31 Genius Ways to Budget Travel

world map of country stamps. travel map full of stamps

So you want to budget travel, but you’re on a tight budget, eh? Well you’ve come to the right place! I’ve gathered the best 30 ways to travel on a budget! If you’re looking for a list of budget friendly travel destinations, check this blog post.

Booking.com

Selecting your Travel Destination

  1. Check out my blog post: 30 Budget Friendly Travel Destinations to give you some ideas on travel destinations that do not require you to take out a bank loan to visit.

Booking your Tickets

  1. Check multiple airlines and third-party websites for the best deals for your flight. KEEP checking – most airlines have daily deals or flash sales (WIN!)
  2.  I use these websites to compare flights: Skyscanner and Cheapflights to compare flights.
  3. Book your flights using the incognito (private) tab. Your normal browser saves cookies from previous searches you’ve done and will show you similar prices that you’ve seen before. If you use a private tab, no cookies are saved and you are likely to get cheaper deals! Using a VPN is even better!  
  4. Book in advance, and try and book your return flights when you can (even if you book them separately to save costs) – you don’t want to get to the end of your holiday, run out of cash, and have no way of booking your flight back home! 
  5. Travel out of season – try and avoid school holidays and booking close to major holidays such as Easter, Christmas and New Year’s. Kinda obvious, no? But I’ve fallen victim to the festive getaways! 
  6. Book midweek flights – they’re always cheaper than weekend flights and airport queues are much shorter! 
  7. Be flexible with your travel dates. Always check for flights at least 2-3 days before and after your desired travel dates – some flights are cheaper on different days.
  8. Join a frequent flyer program – earning points may take a while, but like most things, it’ll pay off in the end 🙂 
  9. After you’ve compared flight prices and know what the cheapest flights cost, check airline websites directly. I love flying with Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines. 
  10. Sign up for Airline newsletters – you’ll get notified whenever they are having flash sales or daily deals. 
Airplane flying through clouds. Traveling on a budget


Packing your Bags 

  1. Pack as light as you can (you DO NOT need 10 outfits and 5 pair of shoes for a week trip! Don’t dooo it) The heavier your suitcase, the more money you’re going to pay if your luggage is overweight. 
  2. Try to travel with hand-luggage only; this way you do not have to pay for extra luggage or worry about losing your bags. 
  3. Don’t waste money buying expensive ‘travel sized’ toiletries. Instead, invest in refillable plastic bottles and then, yup – you guessed it – refill em every time you travel. 
  4. Roll your clothing, don’t fold! (more on this in a separate blog post) 
  5. Wear your heaviest layers onto the plane – they do not charge you extra for carrying your thick, winter jacket with your carry-ons!
  6. Lastly, I’ve made a separate blog post that you can check out: The Ultimate Travel and Vacation Packing Guide and Checklist that is a must read when packing for your trip!


Setting a budget 

  1. Try and set a budget for your accommodation, food, and activities. Make a daily budget as a guide to how much money you can afford to spend for each day on your trip.
  2. Get an itinerary going and do research on all the activities you want to do on your trip so that you are not thrown under the bus with hidden costs! 
  3. Check for package deals – some websites such as Hotwire have activity packages which often includes breakfast or lunch. 
  4. Ask for group rates when booking (if you are a larger group) 


Hotels and Accommodation 

  1. If you’re looking to save extra bucks – dorms, guesthouses, and hostels are your besties!
  2. I use Agoda (check it out here) and Booking.com when checking for deals. They have amazing daily deals and you could sometimes get deals of up to 50% off! You can also get free cancelations on most rooms. 
  3. If you want to be a bit more comfortable and in your own space, I still recommend using Agoda and Booking.com when checking for deals and you can usually get a discount of 10-15% when making the booking on the Booking.com app! 
  4. If you are looking to be a bit more spontaneous and adventurous with your accommodation, I recommend using Hotwire – a third-party booking app that operates by selling off unsold travel inventory at discounted prices (you can sometimes pay up to 60-70% off on 4/5 star hotels.) You can also save up to $300 if you book your flight and hotel together through their website or app. I find that booking this way makes things more exciting and also gives you an opportunity to stay at multiple locations during your stay.  (This is my personal faaave!) 
  5. If you don’t mind sharing a space with a local – try AirBnB or Couchsurfing – they allow you to book a room in someone else’s place and also give you a taste of local living! 
beach, ocean, seaside. Beautiful views of the sea, hotels on a beachside.


Food

  1. #1 tip – Eat local. Eat where all the locals eat. Not only will it be more affordable, you will also get to see the local favourites and all the good spots! 
  2. Don’t be afraid to try new foods. Do not order those chicken wings or nuggets, I repeat: DO NOT. 
  3. Shop for groceries and fresh produce at the local markets – they’re more affordable than the supermarkets and you’d be helping the locals make some money too! 
Street vendor selling local street food in Asia.


Transportation 

  1. Two words: Public Transportation. Yup. That’s it. Those are the magic words – forget abracadabra.
  2. Rent a bicycle. You’ll get to see more of the city and you won’t have to worry about skipping leg day 😉 
  3. If you are not keen on public transport and set your mind to rent/hire a car, I recommend using Hotwire or Skyscanner. Booking your flight, hotel, and rentals together saves $$
Public transportation, taking the train

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