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How to Travel on a Budget: 8 Practical Tips to save money

April 21, 2023

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    Table of Contents

      Planning to travel but have been canceling because of the lack of money every time? Here are some fool-proof hacks you can try if you want to travel without breaking the bank.

      If you ask anyone what is holding them back from traveling the world, 90% of people would answer ‘Money.’ Budget is a common constraint for many people because traveling often takes a back seat in a world where prices are constantly rising.

      But if your dream is to travel, see new places, and explore new cultures, money doesn’t have to come in the way. The world is changing rapidly. Now, you don’t need to have tons of money to travel. 

      In this article, we share some saving hacks to ensure you fulfill your dream of traveling without breaking the bank.

      Tip 1 - Be flexible with your travel dates

      If you are traveling for leisure, pick your dates carefully. Check the peak and off-season of the place you are interested in traveling to. 

      Always choose moderately off-season to get the cheapest deals on the commute and stay.

      Perhaps, you can set an alert on Google Flights to find the dates with the cheapest flight rates. You will save a ton of money this way.

      Tip 2 - Redeem miles or reward points to book the cheapest flight tickets

      If you plan to travel somewhere international, get a credit card that offers you airline credit upon usage. You can redeem these credits to book a flight ticket at a lower price.

      Alternatively, if you are traveling domestically and don’t mind spending extra hours on the road, then traveling by bus or train is a fantastic way to save some extra bucks.

      Tip 3 - Hitchhike or take shared transport for sightseeing

      When traveling to a new destination, you may not be familiar with the local transportation system. Hence, most people prefer to commute by private cars. 

      But if you are on a tight budget, you can opt for ride sharing such as BlaBlaCar or hitchhiking.

      If you are opting for the latter option, make sure to look presentable; and check the local law because, in many countries, it is illegal; take precautions like taking pictures of the license plate or sharing your location with a friend to stay safe.

      Tip 4 - Buy travel passes

      Many countries offer travel passes that allow you to travel using public transport for free or at highly discounted rates. 

      For instance, Switzerland provides a Swiss Travel Pass, enabling you to take unlimited free train, bus, and boat rides and many more exciting benefits. 

      Similarly, you can purchase Eurail Pass in Europe to travel to 33 European countries via train free of cost or a JR pass in Japan to travel across the country via rail, bus, and ferry. 

      These kinds of passes can cut your travel expenses in half.

      Pro Tip: Moreover, many European countries also allow you to travel at an additional discounted rate if you have a student ID card/youth card.

      Tip 5 - Stay at hostels/couchsurf

      If you don’t mind sharing your space with others, you can save a ton of money by staying in dorms at backpackers’ hostels instead of hotels or AirBnBs. 

      If you are new to the concept, Couchsurfing is an online community connecting travelers with locals willing to let you stay at their homes for free. 

      You can also couch surf and stay for free. You can often have your room rather than sleep on a couch.

      Take precautions, and you never know; you might make awesome friends this way. You can share your travel cost if you plan your next destination properly.

      Tip 6 - Cook your meals

      We know it sounds odd to cook while you are on vacation, but trust us, it’ll save you a lot of costs, especially if you travel to expensive countries like Iceland or cities like Paris.

      Buy your supplies from local grocery shops locals prefer, carry a portable coffee press and ground beans, or ready-to-cook meals and prepare them at your hostel or AirBnB’s kitchen.

      It will take extra time and planning, but you’ll save a ton of money and stay healthy during your trip.

      Tip 7 - Eat local foods

      Try local food if cooking during the holiday is not your cup of tea. Instead of dining in expensive restaurants, talk to local people and visit hidden gems. 

      You’ll be surprised how much you can soak in the local culture by visiting lesser-known local food joints.

      Tip 8 - Take local suggestions for shopping

      Who doesn’t enjoy shopping for knick-knacks for gifting purposes when you visit a new place? 

      Although all tourist spots have many shops on the roadside where you can buy gift items, you should ask locals where to shop if you have a tight budget. 

      When you become friends with the local people, they will be happy to point you in the right direction.

      Final words

      There are more ways than one to save money while you are traveling. Traveling on a very tight budget is not easy. 

      You need to be smart about your priorities and spend a lot more time planning. Get out of your comfort zone and explore the non-traditional way of traveling to explore this world in a new way. 

      You don’t need to be rich to travel!