Travelers’ 25 Best Tips For Traveling On A Budget
Traveling is always challenging, especially if you do not have the biggest budget. However, there are several ways to have a fantastic trip without spending too much, and there are many methods for traveling on even the tightest budget while having the most fun possible. In this article we are going to share some of the best budget travel tips.
If you’re planning a vacation and don’t have much money for sightseeing, you don’t have to miss out on all the fun. Here are 25 of the best tips for sightseeing and traveling on a budget (not in an specific order). You can also check out our article on 51 Creative Staycation Ideas That’ll Save You Money!
1. Don’t Splurge On Your Plane Ticket.
The first and among the most essential tips for traveling on a budget is to not splurge on your plane ticket.
It is very tempting to spend money on a business-class, or higher, plane ticket, but these tickets are significantly more expensive than coach tickets and will use up a large portion of your traveling budget.
Higher-class tickets do buy you a comfortable seat and better amenities, but it is far better for the trip overall to spend less on your ticket, tough it out in coach for the flight, and have much more money to use for your trip, rather than spending it all on a flight.
It is also a good idea to try and buy the least expensive tickets you can find (I use Google Flights and Skyscanner to search for the best fares and create alerts). This means buying your ticket well in advance, rather than waiting for the last minute and shopping around at various airlines to find the best deal you can. You can even get free wifi on JetBlue!
A practical way to help reduce the overall costs of a trip is to use a credit card for traveling by taking advantage of bonus points and travel rewards…some even offer free upgrades!
This is especially true when making purchases in a foreign currency, withdrawing cash from an ATM in a foreign country, and buying plane tickets.
Credit card purchases of certain transactions, including air travel, include built-in insurance. This insurance covers your luggage in case of loss, the air ticket itself in case of cancellation, and other unforeseen issues such as flight delays.
This eliminates the need for separate travel insurance, significantly reducing the cost of the trip overall.
Using travel credit cards for cash withdrawals usually provides a better exchange rate than using a debit card, which means you will get more money from the ATM with a credit card than otherwise. The fees for these transactions are lower, which means you will also save money.
A credit card also affords a sense of security. Using an account like this will help you to pay for any large unforeseen payments that may arise, delays to your trip that end up costing you more than expected, and can provide you with emergency funds in case you lose access to your debit card.
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A fairly obvious way to save money when traveling is to buy transport tickets from discount ticket providers.
This could be for air, bus, train, or ferry tickets. Discount ticket providers have several methods for reducing the cost of your travel tickets, and they usually know the cheapest way to travel long distances.
This usually comes with the compromise of a less comfortable travel and longer travel times due to layovers and longer overall distances. However, if you have a tight budget, using a ticket discounter is always an excellent way to find the best transport prices.
Points programs are a great way to fund your trip and reduce overall travel costs if you use the system well.
Travel programs that provide points for travelers using specific brands and companies for travel and those that provide benefits for travel can be an excellent way to reduce the cost of your trip or to make your trip more enjoyable along the way.
There are several point systems to sign up for, all of which require a small recurring fee. They can provide you with several benefits for traveling, including significant discounts on accommodation and air travel, and usually provide perks such as free meals.
Using a travel points program is a great way to make your trip more comfortable and to reduce the cost of your trip by reducing the prices of accommodation, travel, and food. This is usually well worth the small monthly fee to join the program and will definitely help when traveling on a budget.
Packing light always makes sense when traveling, especially when traveling on a budget.
Taking as little luggage as possible is a way to make traveling easier, but it also reduces the cost of traveling. Packing light minimizes the cost of traveling on planes, trains, and buses, as the less luggage you bring, the smaller your luggage fees are.
This is especially helpful if you intend to take internal flights where you visit, as if you only carry a small bag with you, the airline may not charge you for checked luggage at all.
When traveling on a budget, among the most important expenses to consider are those that you may incur at the bar.
Food and drink are essential expenses, but it is critical that you carefully consider where you spend your food budget.
Visiting a bar can become expensive quickly, as when the drinks flow, so does the cash. Drinks can be costly in some places in the world, so a great way to ensure that you save as much as possible during your trip is to be careful not to let your bar bill get too high.
It is better for your pocket not to visit bars at all, but if you do, keep a close eye on your bill before you spend far more than you intended to.
This tip builds upon the previous item on the list. Food and drink are essential aspects when traveling on a budget, but there are good ways to reduce your expenses by carefully considering what you eat.
