Going hand in hand with my last blog post on how to find cheap flights, here’s the answer to my second most asked question! Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on all food and activities, honestly some of my favorite trips have been some of my cheapest! Of course sometimes it’s just not possible to get rock bottom cheap depending on the location, and everyone has their own opinion on what “cheap” is but hopefully these tips help you in some way!
- Cheap flights! Check out my blog post about that here
- Utilize Airbnb + Hostels
Traveling is so different now than just 10 years ago, there are so many more options than having to stay at an expensive chain hotel everywhere you go. Almost 99% of my trips I’ve stayed in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. You have so much more flexibility, it’s cheaper usually and you can fit more people in one which means you can all split costs! Hostels are also a great option and usually very cheap! I’ve personally never stayed in one but just do your research and be careful if you are traveling by yourself.
- Cook your own food
I know this seems like an obvious one but it’s a good one! That’s another perk about staying in an Airbnb, you usually have a kitchen of some sorts. I usually pick two meals to make myself and then splurge for the third meal of the day so I can still experience what the area has to offer!
- Travel in off months
I touched on this a little bit in my Cheap Flights post, it can really make a difference depending on the location. Any spring break destination or ski resort in the winter will be 3x as expensive during their high season.
- Utilize credit card points
Use those dollars on flights, hotels and car rentals! With my Chase Sapphire I actually get 30% more back when I use my points for travel versus getting cash back.
- Make a budget
This one is kind of a hard one (especially to stick too haha). But if you are really looking to budget but want to get the most out of your trip this is the best way to make sure you won’t be stressed when you come home and see the credit card bill.
- Research restaurants and excursions you want to do
I always do some planning ahead of time to find popular restaurants or excursions and make a list on my phone so I’m not scrambling once we are there. Then I know how much to budget for if I want to do specific things. I usually check out other peoples blogs that have been to the area!
If you are traveling internationally this is something to watch out for. Conversion rates can make a big difference in your budget so plan accordingly!
- Pack light
If possible, only bring a carry on and backpack. If your trip is two weeks or more with multiple climates I understand this isn’t as feasible but you’ll save $60-$200 if you don’t check a bag.
- Utilize friend and family connections
Stay with people you know! There are also sites where you can house/dog sit for people and in exchange get a free place to stay while you’re there.
- Embrace public transportation
This depends on where you are going, but if there is reliable public transportation it is usually cheaper than renting a car especially if you plan to spend a lot of time in one area.
- Buy a local sim card
We all know the struggle of traveling internationally and having to either rely on wifi or spend $$$ with our carriers to get an international plan for a week at a time. Usually you can get a local sim card at the airport when you land and use it while you are there. Make sure you do some research on this first, ask your carrier and make sure you aren’t going to mess up anything in your phone by doing this but it’s a great option especially for longer trips.