8 Clever Ways To Travel On A Tight Budget

It is said that the typical American worker “gets 10 paid days of vacation per year and six paid holidays per year.”

That’s only two weeks off!!

With such little time to use for vacation, we wanted to help you get as much out of your holiday as possible! Berty and I have compiled some general pointers and clever tricks to save money while traveling.

**I recently wrote another article about saving money for travel. However, the article you are reading now is about saving money DURING your travels. Enjoy!


Pass On Airport Snacks/Magazines

You don’t need them and they are priced wayyy above their actual cost….just for your convenience.

Consider bringing a light book/kindle and packing your own food like Lauren from the Zero Waste Memoirs. She uses jars from home to pack food for the ride, which you can use later in your travels to stock up with more snacks again!

It’s absolutely worth the read!

Checked Bag Fees

Some airlines can combine weight, others do not. We had a really easy time totaling our baggage weight in Indonesia, so it was easy to fly from island to island.

However, on many domestic U.S. flights, a single pound over will give you something like a hefty $50 charge. What a waste of money! Read your airlines baggage guidelines and heavily consider that when bringing home extra goodies.

While On The Topic of Goodies: Souvenirs…

Really consider the value that souvenirs will bring to the people you buy them for. Is it useful, or do you just feel guilty not bringing back anything?

Chances are, they don’t care (and don’t want) the trinkets you bring home, so save your wallet the money and your bag the space and bring home only what you need.

Use A Credit Card With No International Fees

Berty and I have had experience with both the good and bad of international fees. We naively used our debit card on a recent trip to Vancouver, Canada and came home with lots of little charges to our account. 15 cents here and a dollar there, but in the end it ended up being enough to notice a change in our account!

After that experience we ended up getting the Capital One Venture Credit Card. It’s super convenient to use when traveling because there are no international transaction fees!

This card can also be redeemed for miles on many different airlines, if that’s something you’re into as well!

Park Your Car With A Friend, Not At The Airport

Leaving your car at the airport is an unnecessary expense with a totally easy fix! If you are leaving from your hometown, ask a friend if you can park your car at their house and get a ride to the airport.

Asking is free, and people are always more generous than you expect! Make sure to thank them though, with coffee and/or gas money. Expect to return the favor for them in the future, and everyone saves money in the long run.

Stay With Friends Abroad

Do you have an international pen pal? Distant relatives? It doesn’t hurt to at least ask to stay for a few nights. If accepted, it will save you tons of money and your friend/relative can give you great local tips as you continue your travels.

Make sure to bring a thank you gift or write them an IOU to return the favor if they ever travel to your neighborhood. Naturally, be a good house guest and clean up after yourself, be endlessly thankful for their hospitality and maybe even offer to pay for a meal out together during your stay.

Do you guys know of any online program that connects people with home-stays (That isn’t AirBnb)? We’re actively looking right now! Comment below or email us at [email protected]

SEE MORE: Bali Recommendations From Our Local Relatives

Know What You’re Willing to Spend $$$ On

Negotiating your priorities will help you get the most out of your trip. Are you a foodie? Budget tons of money to splurge on the best meals, but counter that with a cheap hostel or couch surfing.

Want a luxury stay in a swanky hotel? Consider cooking your own meals in your room, or finding free attractions during your stay to help you keep within your budget.

You can travel lavishly; you just have to know what you’re willing to spend money on and where you can sacrifice a little!

Think Of Alternate Ways To Travel

Buses + train tickets are generally cheaper than flights. Consider all options before booking an additional flight.

Example, we saved over $200 by taking a 24 hour passenger ship across the Java sea from Jakarta to Surabaya instead of flying. However, this does NOT mean compromising safety.

If you are considering hopping in a stranger’s car over a fairly-priced place ticket just to save a few bucks, DON’T DO IT. Safety and trusting your gut is always worth spending money on, in my humble opinion.

SEE MORE: How To Stay Safe in Big Cities

Do you have any tips to save money while traveling? We’d love to know! Comment below your best tip!


9 Ways To Keep Your Tech Safe Abroad

10 Ways To Snag Cheap Camping and Backpacking Gear

6 Things To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed

Genius Tips on How To Conquer Jet Lag

Questions You Should Ask Before A Road Trip

How To Save Money For Your Next Adventure

How To Avoid Overpacking

Do These Things Before You Leave For Vacation

Want more travel inspiration? Check out our Adventure Board on Pinterest!





1 Comment

  1. Thank you Rahul! I’m glad you like the post. These tips were really helpful on previous trips – I hope they help you too!