When it comes to traveling, you'll want to make sure that you have the best experiences and get as much as you can out of your trip away from home.
But of course, besides the beautiful sights and people you'll meet, there is something you have to think about:
Traveling can be quite expensive if you aren't able to set your budget straight. But the question is: How will you be able to have a good budget without ruining your trip from being a scrooge?
It may seem difficult, but it's possible and easy to do! So if you're looking for the ultimate guide to saving money while you travel, check this best how to: ways to travel for cheap!
You'll love this guide because I'm showing you EVERYTHING you need to know. Not only the great stuff about budgeting, but also some recommendations and helpful things on how to go around, from the moment you get a great deal on flights, down to packing up for your trip back home.
Sound good? Keep read on
Here's the Deal on Traveling: What Type Are You Going For?
Before you begin planning or leaving for a trip, you've got to first think about what kind of travel style you're going for. There are three main types of travel, depending on where you're going and how many you'll be.
This will help allocate the budget you need to set aside for your trip.
You've probably heard it before: It's the ultimate wanderer's dream! You have a backpack, your camera, a good book, and the passion for new experiences.
With a map in hand and the eagerness to explore, you go off on your own, experiencing new things with the freedom of your budget and itinerary.
This means that you have complete control over how much you'll be spending. Though you won't have a companion (unless you're in a travel group or meet new people along the way), you won't have to worry about spending for others or allocating a budget for them.
It's purely for yourself, which has you save a lot in the long run. It's one of the cheapest ways to travel since you aren't bringing a lot and will only worry about yourself.
This type of traveling will involve a lot of work, though. You're going to need to do a lot of research, and you can only rely on yourself and some helpful locals for directions. While this means less hassle of getting lost with a lot of people, it does seem better to stick with a group rather than look helpless alone!
But budget-wise, you've got no worries there, because the list of what to spend and how much you'll need to allocate is pretty simple as long as you do the research.
The Family Vacation Or Out With Friends
Now, this gets a bit more complicated but fun.
You'll be with a whole new group of people! While being with your family brings you closer and is more fun, it may be quite a hassle, especially if you are bringing picky or noisy children with you.
Since you all have differences and may want to eat someplace else or go to kid-friendly places, you will need to allocate your budget and do a lot of research, adjusting your itinerary to make it acceptable to everyone, especially kids who may end up getting very tired.
The budget is higher since you'll be with family, and with children, you'll be packing a lot more, which ends up not only spending on equipment but the extra weight if you're going on an airplane as well.
Though expensive, it's also a great experience for the family and should be done once in awhile.
Friends are a bit similar to being with a family since you are with a whole group with various attitudes and differences that will have all of you tweaking the itinerary to make sure everyone has fun.
But almost similar to solo backpacking, you spend on yourself (unless you all pool together some money for a group budget, which I won't recommend as it can get messy). It's also an excellent way to bond with friends and explore since there are times you won't want to travel alone.
The Ultimate Road Trip: RV Style!
Whether it's with your family or friends, you'll LOVE the road trip on an RV (unless you're a very sleepy or cranky driver!). I mean, who doesn't like the pit stops and breaks where you buy a lot of food and chomp away while eagerly waiting for what's to come next?
But be warned, as it can get quite uncomfortable and you might be spending a lot on gas, toll, and some rest stop fees.
That's why research must be done before you get into that, choosing the route you'll take, and the pit stops you'll be making to avoid unexpected bathroom breaks, expensive fees, and overspending on food.
This is a type of travel recommended for groups of people and going to other states or provinces. It's cheaper than airfare, and though long, it's the road trip that makes the experience so much fun!
The budget will all depend on how much you spend on your RV's maintenance, as well as your food and miscellaneous fees while you're on the road and in the destination.
If you're going camping, then there's a minimal fee for accommodation, since you can only park, move around, sleep in the RV, and explore again!
Read more: best deep cycle battery for rv
Look: You Need to Try Public Transportation!
If you plan on traveling on a budget and want to go for reasonable choices as much as possible, then don't be that guy who cringes at the thought of public transportation.
Not only do these beautiful creations get you to your destination quickly, but it's way cheaper than getting yourself a cab going from point A to point B. But how does it work for different countries and continents? It may get confusing!
So here are the best ways on how you can get to your destination without getting lost while saving money.
Getting The Best Flight Deals
You'll be surprised to see a lot of people spending far less on their airfare as compared to the trip itself.
