6 Ways to Master Traveling on a Budget

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After years of traveling and travel planning I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to save money while booking travels. From finding student discounts to travel essentials, here are a few of my favorite travel resources!

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1. Travel on a weekday, but still be flexible

Many airlines offer travel deals during the week because that’s typically the time most people are at work, therefore there are less people traveling and the airlines are anxious to fill flights (which means lower prices for us, yay!)

Also, be flexible with the travel search engine you use. Use comparison sites like SkyscannerPriceline, or Expedia to make sure you are getting  the best possible rate when you’re booking a flight or hotel for your trip.

1.5 because this fits between tip 1 and tip 2.

Okay, so I recently started using Ebates a few months ago and I wish I would have started using it sooner. I’m obsessed already. Ebates is a site that gives you cash back for shopping online at your favorite stores! So you’re basically getting paid (earning cash back) to buy things you would normally buy anyway. I booked a super cheap flight on Ebates.com with Priceline for my trip to Hawaii and a few weeks later I got a check in the mail for my cash back. I never buy anything online without checking Ebates first.  Sign up through my link to get a $10 welcome bonus!

In addition to everyday purchases Ebates will get you cash back on hotels, flights, and even car rentals. Sign up here now to get $10 cash in your account for free. 

2. Find the cheapest way to get there

As I mentioned before, it is so important to do research before you book any part of your trip.

Kiwi.com & Skyscanner.com are the BEST and my favorite ways to find out how to get ANYWHERE super cheap when traveling or making travel plans.

Skyscanner.com lets you search ‘flexible’ as the destination which basically means show me everywhere that I can go from my home airport. It also lets you search by cheapest month. Want to know what month and day it’s cheapest to go to Thailand? With the click of a button skyscanner will show you.

Kiwi.com works in a similar way  by letting you search cheapest month and flexible dates, but another good thing about Kiwi.com is that they also give you the option to do a radius search, which means they will include all nearby airports within a certain radius because it may be cheaper to fly from one of the nearby airports rather than your home airport.

When using the desktop version of Kiwi.com you are also able to see recommendations of cheap trips from your selected airport.

3. Check for discounts

Many people get so excited about their upcoming trips and they end up booking the first thing they see and end up paying more than they should. Don’t be that person. Always  see if the hotel or airline offers discounts for your trip (Student discounts, Military, Flight Attendant, Government Employees, Honor Societies & Automobile Club discounts to name a few). If you don’t see a discount listed on the website of the hotel of your choice, call and ask if they are currently running any deals.

Bonus tip: Hotels often price rooms above the price they are actually willing to accept, for example if a hotel has a room listed for $150 call them and ask them if they are able to go any lower than that. I’ve seen this done and it works.

Sites like Living Social also offer excellent deals and discounts on activities, excursions, dining, cruises & they even have an entire section dedicated to cheap getaways. I recently saw a deal for an 8 day trip to Paris and London with flight included for only $799. Always be sure to do research before booking.

4. When flying with a budget airline only travel with a personal item

Discount airlines such as Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines are becoming very popular for their low prices, but a lot of travelers don’t get the deals they should be getting when flying with these budget airlines. I often hear complaints that “Spirit/Frontier charge for bags” that is NOT true. I have been happily traveling with both airlines for a few years and have never paid any baggage fees. ( I usually travel with this bag because its big enough to fit everything I need for my trip, but small enough to fit under the seat in front of me). These airlines charge for carry on items and checked bags, BUT you are allowed to bring on a FREE personal item that is 18 x 14 x 8 that must go underneath the seat in front of you. & truthfully, 18 x 14 x 8 is not much smaller than the carry on size of 22 x 18 x 10 that you WILL pay $35-$100 for. So, opt for the free personal item

You may also like: 3 Things You MUST Know Before Flying Spirit Airlines: Read This Before Flying With Them

5. Do as the locals do

This means travel like a local, eat like a local, stay like a local, and get around like a local. One way to do this is to stay in an Airbnb. Not only will this give you a more authentic visit, it will also help you avoid those expensive tourist prices. You can save $40 off your Airbnb stay by using this link!

Most of us are used to driving everywhere, so when traveling some automatically want to get a rental car. Unless you absolutely have to rent a car, SKIP THE RENTAL. Take local transportation such as buses, especially in other countries because it is very cheap and sometimes as low as 1$, which definitely beats spending a couple hundred on a rental car.

