We all know that traveling can be very expensive. So what should you do if you want to travel on a budget? Let’s see the plethora of things down below. Broken down into as much detail as possible!
Starting with getting a cheap air ticket, hotel and much more. Every little detail matter if you want to travel on a budget!
It isn’t just about flight and accommodation. In today’s world there’s much more than that! So if you are ready let’s get deep and find out how to travel on a budget!
Book your flight and accommodation in advance
Probably the most important thing you can do is to book everything you need well in advance! I mean air tickets, accommodation, car, tours and everything else you want to include in your trip. Even though last minute offers may seem tempting it is much better to plan ahead of time!
What is the right time to book a flight? Simply as early as possible! I managed to buy a return ticket from Prague to New York for just $ 300 with no layover! This trip usually cost at least $ 500. The trick? I book the flight 4 months before the departure! The optimal time is no more than 6 weeks before the actual flight. The chance to get a last minute deal is almost no existant!
Where should I book a flight? Well, there are 2 major websites that I use all the time. It’s Skyscanner and Momondo! You can also use Google Flights if you want more comparison options. All 3 are my go to websites when looking for best deals on flights! They have an easy navigation and do not track your internet data as major airlines do ( which cause the prices to go up if you search deeply on specific flight )!
Yes, location matters! Even though it may sound obvious I’d say many people overlook this important fact. It does matter where you go! Let’s look at some affordable destinations below!
- Fiji – If you think this tropical destination is expensive, you’d be mistaken! There are many deals offered by Fiji Airlines. The most affordable destination is Yasawa Islands. You should definitely visit if you want to experience this paradise island and travel on a budget!
- Central America – One of the best budget destinations! Explore the beauty of countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador and travel on a budget of around $ 20 per day. If you opt for more developed countries in Central America, like Panama, Belize and Costa Rica you can travel on a budget of around $ 50 per day. Definitely read our article about 22 Best Things To Do in Central America to discover the best places to go!
- Cambodia ( Southeast Asia ) – Even though many countries in Southeast Asia are affordable, Cambodia is one of the best to travel on a budget! Expect to spend around $ 20 a day. We wrote a detailed article about Most Unique Reasons Why Is Cambodia Worth Visiting and you should definitely check it out!
- India – While India has been a cheap destination for a long time it’s still worth mentioning. You can travel on a budget of around $ 30 a day if you opt for the public transport, street food and local accommodation. Read our article about 12 Secret Places in India That You Must Visit written by a local!
- Eastern Europe – Think countries like Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania or Moldova. Check our article about 17 Hidden Gems in Romania You Didn’t Know Existed written by a local. You can easily travel on a budget of $ 20 per day! Omit cities like Prague, Paris or Barcelona as they can get very expensive because of popularity.
- Portugal – This may be surprising as Portugal is in Europe but it is still one of the best destinations to travel on a budget. Even though the capital Lisbon ( Check our article about 30 Unusual Things To Do in Lisbon ) is getting more expensive because of popularity, there are many beautiful cities that are worth visiting! Portugal is also known for one of the best beaches in the world and you can read our article about 15 Most Beautiful Beaches in Portugal written by local!
- Thailand – The one destination that is a must if you want to travel on a budget! Thailand can get very affordable because of the low cost of accommodation, food and transport. Expect to spend around $ 30 a day!
Use the search term ,, everywhere ” when booking flights
One of the best features on a flight search websites Momondo and Skyscanner is the ability to search a final destination without typing it. Let me be more clear! You can search for flights and instead of putting the final destination just click on the function Everywhere, which will search for the most affordable flights during that specific time.
So if the price is more important than destination you will fall in love with this function! You can get to places you’ve never even heard of for a fraction of a price! Now that’s called travel on a budget!
Try different websites to book flights and accommodation
Thinking that all the websites has the same prices is wrong and you could easily overpay! It’s important to check more sites and deals trying to find the best one! Let’s look at some examples below!
Searching for the best flight possible! I’m going to search for a flight from New York To Prague ( round trip ) from January 15 to January 20 for 1 adult ( which is 3 months from the date of writing ). Let’s do it!
Summary: As you can see on the table, the cheapest flight among 10 popular websites is through SkipLagged. It is a platform known for skipping the last destination as that can result in huge savings! But is it actually the cheapest? Not really! Look below how using the local provider could save you even more!
Use local websites to get even better deals
Being from Czech republic I searched the same flight as above ( from New York to Prague ) on a local website called Pelikan.cz and to my surprise the final price was just $ 359, lower by $ 10 compared to SkipLagged from the table above.
