I am completely aware that attempting to stay under budget on vacation is a real pain. However, over the years I’ve learned that it is a lot easier than expected. Finding out the most convenient and efficient ways to save money on the road will allow for more future travels and less current vacation regrets. Every time I arrive back home and find out I stayed hundreds of dollars below my budget, I realize that I’m already ahead of the game for my next trip. I think it’s safe to say it’s always a moment of silent internal dancing and an external fist pumping.
Truth is, we all travel differently and we all have to find our saving groove. I’m still perfecting and revamping the art of budget travel every day.
We are normally exposed to travel through magazines and TV shows, which showcase the most luxurious and exotic locations that can cost thousands of dollars per person for a single week. If you follow me regularly, you know I tend to challenge and call extreme bullshit on those vacations. There is always a way to make traveling affordable and still enjoyable.
So before I go into my rant of “you don’t need to be rich to travel“, here are 20 of my tips for coming home under budget on a vacation:
1. Enjoy free walking tours
2. Yes, ice cream is considered a meal
3. Souvenirs usually aren’t worth it
4. Hostels not hotels
5. Catch the red-eye flight
6. Avoid tourist zones
7. Use budget-friendly sites
8. Discover nature—not cities
9. Photos are the best memories
10. Extra ketchup packets go a long way
11. Mind over matter
12. Sleeping in your car is always okay
13.The shittier the diner, the better
14. Befriend the locals
15. Don’t pretend you can afford it
16. Hiking is always cheap
17. Research! Research! Research!
18. Never rely on single guide book
19. Alcohol is a wallet killer
20. Be open-minded
Okay…maybe the ketchup packets are stretching it.
A lot of times we don’t realize there are ways to save massive amounts of money directly in front of us. Comparing hotel prices goes a long way; I guarantee you won’t want to be the person who just paid $150 for the same room another traveler paid $80 for. That being said, the most important number on this list is 17, research! I can’t stress it enough.
Of course my favorite ways to save money are hiking, camping, and exploring nature. If staying on the outdoorsy side of a trip, you can budget three nature adventures into a single city adventure.
What methods do you use to save money while traveling?