I visited Paris in March, and  saved so much money by staying in a beautiful Airbnb apartment  & taking the train and bus while there. This also was considered off season for Paris which is how I scored a flight that was $900 cheaper than it usually is. I still can’t believe I saved $900 on a flight to Paris.

You may also like: HOW TO VISIT PARIS ON A BUDGET

6. Use credit cards with travel rewards

Many credit card companies partner with hotels and airlines and offer a generous amount of points per dollar spent which means free hotel stays and free flights! Some even offer bonus points just for signing up!

What are your favorite budget travel tips?

Check out my travel resources page for all your travel needs!

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Hello, from Russia

 

 

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Hi! I'm Diam, a 24 year old Ohio native who lives in Florida and is obsessed with all things travel! I've explored 30 states, 10 countries and many many islands all while knocking big adventures off of my bucket list! I hope to inspire you to travel far enough to meet yourself! & remember, you don't have to be rich to travel!

97 thoughts on “6 Ways to Master Traveling on a Budget

  1. In addition to not having to be rich to travel, I also believe you don’t have to go far. While I love globe trotting, I also just love experiencing new things. My family makes it a point to go to places we’ve never been each weekend. Sometimes it’s a different part of town, a different town all together, or a day trip. You’d be surprised how much you didn’t know existed in your own area because you never wandered there. So while you plan for the globe trotting trips, take small trips in the meantime. Your love for travel will intensify! 💖

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    1. Totally agree with this as well. Exploring your own area is fantastic, I made a pact with myself to go one place new every month and as I can’t travel internationally (being at the bottom of the world makes that a bit difficult to do regularly!) I try and explore my own country in the meantime

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a great pact to have! While it’s fun and exciting to see new places I think it’s easy to be fooled into thinking it’s all far away. My family and I have been delighted to find amazing places within driving distance from home that we love and can easily return to! Keep exploring! ❤

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  2. Travel advice greatly accepted!! Thanks! I am currently travelling, 4 years nomadic and still going strong!! Actually quite travel weary somedays!!! But its the FREEDOM!

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  3. Thanks for these super, super incredible tips! I’m planning to travel internationally in November so I’m bookmarking this post to refer back to when I’m finally read to book my tickets!

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  4. Sometimes it is nice not to have to travel on too much of a budget. Cheap fares and cheap hotel rooms are often that way because they are available at a time when no when else wants to travel. Do you really want to go to Iceland in the middle of winter, or central Australia in the middle of summer? While no-one wants to spend more than they have to it is worth remembering that you often get what you pay for. I agree with you about looking for cheap days of the week and credit cards points though.

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  5. It’s great advice, sometimes it’s good to read a post like this to remind you of the simple things you should do to save money, so you can travel longer 🙂

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  6. I love Airbnb!!!!! I stayed in a small town outside of Amsterdam in a very sweet 2-bedroom house for WAY less than a hotel would’ve cost. That’s definitely another tip I’d add – staying in towns outside of the city you want to explore can save a ton of money as well. Just a fifteen minute train ride and we were in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, but still got to experience the small-town feel of a lesser-known area in Holland. Definitely a trip to remember! 🙂

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  7. Very good advice. Credit card rewards in particular can be so lucrative. I just finished a trip around the world for a year and I never paid more than $200 or so for a flight because I got so many flights for free!

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  8. These are some awesome tips! So many people think you have to be rich to travel but there are ways to do it on the cheap without entirely sacrificing your comfort. Weekday travel and local joints are HUGE!

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  9. Seriously, this has just become my traveling bible right now. I’m a single mom of two toddlers and I’m trying to figure out how to keep traveling the world with both of my girls. You have provided great tips. Thank You so much for sharing!

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  10. This was such an informative and helpful article. I loved the point about using public transport. I’ve been using buses/trains/trams/my own feet a lot on mu current travels and it’s saved so much! My uber the other day was going to cost $35 or more to get to the airport and instead I walked 10 mins with my luggage and caught the tram which cost me $2. Yay for more money to spend on other things!

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    1. Thank you Courtney! I definitely agree with saving money on transit and having more to spend on other things. Have you ever tried rome to rio? Its a site that tells you the cheapest form of transportation to your destination! You should check it out!!! Happy travels!

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  11. Such a wonderful tips to for us to know more, it’s always been a burden for other to pay that much in tourists areas because yes its true the prices are completely doubled while as you stay in a local residence you’ll pay less and discover more about social and cultural ways of the people.

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