Travel On A Budget

6 Ways To Travel On A Budget

Travel On A Budget

Ways To Travel On A Budget

Planning a vacation has become easier because of the Internet. You can find hotels, flights and dinner reservations on the internet. 

Travels are usually not cheap. When you dig in deeper, the possibilities range from cheap flights to cheaper accommodation. 

Here’s a way to spend less on holidays without having to compromise quality.

#1 How to vacation on a budget?

Ways To Travel On A Budget

Free Printable: Monthly Planner


Traveling is one of the best ways to expand your perspective on the world around you; after all, how better to learn about other people and places than by visiting those places yourself?

However, as rewarding and enriching as travel can be, it can also be very expensive, and the costs associated with travel may seem prohibitive to you.

The good news is that with some careful, strategic planning, you can travel on a budget. Take a look at some of our best tips below for traveling on a budget, and you’ll beheading out to explore the world in no time!

If you’re new to planning and budgeting for a vacation, you’re better off starting with your budget and then planning the details. 

How do you set this number, exactly? 

You’ve got a couple of options: Based on your monthly budget: How much can you carve out of your budget on a monthly basis to save for a vacation? 

Multiply that figure by the number of months between now and when you want to take your vacation, and you’ve got your maximum budget. 

Based on your annual income.

#2 Plan ahead of time

Budget Travel Tips: Shoestring Budget

Budget Travel

If travel is something you really want to make happen in your future, there are steps you can take right away to set aside cash for your vacation budget.

One of the first steps may be to examine where you can cut back on some of your regular expenses at home. 

Perhaps you could focus on making meals at home rather than ordering takeout, rely on a few streaming services for your entertainment, and shop secondhand or sales for necessary items. 

Cash back sites and apps, or apps that allow you to round up your spending to the next dollar amount, can also help you put away a little here and there without even really thinking about it.

If you’ve created a household budget, you could also work your travel savings into that budget.

Some people keep a large jar in their homes where they deposit all their spare change, which can add up quickly and at the very least, contribute to the spending you have available while on vacation! 

Others may prefer to dedicate a set amount each month to put toward a travel fund, perhaps in a separate savings account.

So, once you’ve got a travel budget built up, how do you make the most of it when planning that big trip?

One of the best cheap vacation ideas is booking your trip as far in advance as you can. 

We’re not saying you have to plan it years out, but your chances of getting good prices are a lot higher when you don’t wait until the month before you want to leave. 

However, booking in advance isn’t always possible.

Overall vacation budget

Vacation Budget

In Mint, you can set up a vacation budget where you start each month with the previous month’s leftover amount. 

So if you budget that $250 a month, you can watch your vacation budget grow month by month. 

And then when you start to spend out of your vacation budget, you just track your spending in Mint like you would any other spending category. 

Budgeting During Your Vacation As you’re budgeting for your vacation and saving up, it’s a good idea to prepay as much as you can. 

This will almost certainly include your flights, and other accommodations.

#3 Consider Your Budget When Choosing a Destination

Budget Your Destination

Carefully choosing your destination with your budget in mind will help you make the most of the cash you have available for your vacation. 

Some places are going to be more budget-friendly than others, perhaps because they are smaller, less tourist-focused locales, or because the currency exchange rate is more beneficial to people coming from a different country. 

If you’re open to any location rather than just the most popular ones, you’re more likely to make your vacation budget go further, and as a bonus, you will likely discover a hidden gem that only the locals know about!

Many experts actually recommend using your budget to determine your destination, rather than the other way around. 

As they point out, if you decide where you’re going first, and when, you’re going to be subject to the availability of transportation to that location, at that time, which can mean you might be forced into paying higher prices for airfare, rental car, and even food. 

On the other hand, if you can be flexible about the destination, and the timeframe for your travel, you can very likely score a great deal to a more out-of-the-way location, or even to somewhere popular in an off season.

There are many travel deal websites and newsletters these days that operate on this very principle. 

Sign up for their newsletters and you’ll be astonished at some of the deals that come straight to your inbox. 

We particularly like Scott’s Cheap Flights and Next Vacay; for a small yearly fee, you’ll get a list of the best travel deals on the market sent to you each and every day.