So as you can see, you can travel on a budget using the local providers! The reason for lower prices might be as simple as the overhead ( paying the staff, rent, margin ) in some countries is usually lower than say in United States. It can also be the exchange rate. So take advantage of that!
If you are searching for a best flight or hotel deal directly on the company website, you should be aware that in most cases they are tracking your internet activity ( using cookies ) and the final price could change many times during your search. Higher of course!
It is a well known trick companies use to get you to pay more. Be smarter! Clear your cookies every time you search and use a private window in your browser.
Time and season matters
According to SkyScanner research the best day to fly domestically ( in US ) is Saturday. Followed by Sunday and Tuesday. If you are traveling internationally the best day to fly would be Sunday.
How far in advance should you book your flight? Well, let’s start with saying that it does matter! According to SkyScanner you should book your domestic flight 30 days prior the departure and 4 months for international flights.
What is the best time to book a flight? SkyScanner has analyzed historic data and found out that August is the cheapest month to book if you are flying in the US. Followed by September and December. Avoid booking in June when prices could skyrocket! The best month to book an international flight is in September. Followed by August and December. Again try not to book in June!
Book tickets seperately
This may come as a surprise but if you book tickets for your family ( or more people in general ) at the same time you may overpay! Always try to book tickets seperately, one by one. I know it can take you a bit of more time but the saving is worth it!
Stay in hostels
Probably the most common thing people do when travel on a budget is sleeping in hostels! It is a great way to save money, especially in popular destinations. And you can meet so many travelers all under one roof! The best platform to find a great deals is Hostels.com! Their selection includes more than 33,000 places in 170 countries. Let’s check some of the popular places below!
- Shelter City ( Amsterdam ) – $ 27
- Astor Museum Inn ( London ) – $ 20
- Caulaincourt Montmartre by Hiphophostels ( Paris ) – $ 31
- Travellers House ( Lisbon ) – $ 14
Use points from credit cards
How traveling for free sounds? Pretty amazing right? Well, if you live in United States you can easily use credit cards and the sign up bonus to get free air tickets or hotels.
Credit card companies are fighting for more customers and therefore are offering incentives in terms of travel points if you sign up for one of their cards.
The key is to spend only what you would spend anyway! So pay your rent, utility bills, food and so on using the new credit card. Never buy anything you wouldn’t normally buy.
Some credit cards charge annual fee so if it is not worth having anymore you simply close the account making sure you used your points for travel.
There are many credit cards with different points offered. Let’s look at some of the best ones!
- American Express Gold Card
- Chase Saphire Preferred Card
- Chase Preferred Business Card
- The AMEX Hilton Honors
Take advantage of price match guarantee
Many travel providers have so called price match guarantee. That means if you find a cheaper flight or hotel within certain time period you will get refunded for the more expensive one. Each provider has it’s own rules. Check more information clicking on the company’s link in order to find out more – Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity.
Volunteer or work in exchange for accommodation and more
We wrote a whole article on How To Find Best Volunteer Opportunities Abroad so definitely check it out! Volunteer or work in exchange for accommodation means you’re staying for free. And who doesn’t like that? It can be a great experience in a country that you want to explore more. You get the chance to meet locals and other travelers which is always a great thing.
If you don’t think volunteering is for you,work for money instead! Depending on the location, you probably won’t become a millionaire but it could help you pay all your travel expenses! Check our article about How To Make Money While Traveling to find out more information.
Use Agoda for cheap stays in Asia
Owned by Priceline, Agoda is the best platform when booking hotels ( or homes ) in Asia. Similar to Booking.com yet the downsize would be prices not shown as final. So you have to click all the way to the end to see the added taxes & fees!
Let’s look at some advantages of using Agoda!
- You can list your own place ( like AirBnb )
- Search Hotels & Homes
- Unique deals
- Exotic destinations
Check different airports
Selecting one specific airport could result in a huge price difference! That applies both on departures and arrivals. Let’s look at some examples below!
Flying from New York City and choosing just JFK airport could mean huge difference in price. Instead select all airports in New York! You should read my article about New York on A Budget – 20 Tips To Save Big in NYC. There, you also find information how to get from each airport in New York City.
If you are in Europe it’s always good to use nearby countries you could fly from. Let’s say you want to fly from Prague. You should also include Vienna, Munich, Krakow and other cities you could potentially fly from to search for a better price.