Because they know when to book and for where! This is the first step to saving up on your journey, since airplane tickets can get quite expensive, especially during the peak season.
If you are planning on camping in a faraway destination,
make sure you book the cheapest plane ticket.
I recommend youth purchase your tickets and schedule your trips during off-peak seasons, as airlines would lower their prices during these times. Booking on the middle of the weekday (such as Tuesdays or Wednesdays) also work.
If you want to truly save and you're willing to wait, then airlines also offer promos or sales that you can take advantage of, with an individual travel date included so that you can save up for the rest of your trip.
I would also recommend booking long-haul flights, as this would usually cost less than a direct flight. Though this suggestion is recommended for those, who have extra time and would like to spend a few days more in another area.
If you are a frequent traveler and use a credit card to book your flights, you can also save up on your next trip by using your miles, which can end up with your next flight being free!
Looking for Inexpensive Car Services
If you are going on a road trip but have no RV or car to use, then you may want to use public transportation if you are solo backpacking or with friends (which I'll be showing you in the next section).
But if not, then I would suggest that you rent a car or find car services.
These are perfect for road trips, as renting a car for a few days would save you the hassle of owning a car in the long-term when you don't need it.
It also gets to your destination quickly and without the hassle as compared to public transportation (especially if you are with children!).
This section is also best for people who have just arrived in their travel destination and would rather rent a car for their family or friends (dividing the expenses would be similar to using public transportation anyway).
Many businesses rent out their car for lower prices, depending on how many days you'll be using it and the type of car you need.
In the USA, it would range between $50 to $70 a day, while in Europe, it would be about $80 a day. But do remember that there are other charges, such as tax, add-ons, and the gas!
Cabs are quite expensive, which is why I would recommend you to rent a car if you want the luxury and comfort.
Fortunately, there are apps like Uber or Grab, which are cheaper than cabs and can get you to your destination quickly. But read the next section, as public transportation to accessible locations is still the best way to go.
Using Public Transportation In ANY Country
Did you know that many countries offer a card where you can use it for public transportation?
Some tourists cards are unlimited, while others need to be topped up, but either way, they make your public transit experience more convenient, as you won't need cash or have to count how much you need to pay the fare.
The fastest way to get to your destinations would be via trains or buses. They also have many stops where you can go down and walk to where you need to go.
Fortunately, they can drop you off in all strategic locations near landmarks and tourist spots for more than 75% less than what cabs charge.
No matter what country you are in, your mobile phone and the Internet will be of good use. There are websites and apps available that can help navigate your way around the city, with commuting tips and routes you can follow to easily get to your destination, showing what bus or train to take and where to walk.
Acquainting yourself with the stops and where to go will help you get to your destinations quicker and without spending so much!
You May Be Wondering: How Can You Eat Out Without Going Broke?
The number one thing everyone first experiences when traveling to a different country would be the food.
After all, you WILL need food, and you want to try the local dishes every area has to offer.
What about the hefty prices you see? It makes you want to starve or splurge all your money away because of it!
But not to worry. You'll be surprised that you can eat and taste the different dishes while preventing your credit card from being declined after.
From local dishes down to packing your items, here are some quick guides on eating your way around the travel destination without becoming broke.
Allocating Your Budget For Food
Before you allocate your budget for food, you must realize where and when you will be going! The area you'll be visiting will depend on the budget you'll create, as prices would vary from country to continent.
I would recommend you to find accommodation that offers a kitchen, so you get to save up on money purchasing fresh ingredients and cooking it yourself.
If not, you can also research ahead for cheap and inexpensive meals around the area, which can help you get a basis on how much you will be spending per day.
I would recommend that you set a schedule. For example, I would eat three meals a day and maybe two snacks between that (because walking does make you hungry!), so that's five meals per day multiplied by the number of days you'll be staying in the area.
Now that you've got the answer multiply that by how much the average meals are in where you are staying. And you've got your estimated budget!
Places like Asia (especially in the South East area) have a LOT of cheap eats and are known to have one of the lower costs of living, which equates to inexpensive food.
I would say that you will be allocating about $25 a day if you're starving! Meals can range from $3 or less.
In Europe, you can spend around $50 a day, though this won't include any alcohol or drinks! It's not fancy, but a budget meal in standard restaurants. Standard meals would range between $10 to $30.
In the USA, it can get quite expensive as well, depending on the state. On average, you would spend about $10 to $15 per meal, so I would allocate about $50 or more as well, which can include drinks if you order wisely.
