Jet Set on a Budget: 18 Genius Tips to Make Your Travel Funds Last Longer

Traveling opens up a world of adventure, culture, and unforgettable experiences, but let’s face it, travelling ain’t cheap. However, with these few tips, both the seasoned globetrotter and the first-time traveler can keep costs down and enjoy travelling without burning a hole through their savings. Here are the best tips to make any travel budget go further.

Travel During Off-Season

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Traveling during peak season is expensive. Jason Higgs, the Senior Deals Strategist at Bountii, says, “Traveling during peak season can be expensive, with higher prices for flights, accommodations, and attractions. Consider exploring off-season destinations to save money and avoid crowds. You may even discover hidden gems that are less crowded and more affordable.”

Plan your trip during the off-peak season to take advantage of significantly reduced prices for flights and accommodations. Airlines and hotels often lower their rates during times of the year when demand is lower, typically outside of school holidays and major festivals or events. This way you can save money and deal with less crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere. Make sure to research the best off-peak times for your desired destination, as these can vary based on the destination. Traveling during shoulder seasons—the periods between peak and off-peak—can also yield savings while still providing favorable weather conditions.

Set Up Fare Alerts

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Airfare can be one of the biggest travel expenses, but you can save money by setting up fare alerts on websites like Kayak, Google Flights, or Skyscanner. These services track the price of flights to your chosen destination and notify you when prices drop. By keeping an eye on these alerts, you can score flights at a low price. To get the best results, clear your browser cookies or use incognito mode when searching for flights, as some websites track your visits and may raise prices based on your search history.

Book Early And Be Flexible

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One of the best ways to save money on travel is to book your flights and accommodations well in advance. Higgs says, “Airlines and hotels often offer early booking discounts, so take advantage of these deals whenever possible. Also, by being flexible with your travel dates, you might be able to look for cheaper options.”

Choose Budget-Friendly Accommodations

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Accommodation is another major travel expense, but there are budget-friendly options available. Hostels are a great choice for travelers looking to save money and meet other like-minded individuals. They often offer dormitory-style rooms at a fraction of the cost of hotels. Guesthouses or bed and breakfasts are also affordable and charming alternatives. Additionally, websites such as Airbnb or Couchsurfing connect travelers with locals offering a room or entire home for a lower cost than traditional hotels, and sometimes even for free in exchange for social interaction or help around the house. These options not only save money but also offer a more authentic travel experience. Higgs agrees. He says, “While staying in luxury hotels can be tempting, it’s not always necessary. Consider opting for budget-friendly accommodations like hostels, vacation rentals, or budget hotels. These options can provide you with a comfortable place to stay without breaking the bank.”

Pack Light & Avoid Checked Baggage Fees

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Most if not all airlines now charge for checked baggage, and these costs can be steep. To save on this expense, pack lightly and fit everything in a carry-on bag or luggage. This avoids checked baggage fees, but also makes travel easier as you avoid waiting for your luggage at the baggage claim. This also eliminates the risk of airlines losing your luggage. Just make sure you check your airline’s size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage and pack accordingly. Use a lightweight, durable suitcase and packing cubes to maximize your space. and keep your items organized.

Cut Your Transportation Costs

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Public transportation is often the most economical way to get around when you’re traveling. Higgs says, “Consider using public transportation, walking, or renting a bike to get around. If you have to rent a car, be sure to compare prices and look for discounts.” Buses, trains, and subways are typically much cheaper than taxis or car rentals, and in most major metropolitan cities, are quite easy to navigate. Many cities also offer tourist passes or multi-use tickets that can save you even more money on public transit. Before you go, research the public transportation system of your destination to understand routes, costs, and any available discounts. There are also apps available for many cities that can help you navigate public transportation more easily.

Eat Like A Local

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‘Dining out can be expensive, especially in tourist areas. To save money, try eating like a local,’ Higgs recommends. Visit local markets, street food vendors, or small, family-owned restaurants to get a taste of the local cuisine at a fraction of the cost. Not only is this a budget-friendly option, but it’s also a fantastic way to experience the local cuisine and culture. Look for restaurants that are busy for the freshest and safest options. Food markets are also a great place to pick up ingredients if you have access to a kitchen where you’re travelling, so that you can prepare your own meals and save more money.

Budget-Friendly DIY Touring

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You might also want to plan your own excursion, rather than book a pre-packaged tour. “While organized tours offer convenience and guidance, they often come with a hefty price tag that can significantly inflate your overall travel expenses,” Higgs says. “By taking the reins and planning your own excursions, you can enjoy the same attractions at a fraction of the cost.”

Travel agencies and tour operators can add significant mark-ups to the cost of activities and excursions. To save money, plan your trip yourself and book accommodations, flights and excursions directly. Research the attractions and activities you’re interested in ahead of time and look for online deals or discounts. Many official attraction websites offer reduced rates for tickets purchased in advance on their website. Some attractions even have free entry days when you can actually save on admission fees.

Walk When Possible

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Whenever it’s feasible, opt to walk instead of using transportation. Walking is completely free, offers numerous health benefits, and allows you to discover hidden gems that you might miss when traveling by car or public transit. Exploring a city on foot can lead to unexpected adventures and unique photo opportunities. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and have a map app on your phone ready to navigate efficiently.

