17 Proven Tips to Travel the World on a Budget

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Can you travel the world like a pro without going bankrupt? Well, it’s time to let you in on a little secret: You absolutely can travel on a budget without turning your bank account into a barren wasteland.


In fact, we’ve got 17 battle-tested tips to show you just how it’s done. So buckle up, because it’s time to take off (without the financial baggage)!

1) Plan Ahead

  • Research your destination’s peak and off-peak seasons to score better deals on flights and accommodations.
  • Write down your plan and make changes as you research and gain more information.
  • Book accommodation with free cancelation for complete flexibility! 

2. Choose the Right Time to Travel

Hidden Cove in Ninh Binh, Vietnam
  • Travel during off-peak seasons to take advantage of lower prices for flights, accommodations, and attractions.
  • Be flexible with your travel dates to capitalize on cheaper airfare and accommodations.

3. Embrace Hostels and Guesthouses

  • Opt for affordable hostels, guesthouses, or shared accommodations over luxury hotels. You’ll save a bundle while still enjoying the comfort and social vibes. We’ve done this successfully! Read about it here
  • Research online reviews and ratings to find reputable and budget-friendly hostels in your chosen destination.
  • For long term accommodation (2+weeks), ask the owner if they can provide a discount.

4. Pack Light and Smart

  • Packing light not only saves you money on baggage fees but also makes your travels more convenient. Honestly, who wants to haul heavy things through an airport?
  • Plan your wardrobe and consider packing versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched.

5. Take Advantage of Public Transportation

Public Bus in Antalya, Turkiye
  • Public transportation is not only cost-effective but also a great way to experience a destination like a local.
  • Explore metro systems, buses, and trams to get around cities and regions inexpensively. Use blog posts like this one to help you gain confidence!

6. Be Mindful of Food Expenses

  • Dining in local eateries and trying street food can save you money and introduce you to authentic cuisine.
  • Avoid dining in tourist hotspots where prices tend to be higher and the food worse.
  • If your accommodation has a kitchen – make a couple meals at home (we love making breakfast), or make a few lunches to bring with you.

7. Travel Slowly and Stay Longer

Weekend trip to Koh Larn
  • Slow travel lets you immerse yourself in the local culture and can be more budget-friendly.
  • Extended stays (usually 1 month) may qualify you for discounts on accommodations and transportation passes.

8. Utilize Travel Cards and Passes

  • Research city travel cards and transportation passes that offer unlimited rides and discounts on attractions. Eurail is a great example of this. Here is how well the pass worked out for us! A monthly bus card (antalyakart for example) is another opportunity for savings. 
  • Choose the card or pass that aligns with your planned activities to maximize savings.

9. Seek Out Free and Low-Cost Activities

  • Research free and budget-friendly attractions, parks, beaches, museums, and events in your destination at the time of the trip.
  • Take advantage of outdoor activities (hiking/swimming), walking tours, and cultural experiences that don’t break the bank.

10. Budget Accommodation Alternatives

  • Consider budget accommodation alternatives like camping, house-sitting, or couchsurfing for unique and low-cost experiences.
  • Book your accommodations well in advance with free cancelation.
  • Book your accommodations last minute for some impressive deals (booking.com has awesome last minute deals)

11. Be Open to Travel Hacks

CIP Lounge in Antalya, Turkiye
  • Discover the world of travel hacking, including reward programs, cashback offers, and credit card bonuses. The Daily Drop is great for this! We use it all the time. 
  • Stay vigilant for opportunities to earn and redeem points or miles to reduce travel costs.

12. Travel Insurance and Health Precautions

  • Invest in travel insurance to protect yourself from unexpected expenses like medical emergencies and trip cancellations.
  • Prioritize your health by staying hydrated, eating well, and getting adequate rest to avoid illness.

13. Currency Exchange and Payment Methods

  • Use ATM withdrawals at your destination for better exchange rates compared to airport or hotel currency exchange services.
  • Consider no foreign transaction fee credit cards for secure and cost-effective transactions abroad.
  • Understand the exchange rate and get good at mental conversions.

14. Embrace Minimalism and Frugality

  • Adopt a minimalist approach to your travels by packing only the essentials, reducing waste, and focusing on experiences over material possessions.
  • Embrace frugal habits like cooking your meals, shopping at local markets, and taking advantage of happy hours for savings.

15. Flexibility is Key

  • Remain flexible with your travel plans to seize last-minute deals and spontaneous adventures.
  • Being open to change can lead to unexpected budget-friendly experiences and encounters.

16. Record Your Expenses

  • Keep track of your spending using budgeting apps or a simple notebook to ensure you stay within your budget.
  • Regularly review your expenses to identify opportunities for cost-cutting.
Baden, Switzerland
  • Negotiate prices in local markets, especially in destinations known for their vibrant bazaars.
  • Don’t be shy – haggling is a cultural norm in many places, and you might just secure a fantastic deal on souvenirs, clothing, or even tours.

Congratulations! You’ve just upgraded your adventure game from ‘basic’ to ‘baller on a budget.’ 


So, pack your bags, grab your sense of wanderlust, and go make some epic memories. Remember, budget travel isn’t about pinching pennies; it’s about splurging on experiences that money can’t buy.


Get out there, explore, and keep that passport as busy as your taste buds in a street food market. Your wallet will thank you, and your wanderlust will never be the same! Happy travels!

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