Traveling is one of the best things we can do. It allows us to explore the world, take in new cultures, make memories, and experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
However, with all the excitement, adventure, and fun that comes with traveling, so do high costs.
Forking out for transportation, visas, food, drinks, accommodation, and attractions quickly adds up, making it a lot harder for most of us to see all the places we’ve always dreamt of seeing.
However, in the face of adversity, a lot of travelers have taken the negatives and turned them into positives by becoming budget travelers. Traveling on a budget gives you the chance to see more for less.
We don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty epic. So much so, we’ve decided to give you our 25 hottest tips for traveling on a budget.
If you want to travel on a budget with success, keep reading!
Is It Possible To Travel On A Budget?
Before we get stuck into our list of tips, let’s first answer a question a lot of travelers find themselves seeking the answer to. That question is of course, is it possible to travel on a budget?
You’ll be pleased to hear that the answer to that question is yes. Despite the rising costs of travel all around the world, it is still easily possible to travel on a budget.
There are certain things you have to remember in order to travel on a budget with success, but when you know what to do, things become a lot easier.
That’s why we’ve put together our list of tips. By doing simple things like booking flights at the right time of the week and by avoiding tourist areas, you can save a fortune on your travel.
The money you save can then be used for you to travel further and for longer.
25 Tips You Need To Remember When Traveling On A Budget
We’ll now look at our 25 tips you need to remember when traveling on a budget.
The tips on our list are designed to help you save money and travel for longer, all whilst still letting you experience the most you possibly can from each destination you visit.
Budget travelers from all over the world stick to these tips. If it’s good enough for them, it’s definitely good enough for us too.
1. Carefully Choose Your Destinations
One of the most important things to remember when traveling on a budget is to always choose your destination carefully. No matter what we do, some destinations are just naturally more expensive than others.
Therefore, if you want to stick to a tight budget you need to think about where you’re going.
Maybe you could choose somewhere easier to get to or cheaper as opposed to somewhere further away or expensive.
For example, a trip to Dubai will cost a lot more than a vacation to Spain.
2. Have A Bank Account For Your Travel Savings
A great way to save for your travels is to have a designated holiday fund. Ideally, your holiday fund will be kept in a separate account from your other savings.
It is also a good idea to try and put any vacation savings in a high-interest savings account.
By keeping your travel money separate, you can avoid spending any of your budget before you go.
Planning your trip will also become a lot easier because you’ll know exactly how much money you have to spend.
3. Stick To Your Budget
This tip might seem too obvious but it will almost certainly help you during your travels. If you’re traveling for a prolonged period of time, you should work out how much money you have to spend every day.
Then, you can keep track of your spending at the end of each day to work out how well you’ve done.
By recording your spending at the end of each day, you can work out how much money you have left and how much more or less you can spend for the remainder of your trip.
4. Buy Travel Insurance
Buying travel insurance before your trip is an extra expense but it can potentially save you money further down the line.
If anything happens during your trip, you can get any money you have to pay back.
More importantly though, you can easily get your money back if your trip gets canceled. Travel insurance is even more important if you have any medical conditions.
5. Travel In The Off-Season
A surefire way to save money when traveling on a budget is to travel in the off-season.
Depending on where you’re going, you might not be able to guarantee the best weather, but you will be able to make a lot of savings.
To make things even better, you’ll more than likely find that the destination you visit is much quieter and less crowded. This will make your vacation more enjoyable and relaxed.
6. Book Your Travels In Advance
Whilst it’s true that you can find last-minute deals that can save you hundreds of dollars, booking your travels in advance is actually a much better method for saving money.
Booking transport, accommodation, and activities at the last minute is unpredictable. Some prices go down, but others tend to go up.
Alternatively, more often than not, the same things can be booked for cheaper in advance.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with booking your vacation a year in advance to save money.
7. Stay In Hostels
Staying in hostels isn’t everyone’s first choice, but they’re a fantastic option if you’re traveling on a budget. Besides, hostels are definitely misunderstood.
People quickly picture 10 or 20 people crammed in a small room when they think of hostels but the truth is very different.
Most hostels have spacious, comfortable rooms with plenty of privacy and essential amenities.
It’s also worth noting that most hostels offer extremely affordable private rooms too. You could quite easily cut your accommodation costs in half by staying in a hostel.
8. Consider Layovers And Extended Stopovers
If you’re not in any rush and you find yourself traveling for a couple of months, you might want to consider extended stopovers and layovers during long-haul flights.
Layovers and stopovers aren’t the nicest but they can save you an incredible amount of money on your airfare tickets.
This isn’t always the case but in most circumstances, an airline will charge you less when a flight itinerary includes a layover or stopover.
9. Avoid Tourist Traps
Staying away from tourist traps is an easy way to cut the costs of any vacation. Popular cities and tourist hotspots are renowned for being more expensive.
With that in mind, consider staying slightly outside of the main tourist areas, and don’t be afraid to head off the beaten track.
Take Sigiriya Rock in Sri Lanka for example. Sigiriya Rock is a popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka that offers exceptional views of the surrounding area.
However, the less popular Pidurangala Rock next to Sigiriya Rock offers the same views at a fraction of the cost.
10. Use Skyscanner To Find The Best Deals
Skyscanner is arguably the best tool to use when searching for cheaper flights. A simple search on the Skyscanner app will show you the cheapest destinations to fly to from your nearest airport.
This is a great tool to use when planning a trip or if you want to find a quick and affordable deal. Skyscanner will even show you the price comparison between airline companies.
