Budget Travel Tips To Save You Thousands!!

Budget travel tips can save your thousands. Traveling is pretty exciting, but then travel costs aren’t .

According to the 2017 LearnVest Money Habits and Confessions Survey, 74% of people say they’ve gone into debt to pay for a vacation.

I try and avoid debt like a big pile of hot cow poo in a field, but then how do you know how to reduce travel costs?

Try these 15 budget travel tips to cut your travel costs so you can travel longer and not have to resort to pot noodle and toast when you return from your travels!


If you are looking for ways to earn while you travel, read these articles: 


Best Work From Home Jobs

How to Become a Well-Paid Online Editor

How to Become an Online Teacher (I made $6,000 per month!) 

An Easy Guide To Make Money As A Freelance Writer

20 Websites That Will Help you Work From Home



budget travel tips


15 Budget Travel Tips:

1. Eliminate or reduce ATM Fees

2. Pick up your car rental early

3. Always pick the local currency when paying by card

4. Use credit cards that offer reward points and miles for free travel

5. Avoid airport money exchanges like the plague

6. Stay in a central location

7. Consider alternative transport options

8. Negotiate directly instead of booking

9. Consider alternative accommodation

10. Be flexible with flights

11. Book activities on Airbnb Experiences instead of package tours

 12. Travel out of season

13. Book accommodation with breakfast included

14. Find friends to travel with

15. Do not pay for roaming 


1. Eliminate or reduce ATM Fees

Taking cash out from ATMS is going to cost you money. There is a fee every time you take cash out, which soon adds up to a lot of moolah.



  • Use a card that charges zero to minimal global ATM withdrawal fees


I use a TransferWise Borderless account. Global withdrawals of up to $325 every 30 days are FREE! Any withdrawals above that are only 2%, which is much, MUCH less than what standard banks charge.


I know this as I used to withdraw money using my bank cards all the time, and have paid HUNDREDS in bank ATM charges.


Now I just use my TransferWise card which was FREE to set up.


Ps; If you sign up using my link, you can sign up for free, have a borderless card delivered to you and get a FREE global money transfer!


  • Select a bank in the Global ATM Network


This is a network of banks that have decided to waive fees for each other in the network so we, as consumers, get free ATM withdrawals!

If you bank with one of the banks in the network, you avoid ATM charges with other banks in the network.

Nomadic Matt runs a budget travel blog and talks about the different banks in the alliance


  • Don’t take cash out in obscure or odd locations


Back in the day when I had abs. Ok, no I didn’t, I painted orange glow in the dark ones…

Anyway, I went to the Full Moon Party and instead of using my credit card or withdrawing cash from the city centre, I took cash out in the tiny island of Ko Phangan.

The result was about $10 per withdrawal. I think I withdrew money 5 times….. O_O

That’s $50 that could have been better spent on massages and pineapple fruit juices!  I put this down to none other than, BAD PLANNING on my behalf and it could have been avoided.

The $50 could have been spent on a personal trainer to get me real abs!

  • Pick a bank with a large global network 

I always travel with my HSBC card as it normally has ATMs all around the world, which results in lower ATM fees for me and more food for my belly. #yay!


2. Pick up your car rental early


This is one of the coolest budget travel tips I learned when I went road tripping round the Balkans.

Book the smallest (and cheapest) rental car…. but pick it up super early, like 8 am.

Most customers won’t have returned their cars at 8 am and there is a high change the cheap small car you booked is out of stock.

But the rental agency is obligated to give you any available car, but at the cheap price you booked it!

I tried this three times and have successfully cruised around in flashy 4-by-4’s at a fraction of the price.


But what if you actually NEED a big car and your small cheap car is available??


That’s fine, upgrade in person when you pick it up, the price wont differ too much whether you book it online or in person.



Also, if you are going to travel on a car or van for a long period of time, you migh as well learn how to make money while living in your car! If you are curios about this check my article

How To Make Money Living In A Van [50+ Ways To Earn Cash While On The Road]

3. Always pick the local currency when paying by card

If you want to know how to afford traveling the world without paying huge bank fee charges?

When you use your debit/credit card abroad- you are normally given an option to:  pay in your home currency or in the local currency.

Always pick the local currency

For example – if you are from the UK, traveling in Spain, you will be given the option to in GBP or Euro. Pick EURO.

The currency conversion will be done by your bank instead of some random bank in Spain and your bank will convert it at a better rate. 


4. Use credit cards that offer reward points and miles for free travel


One of the best ways to save money on a tight budget is to use travel credit cards.

Did you know that certain credit cards will reward you with free airmiles if you use it?

When I first heard about it I thought it was a scam , but then I tried it myself and it worked!

I normally avoid paying cash and purchase everything on my card. I then pay the balance off before the end of every month so I never have to pay interest. 

Since I use the card, I may as well use it to earn free travel eh?

You use the points earned on your credit card to buy flight tickets, accommodation and upgrades to business class.


Travel reward cards:







If you want more information on this, read this article.


Disclaimer– if you are not good at managing your finances, I don’t recommend you try this.

This is one of the budget travel tips which requires a certain level of self-control and planning.

I also don’t recommend you spend more money than usual. The key here is to make your day to day spending work for you.

If you have any big purchases coming up like flights or furniture, use these credit cards to help you earn travel points while you are at it!



budget travel tips


5. Avoid airport money exchanges like the plague

You will always end up paying more than you should. If you need to, find a good money exchange in your home country, but never exchange your money at the airport. 


budget travel hacks


6. Stay in a central location


If you don’t have your own transport – book your accommodation in a central location as transport costs add up.