Book packages at the same time
Do you need to book a flight, hotel and rent a car? Do it all at the same time! Many travel websites are offering packages which include everything for a much better price than booking seperately. Let’s look at some examples below!
Momondo – With momondo’s package holidays, you don’t need to worry about booking everything separately, because flights and accommodation are included in the price, often saving you a lot of money! Package holidays may also include additional extras such as transfers to help your holiday go as smoothly as possible.
Orbitz Packages – Orbitz is offering many ways how you could combine your package. You can book flight + hotel, flight + hotel + car, flight + car, hotel + car.
Skip your destination ( Skiplagged )
SkipLagged is a revolution when it comes to booking cheap air fare and hotels too. The main point to save on flight is to skip the last destination and get off at the layover. As an example, a traveler who wants to go to San Francisco from New York would book a flight that is ticketed for NYC -> SF -> Seattle and end their travel once they arrive in San Francisco and skip the leg to Seattle.
This results in savings of up to 80% using Skiplagged. They truly want to help the consumers to save money! In our test done above, SkipLagged had the lowest price among 10 popular websites.
Fly with budget airlines
This goes without saying but the best way to travel on a budget is to use the budget airlines. In most cases you won’t find their offers on a search results of popular search platforms like SkyScanner or Momondo. You have to check their official websites instead. Let’s look at some popular budget airlines below!
- Norwegian Airlines – From US to Europe
- Air Canada Rouge – From US to Canada
- Level Airlines – From US to Barcelona or Paris
- JetBlue – Flying to Latin America
- AirAsia X – Flying to Asia
Flexibility is key
Searching flights on an exact date could cost you a lot! It’s always better to allow some flexibility with dates to find the best deal. And you can easily do that with some of the popular platforms. Let’s look more into it below!
Google Flights – You can enter up to 7 airports in both the departure or arrival fields to search for flights from or to multiple different cities at once. Just separate each airport with a comma after typing in the airport code to add multiple airports – AirfareWatchDog
Kayak – Similar to Google Flights you can add 3 extra airports and also leaving the arrival blank will get you the result of the cheapest destinations on the selected dates. So you can basically search for flights anytime and anywhere!
SkyScanner – One of the best search platforms out there! It’s one of the few that includes the low-cost carriers ( budget airlines ) too.
Momondo – It’s the place to go for the best deals. It may not have very much flexibility with dates but saving is important too right?
This one may be hard to accomplish for some but it is so important to pack light. Nowadays, the more you pack the more you pay! Most airlines will charge you for any luggage and some even for a backpack ( I couldn’t believe it too! ). So be smart when packing for your trip. You can expect to pay around $ 50 for a checked luggage and with some airlines around $ 30 for a backpack.
Sometimes you pay par lag, meaning you pay for each trip the luggage has to take ( funny right ). So if you have a layover and then continue farther you would have to pay twice using some airlines ( especially budget ones )!
Travel light hacks? I’m gonna use my own! Roll your clothes over, do not fold them like you would at home! If you have sweathers, put them together as one and take as blanket to the airplane. Extra blanket is always handy in cold plane right? It can save a lot of space in your bag!
Make your own meals
This goes without saying. Depending on the location, food is one the biggest expenses during travel. It may start at the airport, followed by an expensive meal on a plane. Expect to pay around $ 10 to $ 20. The good news is, you can bring food on board, and you should! It can save you a lot!
Then you check-in to your hotel just to find yourself in a restaurant few minutes later! And depending a location this can get very expensive if you do it few times a day. Think breakfest, lunch and dinner! Unless you were smart and booked a place with kitchen, so you can cook and prepare your own meals.
If you have a big family ( or group ) the saving could be enormous! You should always count food and meals as part of an accommodation price. What do I mean? You may book a hotel for $ 100 per night with no kitchen just to spend extra $ 50 a day eating out. The smarter option? Book a place with kitchen ( like AirBnb ) and even if you pay more ( let’s say $ 150 per night ) it will still be equal the hotel room price of $ 100 per night. It depends a lot on location and your own preference. Not everyone wants to cook while traveling ( I’m raising my hand right now )!
Learning the local language helps
In today’s world it is so important to speak as many languages as you can. It will open doors you didn’t know existed! But it can also save you a lot of money if you travel on a budget! How you ask? Let’s explore more below!
Many places in the world ( think like India, Africa ) has set up prices for locals and tourists. Guess, who’s gonna pay more? The tourists of course! You will be exposed to scams and people will try to take as much as possible from you. So the key is to mix in with the locals. Look, dress and behave like them! You wont be an easy target for scamers and you’ll make friends easily.
