Traveling is the best way to explore the world and new cultures. It allows you to meet people from around the Earth and learn their languages and customs. Visiting other countries can completely change your perspective, introducing new ideas and insights. However, fear of unaffordable expenses prevents many individuals from traveling abroad.
As an experienced traveler who has visited more than 50 countries, I want to give you several top tips on how to travel on a budget and get unforgettable experiences even from low-cost trips. Read the article and organize your first budget trip abroad!
Budget Travel Tips
If you still believe it is impossible to travel on a budget, here are my top budget travel tips that will help you save money on your trips and make traveling cheap.
#1. Prepare for Your Trip Financially
One of the top tips for organizing your dream trip is to prepare your travel budget. Before going on vacation, plan all your future expenses and be strict with your budget. Emergencies happen, so it is better to have even more money on travel than you need.
It is especially crucial if you go to another country or continent. Not all people can quickly find cash for a holiday, so if you don’t want to miss cheap tickets to a new city or country, apply for a loan for vacation. With this financing, you get the funds in one lump sum into your bank account, cover the travel expenses, and repay the debt in small monthly installments. If taking a loan is not for you, you have such alternatives as 0% APR credit cards, using your savings or travel rewards credit cards.
When traveling abroad, it’s important to learn the exchange rate for your country’s currency. This knowledge will help you understand the prices of particular items and avoid overpaying if a seller tries to deceive you.
#2. Travel in the Off-Season
Summer is a favorite time for many people to go on holiday and visit other countries. This is why prices for hotels, flights, and tours are skyrocketing.
If you have a small budget for a trip, it is better to avoid traveling in the high season. Furthermore, traveling in another period allows you to avoid crowds and enjoy your trip without many people around.
#3. Buy Travel Insurance
Buying insurance may seem like an extra expense, but it is one of the best ways to save money on a trip because you never know what can happen to you abroad.
Getting ill in another country without insurance is one of the worst things you may face, as medical costs worldwide can be significant for uninsured tourists. You can protect yourself from huge additional expenses by paying a relatively small sum for travel insurance.
#4. Choose an Affordable Destination
If you want to travel on a budget, it’s advisable to avoid expensive destinations. There are many affordable places in Central America and other parts of the globe.
Don’t concentrate only on transportation costs when choosing the country to visit. Although you may find cheap flights to Western European countries, you will likely spend a lot on accommodation, entertainment, and food.
Alternatively, you can pay for a more expensive flight to an Asian country like Thailand and spend only several dollars daily.
#5. Teach English Abroad
Teaching abroad is another great saving money option, allowing you to earn during travels. You, as an English native speaker, have a significant advantage over other teachers. Don’t miss your chance to earn money and see the world simultaneously!
For example, in such countries as South Korea, China, and Japan, the demand for English teachers is huge, and they pay foreigners good cash for their classes.
In addition to teaching abroad, you can get a working holiday visa to countries like New Zealand or Australia. It allows you to work for a specific country for a set period.
#6. Book in Advance
Although you can find cheap last-minute travel deals, you are more likely to book a cheap flight and accommodation in advance. Early preparation for your next trip will help you find budget hotels and save you nerves. Do you remember how stressful it is to do anything at the last moment?
When booking flights, use websites that help find the best deals. Platforms, such as Skyscanner, Kayak, or Expedia, offer you the lowest prices for international flights. The costs may significantly differ from your previous searches on other sites because the platforms choose the most convenient options.
Additionally, the platforms show you travel dates with lower rates, which can significantly save your budget and make your flight cheaper than a road trip. You can even buy a business-class flight for the same price as an economical one.
If you have only a pack-light and hand luggage, you can travel almost for free!
Services like Booking return customers the cheapest rates for accommodation. If you travel to big cities, where hotels are especially expensive, such sites can significantly save you money.
#7. Look for Alternative Accommodation
If you still don’t believe traveling on a budget is possible, you should explore free accommodation options. Today, people can visit different countries and pay little or even nothing for accommodation. To save your travel budget, consider the following solutions:
The travel industry is actively developing the world, and all countries want to attract as many tourists as possible. Therefore, opening hostels for people with a limited budget is crucial. Most hostels offer guests a shared kitchen and free WiFi, so you have sufficient comfort there.
Couchsurfing is an excellent tool for meeting new people abroad and getting closer to their cultures. This service allows people from the whole world to stay at somebody’s house during travel. You don’t have to pay for your stay and can spend your funds exploring the city. Your host may even go on an excursion with you and become your close friend in the future!
Therefore, Couchsurfing is a great budget-friendly option to meet new people and save money.
Although Airbnb is not a free option like Couchsurfing, it is still a great way to save money on traveling. Renting a room or an apartment is generally cheaper than a hotel. Furthermore, many hosts will happily offer several ideas for your walking tours! You can also ask them about good local cafes or restaurants not to pay tourist prices in popular neighborhoods.
One of the best ways to explore a new country is to stay camping. Spending several nights sleeping on an air mattress in a tent under the starry sky… Does it not sound romantic? Furthermore, this option is eco-friendly and allows you to make your travel cheap.
#8. Use Travel Rewards
Do you know that active travelers can get rewards? Does it not sound like an occasion to book a flight? Taking advantage of regular traveling provides you with free flights, hotels, and other benefits.
With travel credit cards, you will receive regular sign-up bonuses and purchase points. Use them to finance your travel!
#9. Work Abroad
Working abroad is becoming more and more accessible. You can apply for a position in a foreign company to relocate or find a remote job, allowing you to work from anywhere. Additionally, there are many work exchange programs.
House sitting is one of the top tips for travelers. Although you will not earn as much money as you may want, you will travel the world and meet many new interesting people.
#10. Enjoy Free Attractions
In addition to numerous paid museums and castles, you can enjoy many cheap places. For example, there are many free museums and events that you can explore, so be sure to check out the offers. Don’t forget about the free walking tour, which allows you to experience the city’s architecture and appreciate its every detail.
Many large cities offer discount cards or passes for tourists, students, the military, or seniors, providing them with the opportunity to visit multiple attractions at a lower price.
# 11. Save on Restaurants
Eating out at restaurants can be expensive, so consider buying your own food to stick to your budget. Alternatively, you can try street food at local markets instead of cafes, as it is much cheaper and allows you to experience the country’s traditional cuisine.
However, learning a few basic words in the local language would be helpful if you want to buy at a local market, as not everyone may speak English.