Street Food Is Both Interesting And Cheap!
Don't bother going to fancy restaurants if you're on a budget!
Sure, they may rank up your experience level in the area, but is it worth spending hundreds of dollars on just one dish when you can have a smorgasbord of local delicacies from hawker places or the streets?
Street food is one of the best ways to explore with your taste buds.
Not only are they accessible and found almost anywhere when you're around popular tourist spots, but they are also dirt cheap with delicious and indulgent choices.
You have a whole meal for way less than what a snack would cost in most expensive restaurants!
In Singapore, they are best known for their hawker centers and food courts, where you can find a smorgasbord of local delicacies at low prices (less than $5).
In the Philippines, there are a lot of local street foods that even the locals love because of its prices. Even use $2 can have you go through a lot of good food.
In the USA, street food, usually in carts or food courts, can cost $5 to $10 per meal, and it's fully loaded. You can also opt for fast food meals, though it may start becoming boring after a while.
They are cheap and would usually cost about $2 to $10, depending on the country you're in.
But if you're looking for a gastronomical experience with the local food, then I would suggest street food the most!
Why Not Pack Some Of Your Food?
Like what I mentioned, you can opt to have some of your food cooked and bought from local grocery stores.
But did you know that the ultimate money-saver would be just to pack some of the food you have at home or to purchase it before your trip?
It helps you make a transparent budget on what you'll spend, plus your expenses are far less than what you would expect it to be.
The downside here is, while you have your food to cook and prepare, you won't be able to get the full taste of the local food to your destination.
But if you're after the sights and experiences more so than the food, then packing from home or groceries from the supermarket in your area is an excellent choice to help you save more money.
This is also a great tip to follow when you are at home, since purchasing food in bulk is less expensive than one-time meals.
I would recommend you to buy your groceries once you are at your destination to avoid lugging your bag around unnecessary weight from too much food (which we'll be talking about in the next sections).
I recommend ready-made or instant food such as noodles or canned goods, which are inexpensive and less of a hassle to cook.
Where Are You Going to Stay? Plan Your Accommodation!
Where will you stay? This is another crucial factor, as where you'll be sleeping in is your temporary home for the duration of the trip. It can also be one of the big ticket expenses as well if you don't choose wisely.
Go For Hostels Instead Of Hotels
Hotels are luxurious though you can find inexpensive ones.
BUT, they can get quite pricey as well, especially during peak seasons.
While I love the amenities a hotel would have, you can still save up and skip all those, as long as you have a comfortable bed, adequate shower, and the basic amenities with the clean rooms and proper customer service. And you can get that from hostels.
Hostels are either private or semi-private rooms, which are way cheaper than hotels. They are suitable for solo travelers or friends. But you often see families in hostels as well, as they offer rooms big enough for groups.
Sure, there's no room service or mini fridges with snacks, but you can find a lot of new friends, a comfy bed to go home to, and even a kitchen with some staple foods to help you get through your hunger.
Some hostels are fresh and also have common areas with bookshelves, televisions, and internet access. Another plus: They are usually placed conveniently near public transportation or popular tourist spots for you to easily visit.
You can search online for some inexpensive hostels around the area you are planning to stay in. I would recommend checking in a hostel with good feedback and comfortable amenities.
Usually, prices would be around $25 in Asia, $40 in the USA, and $60 in Europe.
Try Airbnb Or Couchsurfing Websites
Some Airbnb places would offer the complete amenities similar to a hotel, as their property owners have made it into a vacation house for tourists to rent.
Most Airbnb and Couchsurfing members would share a part of their home, usually a guest room or house, for people to stay in to create a small income.
You'll love using these websites to look for a place to stay as many owners won't only offer their lodging, but some are accommodating enough to give you free tours around the area or even treat you to a heavy meal or two.
Many of the locals are helpful and will want to show you around for you to come back.
But make sure that you choose the right renter, checking through their feedbacks and making sure that the price of their lodging matches the amenities and appearance of the area.
Search for legitimate client reviews to assure that you are safe and that the owners are kind.
These types of accommodation can be cheaper than a hostel, but some can hike up their prices during peak season or because of better amenities and location.
Free Accommodation: Relatives!
Now if you've got some relatives living around the area, then don't be shy to contact them and ask if they hopefully have some room to share for you.
Not only will you be able to get free lodging, but maybe a few meals and a free tour as well.