I learned over 5 languages and there’s a website that I will be forever greatful for. It’s called Lingq.com . It is a platform where you can read and listen to whatever interests you. Do you like traveling? Then read about that and learn on the go! Each word is mark with color so you can skip ones that you already know.
You can download your own material using the Chrome extension. There’s no better way than to learn what interests you. Read and listen while learning the language! Once you get better there are teachers and tutors that can help you more by correcting your writing or having conversation in language you are learning over skype. I have been using the platform for over 6 years now and it is incredible! It helps me tremendously to learn new language!
Chat with other travelers
Do you think you can do everything by yourself with no help? It’s better to ask than be sorry later! There are many platforms where you can ask whatever you need to know before you travel.
Want to know more tips on how to travel on a budget? Ask those who’ve done it in a place you want to go! Let’s look at some popular platforms below!
Connect with locals
Meeting with the local people should be one of the most important things you do while traveling on a budget. You’ll get to know all the secret places, how to get the best price and where to have amazing dinner. You should never underestimate the power of locals! Let’s look at some popular ways how you can meet them.
- Local events ( MeetUp )
- Cultural events
- Dining with locals
- AirBnb or HomeStay
Research as much as possible
Doing the necessary research is as important as everything else. Knowing what to bring and what to expect is a must. You should know your budget for a day and stick to it! You can research other websites, watch Youtube or join popular travel forums.
Explore Panama: 13 Best Things To Do in Panama – The Ultimate List
Use public transportation
This goes without saying but public transportation could save you a lot! Depending on location you can save as much as $ 20 a day just for transportation.
Find best local deals
If there is just one thing you should know while travel on a budget, it is looking for the best deal possible. There’s no doubt about that! Depending on location there might be a lot of deals on almost anything or not many deals at all. Let’s look at some examples below!
The bigger the city the more deals you’ll find! Let’s use New York as an example. It can be very expensive destination unless you take advantage of the many deals offered. I wrote an article about 60 Best Free Things To Do in New York City. You read that right, those are completely free!
Another way to save on popular attractions is to use the City Pass ( there are more of them )! Definitely check my article about New York On A Budget – 20 Tips To Save Big in NYC. You could save as much as $ 100 a day with the given tips!
The best website to save on local deals all over the world is Groupon.com. I use it everywhere I go and it saved me a lot! You can save as much as 75% on food, attractions, massages, trips, vacation packages and way more. Just check it out!
Explore new places
Sometimes the best deals are to destinations we’ve never even heard of. So take advantage of that! You can travel on a budget while exploring new places. It can be a great way to save money. Let’s look at some cheapest destinations to travel to!
- Sri Lanka
Get paid if your flight was delayed
Because of European strict rules you might be compensated for your delayed or cancelled flight. Also missed connections and luggage problems. There are 2 major platforms that will help you solve the problem with ease. Let’s check them out below!
Flight Delay Claim – If your flight is delayed by more than three hours or your flight’s cancelled, under EU rule 261/2004 you are often entitled to between £110 and £557 in compensation. You can easily get EU flight delay compensation by simply completing the form and leaving the rest to us. Check more information on official website.
Air Help – Flight cancellations can bring your travel plans to a standstill. Of course you’d rather avoid the hassle, but the good news is that in the EU you’re legally entitled to financial compensation when your flight is unexpectedly canceled. If the airline didn’t give you at least 14 days’ notice, it’s likely that you could receive as much as $700 for your inconvenience. Cancellations are a little complicated because there are a number of factors that determine both eligibility and compensation amount, but we’ve done the homework for you. So read on to find out if you’re covered, learn about your air passenger rights and keep your journey moving forward. Check more information on official website.
Make reservations on your own
Anytime you’ll use travel agents you’re going to pay extra. Visit the nearest travel company and they’ll charge you so many fees you’ve never even heard of!
Nowadays it’s really easy to make reservations by yourself. And you don’t have to speak english at all!
Save on travel insurance
Do you think you don’t need a travel insurance? Think again! I had to use it myself and being in New York, one of the most expensive places in the world, I paid $ 500 just for one visit in hospital. Don’t that let happen to you! You never know what can happen, especially during travel. Let’s look at some popular travel insurance platforms.
World Nomads – Travel insurance usually covers travel at a certain distance from your home. You pay the insurance company a fee, called a “premium,” which can vary based on where you’re traveling, how long your trip is, your age, and what activities you plan to participate in. The insurance company agrees to cover costs (up to a certain limit) for things like emergency medical treatment, lost or stolen luggage, delayed flights, or nonrefundable expenses should you have to unexpectedly cancel your trip.
