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“Travelling is expensive” is what many people always say. However, you can travel on a budget and still enjoy it!
In fact, many of my trips are like this, on a budget. That’s the reason why I can do more than 10 trips per year.
There is a lot of people thinking that traveling is only for rich people or that you need thousands of dollars for a good vacation. That’s far from the truth. A good vacation requires planning, research, and a budget, and with this post, you will learn all these three. Because if it worked for me, it can work for you.
I have amazing holidays visiting places all over the globe and you should do it too, it’s amazing!
Posts that you may be interested in:
- 12 Things I’ve Done To Make Extra Money
- How to Make Passive Income with Airbnb
- The saving challenge: 25+ Ways To Save $800 a month
Are You Ready To Travel On A Budget?
Be flexible with your destination and dates when flying.
I’m sure you’ve heard of SkyScanner to find cheap flights, but do you know how to use it properly?
With SkyScanner you can be “flexible” with your destination. You can find the cheapest destination flights for a given date. To make things even better, you can also find the cheapest month of the year.
You will be able to find $300 return tickets to Europe, Thailand, Philipines, etc. So now you know the secret why your friends are getting those cheap flight tickets to exotic places.
Average savings: $250/person (depending on destination)
Stay in Airbnb to travel on a budget.
Over the last few years, we use Airbnb more and more often. We rent short-term properties or rooms for our trips.
Airbnb is becoming popular become travellers. Most of the times the rental is not a room but a vacation house/flat. My wife and I love Airbnb and this is always our first choice when we look for accommodation. There are many good reasons for choosing Airbnb; you have access to a kitchen, living room, it’s cheaper and some of them have a garden to have coffee in the morning.
If you sign up for Airbnb, you will receive a $35 voucher (£30) for your next stay. This voucher does not expire so you can just sign up and save it for later in your Airbnb account.
Average savings: $50/night
Travel to amazing places which are not very popular.
Have you ever traveled to places which were supposed to be amazing and you have been disappointed? It happened to me too.
Popular destinations are not always the cheapest places to visit. I agree that the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State are amazing, but did you ever hear about Guilin in China or Seville in Spain? These are amazing places I’ve been to and they are very cheap.
I’ve eaten in Guilin (China) for less than a dollar and had a beer in Seville (Spain) for $1. Plus these places are amazing!
Average savings: $320
Make money while you travel.
Of course, you can make money while you travel! It really depends on the duration of your trip, but if you go for a long-time vacation, these ideas may help you:
- Work as a freelance with your laptop.
- Work as a lifeguard if you are near the cost (I did and it’s great!).
- Sell products online.
- Have your own blog/website.
In my case, I currently do the last one. While travelling, I spend 30 minutes every day for blogging (before sleep). This allows me to catch up with new comments or even write a quick post of what I visited that day.
Read: How to Start a Blog and Make Money While Travelling.
Average savings: $210/week (in my personal case)
Visit friends or relatives? Transfer money for free
If you are visiting friends or relatives from a country with a different currency exchange, you may want to transfer them the money you are going to use.
Why? Because with Transferwise you can transfer money without paying high exchange rates. They are the Top1 money transfer service in the world.
If you join Transferwise using my link you will get your first transfer (up to $500) free. Plus, if you invite 3 friends you’ll get $50.
Average savings: $20 for every $500 transferred
Find local places to eat when you travel.
Touristic places are full of restaurants that live out of tourists like you. These restaurants generally overcharge you because they know tourists have money to spend.
If you do some little research before you travel (or with your phone one hour before going for dinner), you will find local places to eat. You will not only pay less, but you will enjoy more the authentic experience too.
When I travel I always look for these kinds of places and I end up trying all the typical food that locals usually eat, plus I save money!
Average savings: $15/meal
Park in a cheap Parking
Who doesn’t struggle when looking for a Parking?
By using Way you can find all the nearby Parking to your location, plus you can sort them by price!
The site partners with multiple vendors across different services to provide the most competitive pricing options for their customers.
I love Way for when I travel on a budget. It always finds the cheapest Parking. Plus, it’s free!
Average savings: $45/trip
Stay in a hostel instead of a hotel.
Perhaps one of the best money saving tips. Hostels are great to travel on a budget. They are quite affordable, and you can find them for as low as $10-$20 a night depending on your destination.
