Traveling on a shoestring might sound overwhelming, but don’t worry! You can still have an incredible adventure without breaking the bank. We’ve compiled a list of ten valuable tips to help you save money and make the most of your thrifty experience. So, let’s get ready and explore how to travel on a budget.

1. Skip Peak Season

When it comes to traveling, peak season refers to when many people choose to go on vacation, such as school holidays or major holidays. During these periods, the demand for travel services and activities goes way up. 

The travel industry knows this and often raises prices to take advantage of the high demand. That means flights, hotels, and even attractions become more crowded and more expensive than usual.

Therefore, traveling during the off-peak season means fewer tourists will be around. You won’t have to deal with long lines at airports, busy streets, or crowded attractions. It makes your vacation much more enjoyable, as you’ll have more space to explore and spend time at each place.

Another benefit of traveling during the low season is the level of service you’ll receive. Since fewer people are around, hotels, restaurants, and tour operators can give you more personalized attention. You’ll feel like a valued guest, and the staff will have more time to cater to your needs.

2. Plan And Book In Advance

Planning in advance is crucial when you want to travel on a budget. Sure, being spontaneous can be exciting, but planning ahead is the way to go if you want to keep your travel expenses low.

When you plan, you make sure you’ve got everything covered. You know how long your trip will be, where you want to visit, and how much money you’ll need for accommodations, food, and activities.

Planning ahead allows you to find the cheapest flights and hotels, as well as explore free accommodations. This tip also helps you avoid unexpected expenses. When you know what to expect, you can budget better and avoid spending money on things you didn’t plan for.

travel on a budget by booking in advance

Besides, booking your travel essentials in advance is a smart move to make your trip go smoothly and save you money. Not only will this ensure that everything is ready and waiting for you, but it also help you avoid stressful last-minute rushes and unexpected expenses.

One of the most significant benefits of booking in advance is the cost savings. Many airlines offer special discounts to travelers who book their flights weeks or even months in advance. By doing so, you can grab some fantastic deals and find cheap flights. 

Friendly reminder: Consider traveling on a Tuesday. Midweek flights are usually cheaper than weekend flights. Plus, flying on a Tuesday means you’ll encounter shorter lines at the airport check-in desks and security, making your travel experience smoother.

3. Stay Safe with Travel Insurance

Many people might skip this part, but getting travel insurance is one of the best budget traveling tips. Don’t think it’s just an extra cost because it’s a safety net that can save you money in emergencies.

Imagine you’re all set for your exciting journey, but something unexpected happens. Your trip gets canceled, your luggage goes missing, or you fall ill. These things are really tough to handle, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar place.

But with travel insurance, you don’t need to worry as much. If something unfortunate happens during your trip, the insurance will help cover the costs and ensure your journey is still pleasant and goes well. So, take your time to consider this backup plan.

4. Pack Properly To Travel On A Budget

travel on a budget by packing properly

Remember to pack smartly and bring only what you truly need. You might be tempted to shop while you’re away, but it’s best to avoid unnecessary costs and save that money for more exciting experiences.

No matter where you’re going, it’s a good idea to pack some essentials for unpredictable weather. So, toss in a pair of long jeans, a warm hoodie, and a waterproof jacket. Trust me; you’ll thank yourself later when facing unexpected rain or chilly breeze.

How to travel on a low budget? The answer is minimizing the luggage fees at airports. This cost can be sneaky and add up quickly, threatening to blow your budget out of the water. To avoid those extra charges, try to keep your luggage light and manageable. 

Only pack the things you can’t live without and layer your clothing to save space. If you can carry your luggage by your side, that’s even better! 

5. Choose Hostel Or Apartments

If you want to save a lot of money on your trip, keep in mind that hotels are costly, especially during peak season. So, it’s best to avoid hotels whenever possible. Instead, consider staying at a hostel or an apartment. These two options are way cheaper than hotels. 

If you’re traveling with a big family, renting an apartment could be a great choice. You’ll have more space for everyone to relax and enjoy the vacation together. But if you’re traveling with a smaller group and only staying for a short while, a hostel is the way to go. 

