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

Flexibility is the key to traveling cheap! 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 for FREE here to get a $10 welcome bonus instantly and start earning cash back!

In addition to everyday purchases Ebates will get you cash back on hotels, flights, and even car rentals. So you’re basically getting paid to travel right? 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 to save money 

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 prefer to 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 = aka its free to travel with). 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

View of Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

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.

Save $40 off your next Airbnb stay by signing up here!!

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.


6. Use credit cards with travel rewards to save money/get free travels

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 start searching for travel deals (theres tons) & remember, you don't have to be rich to travel!

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

  1. That was an amazing post. I love traveling. But, traveling is not always budget friendly. I will try these tips from the next time.


  2. Great article. I think the best thing you can do no matter where you go is to “do how the locals do”. Only then you live the experience to the fullest.


  3. I’ve never checked out a few of these sites- kiwi.com for instance sounds like something I should already know about! I also think you make a great point about personal items and travel. I don’t love the discount airlines because it feels like the fast food of flying. But then again, if the point is getting somewhere and not about maximizing comfort en route then these truly are excellent options. Thanks for the pointers!


  4. Love kiwi.com and the suggestions to just ask for a lower rate! My dad does this all the time and I’m surprised how often it can work. I also advocate for hostels in addition to Airbnb.


  5. Great travel tips! I’ve found that flying out on a Tuesday is the cheapest. Also booking directly with a hotel is sometimes cheaper than Booking.com etc. The hotels can also match the price on booking.com too. I’ve not heard of Kiwi.com – might have to try that one!


  6. Sometimes when you book a hotel using booking.com or airbnb, they often have additional charges. Call them to know how much really are the rooms before booking. When i went to Paris, it was winter season so it was definitely off peak and things are cheaper and there were less people. The cold though…


  7. Thank you so much for the tips. I guess the one’s which I already follow are the Skyscanner and travel like a local. That is also the reason I aggregate Bed and Breakfast rooms in India so that travelers like me who like to experience local culture can do so in India as well by staying in an Indian home with an Indian family! Thanks for the tip of using credit card with reward schemes. I am wary of using credit card lest i forget to pay their bills but yes now i consider them!


  8. Great post lots of valuable tips and information, I have bookmarked. Will try out some of the other recommendation’s inn your post. Thank you 🙂


  9. I think I’m the cheapest person alive. When I see lists of platforms that search for best valued plane tickets I expect them to be almost free or something like that, haha.


  10. I love affordable travel because I feel like it really takes some of the stress away from traveling. I didn’t know that you could call the hotel and ask if they’re willing to offer lower prices! That’s seriously awesome.


  11. Thank you for the awesome tip. It is always economical to plan ahead before going on a trip. Aside from traveling on weekdays can save you a lot, there are also less tourist on weekdays so you have all the touristy spot by your self.


  12. Excellent tips, especially kiwi.com!!

    Have you ever used topcashback.com? It’s like ebates, but you cane get money back when you sign up for shopping or utility bills. 😀


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