Rethinking your breakfast, for example, can save you a lot along the way.
For example, eating later in the day rather than first thing in the morning may keep you going until dinner time, reducing your expenses by not requiring a third meal. If you eat breakfast early, try to eat something inexpensive and light rather than eating a big, hearty meal every day.
Food items such as breakfast meats can be shockingly expensive in some places, so eating a small, cheap breakfast is a far better option when traveling on a budget.
If you are traveling to a city, buying a city pass is a great way to get around without ruining your budget.
Almost all major cities have a travel pass system, card, or membership that allows people to travel at significantly reduced rates and sometimes even for free.
Investigate the fees associated with a city pass in the town that you visit, as buying one may get you into buses, trains, and trains for free.
This tip may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but the truth is that sometimes booking at the last minute can be beneficial.
This tip is not always applicable to aspects of travel such as flights, but it can serve you well for accommodation and certain intra-city transport options such as buses.
Accommodations such as bed and breakfasts and hotels often offer lower costs if you book just after someone else cancels.
Keep an eye on the accommodation that you want to book. If dates suddenly become available, meaning someone has canceled or not arrived, and you book for the same day or the next morning, the prices will likely be significantly reduced.
This booking method requires luck and timing but can greatly reduce travel costs, especially when travelling on a budget!
If you want to do some sightseeing on your vacation, a good way to do it without spending too much is to book an all-day hike or walking tours.
A hike like this will likely include food or introduce you to inexpensive dining options along the way and show you all the impressive sights the area has to offer.
All-day hikes are less expensive than driving or boat tours, as they incur no transportation costs. This is a great budget-friendly option if you enjoy a good hike and want to see the sights.
Anyone traveling on a budget should always consider camping as a good option for accommodation.
Camping is always significantly less expensive than any other form of accommodation, and in some instances, it could even be free.
Modern tents are lightweight and easy to carry, which makes them perfect for traveling, and you will always have somewhere to sleep so long as you have your tent with you.
Campgrounds usually have complimentary amenities such as showers and kitchens, which makes them far more liveable than most people realize.
Buying a small tent is an excellent budget decision, especially if you visit an area with good weather and plenty of campsites.
Any seasoned traveler knows that to travel to most travel destinations are significantly less expensive to visit during the local off-season or low season making the best time to visit.
An excellent budget travel trip is to research the area where you are going and find out when tourists usually visit or the high season. Plan your trip around these times, and stay during the off-season.
This is especially true for areas that are frequent tourist hot spots. Local restaurants and accommodation usually increase their prices during the tourist season as the demands increase and tourists typically have money to spare.
Visit when the tourists are not around, and your accommodation and food will be much less expensive.
Micro-traveling is a popular trend among frequent travelers, and for good reason.
When you arrive at your destination, plan a few micro trips from your current location rather than booking your entire trip in advance and traveling long distances to the next location.
These are short, two or three-day trips that take you to a specific area for a specific purpose.
If you want a great hike, take a micro trip into the mountains and return the next day. If you want to go surfing, take a micro trip to a surf island and stay for two nights.
Travel light and book a micro trip to get the most out of your vacation on a budget. Booking for one or two nights in a location is usually far less expensive than booking an extended stay.
Micro trips reduce the cost of trips by eliminating big excursions and expensive travel costs, as they emphasize experiences and seeing as much as possible while spending as little as possible.
One of the most important tips for any traveler with a tight budget is to look for discounts.
There are several ways to look for discounts, including travel and accommodation apps, online promotions, recommendations, and even simple methods such as signing up for a mailing list on a travel agent’s website.
Look for discounts anywhere and for anything you can, including flights, accommodation, food, and local travel. Discounts can save significant money and help your travel budget stretch further than otherwise.
A budget-conscience travel’s best friends are small, little-known towns and areas.
Staying in big cities, popular tourist locations and frequently visited attractions are always far more costly than looking for a small, out-of-the-way place to visit.
Using a little-known area as a base to travel in and out of rather than staying in an expensive hotel is a much better budget decision.
Take the time to find a small, affordable place to stay outside the area you want to visit, and your trip will be far more affordable and significantly less stressful.
Small, little-known areas are usually more beautiful than cities and have nicer people anyway, so these locations are not a compromise if you find the right location.
Several websites are designed to help travelers save money.