Leverage Loyalty Programs And Rewards Points

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If you’re a frequent traveler, consider signing up for loyalty programs with airlines, hotels, and credit card companies. “These programs often offer exclusive discounts, upgrades, and perks that can save you money on your travels. Additionally, you can use your rewards points to book free flights, hotel stays, or other travel-related expenses,” says Higgs.

Make Use Of City Passes

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Many cities offer tourist cards that provide free or discounted entry to numerous attractions, museums. Often, these tourist cards also include free public transportation. These passes can offer great value, especially if you plan to visit multiple sites listed on the card. However, before making a purchase, make sure you evaluate whether you will have enough time to visit a number of the attractions offered with the pass to make it worthwhile, as some of these tourist cards can be quite pricey.

Shop At Local Supermarkets & Prepare Your Own Meals

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Dining out for every meal can quickly add up, especially in tourist hotspots where prices are often inflated. Instead of eating out for every meal, visit visit local supermarkets, farmers’ markets, or small grocery stores so you can buy fresh ingredients to prepare your own meals. If you’re staying in accommodations with kitchen facilities, cooking can significantly reduce your food expenses. Even without a full kitchen, you can create simple meals like sandwiches, salads, or snacks. This not only saves money but also gives you a taste of the local produce and specialties. Take your prepared lunch and have a picnic in a scenic park and enjoy feeling like a local for the duration of your meal!

Use Overnight Trains to Save On Accommodation

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This is a well-known tip for seasoned backpackers, but might be foreign for others. When traveling long distances, booking an overnight bus or train can be a clever way to save money. By traveling at night, you effectively combine transportation and accommodation costs, eliminating the need for a hotel for that night. Many overnight services offer reclining seats or even beds, allowing you to get some rest while on the move. Furthermore, you arrive at your next destination ready to explore, without losing a day to travel. Of course, always prioritize safety and comfort when selecting overnight travel options, and book in advance to secure the best deals and accommodations on board.

Use Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

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Data roaming charges can be expensive, so avoid them by making use of free Wi-Fi hotspots. Many cafes, libraries, and even public malls have free Wi-Fi nowadays, and some cities even have an extensive network of public Wi-Fi in tourist areas. In case you can’t find a Wi-Fi to connect to, make sure you download offline maps and travel apps that can be used without an internet connection.

Use a Refillable Water Bottle

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Buying bottled water can add up, especially in hot climates or when you’re out exploring all day. Carrying a refillable water bottle is not only environmentally friendly but also economical. Many places now have public water fountains where you can refill for free, and some cafes and restaurants will also refill your bottle upon request. In countries where tap water is not safe to drink, consider investing in a water bottle with a built-in filter or purification system.

Take Advantage Of Free Attractions

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Many cities offer free attractions and activities that can help you save money on your travels. Higgs advises, “Take a free walking tour, visit a local park or museum, or attend a free festival or event. The amount of free things to do might surprise you!”

Many cities offer free walking tours led by locals who are knowledgeable about the history of the area. These tours are a great way to familiarize yourself with a new city, learn about its history and culture, and get insider tips on places to eat and things to see that might not be in your guidebook. Free walking tours can be found in most major cities, and information about them is usually available online or at local tourist information centers.

Appetizers As The Main Course

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Portion sizes in restaurants can be quite large, especially in certain tourist areas. Sharing meals is a great way to cut down on food costs and avoid waste. Alternatively, ordering appetizers or starters as your main course can also be more cost-effective and allows you to sample a variety of dishes. Some restaurants also offer ‘happy hour’ or ‘early bird’ specials where you can enjoy discounted prices. Always ask for tap water instead of bottled water where it’s safe to drink.

Avoid Impulse ‘Souvenir’ Purchases

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Souvenir shopping can quickly eat into your travel budget if not carefully managed. Avoid impulse buys by setting a budget for souvenirs and sticking to it. Consider purchasing items that are both meaningful and practical, such as local food products or handmade soaps. Always compare prices at different shops, and don’t be afraid to bargain in markets where haggling is customary. Instead of buying trinkets for souvenirs, take photos and keep a travel journal to capture memories instead.

Travel More, Spend Less – Genius Tips to Cut Cost on Your Upcoming Family Adventure

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Planning a family trip can be so exciting, as it’s a great opportunity to create lasting memories, explore new places, and enjoy quality time together. However, the cost of travel can quickly add up, making it out of reach for many families, especially those with many young children. But don’t fret: with careful planning, it is possible to reduce expenses without compromising on the fun and adventure that come with discovering new destinations. Here are some tips to save money on your next family trip.

Travel More, Spend Less – Genius Tips to Cut Cost on Your Upcoming Family Adventure

From Paris to Bucharest: The 10 Most Crowded Tourist Spots per Square Kilometer

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Ever felt like you’re elbow-to-elbow with the entire world while trying to snap that perfect vacation pic? You’re not alone! Some tourist spots are so loved, they attract visitors at any time of the year. There’s a reason these spots are buzzing with energy and excitement year round. So, grab your patience and your best “excuse me” smile—we’re about to dive into the most crowded tourist hotspots where personal space is rare and selfies are a dime a dozen.

From Paris to Bucharest: The 10 Most Crowded Tourist Spots per Square Kilometer

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