Traveling can be an amazing experience, but it can also be expensive. If you want to see the world without breaking the bank, you need to know some tricks and hacks that can help you save money and have more fun. Here are 16 budget travel tips that can make your next trip more affordable and enjoyable.
1. Plan ahead
The best way to save money on travel is to plan ahead and book your flights, accommodation, and activities in advance. You can use websites like Skyscanner or Kayak to compare prices and find the best deals on airfare. You can also use Booking.com or Airbnb to find cheap and comfortable places to stay. Planning ahead can also help you avoid peak seasons, holidays, and events that can drive up the prices and crowds.
2. Be flexible
If you are not tied to a specific destination or date, you can save a lot of money by being flexible and open-minded. You can use tools like Google Flights or Skyscanner to search for flights to anywhere in the world and see where you can go for the cheapest price. You can also use Hopper or Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to get alerts on when the prices drop for your desired destinations. Being flexible can also help you discover new and exciting places that you might not have considered before.
3. Travel light
Packing light can save you money and hassle in many ways. You can avoid paying extra fees for checked baggage, which can add up quickly especially on low-cost airlines. You can also move around more easily and avoid paying for taxis or public transportation when you can walk or bike with your luggage. Traveling light can also make your trip more enjoyable, as you won’t have to worry about losing or damaging your belongings, or carrying heavy bags around.
4. Use public transportation
Public transportation is usually the cheapest and most efficient way to get around a city or a country. You can use apps like Google Maps or Citymapper to find the best routes and schedules for buses, trains, subways, trams, and more. You can also buy passes or tickets in advance or online to save money and time. Public transportation can also give you a chance to experience the local culture and interact with the locals.
5. Walk or bike
Another way to save money and have fun is to walk or bike as much as possible. Walking or biking is not only free, but it also allows you to see more of the place you are visiting and discover hidden gems along the way. You can use apps like Google Maps or Maps.me to find walking or biking routes and directions. You can also rent a bike from a local shop or use a bike-sharing service like Lime or Mobike to get around.
6. Eat like a local
Food is one of the biggest expenses when traveling, but it can also be one of the best ways to enjoy a destination. To save money and taste the authentic cuisine, you should eat like a local and avoid touristy restaurants and fast food chains. You can use apps like TripAdvisor or Yelp to find the best local eateries and reviews. You can also use apps like HappyCow or Vegan Maps to find vegan and vegetarian options if you have dietary restrictions. Eating like a local can also help you support the local economy and culture.
7. Cook your own food
Another way to save money on food is to cook your own meals whenever possible. You can buy groceries from local markets or supermarkets and prepare your own breakfast, lunch, or dinner in your accommodation if it has a kitchen or a fridge. Cooking your own food can not only save you money, but it can also be fun and healthy. You can use apps like Allrecipes or Tasty to find easy and delicious recipes that you can make with local ingredients.
8. Drink tap water
Drinking tap water can save you money and reduce plastic waste when traveling. Tap water is usually safe and clean in most countries, but you should always check before drinking it or ask a local if you are not sure. You can use apps like Tap or RefillMyBottle to find places where you can refill your reusable water bottle for free or for a small fee. You can also use a water filter or purifier if you want to be extra cautious.
9. Use free Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is essential for travelers who want to stay connected and informed, but it can also be expensive if you rely on roaming or data plans. To save money and avoid roaming charges, you should use free Wi-Fi whenever possible. You can find free Wi-Fi in places like cafes, restaurants, hotels, libraries, museums, airports, and more. You can use apps like Wi-Fi Map or Wiman to find free Wi-Fi hotspots near you. You can also use a VPN or a firewall if you want to protect your privacy and security when using public Wi-Fi.
10. Buy a local SIM card
If you need to use your phone for calls, texts, or data, you should buy a local SIM card instead of using your home network. A local SIM card can give you access to cheaper and faster service and avoid roaming fees. You can buy a local SIM card from a local shop or kiosk, or order one online before you travel. You can use apps like SIM Card Info or Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki to find the best SIM card options for your destination and device.
11. Use free or cheap apps
Apps can be very useful and convenient for travelers, but they can also cost money or take up space on your phone. To save money and storage, you should use free or cheap apps that can help you with various aspects of your trip. You can use apps like Duolingo or Google Translate to learn some basic words and phrases in the local language. You can use apps like XE Currency or Splitwise to convert currencies and split bills with your travel companions. You can use apps like TripIt or PackPoint to organize your itinerary and packing list. You can use apps like Hostelworld or Couchsurfing to find cheap and social accommodation options. You can use apps like Meetup or Tinder to meet new people and make friends along the way.
12. Use cashback and reward programs
Cashback and reward programs can help you save money and earn points or miles that you can use for future travel. You can use cashback and reward programs from your credit card, bank, airline, hotel, or online platform. You can use apps like Rakuten or Ibotta to get cashback on your online purchases. You can use apps like AwardWallet or WalletFlo to track and manage your reward points and miles. You can use apps like HolidayPirates or The Points Guy to find the best deals and tips on how to use your rewards for travel.
13. Use coupons and discounts
Coupons and discounts can help you save money on various things like food, entertainment, transportation, and more. You can use coupons and discounts from websites, magazines, flyers, brochures, or local sources. You can use apps like Groupon or LivingSocial to find deals on activities, attractions, restaurants, and more in your destination. You can also use apps like UNiDAYS to get discounts if you are a student.
14. Travel off-season
Traveling off-season can help you save money and avoid crowds when visiting popular destinations. Off-season is usually when the weather is not ideal, the demand is low, or there are no major events or holidays happening in the destination. Traveling off-season can give you access to lower prices on flights, accommodation, activities, and more. It can also give you a chance to experience a different side of the destination and interact with the locals more.
15. Travel with friends
Traveling with friends can help you save money and have more fun when traveling. Traveling with friends can help you split the costs of transportation, accommodation, food, and more. It can also help you enjoy the company of people who share your interests and preferences. Traveling with friends can also make your trip more memorable and exciting, as you can share experiences, stories, jokes, and photos along the way.
16. Volunteer or work abroad
Volunteering or working abroad can help you save money and make a difference when traveling. Volunteering or working abroad can help you get free or cheap accommodation, food, transportation, and more in exchange for your skills, time, or labor.
Traveling can be a rewarding and enriching experience, but it can also be costly and stressful. However, with some planning, flexibility, and creativity, you can travel the world on a budget and have a blast. By following these 16 budget travel tips, you can save money, have fun, and make the most of your trip. Whether you want to explore a new city, a new country, or a new continent, you can do it without breaking the bank. Happy travels! 😊