see the world for less. Below you can find the best tips for traveling on a budget. I hope you follow these and that you end up exploring the world!
Table of Contents
10 Amazing Budget Travel Tips
#1 Be Flexible with Your Plans
Some of you may have vacation days to use, but you don’t have to go at a specific time. Try to look for flights or travel during the work week. Hotels, flights, and experiences are often cheaper during the week and you can save a lot of money. You’ll also probably escape a lot of crowds if you do that.
#2 Choose Cheap Destinations
There are some countries or states in the US that have a reputation for being less expensive. For example, if you travel to Southeast Asia or Eastern Europe you’ll probably spend a lot less money than if you go to other places. Find a place where you can do everything you want and spend very little cash. I lived in Vietnam for months and I didn’t break the bank at all.
Countries to Travel to on a Budget:
- Washington, DC
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
#3 Book Airbnbs or Hostels
Hotels can be really expensive and I actually rarely book a hotel. You’ll find way better deals if you go on Airbnb, VRBO, or Hostelworld. I have used these sites for most of my travels and they have all been amazing. These sites usually offer cancellations and they have many reviews to read from.
Also, if you really want to save money, you can couch surf as well. Look up couch surfing around the world and spend time in someone else’s home while traveling. I love finding unique spots to spend the night and these are great tools.
#4 Check Flights on Multiple Sites
I always cross check flights before I purchase any flights. You should never look at just one place to book a flight, unless you’re using credit card points or something like that. Some sites will even tell you if flight prices are expected to go down or if you could book flights on a different day to save money.
Flight Booking Sites:
- Google Flights
- Sky Scanner
#5 Travel in the Shoulder Season
Most people tend to go to certain destinations during their most popular time. If you book the destination in the off peak season then you will find much better deals. So for example, booking summer destinations like places around the US in winter or winter destinations in the summer!
Sometimes, I travel in the winter or early spring so that I can go places for a lot less money. This is one of my best tips for traveling on a budget. Don’t forget to secure your home before you go.
#6 Eat Where Locals Eat
I read this tip somewhere years ago and now it’s one of my favorite travel tips. First of all, the food is probably delicious if the locals are eating it. Secondly, it’s bound to be much cheaper.
Do you want to eat street tacos or pad thai in Thailand? I have found hole in the wall restaurants and amazing street food on my travels. It’s the best way to save a few bucks and eat something amazing.
#7 Take Public Transportation
Most European cities and cities elsewhere have great public transportation systems that are very affordable. You can get a lot of places by taking buses or trains. So, before you rent a car or book an airplane look at the public transporation options.
Also, most popular destinations now also have uber, which is another great option. You’ll save a lot of money from sharing rides to places on your itinerary. You can find ways to get around for just a few dollars!
#8 Find Free Things to Do
Growing up in DC, I’m used to museums and other sites being free to the public. When I go to other cities, I often look up cool free things to do. I’ve explored really cool parks, gone on fantastic hikes, and seen amazing scenery all for free.
You can find plenty to do in a city for free! There are often free walking tours that you can join in cities. These are great ways to learn more about a place or spend time on hikes or in parks! Find free activities on Google before you go!
#9 Bring Cash
This is mostly a tip for when you go to other countries, but it’s so important to bring cash with you. Airports and ATMs in foreign countries often have large fees, so you’ll want to exchange ahead of time.
You can just google foreign exchange places in your city and you’ll find places that have way better rates. Once you have your cash, you should keep it in secure locations so that you don’t lose it.
#10 Get a Good Credit Card
My last tip is something that you should do right now. If you love to travel, then you should invest in a good travel credit card. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and it has seriously saved me so much money. I get double points anytime I spend money on food or travel. Then those points are worth twice as much when you book travel. I literally just got $1000 of flights all on points. Look into travel credit cards and get yourself one now!
Best Travel Credit Cards:
- Capitol One Venture Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve
- American Express Platinum or Gold Card
- Airline Credit Cards
Was 10 Tips for Traveling on a Budget helpful? Let me know in the comments!