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12 Smart Hacks on How to Travel on a Budget

Traveling is definitely a privilege for a lot of folks. It takes a considerable amount of time to enact. Plus, you need to take off several days from your responsibilities to be able to enjoy traveling truly. Additionally, you’re going to need some money if you want to do anything worth your time while you’re traveling.

With that said, if you want to travel but are worried about the money, then no need to worry. Sure, traveling for pleasure is a privilege, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Plenty of people have traveled on a budget. After all, you deserve to treat yourself to something nice.

With this article, you’ll find clever but simple things you can do that will help you travel while you’re on a budget. Try them out for yourself and see how you do.

1. Plan Your Trip

Plenty of people like to romanticize the idea of traveling, especially the idea of going to an overseas trip, and booking flights spontaneously. For the people who don’t have the budget to book a flight on the day of, the idea of a spontaneous trip overseas is nothing but a pipe dream.

However, you can still go to these destinations if you’re not trying to involve spontaneity in it. With that said, planning your trip will help make it easier for you to budget. You’ll know what you’re getting into beforehand, so you are less likely going to have any surprise expenses along the way.

Plane tickets, lodging, and so on will be much more expensive if done on the day of, so it’s best that you book these long before you take the trip. Sometimes, there are even sales in certain airlines for specific destinations.

2. Travel in the Off-Season

Much like the rush hour people experience daily, there is a version of rush hour in traveling.

In particular, there are a lot of people traveling to a certain destination during a particular period. The effect of this high traffic is that the flights are bound to be more expensive and you’re going to deal with lots of crowds as well.

Thus, it’s best that you try and travel during the off-season because the prices for the specific areas will be much lower. Aside from that, you don’t have to compete with fellow travelers for a great spot when taking a photo at beautiful scenery.

3. Find Cheap Flights

Flights can get pretty expensive, but if you know how to finesse the system, then you can have an easier time with it. Aside from that, it’s much simpler to get cheap (or if you’re really crafty, free!) flights if you know how to work your way through things.

One popular way to get free flights is through collecting miles using travel credit cards. You need to sign up to these credit cards and then travel until you get free flights. With travel credit cards, sometimes they can give offers on cheap flights.

Another option is to find flights that are dirt cheap with sales from airlines. There are some tools online that will help you find the cheapest flights possible.

4. Choose a Budget-Friendly Destination

If you’re interested in traveling but don’t quite have the budget to make some trips work, then maybe you need only to find the right destination that fits your budget.

A true travel junkie isn’t only interested in the more popular spots. Since these spots are popular, they tend to be expensive as well, but there’s beauty in more low-key destinations as well.

There are several budget-friendly destinations out there. Make sure that you don’t only consider the flights when discerning if a destination really is budget-friendly. You should look into the lodgings, maybe the exchange rate, and the average costs of food in the locality to be able to figure out if the place won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

5. Pack Light

Sometimes, before you could even get to your destination, you’re smacked right in the face with all sorts of fees that you don’t expect. One of these sorts of fees is airline fees. In particular, there are excess baggage payments that you might have to pay if you’re not careful.

It’s best that you pack light because it helps avoid having to pay excess baggage. Aside from that, when you pack light, you don’t have to deal with heavy luggage as you travel. You want to reduce the hassle of your travels so you might as well reconsider what you’re packing and start packing lighter.

6. Look for Affordable Accommodation

One of the places you can reduce your costs when you’re traveling is your accommodation. Reconsider whether you really need to stay in a five-star hotel for a trip where you’re going to be out of the hotel for most of your stay.

As long as the place is clean and safe, then you should be good to stay there for a while. With technology, it’s much easier to find affordable accommodation for travelers. One option is Airbnb, which connects travelers and property owners alike.

Make sure that you book your lodging weeks or even months before the trip so that you are able to reserve a slot to the cheaper places.

7. Bring Your Own Food

During tours, you don’t have to be eating at every fancy restaurant or drink at the cafes that you encounter. The bill you’re footing when you’re eating out can rack up, especially if you’re traveling as a group.

Sure, you should indulge in some local cuisine once in a while, but when you’re on-the-go, consider bringing some of your own food with you. If you’re going to be staying for a long while, then also consider buying your own groceries, cooking, and packing your own food with you while you’re touring the city/country.

It’s a simple solution, but it’s quite effective.

8. Walk as Much as Possible

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, it certainly can be attractive to take a taxi wherever you go. Plus, when you’re in a new place where you don’t know where everything is, the prospect is especially tempting.

However, if you want to spread your budget as much as possible, then you should try to get to your destination by walking as much as possible.

By walking, of course, this means commuting to your destinations as much as you can. Commuting in a foreign land can give you an intimate look at a destination that you wouldn’t otherwise have when you’re renting a car.

9. Connect with Locals

What better way to know about what the cheap experiences and eats are in a place than through the locals themselves?

They’ve lived in the area for a very long time, so they know the ups and downs of the place. If you’re in a reputable area, you can even ask your tour guides who aren’t partnered up with restaurants or the like to refer you to cheaper areas.

Connecting with the locals may even lead you to get free food if you’re lucky. Some locals tend to be very hospitable and would want to show you the best side of their locality.

Thus, you should always try and talk and connect with locals. After all, you’re traveling so you can have a better understanding of the world. Might as well experience it through the lens of the localities.

10. Earn Money While You Travel

You don’t have to be inside your office to do some productive work. If you’re going to be traveling for a while, then all you might really need is an Internet connection.

Consider setting up an arrangement at your workplace about working remotely for a while as you’re traveling. That way, you don’t have work piling upon you, and you get paid even while you’re traveling.

There are other options as well if you’re interested. Freelance gigs are available anywhere. If you’re going to be staying in a different country that doesn’t speak English predominantly, then you could try being an English teacher for a while to earn some money.

If you’re crafty and smart about it, you’ll find a number of income sources as you travel across the world. Make sure that you keep it ethical and not turn into one of the “beg packers” that have been seen all around the globe.

Remember: Traveling is a privilege.

11. Travel on Tuesdays

If you plan on booking a flight, then consider doing it on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are the cheapest days you can book anything on. It’s way past weekend, and it’s not even close to leading up to another weekend, which is why it’s the best time to book any travel things.

12. Use Public Transport

Aside from walking, as mentioned before, opt for using public transport. Not only is it a cheaper alternative, but you get to see the heart of the city in the eyes of the locals.

Taxis will only chip away at your budget anyway, so might as well ride the train or the bus to get to where you want to go.

With these 12 simple tips, you can expand your budget for traveling considerably. All it takes is to be smart and learn how to move your money around in all the right places. Good luck, and have a fun trip!

About the Author

Geraldine Mills is a self-confessed wanderlust from the land down under, Australia! She funds her adventures by working as a brand consultant and as a travel writer. She loves sharing the allure of backpacking and being one with nature.