Allianz Travel Insurance – Travel insurance exists to safeguard you from certain financial risks and losses that can occur while traveling. Trip cancellation/interruption benefits can reimburse you for non-refundable, pre-paid trip costs (up to the amount of your plan limits) should your trip be canceled or interrupted for a covered reason. Depending on the plan you choose, travel insurance also can reimburse eligible medical costs in case of a covered medical or dental emergency; reimburse you for losses caused by a covered travel delay, baggage delay or baggage loss/damage; and help in other situations as well.
Staying in a place for free? You think it’s not possible? Well, discover the new way of traveling on a budget. It’s called couchsurfing! Millions of travelers use it every single day to have place to sleep absolutely for free! And you get to meet the locals!
As the name says, in most cases you’ll be sleeping on somebody’s else couch. It could be a great way to discover new city from a different perspective. It’s truly unique experience!
Try AirBnb or HomeAway for unique stays
AirBnb – Do you want to sleep in a tree house, bungalow or on a cliff while exploring new locations? Maybe you prefer your own island? Well, thanks to AirBnb your dreams may come true. The truly unique places to stay are what makes AirBnb the best option.
You can explore so much more and meet the locals. Stay in locations where there are no hotels around. You can even list your own place and make money while you travel!
HomeAway – Similar to AirBnb you can enjoy your vacation in someone else’s home. That can be a luxury villa on an island or cottage in woods. Enjoy full kitchens, laundry, pools, yards and more. It’s your choice! You can even list your own place and make money while you travel!
List your own place while you travel
Do you want to make a totally passive income while you travel on a budget? Well, it’s actually more easier than you think. I know many people that would go on vacation, list their place as vacation home ( apartment ) and would get paid for their trip in full thanks to the passive income they made while renting their place to other travelers. Depending on location you can make at least $ 50 renting a small space and up to $ 200 listing your home.
You can list your place for free on platforms like HomeAway or well-known AirBnb. Install automatic key pad so there’s no need to give keys to someone.
Book hotels without the ,, middle man “
Travel Smarter is the premier platform for securing unbeatable prices to over 500,000 hotels, cruise lines, airlines, Luxury 5 Star properties and exotic international locations can be yours for up to 70% off.
Whether you want to plan a short weekend getaway nearby, hop a plane and explore a new continent, or book just the right spot for an upcoming business trip, TravelSmarter is the perfect way to save up to 70%.
Rent a bike or scooter
Getting a taxi can be expensive anywhere in the world. Opt for a bike instead! You can explore as much as you would with taxi but on your own pace saving a lot of money! In some places like Washington DC, you can rent a scooter which is fast and super fun. Don’t overspend on taxi!
Use Grab in Asia and UBER elsewhere
Grab is a popular ride sharing app in Southeast Asia. It will make sure you are not getting scamed by local taxi drivers. It’s the peace you should have on your trip. If you travel anywhere else in the world, use the well-known UBER.
Want to make some extra cash for your vacation? Become an UBER driver and make money on your own schedule!
Travel during off-time
Do you think it is a good time to travel during holiday? So does everyone else! And the prices skyrocket! It goes up for flights, accommodation and more. Depending on the location you’re going, you should know what is the best time to visit. In New York City that can be from January to March and then from September to November.
Take night transportation and sleep in
Have you ever thought about making two things at once while traveling? Well, what about sleeping a getting to another destination you need to be at. You can do that easily while sleeping on a train ( or bus ). Many companies now offer the night ride where you can enjoy a good sleep while saving money on hotel! It saves you a lot of time too! You don’t have to sleep in a hotel and then spend hours trying to get to another destination.
Take advantage of free attractions, tours & events
You would be surprised how many attractions are offered for free. I actually wrote an article about 60 Best Free Things To Do in New York City where you can see platheora of things that you get to enjoy absolutely for free in NYC! Any city in the world has some sort of free events going on. It could during specific time or season only. So definitely check local events before your trip.
Use City Pass to save on major attractions ( There’s more of them! )
The major attractions in New York and all over the world are freaking expensive! It’s at least 40 USD per person just for one attraction. Crazy right? Well, let’s be smart and see how can one save a lot ( I mean more than 50% ) just by purchasing the right city pass.
Let’s look at the options below. I’m sure you’ll find the right pass.
The New York Pass – Planning is the key!