11. Fly During The Week
One useful tip to know is to book flights during the week and not at the weekend. Interestingly, flights are more expensive at the weekend. This is simply because more people want to travel at the weekend.
With that in mind, we recommend trying to travel between Tuesday and Thursday to avoid flights close to the weekend.
12. Use Public Transport As Much As You Can
One of your best friends when traveling on a budget is public transport. Public transport is much cheaper than other forms of transport such as taxis and private hire cars.
In fact, no matter where you are in the world, you’ll more than likely find that traveling by bus, train, or underground is always cheaper. Hiring a private driver is usually the most expensive way to travel.
13. Make The Most Of Free Attractions
Most places you visit will offer a wide range of free attractions. If you’re traveling on a budget, you should make the most of these freebies before heading to the attractions that charge an entry fee.
Of course, you’ll also want to pay for the best attractions too, but if you can cut how much you spend down, you’ll be able to do more at a later date.
Popular attractions that are usually free include museums, parks, and botanical gardens.
14. Travel Through The Night
If part of your travel itinerary includes a long journey, try your best to travel through the night. Aside from giving you more time to do the things you love, this can also save you a lot of money.
Traveling from A to B overnight saves you money on accommodation. Instead of paying for a room in a hotel, you can simply sleep on your way to the next place.
15. Purchase A Local SIM Card
One of the biggest costs you can incur when traveling abroad is data roaming and Wi-Fi costs. Unfortunately, these costs can be extortionate, quickly eating into your budget.
Luckily, there is a solution. That solution is a local SIM card. You can buy local SIM cards at the same prices as the locals and enjoy unlimited data and Wi-Fi without having to spend a fortune.
16. Don’t Always Eat Out
Another great tip for traveling on a budget is to avoid eating out all the time. Whilst you can find cheap eats in a lot of places, you’ll still spend a lot more than when you cook for yourself.
If you buy local foods from the supermarket or market stalls, you’ll be able to save even more. Most hostels have kitchen facilities you can use to cook your food.
17. Avoid Touristy Areas When Eating Out
During your travels, there will come times you want to eat out. To avoid spending too much money, try to avoid touristy areas. Restaurants will put their prices up just because they sit in a popular area.
Simply walking one street back from a popular street will slash food prices dramatically. More often than not, the food is just as good, if not better anyway.
18. Try Not To Use ATMs
We strongly advise against using ATMs as you travel. If possible, always take out money or exchange currencies at an exchange facility.
The main reason for this is that most ATMs abroad will charge tourists for taking out money.
These charges are usually quite high so you could save quite a lot of money. It’s also worth noting that some destinations are well-known for ATM fraud.
19. Don’t Be Afraid To Haggle
Another useful tip to remember is to never be afraid to haggle. It is common practice for prices to be hiked up for tourists, so you’ll need to use your negotiation skills to get a discount.
In most Asian countries, haggling is a way of life, so never feel awkward or inappropriate for asking for a better price.
The worse the seller can say is no. The only place you shouldn’t haggle is in supermarkets.
20. Walk As Much As You Can
It isn’t always possible to walk from A to B but if it is you can save yourself a small fortune.
Even though public transport can be quite cheap, walking is completely free. If you don’t feel like walking, it will even work out cheaper to just hire a bicycle for the day.
If you decide to spend the whole day walking or cycling, you can travel all day without paying anything or for very little.
21. Work As You Travel
If you’re planning a gap year or prolonged period of travel, you could extend your stay by working as you travel. Working as you travel will save you money because you’ll earn it.
You’ll also find that some hostels and other accommodation options will offer reduced rates or free accommodation in return for a couple of shifts.
This tip works really well for anyone that has a skill set that allows them to work abroad.
22. Pack Light
We’ve all been there before. We’ve booked a cheap flight for it to then keep rising in the total price when we add our baggage. Well, a good way to avoid these unnecessary additional costs is to pack light.
If you can pack all of your belongings into one bag or suitcase, you won’t have to pay as much to fly.
For example, if two of you back all of your clothes etc into one bag, you’ll only have to pay for one bag instead of two.
Over a long period of time, this can save you hundreds of dollars that you can spend traveling somewhere else.
23. Avoid Imported Foods
If, like us, you’re a sucker for snacks, this tip applies to you. Buying snacks around the world can get quite pricey if you get it wrong.
Generally speaking, imported snacks cost more than local snacks.
Therefore, if you fill your basket with imported snacks whilst on vacation, the bill will add up. Simply buying the local equivalent will ease the pressure off your budget.
24. Get Your Travel Vaccinations Before You Leave
Depending on where you’re visiting it might be worth getting some travel vaccinations before you leave.
This isn’t always a must, but it can definitely be beneficial. Some parts of the world have viruses and diseases that can impact your travels.
If you have your vaccinations before you go, you reduce the risks of falling ill. This eliminates the risk of you having to pay for any treatment during your trip.
25. Make The Most Of Free Activities
A great way to make the most of a country without having to spend any more money is to make the most of free activities.
Most hotels and hostels across the world offer free classes and activities to their guests. Joining in will give you the chance to try something new and see more of the place you’re visiting.
Traveling on a budget is actually quite straightforward.
As long as you know all the tips and tricks to travel more affordably, you can easily travel further and for longer without having to spend any more money.
In this post, we’ve shown you 25 tips you need to remember when traveling on a budget. The tips on our list will help you make the most of your budget, cut down costs, and find cheaper ways to travel.
Now you have this list at your fingertips, you should be able to plan your next trip without spending more than you need to.