I have friends who travelled around Asia and stayed in hostels for a month and spend no more than $500.
Like everything, read reviews before you book it and you will be all right.
Average savings: $50/night
Answer online surveys to make extra money during your trip.
A smart way of travelling on a budget is answering online surveys while you are on the train or bus.
Some of the survey companies I recommend are Swagbucks, Vindale Research, EarningStation and Harris Poll Online. These 4 free online survey sites are trustworthy and legitimate and can make a difference in your earnings.
Some of them give you cash back, others some extra money for answering surveys or trying products. By joining them, you’ll able to save a lot during your trips.
Average savings: $70/week
Plan your holidays and travel off season.
Every year my wife and I spend a weekend planning all the holidays of the year. This allows us to buy our flight tickets in advance (or create online alerts for when prices go down) and save money.
By travelling off season, you will be able to afford trips that you wouldn’t in normal conditions. Flight tickets and hotels are cheaper, plus you will not be queuing for hours to visit popular attractions.
Most of the touristic attractions offer discounts one day per week (Tuesdays in general), make sure you visit the most expensive attractions on those days to save money.
Average savings: $200/trip
Use cashback sites for a better travel budget.
Cashback sites will give you back some of the money you pay for your hotels/hostels. I’m in love with Swagbucks and I always use it when I go on holidays.
Swagbucks give you points by using its search engine (just like Google), then you can redeem these points for gift cards. I already redeem 3 Amazon gift cards for $50 and it feels great. Very easy! Plus, you’ll receive a free $3 bonus just for signing up today!
Another goog cashback site I just started using is MyPoints. Last month I got $55 from MyPoinst, plus you’ll get a $10 Gift Card when you join MyPoints and spend $20.
Average savings: $160/trip
Share a room with your friends.
Before I got marry, I used to share a room with my friends while travelling and split costs. This allowed us to travel on a budget and stay more days.
I didn’t mind to share a double bed with a friend (nothing else eh!) to save half of the costs. In some cases, we ended up to be 5 or 6 people in the same room with some of us sleeping in a coach or sleeping bag. Plus it is great fun to stay with your friends right?
Average savings: $35/night (assuming 2 people sharing)
Less taxi, more Uber and get your first ride for free.
I need to say that I’m in love with Uber. Uber is a transportation network company, in other words, is like a taxi but cheaper.
Every big city has now hundreds of Uber drivers working every day. By using the Uber App you can call a car within 5 minutes. It’s reliable and cheap, ideal to travel on a budget.
By registering now you will get your first ride for free (up to $10). Do it now before the promotion ends! You can register now and use it later.
Average savings: $10/ride
Find the cheapest hotels and pay less.
Whenever we don’t use Airbnb, we find the cheapest hotels wherever we go.
There are many web platforms to find cheap hotels. My favourites are Booking and AccorHotels. I’ve found 2 and 3-star hotels for less than $20/night!
The trick is to travel off season and stay a little bit further from the city centre. We love walking, so it’s great for us!
Average savings: $30-$60/night
Don’t forget your student ID card to travel on a budget.
If you are still a student, you will be aware that in many touristic places you’ll get discounts or even a free entrance. It’s very convenient to travel with a student card,
It’s very convenient to travel with a student card, if I forget mine I always regret!
Don’t be shy and ask for a student discount at museums, restaurants and shops. Many guided tours also offer a discount for student groups.
Average savings: $50/trip
I hope you find useful this post on how to travel on a budget. Do you have any other tips to travel for cheap?
It’s less expensive to travel in the mid or off season because it’s a little harder for hotels, transportation companies, and so on to sell their services and products when not as many people are wanting them. To find the best budget travel deals, looking at off season travel may be the best idea.
Yes, I totally agree. If travelling off season is not a problem for you, then, you can save a lot of money.
During college, my friends and I would stay in hostels to save money. It was great because we usually ended up meeting some great people and learn about places most tourists didn t know about. It s unfortunate how some people look down on hostels, because they can be an affordable alternative to hotels. I would say however that you really have to do your research. Even though there are some nice hostels around, there are a few shady ones that aren t safe or very clean.
You’re right, research is required, but as you said meeting new people is priceless, plus you’ll save more money and have more fun!