I designate specific days (once or twice a week) where I simply don’t visit any touristy attractions that cost any money. Instead, I’ll take the time to wander randomly around streets, back-alleys and markets. Not only have I saved money but some of my most memorable experiences have come about on days such as these. Discovering a wonderful local market and having a delicious lunch or randomly encountering a local who invites you into his/her home for tea are just some of the highlights I’ve experienced over the years. – Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel and Smiling Faces Travel Photos.
“Walk! Sometimes instead of taking the metro or hiring a taxi, it can be perfectly safe to walk between your destinations. It’s good exercise, saves you money and is a great way to see other parts of the town or city you’re visiting.” – Adam – from Travels of Adam
Stay in an apartment rather than a hotel. There are many reasons you save money in an apartment rental. They are already priced an average of 25% lower than a hotel room but you can share the space with several people splitting the cost since you can rent a multiple bedroom apartment. You can cook at home saving a ton of money on eating out and you can do your own laundry in the apartment. When renting an apartment you don’t feel the need to always have to go out to a bar or pub. You can enjoy a nice glass of wine in the luxury of your own space. – Dave and Deb of theplanetd
“When booking airline tickets, use a separate browser for buying the tickets than you used to search for deals initially. Some airline websites and booking sites will deliberately up the price when they know you’re returning to take a second look at the flight or book.” Bethaney from – Flashpacker Family
“Wait until just before you take your flight to add extras like checked baggage or seat selection. That way you’ll know you definitely need that stuff and are definitely taking the flight. You won’t end up paying for more baggage allowance than you need.” – Kate from 30Traveler and Rtw Travel Guide
If you’re a family of 4 going on a day out to an amusement park, zoo or similar, look out for the vouchers/coupons that allow you to get one free child admission (or vice versa). Generally you’re only allowed to use one voucher per family/visit. However if you can split the family up and arrive slightly separately (i.e queue apart from each other) you should be able to take advantage of using 2 vouchers and save on 2 admissions instead of just one. The prices of day outings for a family of 4 can easily reach £100 or more in some cases. Vouchers are widely available in local papers, tourist information spots or even on cereal boxes! Also in England we take huge advantage of using Tesco Clubcard vouchers to get free admissions to parks. Most recently Legoland, which would have set us back £123 if we booked online or £169 on the gate – Carly Morson – Adventure Mummy.
“Never book your hostel in advance, and never go to a guide book recommended one. Use the guidebook to find the backpacker area, then walk around there yourself and barter with each hostel. You can often get discounts and remember you don’t get if you don’t ask!” – Johnny from – One Step 4 Ward and Lost Intentions.
“Travel with a stainless water bottle that you can refill instead of constantly buying bottled water. Even in countries like Southeast Asia where you can’t always drink the tap water, there are often places where you can refill distilled water for pennies.” Christine – from C’est Christine.
“Food is such a strong reason as to why we travel. Luckily most countries have their own street food culture but you might have to go a little off the map to find the best (and cheapest) places. Don’t be afraid to ask locals where their best choices are for cheap and quick eats, often you’ll come across places that no guide book or travel site has yet uncovered. You’re much more likely to save a big stack of money that you’d otherwise lose on eating in restaurants geared to tourists too.” – Will Peach from WillPeach.com and Going Abroad.
“Be flexible. Check flights in the middle of week instead of weekends. Avoid public holidays in your destination country. Travel during shoulder season – before or after high season. Usually you won’t miss anything during shoulder season – weather is still good, but you will save a lot on everything – flights, accommodation, food” – Vi from Short Travel Tips and World In Snapshots.
“Keep track of your daily expenses. If you don’t know what you’re spending how can you make adjustments on the road? We have a spreadsheet which we break into basic categories like Food, Accommodation, Transportation, Utilities, and Entertainment. While we’re out and abouy we write our costs in our smart phone and add them later that night to maintain accuracy. When you’re under budget you can “splurge” on a nice hotel or activity and vice versa!” – Dave from TravelingThroughFood
“Be aware of general bus, taxi, tuk tuk, or other transportation costs before you arrive in a destination. Refer to a guidebook or do a little online research to avoid getting overcharged and also to make negotiation a bit easier despite language barriers.” – Alex from TravelFashionGirl
“Spend more time in fewer places. Transportation can really add up, especially when it’s long distance. That being said, choose an accommodation in a central location so you’ll be able to skip using taxis, buses and trains and instead use your own two feet. Additionally, the more nights you spend at one accommodation the better your chances are of getting a discount or receiving one of those “stay two nights get one free” deals.” -Jessica Festa from Jessie on a Journey and Epicure & Culture.
If you are going on an extended trip, I would recommend not planning every detail of your trip. Don’t reserve all your accommodations and transportation ahead of time. Sometimes you get to a destination and you love it so much that you want to stay much longer than you anticipated, other times you can’t get out of there fast enough! It’s best to be flexible with your plans and see where the road takes you. – Audrey of That Backpacker and Backpacking Travel Blog
While we love street food, we also enjoy eating out at proper restaurants from time to time. One way to do this without breaking the budget is to search for business lunch specials, especially in big cities. Many restaurants that would break the budget at night offer lunch menus where you can eat similar food at a fraction of the cost. Often, you can get a 2-3 course sophisticated lunch for under €10 (or in a city like Berlin or Beijing it’s more like €5). You can eat like a king with a pauper’s pence. Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll – Uncornered Market
While I am a “poshaholic” taking mostly luxury type of trips, I always look for the best deal in accommodations. Not only do I watch luxury travel flash sale sites, but also, many times you can actually find the best rate on the hotel’s website itself. It pays to do some research & some booking sites will even watch to see if the rate goes down and then reduce your rate when it does. Lola from Lola Travels
Shop the market – If you’ve got your own kitchen, you can shop the market like locals. Head there daily, and find fresh bread, meats, cheese, fruits, and vegetables You’ll soon find your own favorite vendors, get tips on what to buy (and how to cook it), and learn about local culture (and food). Pretty soon, you’ll know your favorite cheeses, veggies, boulangerie, and cured meats. Picnic, anyone? YUM! Dr Jessie Voigts – Wandering Educators.
Whenever you book accommodations, always ask if there any available discounts or specials going on. Often there is, but it may not be apparent on the website. Other times, they’ll take a little bit off or throw in something free just to get your business. I’ve found this to be true for both hotels and apartment rentals. It never hurts to ask, as long as you ask nicely! Liz Borod-Wright – Travelogged
“Whenever I visit a new city, I like to visit the free attractions first. Most people tend to go for the big tourist attractions first, but they never realize that there are often hidden gems in and around each city that are well worth the visit. I’ve never found a lack of free things to see and do in Asian cities, even in Japan. Plus, you can’t beat
free!” Carrie – My Several Worlds – Travel Asia
Playa del Carmen, Mexico - November 2013
I recently left my job to try out life as digital nomad, slow traveling my way around the world.
To learn my tips for traveling in comfort without a big budget, follow my journey here on our blog or on Facebook.