The caveat with deals like these is that you have to be willing to be flexible both on the destination and the travel window, and you have to be able to book a deal as soon as you see the right one for you, as most of them are only available for a couple of days.

Additionally, if you plan to travel during a popular time of year, you’ll save more money on flights by traveling during the week rather than on the weekends. 

In general, you should book six weeks in advance for domestic flights and four months in advance for international flights.

You can search for vacation packages from Travelocity or Costco Travel . These will help you get a general idea of what you want from your vacation. Get a feel for how much you can expect to spend on flights, lodging, and transportation.

Flights are generally considered to be cheapest between Tuesdays and Thursdays, since those are not common times for other travelers. 

That means you also won’t have to deal with as many fellow travelers while trying to navigate an airport.

Searching for a cheap flight

Cheap Flight

Third-party websites like Priceline or Expedia for the best travel deals. 

These sites will do the legwork for you by scouring the internet to find the cheapest available options. 

Know when to jump on a good flight deal “There’s a lot of pressure to make sure you’re getting the right flight”. 

And there is no telling how long a flight’s price will last—especially when an airline offers a good deal. 

Though your instinct may be to wait and make your decision after doing further research.

#4 Save Money by Traveling in the Off Season

Perhaps one of the best-known ways to travel cheaply is to plan your vacation at off-peak times.

Basically, peak season at any location is when the weather is considered to be best, tourism is high, and there are more events going on than at other times of the year.

 Because these are popular times to visit certain cities or countries, it makes sense that everything is going to be more expensive: food, accommodations, entrance to attractions, etc.

 After all, business owners know they can make the most money during peak times, so of course they’re going to ask for as much money as most tourists are willing to spend.

If you’re determined to visit a popular location like Paris or Hawaii, consider going at a time when fewer tourists will be around, and thus prices are likely to be lower.

 Granted, you may not be guaranteed the gorgeous weather that makes the peak season so popular, but you can still have a great time and save lots of money to boot. 

Everything is cheaper in the off-season, from airfare to hotel, and all the things you’ll want to do once you arrive.

 As an added bonus, going in the off-peak season means you won’t be competing with as many other travelers, and popular attractions should be less crowded than they are at busier times.

If it is important for you to visit at a particular time of year, there are still ways to save money.

Are you planning on traveling to a country you’ve always wanted to visit? Maybe you could stay in a smaller, less tourist-oriented town, rather than a major city. 

You might actually find that doing this allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture more, as you can see how people in that country live day-to-day, rather than just being surrounded by your fellow tourists. 

Even if you’d like to have a closer proximity to a major city, perhaps because of a special event or just the major attractions you’d like to sightsee, you might look at a hotel or vacation rentals outside the city limits to save some funds. 

Many countries have good public transportation surrounding major cities so it’s easy to get back and forth if you’re staying in the suburbs. 

And whether you’re staying in the city center or not, look for opportunities to eat and shop off the main strips.

Finding businesses off the beaten path, that locals frequent, can not only save you a lot of money, you’re likely to enjoy better food and higher quality goods that aren’t produced cheaply to sell to tourists for high profit.

#5 Choose Budget-Friendly Accommodations

Travel On A Budget

Budget-Friendly Accommodations

That beautiful hotel right in the city center can certainly put you close to all the action and offer you a luxurious place to relax, but is it really worth the high price tag? 

When traveling, chances are that you will be spending most of your time exploring anyway, and really only need a clean, quiet place to rest and recharge at night, so consider saving your money on expensive hotels and opting for more affordable or even shared accommodations.

If you really do want to stay in a hotel, there are many places to find deals. and Kayak are two great sites to search for the best rates on hotel rooms in any location.

Additionally, many hotels offer at least free breakfast and sometimes other meals to their guests, so that may be something to factor in while you’re planning out the costs for your trip.

However, if travel on a budget is your absolute top priority, then there are lots of other options for lodging.

If you’re traveling with a large group or with your family, a vacation rental through Airbnb or VRBO may be a good option; if you go this route, make sure you stick with listings that have good reviews so you don’t have to worry about anything.

 If you’re going the solo travel route, consider staying in a hostel. 