Here’s a tip for you: if you have friends or relatives in the place you’re visiting, consider staying with them for free. It’s couch surfing – and can be a terrific way to experience the local culture. 

6. Use Public Transportation

Using public transportation during your travels is another way to travel on a budget. It’s a good idea to use buses, trains, and subways instead of taxis or private cars when exploring a city or going on a road trip.

use public transportation

Public transport is more affordable than private options, which aids you in managing your money better. 

Also, try carpooling if you’re on a road trip with a rented car and have extra seats. That means giving rides to other travelers in the same direction. It’s a win-win situation because they contribute some money for gas, and you all get to travel together.

7. Buy a local SIM card

The next tip for traveling on a budget is to get a local SIM card. As soon as you get off the plane, purchase a SIM card from the country you’re visiting. It gives you access to data and phone calls at local prices, which is much more affordable than using data roaming or buying international SIM cards. All you need is a phone that works internationally.

Having a local SIM card lets you enjoy inexpensive data, texts, and call packages. It allows you to stay connected and navigate your way around the new place. It’s a wise and budget-friendly way to keep in touch with loved ones back home while making the most out of your trip abroad.

8. Try Local Cuisine

The following travel on a budget tip is choosing to eat local food. While many people love exploring new cuisines during their trips, it can be challenging to manage your expenses when dining out in a new place. The delicious dishes may tempt you to overspend and forget your budget. However, you can still enjoy a diverse gastronomical experience without breaking the bank by opting for local food.

try local cuisine

If you want to save money on food, try going to places that are not too touristy. Explore eateries outside the busy city centers. These places often have delicious food that costs less. Feel free to ask locals like bartenders or other travelers for suggestions on the best local places to eat.

You can also get suggestions from websites with reviews of different local restaurants. It leads you to hidden gems that serve yummy and affordable meals. So, be smart with your food choices and enjoy all the tasty treats without spending too much!

9. Avoid Overpriced Tours

Don’t waste money on pricey tours! Exploring a new city is an exciting adventure, and you don’t always need to pay for expensive guides. Nowadays, you can easily find lots of information online and plan your own free tour.

If you’re hesitant to go solo, check out the free walking tours in many big cities. These tours provide lots of info about the area without any cost, and you can tip the guide if you’d like.

Another option is using helpful apps like Spotted By Locals or Rick Steves. They give you details about many locations, most of which are free. Sometimes, there might be a small extra fee, but you’ll still save a lot compared to pricey guided tours. So, be smart with your money and explore on your terms!

10. Utilize Rewards And Discounts

When you’re making your travel plan, keep an eye out for airlines offering discounted rates. Also, check out the trust-worthy flight booking apps, such as Agoda,, etc. They frequently offer coupons and deals, which significantly cut your ticket cost. 

use coupons

Another great way to travel on a budget is by using travel reward points. You can use these points to cover big expenses like hotels and flights during your trip.

To earn reward points, you’ll need to plan ahead and collect enough points. Many people suggest getting points by signing up for a travel credit card with welcome bonuses. These cards often come with free checked bags and priority boarding, saving you more time and money.

Hotel credit cards are also helpful. Many major hotel chains offer co-branded credit cards with sign-up bonuses that can lower your vacation costs. Some even offer complimentary elite status, along with fantastic perks like free breakfast, room upgrades, and late checkout.

Using points to book hotel rooms is a wise choice, especially for budget family travel. Many hotels charge extra for more people in a room, but that doesn’t apply to reward redemptions. As long as you can all fit safely, you’ll pay the same standard rate.

Time To Travel On A Budget!

With careful planning, a willingness to explore like a local, and a flexible mindset, you can have an enriching travel experience without straining your finances. Remember to follow the budget travel tips above to travel on a budget while creating cherished memories. Now, let’s go forth and embark on your thrifty adventure with confidence and joy. Happy travels!


Hanni covers topics including travel, pets, and entertainment. These topics have nurtured her love for the environment. She didn't pursue this path academically, but her enthusiasm for green living and forest conservation has found a perfect home at Tenereteam. In her articles, Hanni focuses on practical tips for sustainable living, drawing from her experiences and research. In her free time, Hanni loves exploring farmer’s markets and, of course, traveling.

Write A Comment