Do you wish you could travel, but think you can’t afford it? That may not be true!
While staying in five-star hotels and eating at restaurants for every meal might be out of the question, there are plenty of ways to vacation on a budget.
Check out these 30 tips for traveling light and cheap, and then re-evaluate whether or not you can go on that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Don’t be afraid to cut a few expenses here and there; you’re probably closer to a dream vacation than you think!
Skip the expensive hotels.
via: GettyHostels are the way to go. Hostels offer a ton of options for whatever your budget, ranging from large dorm-style rooms with lots of people to small private rooms. And if your budget only allows you to stay in a hostel room with ten other people, that’s fine! You’re meant to be spending your days out exploring anyway.
Travel in the ‘right’ season.
via: GettyThat is to say, the off-season for whatever your destination. This summer, try visiting Hawaii, Florida, or the Caribbean. Save a trip to Europe for the winter. Tickets are significantly cheaper when you’re traveling at a time most vacationers aren’t.
Fly on off-days.
Always compare your options.
via: GettyIf you want to travel cheaply, do the research! You’ve got more booking options that just Expedia. Not all travel search engines have the same deals, and doing a thorough check on multiple engines can land some pretty sweet deals.
Couch-surfing is also an option.
Take a road trip for free!Roadie, you can make some money by delivering things to your destination city or state (basically, people buy a seat in your car for stuff they need safely and affordably shipped). Consider trying this to make your next weekend getaway a couple states over for free.
Consider multiple airports.
via: GettyYou don’t have to head for the first big, main international airport you see! Most places have smaller alternate airports with cheaper rates, if you’re wiling to search for them.
Learn to sleep on the go.
Use carry-on luggage and master minimalist travel.
When possible, use overland travel instead of flights.
via: GettyIf you’re traveling to a different continent, then it can’t be avoided. But taking ground transportation (a train or long-distance bus, for example) can be much cheaper than booking a flight. You’ve gotten to your destination on a budget—now what? Keep reading for tips on what to do once you arrive on your vacation!
Whatever you do, keep a daily budget.
For quick car trips, use ride-sharing apps.
via: GettyThis one may or may not be common-sense, since tons of people already use Uber and Lyft, but using those services and sharing your rides can be much cheaper than a taxi ride.
Go for Groupon!
Find tourist attractions and museums with free-entrance days.
Same goes for walking tours.
via: GettyIf you look, you’ll probably be able to find a free walking tour in many cities. It also pays to explore your destination on foot as opposed to vehicle transportation. You’re saving money and getting exercise. Win-win! Stay tuned for more tips about traveling with your friends!
Share accommodation expenses with other travelers.
via: GettySplitting accommodation fees with others—even strangers, yes—can be a great way to cut costs. Again, safety comes first here: make sure that you’re being smart about who you’re sharing space with if you go this route!
If you travel with others, make sure you’re on the same page budget-wise!
There are other things to do besides an indulging in an expensive nightlife.
Shop where the locals shop.
via: GettyWhen buying food, toiletries, and such on vacation, try to find out where the people who live there make purchases—because they’ve undoubtedly found the least expensive and best places to do so!
Avoid shopping when possible, and learn to haggle when you do.
Light snacking does wonders.
Save the environment; reuse your water bottles.
via: GettyYou may already do this, but those who don’t should definitely start! Re-usable water bottles are an economic and environmentally-conscious choice, and staying hydrated throughout the day is a must!
Buy no-cook meals at a grocery store.
Also try buying local produce.
via: GettyFind a local market to buy snacks for the day. Buy fruits and veggies for something to fill you up as you’re catching the next bus or train.
Don’t eat on a street made for tourists.
Try some street food or a local restaurant.
Consider some good traveler’s insurance.
via: GettyCheck the fine print of your health insurance to make sure you won’t be slapped with a thousand bills if something should happen, or invest in traveler’s insurance.
If possible, find a way to travel for work.
via: GettySome companies or organizations will actually pay for your travel if you attend a conference, workshop, etc. Check with your job to see if they offer those opportunities!