Travel is amazing, but wouldn’t it be even better if you could actually save money when traveling? Many people think that traveling around the world and taking trips or vacations must break the bank, but that just couldn’t be further from the truth. With some simple money-saving travel tips, you can easily see the sights and tour the towns without putting a major dent in your wallet.
And while I’m 100% sure you can save money when traveling, I also believe in order to save your money, you’ve got to make a few life-changes in advance to give yourself a bit of a cushion.
The first section you see below will give you some great ideas and tips on ways to save money BEFORE you take your trip, and then the rest of the tips are geared toward showing how you can save money while you’re actually ON your trip and traveling.
Ways to Save Money When Traveling
By combining all of these money-saving tips, there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to conquer any trip that you want and stay well within your budget!
Money-Saving Tips to do before you consider traveling
While this post might be all about ways to save money when traveling, there are a few things that you should do ahead of your trip so that you can have a little bit of “cushion” money saved and ready to use.
Here are a few simple steps that you can take to make certain that you’re stretching your dollar the farthest you possibly can, and also ways you can cut back on your current expenses, so you can use that extra money during your trip.
- Set an expectation of where you can afford to go
- Talk to friends and family about budget travel ideas
- Do your research before deciding on where to vacation
- Figure out how much you can expect to spend on your travels
- Cut back on cable and TV expenses a few months prior to save up money
- Stop eating out so you can save up more money
- Use coupons when you shop (I wish there were Tieks coupons)
- Pay with (and pay off each month) your credit cards to earn more rewards
- Have more get-togethers at home rather than spending money out
- Cancel any subscriptions or memberships that you no longer use
- Reuse items that you might have considered purchasing new
- Take a look around your home and sell items you are no longer using
- Have a garage sale to earn some extra cash
- Be aware of your utility usage at home
- Reduce your cell phone data for a few months to save up
- Consider picking up a side gig to earn a little bit extra cash
- Stop taking Uber, Lyft and taxis and start walking more
- Avoid impulse purchases
- Turn in all your change that you have laying around for spending cash
- Eat leftovers any night of the week that you can
Just by implementing a few of these tips, you can easily save money well before your trip (and every little bit can help make your trip that much more relaxing as well!).
Money saving tips to do before you book your travels
Now that you’ve taken the steps to save up some money and make changes, let’s talk about things that you need to do before you book your trip.
These simple ideas can help you maximize your budget while staying beneath it as well.
Ranging from things you could give up or unique ways to increase your cash flow, these tips for the best ways to save money can help you save up quickly to spend on your travels.
- Create a budget and stick to it
- Decide where you want to travel to and book as early as possible
- Use your travel rewards when possible
- Travel during the weekday versus trying to book hotels and flights on the weekend
- Visit destinations during the off-season
- Alter your flight times if possible to allow for cheaper flight options
- Compare online ticket options and keep a close eye on them to score the cheapest flights possible
- Download apps to your phone that allow you to communicate for free with your family and friends rather than pay international fees
- Have a friend or family member hold you accountable to stay within your travel budget
- Check out all your overnight options and don’t just settle on expensive hotels
- Allow for flexibility when you want to travel so you can get the best price
- Use your phone as your tour guide rather than paying for one, or buying books/maps about the country or place you’re going to
- Vacation at home during the holidays and do something local instead as the prices are often inflated
- Shorten your trip by a day or two and take a long weekend getaway instead to cut down on costs
- Use your credit cards points or perks to pay for transportation costs, activities or meals
- Have a friend drop you off at the airport to avoid paying extra parking fees or cab fees
- Start saving money about 6 months before you plan to take your trip so you have a nice little nest egg of money to use
- Consider the exchange rate of currency when you’re traveling to another country and choose one where the dollar goes further
- Weigh your luggage at home so you don’t have to pay extra fees (or carry on like I do)
- Last-minute travel deals are great to keep an eye out for as well
- Pay off your credit cards to avoid interest fees
- Make certain that you’re not overpaying on your home insurance or car insurance and adjust accordingly
- Learn how to make your own food or other homemade goods
- If you smoke, cut down or quit – the money will add up quickly
- Cut out manicures and pedicures for several months and get the look of gel nails at home
- Leave the massages for after your trip
- Sell some of your designer purses or shoes that you no longer need or want (like I did with my Tieks)
- Offer to dog sit or dog walk pups in the neighborhood
- If you have roommates, offer to help them out with their chores for a fee
- Pick up extra work and shifts to earn some extra cash
Travel tips to save money on food
Food can be such a big expense when traveling. If you’re wanting to cut back a bit on your spending, start with these simple tips!
