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5 Tips For Traveling On A Budget

Have you ever scrolled through your Instagram feed, seen photos from your friend’s latest trip to Europe, and wondered why that isn’t you out there traveling the world? But then, you glance at your bank account and remember. Ouch.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to travel more and spend less. Many believe that travel is a luxury that requires time off work and hefty funds, but this isn’t always the case. From cheap Airbnbs, to grocery store snacks, to bus passes, there are plenty of ways to explore a new city while saving your hard-earned money. If you’re looking to get out and explore without shattering your bank account, here are some tips…

Photo: Miller

Plan more free activities 

Even if you like to keep busy, there are plenty of ways to have a full itinerary of cheap and free activities while visiting a new destination. Start with a walking tour of the city as you learn the rich history of a place, window shop, people watch, and spend time with other travelers. These are typically completely free and can provide incredible memories. If you’re looking for something a bit more structured, do your research before you visit to find deals on museums, hiking trails, sightseeing tours, and more. Popular tourist destinations are bound to have plenty of discounts and deals to give you an affordable, yet memorable experience.

Take a day-cation

You don’t need to visit another state or country to get the travel experience. Everybody has that one town with the amazing wine they’ve never gotten around to visiting, even if it’s just a few hours away. Or there’s that NYC neighborhood with the Korean-Mexican fusion food truck that you’ve been dying to try. Grab a friend and take a day-cation to a place just within your reach. You’re still enjoying a new experience and checking an item off your travel bucket list, while going 50/50 on gas and spending just a little more than you would on a typical weekend. 

Photo: Loke

Stay in a hostel

You may be tempted to check into a fancy hotel, but a hostel will be much kinder on your wallet, especially if you’re traveling solo. Sure, you may be sleeping in a room with strangers, but think of it as an opportunity. You’ll meet new people and save money – both by skipping the hotel room and doing more group activities with your new friends!  

Utilize public transit 

Of course, this tip is dependent on where you’re going. Some cities are a bit lacking when it comes to public transportation (looking at you, Los Angeles), but most places have cheap and reliable methods of exploring. New York City has the subway, Las Vegas has the Monorail and Chicago has trains. And nearly every place has city buses. Skip the Uber and give your feet (and credit card) a break as you take advantage of public transportation while you travel. 


Don’t spend more than you need to on food 

It’s understandable that you want to try exciting new cuisine and people watch while sipping fine wine, but if you’re traveling on a budget, it’ll be important to reign in your food spending. If you’re staying in a hostel or Airbnb with a kitchen, it doesn’t hurt to stock up on less expensive foods and things you can quick prepare to keep you satisfied throughout the day. Think of your vacation like a visit to a theme park. Pack as many snacks as you can so you can avoid spending $5 on a churro or a tiny beverage. Your wallet will thank you! 

Traveling on a budget 

They say the best things in life are free. That isn’t always true… but they CAN be made cheaper. It makes sense that traveling is at the top of many people’s to-do lists. The world is an exciting and beautiful place. Who wouldn’t want to explore? Whether you’re planning a mini trip to the next town over or booking a month-long tour around Europe, it’s more than doable to save your money while still making unforgettable memories.