I normally end up Google mapping the accommodation from the city centre to see if it is walkable. 


budget travel hack 6- book accommodation in a central location
If your accomodation is THIS close to the tourist sights… you are doing it right ! 🙂


7. Consider alternative transport options

If time is on your side, one of the best budget travel tips are to consider alternative transport.

For instance, I could have flown to Koh Phangan from Bangkok, but I took the sleeper train.

It was an exciting journey and I got the chance to immerse myself in the local culture!

If you have a long journey, it might also be worth booking transport through the night to save you accommodation costs.

For example, I booked a bus from Laos to Vietnam which drove through the night. I fell asleep in Laos and woke up at the border of Vietnam!

budget travel tips 7, consider a sleeper bus to save money

If you plan to travel through Thailand, read my article on how I ditched the bus and travel to Pai by motorbike!

8. Negotiate directly instead of booking

I can’t count the number of times I have received a discount because I negotiated directly with a seller.

Accommodation, transport, activities – get your bad boy bartering skills sharpened! 

My tip is to smile, be respectful and just ask for a better price!

It also helps if you are traveling with more than one person, you can say: ‘ if you can knock x amount off, we will book it now!’ 


budget travel tips 8 - smile !
Maybe don’t smile like this as you will scare them off!

9. Consider alternative accommodation

If you want to have free accommodation of the entire duration of your trip, read this article for accommodation-related budget travel tips.


10 Places In The World That Offer Free Accommodation For Travellers.


A few examples of alternative free accommodation are


Or try housesitting!

People want to go on holiday but they aren’t comfortable leaving their house and pets unoccupied …so that’s where you come in.

You get free accommodation and they get a stress free holiday, as they have a house sitter!

House sitting sites include:

Alternatively you could look into home exchange sites:

You basically choose the destination country you want to stay in and swap houses during your holiday.

The result is both home owners get free accommodation during their holidays. It a win -win situation and you can get that travel fund jar poppin’!


budget travel tips 9- consider alternative accomodation


10. Be flexible with flights

If you want to know how to travel on a tight budget, you need to be flexible with your flights.

 I never really understood what this meant until I was on Skyscanner and by accident, I clicked on the ‘Everywhere’ tab instead of inputting my destination and voila!

 A list of cheap flights around the world came up.



budget travel tips 10. Skyscanner -input Everywhere for flexible location
Money saving tip- Destination : EVERYWHERE

If you can also be a bit flexible with dates you can select the ‘Whole Month’ option and see the best dates to travel too! 


How to reduce travel costs -Skyscanner- Input whole month for cheaper flights
Money saving tip – Date: WHOLE MONTH


11. Book activities on Airbnb Experiences instead of package tours


Speaking from personal, Package tours are often a rip off and can be quite boring.

One of the most interesting budget travel tips out there, are to opt for the AirBnb Experiences in each country you visit.

It will be cheaper and you get to really immerse yourself in the culture.


budget travel tips 11- book air bob experiences to hike the Atlas Mountains


For example, when travelled to Morocco, I booked a half day cooking class and a hike in the Atlas Mountains for no more than $30 each!

However, if tours are your thing and you insist on going on one, make sure you google ‘FREE Walking Tours’ first.


budget travel. tips 11 - book a camel tour on airbnb experience


 12. Travel out of season

This is an obvious one but if you have flexibility on your dates of travel, opt for off season times in each respective country you visit.

This will help you travel for less.

I paid ZERO accommodation fees climbing up to Everest Base Camp, because it was during the off-peak season.

Read this article if you want to hike Everest Base Camp on a budget.


13. Book accommodation with breakfast included

Budget travel tips for foodies alert!

In 2018, I motorbiked around Vietnam for one month and only spent $900 for all my costs.

When I booked my accommodation, I always checked whether breakfast was included as it drastically reduced my food costs:)


budget travel tips- book accommodation with breakfast included


14. Find friends to travel with

This is one of the most useful budget travel hacks out there.

Booking activities as a group is always cheaper as you can share the costs.

If you are traveling solo, you can find fellow travellers to share costs with on Facebook groups such as:


Also, there are an array of apps that help you connect with other travellers before and during your trip itself:



budget travel tips - make friends and reduce costs



15. Do not pay for roaming 

If you are paying roaming fees that make your eyes water and your nostril hair hurt, it’s time to say adios!

Roaming fees are the fastest way to reduce your travel around the world budget.

Buy a local SIM card instead.

It will be much cheaper and it will ensure your safety as you will always have access to a working number, in case you ned help.


Travel is meant to be a soul enriching experience that changes your life for the better, not bankrupt you or leave you worse off! If you are looking for tips on how to save for your holiday, you can check out some cool methods listed here.


Do you use any of these budget travel tips to reduce your travel costs ? Can you recommend any that I have missed? Please share them in the comments below!

Ps; If you need to save money for your travel, the below articles will help build a travel fund fast!


25 Quick Ways to Make Extra Money

21 Frugal Living Tips To Payoff Your Debt

How To Make $1,000 FAST: 6 Simple Tips

11 Really Weird Ways to Make $200 

How to Reduce Credit Card Debt (5 Effective Methods)

How to Save Thousands of Dollars on Your Mortgage



Girl running in the mountains
Running away from expensive travel costs 🙂

15 best budget travel tips that will help you save money traveling. These budget travel hacks will help you master budget traveling while you are backpacking, on a honeymoon, or families and road trips. Budget tip number 2 will save you money while getting an upgraded car rental! #budgettravelhacks #budgettravel tips #savemoneytraveling

8 thoughts on “Budget Travel Tips To Save You Thousands!!”

  1. Excellent article, great information and really helpful links. I look forward to reading more

    1. Thank you so much for noticing and letting me know
      I have now removed it
      Aisha xx

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