how to travel on a budget

For most people, money is the number one reason why they are not traveling. If your vision of travel involves you staying in five-star hotels and eating at the most expensive restaurants, then you really need a lot of money. On the other hand, if you enjoy traveling more for the experience of seeing new places and experiencing new cultures, then you can do a lot on a small budget.

If you are willing to skip some creature comforts in favor of more travel time, then this post will show you how to travel on a budget. Here are the tips that will help you spend less when you travel.

  1. Book in advance.
  2. Become savvy at booking flights.
  3. Choose your destination wisely.
  4. Travel off-season.
  5. Travel light.
  6. Work while you travel.
  7. Cook your own meals.
  8. Use public transport.
  9. Ditch hotels in favor of hostels.
  10. Get recommendations from locals.
  11. Get a local SIM.
  12. Be disciplined.

Let’s get started


These days, it is possible to book flights up to a year in advance. What does that get you? Cheaper prices of course. Depending on how early you book, it’s not uncommon to pay just half the price compared to the prices a week to your departure date. As the flight dates get closer, they are bound to increase in price.


From using incognito mode on your browser to using a VPN, shopping for flight deals can be a science! You will have to get good at finding the best deals on flights if you want to travel on a budget. Compare deals across various sites like Google Flights, Skyscanner, and others. It’s no news that airlines offer different prices based on where the customer lives. Developing countries usually get better prices when compared to prices offered to US travelers. This is where your VPN comes in.


I know that you probably want to spend the summer in Monaco, go shopping in Rome and feast at the best restaurants in Paris. News flash, you don’t have to do all those things to have a great time traveling. The hot destinations are always expensive. Try other locations that may not be as glamorous but are sure to offer an amazing experience. Some options include Eastern Europe, South East Asia, South America, India, and Central Asia.


Traveling during the holidays when everyone else wants to travel won’t be fair on your wallet. Travel companies and airlines typically hike up their prices during these festive periods because of the increased demand. If you want to travel on a budget, then you are better off traveling when most of the world is busy at work. Although the weather may not be the best during these off-season periods, you won’t have to deal with crowds of tourists.


Traveling light is cheaper across the board and creates fewer headaches. You won’t have to pay extra for your extra bags or spend your time worrying about the safety of your belongings.


If you are willing to do some hard work while you travel, you could even come back from your trip richer than when you left. There are a plethora of options when it comes to finding work overseas. You could work as a waiter/waitress, you could work on a farm, you could teach English, you can do some babysitting or housesitting, or you could even work remotely as you travel. Granted, you are not going to get a flashy job, but anything that can supplement your travel expenses should be welcomed.


Cooking your own meals is a great way to save cost on food. It is not a bad idea to eat out, but it should be the exception rather than the norm. Depending on where you are staying, you may have access to a kitchen. Make use of it. Drinking water during meals is not only healthier for your body but for your wallet as well.


Renting a car, or the services of a driver for the duration of your trip will be supremely convenient and comfortable but it’s going to hurt your wallet. Always use public transport whenever you can, it’s the cheapest way to get around when you travel. You get to see the place from a perspective most tourists don’t get to experience.


Dorm rooms in hostels offer cheaper accommodation compared to staying in hotels. Although you may not have a room all to yourself, what you lose in privacy, you make up for in cost and meeting like-minded people. Hostels also come with shared kitchen spaces, so you can cook your favorite dishes.


Recommendations from locals are your best bet when it comes to finding the cheapest ways to do things when you travel. They will tell where to find the cheapest meals without compromising on quality, the cheapest means of transport and the cheapest accommodations available, and where to shop.


Instead of paying exorbitant roaming charges, why not get a local SIM and enjoy local deals for calls and data. Depending on the country, you are in, getting a sim will be smooth and stress-free.


Plan a budget and stick to it. Avoid impulse purchases or outings as much as you can, you don’t want to be stuck in a foreign country because you just couldn’t stop buying souvenirs. Follow your budget as strictly as possible, and avoid getting “caught up in the moment”.

Now you no longer have the excuse of “no money”. If you are able to utilize these tips to the max, you are sure to reduce your traveling cost by a lot. Do you have any experience traveling on a budget? How was the experience? Feel free to share your favorite tips with us. Go see the world, after all these travel photos aren’t going to take themselves. Cheers.