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How to Afford to Travel: 37 Tips for Frugal Travel

Are you dreaming of traveling the world but don’t think you can afford it? You’re not alone. Many people would love to see more of the world, but they think that travel is too expensive. That’s not always true! There are plenty of ways to travel on a budget. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 tips for frugal travel. With these tips, you’ll be able to see the world without breaking the bank!

How to Afford to Travel: 37 Ways

If you’re looking for ways to afford travel, here are 41 ways that can help you achieve your goal.

Saving Before Traveling

1) Start Saving Early

Saving money isn’t an easy task. You need to pay close attention to your spending and how you spend your money. You need to be very smart when spending to save money for future needs.

If you start saving now, reaching your goal will take less time. Save as much as you can each month until you’ve enough money saved for your trip. You can do this by setting a budget and limiting expenses like eating out or weekly shopping.

Set aside an extra amount from each paycheck that goes directly into your travel fund instead of your checking account or allowance. That way, the money won’t come in contact with other expenses and can be used for something else later, such as a vacation or emergency fund.

2) Set Up a Separate Account

Set aside money in a separate account, and don’t touch it until you’re ready to travel. That way, you’ll have a built-in safety net in case something goes wrong or unexpected expenses pop up. Plus, you’ll still have money for everyday expenses like groceries and bills.

3) Create a Monthly Budget and Stick to It!

Start by making a list of all your expenses and then calculate how much money you need each month to cover those expenses. If there’s anything left over at the end of the month, put it in a travel fund so you can save for your next adventure!

4) Build an Emergency Fund for Unexpected Expenses

Build an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, so you don’t touch your travel money before or during your trip. This way, you can protect your finances from unexpected changes.

5) Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need

When I used to have a very tight travel budget, whenever I wanted to treat myself to something, I’d think, “this is my overnight stay in Central America,” or “this is my train ticket from Auckland to Wellington in New Zealand.” This mindset helped me save money and better prepare for my trip.

Make a list of what you need and only buy those things when shopping. This way, you avoid buying unnecessary things that take up space.

6) Save on Entertainment

Enjoy yourself at home instead of spending money on entertainment. Instead of going out for dinner or drinks with friends, you can invite them over and cook together or go to a park and play games. If you still want to go out, check Groupon for deals on restaurants, bars, and entertainment in your area. You can also plan activities that don’t cost much – like hiking or camping.

7) Save Money on Food by Cooking at Home

Ready-made meals can be expensive, so cook your food at home. Many recipes on the internet are easy to recreate and will help you save money while traveling.

8) Use Coupons

You can find coupons in newspapers, magazines, and online. They often offer discounts on food and drinks at restaurants, attractions, and hotels. You can also use coupons for souvenirs or local products such as wine or olive oil.

Several apps let you search for coupons by product name or category if you have a smartphone. Most apps also let you download coupons directly to your phone, so you’ve them handy when looking for deals at the store.

9) Eat Out No More or Less

Don’t eat out more or less. Eating out at restaurants is expensive, and it’s easy to overdo it. You should reduce your spending if you eat out more than once a week. Even one less meal per week could save you $50 to $75 per month

10) Cancel Subscriptions You Don’t Use Enough or Don’t Want Anymore

Maybe you’re paying for music streaming services, magazine subscriptions, or cable TV that you no longer use – or never used! Check your bank statements and credit card bills for recurring purchases, and cancel the ones you no longer need.

11) Rent or Lease

Rent is one of the biggest expenses in life. If you’re spending more than 30% of your income on rent, it’s time to look for a cheaper place to live.

If you’re renting a house or apartment where the cost of living is higher than what you’re used to, you should look for a cheaper area that’s not far away. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by moving to an area with a lower cost of living.

If you don’t mind living with other people, rent a room instead of a whole apartment (or house). Sharing a room with others can be much cheaper than renting a whole apartment, especially if they’re already paying their utilities and other bills. Plus, you won’t have to clean as much!

If you own a house or flat and have extra rooms, consider renting out one or more rooms in your house through Airbnb or a similar website.

9) Sell Things You Don’t Need

Your old clothes, toys, and other things you no longer need can be sold for free on eBay or Craigslist. If you have old electronics that are still in good condition, you can sell them online or at a thrift store near you. You’ll be surprised how much money you can make with a few old gadgets!

Some things may not sell right away, but if they’re in good condition and the price is right, you can make a decent amount of money with them.

