9 Great Ways to Stay on a Budget While Traveling

How can I spend more time traveling without causing damage to my budget?

This is a question that most of us ask ourselves, usually during the summer, when vacation season is in full bloom. Because it can seem like traveling on a budget can take away a bit of enthusiasm, I will tell you a few of my tips that will help you enjoy your vacation even if you’re on a tight budget.
While reading, take a moment to relax and think about how this trip will be one of the best experiences so far!

Photo by Arcady From Shutterstock

1. Traveling in the off-season

During the summertime, for example, high season is in full bloom and unfortunately, we all know that it negatively affects our wallets. Another instance is the winter holidays or around spring breaks roll around, and a lot of cities tend to be more expensive than usual. Try to inform yourself about the area that you want to visit long before you buy the plane tickets, if you’re choosing to travel by plane.

If you dislike huge lines at the museums and crowds at the restaurants and you want a peaceful vacation at a lower price, then you should try to avoid these times of the year.

2. Set a daily travel budget

Traveling can be nice even if you have less money in your pockets, and the best way to know how much you’ll be spending is to set a daily budget. Plan ahead for everything based on what you expect to spend each day, depending on how long you’ll be away. Try to set a travel budget for the type of trip you want to take.

If you’re a camping fan, then you’ll definitely spend less money on lodging. But if you’re looking for a more comfortable place to stay, hotels might be a bit more expensive.

Airbnb and Booking offer a lot of places, and the best alternatives can be found at lower prices. So you might want to consider them first when you’re trying to stay on a budget but also have a kitchen where you can cook some of your meals for the day.

Remember that whatever your choice will be, some days you’ll go a bit over the budget and others you’ll be way under it. Some discipline is required, and once you get used to it, everything will even itself out.

3. Track you expenses with a budget phone app

Sticking to a budget while traveling can be very hard, especially if you’re visiting that place for the first time. You’ll most likely be tempted to buy a lot of souvenirs for you and your family, but you’ll also want to try a lot of traditional foods. Tracking everything you buy during the day will help you know how much you’re spending and if it’s time to slow down a bit with it.

4. Get travel insurance

Traveling is probably one of the best opportunities to escape the mundane, and being able to travel on a budget would make anyone a very happy tourist. Why would it be better NOT to splurge on expenses when it comes to your vacation, you might ask? Well, one good reason would be that if you spend less money on one trip you will most likely be able to afford taking another one later in the year. How amazing is that? Seeing two different countries in the same year. Count me in!

But keep in mind that traveling isn’t just about having fun, since it also requires a lot of planning. Which brings us to our next point: Travel insurance… don’t leave home without it!

It might seem like a hassle and an unnecessary extra expense at first, but believe me, you won’t regret getting it should you run into issues like losing your baggage or other accidents. Safety first, I always say.

Photo by RossHelen From Shutterstock

5. Instead of eating out, cook your own meals 

I won’t lie, I am a foodie! I love trying traditional foods whenever I go to a new place in the world, especially if it’s outside of America. But let’s be honest, this little habit might wreak havoc on your budget. That’s why if you’re staying in an Airbnb place with a kitchen, you can try to cook your own meals or at least two meals per day in order to save more money. Check out the map and see where the local market is from where you can get some fresh products at good prices.

This is a good tip, especially if you’re planning to travel for longer than three or four days. Keep it as simple as possible and stick to quick meals like omelets, grills, or sandwiches, especially in the summer. I usually prepare my own breakfast or I try to find a place that has it included (because it is usually much cheaper) and eat out for lunch or dinner.

TIP: Don’t forget to check out all the discounts the local stores may have before getting there, because you can get some amazing deals on expensive items. If the place you’re staying at has a freezer, you can store everything you buy in it and then prepare it when you want to. This tip helped me save a lot of money, so I can assure you it is worth trying!

6. Traveling with people with a similar budget 

Having friends tagging along with you on your vacation can be fun. Though planning a vacation with a larger group can become frustrating. It can also become one of the most memorable trips you’ll take, full of unforgettable moments that you’ll end up cherishing. Communication is key whenever you and your friends are trying to do something important like travel abroad together.

The money subject is not a very pleasant one and sometimes it can be a bit weird to talk about it. But in this case you should be clear about how much each person can spend and what your plans are regarding the trip. If there are more than ten people in the group, you can rent an entire house on Airbnb because they usually offer discounts for groups.

Furthermore, you will likely pay less than a fancy hotel in the town. You will be splitting everything, and the overall cost will be very affordable. One of the best ways to save even more money is to cook for yourself at least one meal per day. Besides the fact that you’ll have fun together, you will also save a few bucks for other things like museums or souvenirs. How awesome is that?

I am looking forward to my next trip to Europe with my friends. What about you?

7. Take advantage of any free attractions

Traveling is nice, especially when you take advantage of the things that you can do for free. Start planning ahead for your trip by writing down everything you want to visit, starting with museums and places that you have to pay for, so you can set a budget for one day, and then look for things that you can do without worrying about money.

There are many cities where you can find free walking tours and hiking trails that offer you the opportunity to take a lot of nice pictures and save some money instead of going to an expensive pub. Don’t forget to buy a map of the city to make sure you’re caught up on everything that’s worth visiting. Moreover, you can also ask your Airbnb host to give you some additional information about the city, and maybe you can get even more options to put on your to-do list.

Do your research in advance so you can easily stick to your budget by simply trying things that don’t require a fee to enter. If you happen to know someone that lives in the area, you can always ask them for directions or even places where you can have fun without “killing” your budget.

TIP: One of the best ways to save money while traveling is by doing DIY tours that you can easily do on your own by simply having a map with you. Some extra recommendations from the locals are more than welcome too!

Photo by Soloviova Liudmyla From Shutterstock

8. Pack well 

Depending on the time of year you’ve picked to travel, packing your bags accordingly is essential and taking into account what the weather is going to be like at your destination is always a good start. Make a list with all the thing you’re planning to wear and try to pack as light as possible in order to avoid the extra costs in terms of luggage. Pack light, but smart!

Another great tip when traveling on a budget is to make sure that you’ve packed the essentials (triple check if you have to), such as toothbrushes, toiletries or pieces of clothing, because sometimes, items such these may be pricier abroad than what you’re used to.

 9. Walk or take local transportation

Walking is your best friend, especially if you’re trying to stay on a budget while traveling. Besides, it’s good for your health too! Because I want to get the most out of my trips, I love walking down every small street and taking pictures whenever I see something beautiful.

This saved me a lot of money, and when I felt a bit tired, I took the local transportation instead of taking a cab. Furthermore, I’ve met a lot of nice locals and asked them for recommendations and nice places where I could eat some amazing local dishes for dinner.

Don’t forget, the time is now and the world is waiting for you to explore it! Have you packed your bags already?

…psst! I almost forgot to tell you that if you enjoyed reading this article about traveling, we’ve got you covered with many more amazing ones! Don’t forget to subscribe to our page. Today’s suggestion for you is How to Create a Budget for Anything in 6 Easy Steps.


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