- Don’t eat out at restaurants unless you have to
- Pack your own lunch for days that you’re touring and traveling
- Take a refillable water bottle to save money on drinks
- Skip the overpriced booze at the bars and instead settle on a bottle of wine to enjoy in your room or home
- Consider sharing a plate of food with family or friends to cut the cost in half
- Check out the appetizer options on the menu as the prices are typically cheaper but still good portion sizes
- Limit yourself to just eating half of your meal so that you can stretch it further and eat the other half the next day
- Buy snacks that you can easily take with you on the plane so you don’t splurge on overpriced food
- Buy your groceries daily and get what is currently on sale
- Meal plan ahead for your trip so you don’t impulse buy everything at the store
Money-saving tips anyone can do when traveling
Now that you know some simple ways to save money on food and pre-travel, let’s talk about ways that anyone can save money when actually traveling!
- Research where you’re traveling before you get there and find out deals for the local art museums, shops, etc.
- Use secure wireless hotspots and connections so you don’t have to buy more data
- Stop and ask people for suggestions – the locals can be really helpful in giving great details and information!
- Sign up for newsletters from local establishments to get discounts sent to your inbox
- If staying in a hotel, use your hotel rewards to really save some money
- Consider house sitting as an option to travel cheap
- If you have friends and family in the area, stay a few nights with them
- Check with the local parks or campgrounds and pitch a tent for the night rather than pay for an expensive hotel room
- Put a limit on your debit card daily that won’t allow you to spend any more than allotted
- Skip on the cab fare and spend your time on foot walking around and exploring
- If you do eat out, eat a big meal and then just enjoy the snacks you packed throughout the day.
- Find hotels that offer free breakfast (like my son and I stayed at in Amsterdam)
- Stay at locations that offer free Wi-Fi
- See about lodging locations that also offer free transportation to some of the local tourist spots
- Find free activities in the town or country that you’re visiting
- Make certain that wherever you’re staying has a kitchen so that you can cook all your own meals (like this incredible villa at Orange Lake Resort my kids and I stayed in.
- Brew your own cup of coffee in the morning and skip the local coffee shop
- Skip the “tourist” attractions and find surprising activities that are off the beaten path
- Ask wherever you are if they offer any sort of discounts
- Be sure your bank isn’t going to charge you any crazy international fees while you’re traveling
Extra tips that can save you big money when traveling
Just because you’re wanting to save money when traveling, it doesn’t mean that you have to feel like you’re missing out. Instead, try some of these extra tips that just might put a little “extra” money in your wallet!
- Consider traveling with a group of friends to help split the cost
- Don’t buy any souvenirs – they might look fun but they’ll just end up collecting dust
- See what discounts are offered
- Find out if there are deals given through your car insurance or credit cards
- Consider a staycation versus a faraway trip
- If you know someone in a town you want to visit, see if they can offer discounts or connections to activities
- Buy your tickets to attractions online to save more money
- Volunteer to help at events in exchange for a discount or free admission
- See what free places are available to sightsee at and explore
- Hit the nature trails and local parks to get some sunshine and beautiful scenery
- Use social media to ask questions and try and make local connections
- Bring your own medication so you don’t have to buy more there
- Pack your own books and download free audiobooks for your trip
- Bring along your iPod and listen to your own music instead of buying new tracks when traveling
- If you’re driving on your trip, service your car and stock up on road trip essentials before you leave to avoid paying high repair costs later
- Don’t accept the first price – negotiate if possible
- If you’re an influencer, negotiate working for discounts in return for posts or social media shares
- Find restaurants that offer free bread or chips as part of the meal – that way you can save more of your entree for later
- Plan on having a work/vacation trip – if you have to work some, not only are you earning money but you’re not spending either!
- Relax and have fun – you’ll be amazed at how little you actually spend when you’re not stressing out about it!
And there you have it!
100 different ways that you can save money when traveling. With the world truly being a blank canvas, it’s time to create your bucket list, get out there, seek adventure and explore it all any way you can!