The biggest advantage of NY Pass ( or any major city ) is that you pay for day(s) and it is completely up to you how many attractions will you visit during that time. So it is very important to plan ahead!
You can’t waste time trying to get from one attraction to another or be stuck in traffic. So planning is key! Check my article about 2 Days in NYC – The Only Itinerary You Ever Need to know what is the best way to plan the day and not waste time trying to walk aimlessly!
The options are endless! More than 100+ top attractions including the most popular Empire State Building where regular entry is really expensive! And waiting in line? No thanks!
With New York Pass there is no waiting in line. You get a special entrance access that is included in price. And trust me, those lines could go for hours! Thank me later for saving you time and money!
You can get the NY Pass for just 1 day or 2,4,5 and 10 days. It depends on you how much you want to see. I’ll break it down for you so you know what you can see in a day and how much you can save!
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck ( $ 41 )
- Madame Tussauds ( $ 37 )
- Big Bus Day Pass ( $ 40 )
- Museum of Modern Art ( $ 25 )
- Central Park Bike Tours & Rental ( $ 45 )
- Metropolitan Museum of Art ( $ 32 )
- The Ride ( $ 69 )
- Food on Foot Tours ( $ 49 )
- Madison Square Garden All Access Tour ( $ 33 )
- Empire State Building ( $ 41 )
Total Saving of $ 280 ! Unbelievable !
- Circle Line Cruises ( $ 43 )
- Statue of Liberty Ferry & Ellis Island ( $ 22 )
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum ( $ 26 )
- Hop-On Hop-Off All Day Access Pass ( $ 37 )
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum ( $ 33 )
- Radio City Music Hall ( $ 30 )
- Broadway & Times Square Tour ( $ 35 )
- National Geographic Encounter ( $ 43 )
That’s called saving ! Total of $ 370 saved with 2 Day Pass !
City Pass – Top 6 Attractions in NYC
New York City Pass ( or any major city ) is another way how to save money on the big attractions in NYC. Think big like Empire State Building or Top of the Rock!
The City Pass includes 6 attractions that are handpicked and packaged together to save you as much as 50% compared to regular entrance fees. And there is no waiting in line! I remember those horribly long lines that could go for hours! Check all the details and thank me later!
Let’s look what’s included for just $ 132 ( Regular price $ 235 ) – 44% Saved
- Empire State Building
- American Museum of Natural History
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum
- Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
That’s 44% less than you would pay at entrance of each attraction !
City Pass C3 – Top 3 Attractions in NYC
Create your own New York City experience. Get one-time admission to 3 iconic attractions. More than 10 available to choose from. Let’s look at them!
- Empire State Building
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck
- Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- American Museum of Natural History
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- Guggenheim Museum
- Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises
Total Price Just $ 84 ! Saving You More Than 40% !
Use TripAdvisor to book tours & events
The well-known and popular platform TripAdvisor offer some of the most unique experiences you can get! Kayaking in Alaska, Wine tasting in Austria, ATV adventures? You can experience way more than that! Thanks to real reviews you know which tours are worth booking. So check some and let us know the best ones!
Save on unique experiences with GetYourGuide
Similar to TripAdvisor you can have unique experiences with platform called GetYourGuide. More than 10,000+ tours & activities that will help you explore even when you travel on a budget!
Rent car from owners ( Turo )
Have you ever wanted to drive specific car just to find out the rental company doesn’t have it? That’s when Turo comes in! It is a platform where people like you are renting their own cars. With prices way lower than rental companies!
It’s like AirBnb just for cars! Explore many options on the platform. Choose sport, electric, hybrid, SUV, small or big. It’s up to you! Easily contact the owner and enjoy the ride. I used them many times and absolutely recommend it!
List your car on Turo
The best part about Turo is that anyone could rent their car. That is a great news as you can make extra money while you are traveling. You wouldn’t be using your car anyway right? So take advantage of that!
Learn to haggle
Haggling is very popular in countries like India or Thailand. Once you learn how to haggle properly you’ll be able to score a really sweet deals. It is something you have to master! There are few rules that should be followed. I’d recommend reading the article How To Haggle While Traveling by PlanetD.
Avoid regular taxis
In most countries taxi drivers take advantage of tourists. They use so many tricks it’s hard to keep up with them! Let’s look at some known ones that they use to take money from travelers.
- Not using the meter properly
- Getting to different places so they can get commision
- Charging you way more than they should
Shop at local markets
Instead of shopping at the popular tourist locations try to shop where locals do. It can save you a lot of money. You can buy local food and cook, or just snack. Buy come clothes to blend in with locals. This way you won’t attract much attention.