But I do recommend that you pay your respects and do your best to help around the house if they don't want you to pay a minimal fee.
It's best to ask and be courteous as well so if you do come back, you know where to stay. You can also do the same for them if they visit your home country.
Packing Your Bags to Save Money: The Complete Guide
Did you know that you don't only save money when you're on the trip itself, but even before that? Besides planning out your trip and the budget allocations, you can also cut some expenses by packing right.
As long as you are organized and pack the useful things, you can keep the spending down to a minimum. How? Here are the ways packing light and right can save your wallet.
Your Guide To Carry-Ons
Carry-ons are what you will be bringing with you when you are on the plane.
You will want to make sure that you bring all the necessary items you need when you're in the airport, as well as valuables you wouldn't want to get lost when in the luggage (yes, it CAN happen).
This is a crucial factor to consider because you will save a lot of money and effort in the long run if you brought all your valuables with you since the extra weight goes to your carry-on and you have less risk of any of your valuables from getting lost or damaged during the flight.
Your carry-on should have all your travel documents, personal medicine, your money and budget allocated for the trip, as well as other things you may need for work, which is your laptop, a small planner, and notebook, and even a few snacks to keep you satiated when in the flight.
Remember to bring your phone as well. You can also put in some small items that may not fit in your luggage, such as toiletries.
Bringing Extra Luggage? Save Yourself From The Extra Weight
Besides your carry-on, some people will want to bring extra luggage because they'll be taking longer trips and would need more clothes or items, depending on the weather or the things they will need.
In this case, I would recommend that you pack wisely to save up on space and weight.
The weight of your luggage can also be a huge factor to spending more, as you will end up having to pay extra if your luggage goes even just a bit over the weight the airline allocated for you.
To help you reduce the weight, you will need to create a list of what you truly need and don't need.
If you do not need any special toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner, then bring only what you need or none at all, as hotels or most lodgings would be able to provide this for you.
If not, then purchase sachets, which are easy to bring and weigh less than bottles.
Do NOT bother bringing any heavy books. These pile on the weight. Only bring travel documents and one notebook and pen. If your laptop is necessary, put it in your carry-on instead to lessen the weight and keep it safe.
More Packing Hacks To Save Space
Here are some more packing hacks that can save you from the dreaded weight of your luggage:
• If it's heavy, wear it! One mistake people make is that they would wear lighter clothes in the plane while packing the heavy clothes. Instead, opt to pack the lighter clothes while wearing the heavy wool or jackets to avoid your luggage from carrying too much weight. Change once you arrive at the airport.
• Listing down what you need is an absolute essential. Go through your list, again and again, filtering what you need and making sure that you are only bringing the essentials. Don't bother with items that you can find in the lodging or accommodation, such as a hairdryer!
•ALWAYS place your travel documents in a safe place, which is your carry-on and in a separate envelope where it's tucked in neatly and hidden away from prying eyes. Bring a pen in case you need to sign anything as well.
• Save space by bringing fewer clothes, opting to wash them again when in your destination. I recommend that you bring a few casual, one dressy, a swimsuit and two to three sleeping outfits. This will depend on how long your stay will be, but I do recommend that you bring only a few outfits and just rewash to mix and match it later.
What You Should Be Packing To Minimize Expenses
So, what should and shouldn't you be packing to save up on space and reduce the costs in the airport and once you get to your destination?
I recommend that you pack the adequate amount of clothes you need, sticking to only what you see yourself wearing. Focus on the big-ticket items that are expensive when bought, which would be any personal medicine, shoes (though I recommend you only to bring one dress shoes and wear rubber shoes), and food.
It's best to bring snacks or a few canned goods, so you have an emergency stash, though avoid bringing too much to have space in your luggage still while preventing on going overboard.
Do not bother bringing in jewelry or other precious accessories that bring down on weight.
When purchasing souvenirs to bring back home, make sure they aren't as heavy and that what you are bringing adheres to the airport's rules and regulations.
Take note that you aren't able to bring items with liquids over 100ml, or sharp products as well. Keep it wholesome and small.
It all boils down to only bringing one extra luggage and a carry-on to avoid having to pay more than what you should, as the fees can get quite expensive and it's such a hassle to check it in!
To help you out, purchase a handy weight tool to weigh your luggage quickly, so you know how much to bring and repack if needed.
This is Crazy, But: You CAN Earn Money While Traveling!
