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50 Amazing Tips to Save Money on Travel

Who doesn’t love an amazing vacation, but without breaking the bank? With strategic planning and savvy budgeting, you can craft incredible getaways all while sticking to your savings goals. This comprehensive guide outlines 50+ fantastic tips to cut costs at every step – from flights and lodging to activities and more.

Learn insider tricks on using rewards programs, scoring deals, packing light, traveling off-peak, and maximizing freebies. Whether you want to explore Europe, take a Caribbean cruise, or visit national parks, these money-saving hacks will help you turn travel dreams into affordable reality.

So check out these 50 fantastic budget travel tips and start planning your next adventure without breaking the bank!


Finding Cheap Flights and Transportation

Flight and getting around costs often make up a big chunk of any trip’s expenses. Use these thrifty tips to keep more cash in your wallet:

  • Use flight deal alert services to find the lowest fares
  • Be flexible on dates and nearby airports to increase options
  • Book one-way flights – costs are sometimes lower
  • Travel during shoulder seasons for fewer crowds and lower prices
  • Redeem miles from loyalty programs for free flights and upgrades
  • Sign up for travel credit cards that offer generous sign-up bonuses
  • Avoid checked bags by packing light – save on fees
  • Consider flights with layovers to score cheaper fares
  • Compare prices across meta search engines and airline sites
  • Book budget airlines when available for regional trips
  • Use public transit networks like trains and buses over expensive taxis or rental cars
  • Walking and biking allow you to sightsee while saving
  • Rideshare or split costs on private transfers from airports into the city

Saving on Lodging Expenses

Accommodations often account for the largest travel spend. Use these tips to reduce your lodging costs:

  • Use hotel points and loyalty programs to redeem free nights
  • Join club levels at chains to get perks like discounted WiFi, parking, etc.
  • Stay just outside the city center – prices drop quickly as you move outward
  • Consider hostels and shared dorms for solo travelers to save substantially
  • Opt for budget hotels over lavish 5-star properties
  • Group travel allows you to split costs for multi-room rentals
  • Apartment swaps or home exchanges provide free housing
  • Camping and RVing are budget-friendly ways to experience nature
  • Avoid resort fees by booking with hotels that don’t charge them
  • Ask about discounts for AAA members, travelers over 55, government employees, etc.
  • Inquire on any active promotions or sales at time of booking
  • Consider longer stays for lower nightly rates – ask about weekly discounts

Reducing Food Costs

Dining out three meals a day will drain your budget fast. Use these savvy tips to lower your food spend:

  • Grocery shop and prepare your own meals
  • Try street food and food trucks for authentic local flavors on a deal
  • Opt for restaurants popular with locals – avoid tourist traps
  • Book hotels with free breakfast to start your day off right
  • Pack snacks, granola bars, and a refillable water bottle in your daypack
  • Grab takeout and have picnics in scenic outdoor areas
  • Check out weekly happy hour specials for deals on drinks and apps
  • Take a free hotel shuttle into town if breakfast isn’t included
  • Splurge selectively – find a few special meals out instead of every meal
  • Sign up for restaurant newsletter or app deals to find discounts
  • Choose fixed price menus at lunch over pricier dinner options

Cutting Entertainment, Tour, and Activity Expenses

Tours, attractions, museums, and experiences often have room for savings:

  • Walking tours are frequently pay-what-you-want or free with generous tips
  • Use activity deal sites like Groupon or Travelzoo to find discounted pricing
  • Time sightseeing for hours or days when admission is reduced or free
  • Research admission combo tickets that allow access to multiple sites
  • Rent bikes or e-scooters for easy and affordable mobility
  • Skip expensive guides by doing a self-guided tour with your own local research
  • Seek out festivals and street performances that offer entertainment for free
  • Hike outdoor areas and go beach combing rather than booking paid activities
  • Take advantage of student, senior, military admission discounts whenever possible

Shopping Local and Avoiding Fees

Retail therapy while traveling quickly saps funds. Apply these tips:

  • Skip currency exchange booths and use ATMs to get the best rates
  • Notify your bank/credit card company before traveling to avoid holds
  • Ask if your hotel or accommodation has a safe to avoid paying for one
  • Negotiate prices at local markets – cash discounts are common
  • Shop at grocery stores and cook meals rather than relying on mini bars
  • Buy a local SIM card and use WiFi when possible to reduce roaming fees
  • Bring a reusable water bottle and coffee tumbler to avoid purchases
  • Research whether haggling is accepted and expected at certain destinations
  • Use discounted gift cards from resellers to lower souvenir shopping costs

Packing Strategies

Packing right allows you to take less and pay less in fees:

  • Pack layers that offer multiple outfit combinations in one bag
  • Limit yourself to carry-on only to avoid checked bag fees
  • Wear your bulkiest clothes and shoes while traveling if possible
  • Bring mini toiletry bottles that meet liquid requirements
  • Roll rather than fold clothes to maximize space
  • Pack versatile pieces like jeans, leggings, basic tops and accessories
  • Use packing cubes, compression sacks, and organizational inserts
  • Skip duplicate items – share things like hairdryers with your companion
  • Wear extra layers and jackets on the plane so you don’t have to pack them
  • Attach a spare duffel bag in case you want to pack souvenirs home

Booking Tips and Helpful Resources

Use smart booking strategies:

  • Book directly on hotel and airline sites for the lowest rates
  • Call to ask about any current promotions – these aren’t always advertised
  • Use comparison sites like Kayak and Google Flights to easily spot deals and price patterns
  • Consider consolidator fares for international flights
  • Check online travel communities for on-the-ground travel tips from other budget-focused wanderers
  • Use private travel communities like Dollar Flight Club to access incredible flight deals
  • Sign up for e-newsletters and get advance notice of sales from favorite brands

Travel Rewards Programs

Leverage these loyalty programs:

Best Budget Destinations

Consider these affordable destinations:


  • National Parks – hike and camp for low costs
  • Disney Parks – use discounted multi-day passes to maximize value
  • Las Vegas – find promotions on hotels, meals, and entertainment


  • Mexico – exchange rate stretches dollars further with great beach locales
  • Portugal – affordable European destination with great hostels and seafood
  • Southeast Asia – low prices on hotels, transportation, activities and cuisine
  • Costa Rica – budget lodging available combined with free natural sights
  • Peru – discount accommodations and specials if visiting off-peak season
  • Nepal – dollars go far and free/low cost trekking options

Prioritizing Affordable Travel Now

Don’t delay your dreams. The time to travel is now:

  • Craft a saving plan – automate contributions from each paycheck
  • Make affordability a priority over luxury – slumming it is character-building
  • Start small with microadventures like weekend camping trips and road trips
  • Use work travel opportunities to tack on personal travel
  • Take advantage of remote work trends to travel while earning an income
  • Grab deals in shoulder seasons when kids are in school to save

The world is waiting to be explored. With this ultimate guide of budget saving tips at your disposal, you can craft the trip of a lifetime while sticking to your money goals. Safe travels!