Walk as much as you can
This may be easier said than done but depending on location, walking could be one of the best ways to travel on a budget. Many popular cities are walkable. Even New York! Check my article about 2 Days in NYC – The Only Itinerary You Ever Need to explore the city just walking as much as possible!
Take advantage of student discounts
Being a student is great in terms of deals. You get plenty of them! There is a popular international student ID called ISIC. With this identity card you’ll get access to more than 125,000 offers in over 2,300 locations in just USA alone! Save on accommodation, entertainment, food, drinks and much more.
Road trip is always amazing
There is nothing better than renting a car and heading for a road trip. It’s my favorite form of travel and I wrote 2 articles about my trips, one The Ultimate 10 Day West Coast Road Trip in USA and the other Best Road Trip from NYC to New Orleans. Definitely check them out if you are planning a road trip in USA. You can also read article about How To Save Money on Cross Country Road Trip.
Sleep in the car
That would apply only if you are planning a road trip. Sleeping in a car can be a great way to travel on a budget. You can save a lot by not sleeping in hotels every night. It can also save you a lot of time as you don’t have to drive to and from accommodation. Meaning you get an extra time exploring!
Work and travel
The best combination ever! You can make money while you are traveling. We wrote an entire article about How To Make Money While Traveling. It means you get to travel and get paid at the same time. Sometimes even more than you would get at home! So definitely take advantage of that if you want to travel on a budget and make some money as well.
Buy local sim cards
There’s nothing worse than heading back home just to find out the bill for phone is huge! Depending on your location companies may charge you a lot if you use their service abroad. The best solution is to buy the local sim cards. In most cases it is way cheaper than using your phone as you would back home.
Street food is the cheapest
There’s no doubt about that! The street food is the best option if you travel on a budget. And it can be tasty too! Let’s look at some popular options below.
- Chimney cake in the Czech republic
- Masala Dosa in India
- Poutine in Canada
- Currywurst in Germany
- Pastel de Nata in Portugal
- Jerk Chicken in Jamaica
- Halo Halo in Philippines
- Pad Thai in Thailand
- Churros in Spain
- Bao buns in China
- Bahn Mi in Vietnam
- Dango in Japan
- Kottu Roti in Sri Lanka
- Falafel in Israel
- Ceviche in Peru
- Poffertjes in Netherlands
- Baklava in Turkey
- Arepas in Colombia
Learn from other bloggers
This goes without saying but you can learn from other bloggers who have already visited the place where you want to go. They will have their unique ways to save money for sure!
Buy alcohol in supermarkets
Instead of going to bars and clubs why not buy alcohol in a supermarket? It will save you a lot if you want to travel on a budget! For example in New York City one drink can cost as much as $ 14! Definitely check my article about New York on a Budget – 20 Tips To Save Big in NYC if you want to save a lot in big apple.
Local guides are cheaper and better
Exploring the city with a local guide is an amazing experience. Who can tell you more than the person living there for a long time? Definitely take advantage of that! You can find local guides using website like ToursByLocals.
Eat at a local restaurants and places
It’s no surprise that restaurants in touristy areas can get very expensive. So the best way to travel on a budget is to join the locals at their favorite places. You can simply ask or search for a popular local place to eat.
If you still want to try some of the touristy known restaurants then be sure to use the local deals and get a discount using Groupon! You can save as much as 75%!
Camping is fun
One of the best ways to save money and enjoy the nature is to camp. I did it many times and absolutely enjoyed it! You can camp pretty much anywhere, mostly in National parks and forests in USA.
Camping is especially great if you are planning a road trip. The chance of finding a hotel might be low and you would have to drive more just to get some sleep.
Rent a campervan
Want to try something more unique than sleeping in a hotel? You can rent an RV! It is an amazing way to be in nature and still have the comfort of your home. There is even popular platform where you can rent an RV from owners, called outdoorsy.com.
Try housesitting ( free home )
Honestly, at first, I was shocked that something like this even exists. It basically means you are watching someone elses home while they are away, absolutely for free. No rent or bills. In most cases you even get a car at your disposal!
Housesitting means you take care of someone else’s home while they are on their own vacation. You can take care of pets or just water the flowers. Definitely check an in depth article about How To Become A House Sitter and Never Pay For Accommodation by Nomadic Matt. I list the popular websites below!