Woah, so can you seriously earn money to make up for some of the expenses you made? Of course, you can! You aren't alone, and you find everyone finding ways to getting a bit of pocket money to continue their travels. But how? Here are some ideas you can try out!
Test Your Talents Out And Go Freelancing!
You have probably seen a lot of people who try their hand in freelancing, which gives you no time or schedule on work. YOU can choose the job you want and do anything that your heart desires.
The best part?
It's up to YOU on what time you can work and where you'll be working. You can work at home or on the beach, during the day or late at night. Whatever works for you!
And this is suitable while you're traveling because not only are you enjoying the sights, but you are bringing work with you and don't need to take that leave.
But if you are taking a vacation from your work life at home, freelancing can also be a quick way to earn a few bucks while you're out of the cubicle. There are a lot of websites that can offer jobs from various employers around the world who may require just one-time services.
Whether it's writing, graphic designing, encoding, or even editing and taking photos of the sights around you, you can choose your expertise and begin applying to get a quick job for extra money during your vacation.
It's easy because you'll be doing something familiar and the money is fast!
I recommend you to search up on websites such as Fiverr or Upwork, which have a lot of jobs available for quick bucks (some are long-term as well!). You can also freelance in your local area. But we'll get to that in the next section.
Odd Jobs Are Right In Front Of Your Nose
Did you know that it's possible for you to get employment in the country you're currently visiting?
There are a lot of businesses who are looking for short-term employees to do some odd jobs for them if they are understaffed and require immediate hiring without the frills.
Sure, it may not pay as high as your regular job back at home or when freelancing, but it's easy, requires not a lot of expertise, and you get paid while you're out living your dream.
Sometimes, you can even work in exchange for free things you need while traveling.
For example, simply ask local hotels or hostels if they are hiring or accept volunteers in exchange for free accommodation. They may hire you as a driver, housekeeping, or even in reception.
There are also restaurants who hire waiters or cleaners in exchange for food or money. Joining websites where you can offer your services as a house sitter, caretaker, or even a pet sitter, can work as well. (Read more about Camping with your dog)
I recommend that you visit these places (hotels and restaurants) during the high peak season, as they are usually in demand for short-term employees at this time to accommodate the influx of tourists (like you!).
While you can check websites or posters if they are hiring, it also doesn't hurt to ask.
You might even want to put your music skills to the test by showing your talents in singing or playing an instrument by local landmarks (as long as it's allowed!).
It may not be an ideal job, but it gets you some spare change while showing people what you've got to offer. Just remember to check up on local laws about where you can perform.
Gain Exposure (While Earning!) With Blogging Or Vlogging
Blogging and blogging have become a way many people make an income.
From sharing their passion for something in the form of writing or video, they aren't only able to shout their love out, but they can also create an audience, who in turn, can give these bloggers or bloggers the income they need to continue their passion.
What's great about blogging or blogging is that you can do it anywhere and start anytime. All you need is a laptop, good camera, and the Internet connection to post your adventures.
Travel bloggers can get a lot of money, depending on the exposure and ads they put on their website. It WILL take time to start making big bucks, but if you are truly passionate about traveling and want to share your ideas while earning, then you can get there with the hard work and a lot of sharing.
To start, you can check out websites that offer web hosting. Join social media groups that focus on blogging and blogging, finding more tips on how to increase your audience. Interact with other people and share your account, starting with family and friends.
Once word spreads out, and you continue to share what you have to offer, that's when the views and interactions come, with your blog and its ads being able to earn you a lot to sustain your travels.
And hey, once you become famous, not only can you get free items to review, but you can also get sponsored by travel agencies or hotels who can give you a free stay in exchange for a blog post!
This is another money-saver!
So, you're going traveling soon? Then that's awesome! As long as you bring the right things and follow tips on traveling safely and with a good budget, then you will be able to have a great time without going home to an empty bank account.
Traveling doesn't mean you'll splurge all your money, but to focus on the experience and have an eye out for your future once you get back home as well. It's all about balance.
While I'm not saying that you follow these tips and guides strictly, they are a basis to help you become a smarter traveler without the risk of getting conned or spending too much than you should, simply because you're outside your comfort zones.
Remember, traveling doesn't have to be expensive, but you'll still be able to experience the best of the best even on a budget.
I hope that this how-to on ways to travel for cheap helped you become more knowledgeable about what you can do for the ultimate travel experience without breaking your bank.
So don't wait any longer and follow these tips wisely, from booking your trip down to packing your things for going back home.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences with traveling on a budget, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.