Websites that help find coupons for traveling, as well as sites that list the least expensive places to stay. Use websites to look for excellent and affordable food and travel blogs to look for the least expensive things to do in the area you are visiting.
There are countless sites designed for this purpose, and they will help you save as much money as possible while traveling. Websites and blogs are excellent resources for the traveler on a budget.
Hotels are not always the cheapest accommodation during a trip, but sometimes there is no other option. In this case, there are several ways to save money when booking a hotel room.
The best way to save money when booking a hotel is to book directly with the hotel rather than through an agency or website that adds a fee for administration.
Some hotels provide a loyalty program for booking with them with redeemable discount points. If you are traveling a lot in an area, try booking at hotels of the same chain to reduce the overall price of your stay by redeeming these points.
Look for hotel coupons online, shop for the most affordable option, and, if possible, ask locals which hotel is best for the best price.
Airfares are often the most expensive part of any trip, which can be a challenge for a trip with a tight budget.
However, there are ways to save money on airfare, especially by looking for deals or even getting free flights with certain points programs!
Use travel apps, websites, websites for the airline of your choice, and even travel agents to help you find deals on plane tickets. These usually involve last-minute flights and less luggage, but they are significantly less expensive than regular flights.
There are several deals to be had if you look for them in the right places, so take the time before you book your flights to try and find some deals that will help you reduce the cost of your trip overall.
The unfortunate reality of budget trips is that they involve a lot of walking, but the good news is that walking is free and you can find free walking tours in many destinations.
Among the best ways to reduce costs during a trip is to be prepared to walk rather than use a taxi, Uber, or bus to travel within the areas you visit.
It is good to use this transport if you have to travel longer distances, but anything within reasonable walking distance should be walked to, as this will significantly save money during the trip.
Pack a good pair of walking shoes, remember to bring some snacks and water with you, and you can easily walk wherever you need to be. It will only take a little more time, but it will save you money.
A good, low-effort way to reduce the cost of your air travel expenses is to book flights for odd hours, including flights at night and during the early hours of the morning.
These flights are always less expensive than flights that are easier to get to, and booking one of these is a very easy way to significantly reduce your travel costs.
If you are willing to get to the airport at 2 AM for a flight, then you will find yourself saving significantly on the cost of flying. This is a small compromise to make for the sake of an entire trip and can mean the difference between going and not going.
Choosing cheaper flights is always a good way to travel on a budget. There are several ways to find the cheapest possible flights if you are willing to take a little extra time to do so.
You can find cheap air tickets by being flexible on your travel dates, being willing to fly at inconvenient times, accepting long layovers, and using budget airlines.
It is always essential to use incognito mode when looking for cheap flights, as travel sites tend to increase the prices for people in certain areas and people looking at multiple airlines.
Try to book your flights a long time in advance, be flexible with dates, and look for which days are the cheapest to fly on from your area, and you are sure to find the cheapest flights possible to your destination.
Any budget-conscience traveler must know how to find accommodations at an affordable price. Take the time to find the best accommodation you can for the lowest price by comparing online booking sites, using booking apps, and asking locals where you can find the best deals.
Be careful not only to look for hotels but also to find accommodation in hostels, bed and breakfasts, and Airbnb’s. These usually have better prices and are a better option for traveling on a budget.
Accommodations are always critical to travel, and finding an excellent place to stay can make or break a trip, but always be sure to get the most for your money rather than just booking the first place you find.
Discounted tourist sites are a great way to save money when traveling on a budget, but using these sites on the right days and at the right times is vital.
If you book transport or accommodations on these sites close to the weekend, the prices will likely be significantly higher than if you use these sites earlier in the week.
Always use discount travel and tourism sites on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to get the best possible deals from these sites.
This may seem unnecessary, but the reality is that this is a tried and proven method for saving money while traveling on a budget.
We have established that using discounted airlines is among the best way to find the cheapest air tickets, but the reality is that using these airlines is ideal for budget trips.
There are usually some hidden costs when using budget airlines, such as extremely high checked luggage fees, but if you are careful of these hidden costs and are prepared to fly coach, then using a budget airline is a perfect option.
Air tickets are shockingly expensive in most instances, and taking the time to find the best-priced airline for you will significantly reduce the cost of your trip overall.
Use a budget airline as much as you can, even for domestic flights within your destination country, and the cost of your trip will be far lower overall than if you use non-budget airlines.