Rent car according to your trip
This may look obvious but choosing the right car for a road trip is very important. If you know you are not going far you can opt for a very small car, even hybrid. On the other hand if you are going far and need to sleep in the car, you have to rent at least SUV or something bigger. Having the right car would make sure you travel on a budget. You don’t want to overspend on car you don’t even need!
Hitchhike whenever possible
Hitchhiking can be one of the best ways how to travel on a budget. It’s free transportation! Depending on a location, the only concern should be safety. Most hitchhikers will tell that they never encounter any serious danger. And you can hitchhike in any country in the world. So take advantage of that! It is a best way to travel on a budget.
Join local events for free ( MeetUp )
Do you want to meet more people while traveling? There is an amazing platform for joining the local groups. It’s MeetUp.com . I’m personally using it to this day to attend various events, like playing soccer, field hockey or learning spanish. And the best part? It is completely free!
Buy the right gear and essentials
Choosing the right clothes, shoes and other essentials is very important. Take too much and you pay extra for a luggage. Not buying high quality essentials could mean you end up with no option to buy anything in your final destination. Invest in proper gear now and you could be saving money for years to come. Let’s look at some important essentials below.
- Water Filter – We all need water! Especially during hiking. But having a full galon could add significant weight to your backpack. I personally used water filter when hiking in Alaska and was so thankful for that little thing.
- The proper shoes – I think we are all guilty of that at some point. I remember hiking in Glacier National Park on ice and water with just sport shoes. At that moment I realized it is not fun anymore! So on my next trip to Alaska I researched the best hiking boots possible. Finding the North Face Ultra Fast-Pack III , the best on ice and water. Hiking glaciers and around lakes was a breeze.
Choose the right luggage & backpack
Backpack is probably the most important thing when it comes to traveling. You will spend a lot of time with it for sure. You can check a detailed article How To Choose & Buy The Right Travel Backpack by Nomadic Matt.
Explore local guides and unique itineraries
Discover tours done by locals. That’s what you can find on the platform Urban Adventures. Having a great time in a new city is as important as nice accommodation or food. Using local guides you will experience a true feeling of the place you are visiting.
Transfer money for cheap
Sooner or later you could find yourself in a position when you need to get money to whenever you are. There are many reasons for that, you can lost your wallet, be robbed or the credit card would just not work in new destination.
In all cases you would need to send money to whenever you are. TransferWise is a great platform that I’ve been using for years. The fees are the lowest compared to other platforms or banks.
Look for help on Fiverr
Looking for help with your trip? There are people who could help you for as low as $ 5. Fiverr is a website where you can find other people from all over the world who would be more than willing to help you with whatever you need. Are you going to Africa and have some questions? Easily find someone who lives there or visited and they will be more than happy to help you. We are actually having some writers from Africa or India writing about their countries.
Take advantage of rail pass in Europe
If you are planning a rail trip across Europe you should consider buying a Eurail pass. It can save you as much as $ 200 if you use it on a long distance routes. Read article about The Guide To Eurail Passes 2019 Edition by Nomadic Matt.
The first step you have to take in order to travel on a budget is to actually set it in the right way. The best budget app that I have been using for years is Mint. It allows you to create budgets easily and you can see suggestions based on your spending. Link all your accounts into the app and track the progress. It is free!
Buy and return
Before you start making comments about how bad it is to buy something and then return, sometimes we all have to do something in order to save money. It’s just part of traveling on a budget. You have to save no matter what!
What do I mean by buy and return? It means you buy whatever essentials you need for your trip and after your trip you return them back to the store. It applies mostly to road trip or hiking. So you can buy a tent, sleeping bag, cooler and even professional camera! After your trip is over you simply return everything in the same state as you bought. Meaning everything is in perfect condition. Just as you bought it!
Teach english abroad
Teaching english or any language could be a great way to travel on a budget. Depending on a location you can make a pretty decent income. Check an article about 9 Best Places To Teach English Overseas by Nomadic Matt.
If you don’t want to be in one location then teaching online is the best option. And there’s an amazing platform for that – italki! You can become a teacher even with no experience and build yourself up! There are more than 10,000 teachers on the italki platform and you can be one of them!
If you want to learn a new language it allows you to connect with locals and people around the world. So definitely check it out!
Start your own blog
Starting your own blog or website can be a great way to make some extra money while travel on budget. You can easily blog about your adventure and share it with the world. Once you’ll get the hang of it you can monetize with ads and affiliate marketing. The income from a well known blog could reach few thousands a month! Start a Youtube channel too!