Today’s hostels are clean and safe, and often offer private rooms and amenities, or you can share a dorm room and get to know your fellow travelers.

Perhaps you’re planning on visiting a location where you have friends or family. Is it possible they would have a spare room in which you could stay? 

Barring that, the website Couch surfing connects travelers to local people who have a spare room or at least a couch they’re willing to let someone sleep on, often for free. 

And if you’re planning a longer-term trip, you may actually be able to work while you travel, perhaps by applying to be an au pair for a family in your desired location or by using WWOFF, a program that connects volunteers to organic farms around the world.

Travel Hack: Still, once you arrive at your next vacation spot, it’s still important to pay attention to your spending. You want to take steps to avoid added expenses and extra fees, which can stack up quickly if you’re not careful. “It can be really easy to spend money on a trip,” states (Seasoned traveler) -Noah, “things like attraction, entry, meals, and souvenirs can all add up quickly. I’d recommend setting up a specific budget for activities and dining, and make it point to stick to it.”

Consider places off the beaten path. Places that attract a lot of tourists are generally expensive and often not that authentic. 

Think about countries that aren’t as popular to visit. Alternatively, find a town near a major destination. 

Prices will generally be lower, but with a short commute you can still have access to popular tourist destinations.

#6 Be Smart When You Arrive

Once you’ve planned out your trip, there are plenty of ways to save money as well. For one thing, you can save money on some of your meals by shopping for supplies at local supermarkets, rather than eating out for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Even a simple sandwich or salad at a store may cost far less than a similar meal at a restaurant, and provide you with the nutrition and energy you need to carry on with your activities for the day.

Transportation is another important thing to consider. 

Rather than relying on cabs or ride-share services to get around, take advantage of whatever public transportation is available, walk as much as possible.

 Also you can search out carpooling opportunities; there are many websites today where people will offer any extra space they have during a car trip, for a lesser fee than you’d pay by cab or even rental cars.

Even in expensive cities like London and New York, there are often plenty of things that are free to do.

 Some cities offer free museum admission on certain days or for certain exhibits. 

There may be local festivals or other events that are free to attend. 

You can always take a walking tour, either guided by a local who only asks for a tip at the end, or self-guided. 

Speaking of self- guided, planning your own excursions to popular attractions may be cheaper than paying for a special itinerary.

  • Travel Tip when traveling overseas: Make sure you have a credit card in your wallet that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and you won’t have to worry about paying for the privilege of using your card overseas.
  • Many travel credit cards come with perks like free 
  • and discounted car rentals. Look for a card that works best for your vacation needs, whether that’s saving on airfare or getting points when you use it for entertainment or restaurants. If you’re going to use a credit card, make sure you pay if off.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to travel, even on the tightest of budgets. 

If you really want to make it a priority in your life, start thinking about ways you can make it work now, and we promise that as you get out into the world around you, you are sure to make the most of every trip, even with very little cash!

Low Cost Fun Experiences

Low Cost Fun 

If travel at this moment is not in your budget. Consider this low cost and at times free method of vacationing: 

Tour your own city. When we say tour your own city, we don’t mean you should go to the same restaurant you eat at every Sunday and call it a night.

 We’re talking about being a tourist in your own town! Explore local art galleries, get lost in the trails nearby, and check out that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try.

We get so caught up in our daily lives we forget that we can have a cheap vacation in our own city. We don’t have to go anywhere! 

If you’re short on time and funds, there’s no better way to spend some free time than to wander your own city. 

No matter what its size, it has a number of wonders that you’ve never seen or even known about because you just haven’t explored it like you would somewhere far-flung and “exotic.” 

Explore your city the way you would explore it if it were half a world away. Be a traveler in your own town.

And if you’re like most families, it’s busier (and more expensive) than ever. 

The culprits? Summer camps, swim lessons, passes to the local waterpark, trips to the ice cream shop . . . and the list goes on. 

With all those summer extras poking a hole in your wallet, a fancy vacation isn’t really in the cards. 

But with these cheap vacation ideas, a well-oiled budget and some creativity, you can still hit the open road, making family memories that will last a lifetime.

Camping, after all, cost are very low and cheap vacation.


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