How To Travel On A Budget: 10 Ways To Save Money While Still Having Fun

One of the biggest misconceptions about travel is that it has to be expensive. Sure, it can be; but it can also be a lot more affordable than you may think just by making a few smart choices!

Whether you’re a solo traveller, honeymooning couple or travelling with friends, here are 10 of the best travel hacks to keep your budget in check without minimising your experience.

1. Be Flexible With Travel Dates

Airlines base their prices on demand, so flights on different days of the week or at off-peak times are often priced differently. By being flexible with your travel dates, you may be able to take advantage of lower airfares and save money on flights to and from your destination. In some cases, shifting your dates even one or two days can result in significant savings!

Also, don’t forget to browse for flights using incognito mode or private browser. This helps to avoid dynamic pricing, which is a strategy used by airlines and travel companies to adjust prices increase based on your previous search activity, which can cause the price to increase each time you search for the same flight.

Alternatively, if you’re not set on one destination in particular, many travel websites have the option to search from your departure city to ‘anywhere’. This is a great option for finding inexpensive vacation ideas or cheap vacation destinations for your preferred dates.

2. Travel Off-Peak

While many people plan their holidays around the ‘best time to visit’ a destination, travelling in the low or shoulder season can offer significant benefits when it comes to affordable vacations. Particularly when it comes to tropical destinations like the Maldives, with consistently warm temperatures and pristine beaches all year-round, travelling outside of peak seasons can help keep your budget in check without losing out on the classic experience.

Inexpensive beach vacations with fewer crowds, more availability of accommodations and activities, and a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere – sounds good to us!

3. Choose Accommodation With Inclusions

One of the best ways to stick to a travel budget is to choose accommodation that offers included meals during your stay. Not only does this save you the effort of figuring out where to eat, but it also saves you the expense of eating out at restaurants for every meal, which can add up quickly. Whether it’s included breakfast at a hostel or an all-inclusive resort offering included meals and beverages, you’ll be able to enjoy your days without worrying about the extra costs building up.

Many hotels, resorts and hostels also offer a range of free or discounted activities for guests such as walking or city tours, yoga classes, water sports and cultural experiences. Some even offer transport to and from the airport, or into town if you’re staying outside of it.

Taking advantage of these inclusions is a great way to make the most of your destination without having to spend extra money.

4. Get Travel Insurance

This one is often overlooked, but getting a comprehensive travel insurance policy is one of the best ways to ensure you stay within your travel budget. Sure, it may seem like an extra cost that you may not need, but if something does happen, it’ll save you money in the long run.

For example, if your laptop or phone were to get stolen, or you needed emergency medical attention, you could be left with a hefty bill. With travel insurance, you’ll be covered for any unexpected expenses and can enjoy your trip worry-free.

5. Use A Travel Credit Card

Exchanging cash at the airport or in town can be a hassle, and you often end up with a weak exchange rate. Using a travel credit card offers you a better rate, without the foreign translation fees of a regular credit card, saving you money on every purchase.

Another benefit of using a travel credit card is the opportunity to earn airline points or miles, which can be redeemed for flights or other travel rewards. Plus, if you book your flights using your card, you may be eligible for complimentary trip cancellation insurance, lost luggage insurance and emergency medical coverage, which can save you on buying a separate travel insurance policy.

6. Get A Local Sim Card Or E-Sim

By buying a local sim card when you arrive at your destination, you can avoid paying international roaming charges every time you use your data. Local prepaid sims are often fairly cheap to purchase, and are a way easier option than wandering around town constantly looking for wifi.

Local sim cards are also handy for calling local business to make reservations and generally provide better network coverage and faster internet speeds compared to travel or international sim cards.

7. Pack For All Scenarios

The last thing you want is to be caught without a rain jacket in a storm, or run out of sunscreen on a tropical island. Shop owners in busy tourist areas know these items are in high demand, so to avoid paying inflated prices, make sure you pack everything you think you might need, even if you’re not 100% sure you’ll use it.

8. Bring A Refillable Water Bottle

Not every country has potable water. And even if they do, it doesn’t always taste all that great. To avoid spending unnecessary money on countless water bottles (and contributing to landfill!), bring a reusable water bottle to fill up before you head out for the day. Most hotels have filtered drinking water available, just make sure to double check with the staff if you’re not sure!

9. Walk Or Use Local Public Transport

Renting a car or taking taxis everywhere can get expensive quickly. Do as the locals do and make use of the local transport options, whether it be buses, trains or tuk tuks.

Alternatively, take things a little slower and explore the town on foot – it’s a great way to get to know the local area, discover hidden gems, and save a few bucks!

10. Use A Student Card Or Look For Other Discounts

There are plenty of ways to score yourself a discount while travelling. Many travel companies and tourist attractions offer student discounts, under 30s discounts or family discounts. However, they don’t always advertise these – so make sure to ask!

Another great way to save on hotel rooms, activities and attractions is to book in advance online or look for online offers, as it’s often cheaper than booking through a travel agency on arrival.

By following these budget travel tips, you’ll be an expert when it comes to planning the best cheap vacations, or sticking to a budget without sacrificing on the fun. But remember, this is your holiday, so don’t forget to treat yourself here and there – you deserve it!