10) Earn Extra Income

When saving money, most people think of cutting their expenses. But there’s another way you can save a lot of money: Earn extra income by taking a weekend or evening job, such as teaching, retailing, catering, freelancing, etc.

However, there are some disadvantages to earning extra money on the side: You may have to work long hours or on weekends when you’d rather relax with your family or friends

11) Give Up Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Other Vices That Cost a Lot of Money

When trying to save money, you need to cut out things that aren’t essential. Alcohol can be one of those things, and it can add up, especially if you’ve friends over often. When you’re at a bar with friends or just having a drink at home, you may not even realize how much each round costs, but it adds up quickly.

Cigarettes can also be expensive if you don’t buy them in bulk, and they cost more than $5 a pack at most stores. You also have to consider the health risks associated with smoking, which can cost a lot more than just the cigarettes themselves.

12) If Possible, Don’t Drive

If there’s another way to reach your destination, take it! Walking or biking is a great way to save money on transportation costs and improve your health. Use public transportation whenever possible

13) Track Your Spending

Use an app like Mint or Goodbudget and start tracking your spending. This will make it easier for you to see where your money is going and make adjustments as needed.

Now that you know what’s coming in and going out each month, you can use that information to create a budget that makes sense for you. If possible, you should set aside at least 20% of your income for your travel fund. However, remember that this number can change depending on other factors, such as unexpected events or medical expenses.

14) Plan Your Trip in Advance

If you know where you want to go and when it’s much easier to plan your trip and save for it. Plus, you can get better deals on flights if you book them at least four weeks in advance.

15) Read Travel Blogger Websites and Books to Better Plan Your Trip!

Read travel blogs, websites, and books to plan your trip better! You’ll get valuable tips on how to save money on cheap flights, accommodations, food, and much more.

Travel blogs are great resources because they provide tips and ideas on having fun on a budget. You’ll also learn about the best places to visit, things to do, and where to eat. You’ll even get suggestions on what to take with you, so you don’t spend too much money on the road.

16) Avoid Traveling During Peak Season

One of the best ways to save money is to travel during the off-season. Avoid high season in popular destinations like Paris or Venice by traveling on a weekday instead of the weekend, when prices are higher. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also avoid crowds.

17) Set Up Price Alerts

Use an app like Skyscanner or Kayak to search for cheap flights and accommodations, and set up notifications for yourself. You can also set up a price alert, so these apps notify you when prices drop, so you can take advantage of a good deal before it disappears (and before someone else snatches it up).

18) Buy a Travel Insurance

Remember to opt for travel or purchase separate insurance when purchasing your flight. Traveling without travel insurance could be much more expensive if something happens to you.

19) Book in Advance to Get the Cheapest Fare Possible

Book in advance is one of the best ways to save money when flying. Airlines often offer discounts and other perks in competing for customers, and if you plan ahead, you can take advantage of these offers. If you’re flexible about your destination, a last-minute cheap flight can also be good value.

Spending Money Wisely When Traveling

There are many ways to travel more affordably, and you don’t have to give up your dream of seeing the world. Here are 20 tips from experienced travelers that can help you save money and afford to travel more often.

20) Set a Daily Spending Limit

Before you start your trip, set a daily spending limit, so you don’t go overboard on extras like souvenirs and dining out. This way, you can ensure you don’t spend too much money on things that aren’t necessary for the trip’s fun.

21) Stay in Hostels or Airbnb

Hostels usually have cheap private rooms or dorms that are separated by gender, and they’ve shared bathrooms, kitchens, and common areas. They’re ideal for meeting other travelers and learning about new cultures.

Airbnb is another good option for cheap travel. It’s like a hotel, only cheaper because you’re renting someone else’s apartment or house instead of staying in a hotel room. You can rent a whole apartment or a room if you’re traveling with friends and save money on accommodation costs.

If you’re traveling with a group of friends, consider renting an apartment instead of booking a hotel room, especially if you’re in an expensive city in the United States like New York or San Francisco.

22) Couchsurf

Couchsurfers usually stay with a host for one or more nights for free. It’s free accommodation; you can bring food or other items to share with your host. Hosts usually provide something to eat but sometimes expect guests to bring their food. If you want to learn more about it, you can search for “Couchsurfing,” and you’ll find many websites connecting you with other couchsurfers and hosts.

Ensure you check the host’s reviews first to avoid hassle and the terms and conditions of the Couchsurfing website you use.

23) Take Advantage of Free Activities and Attractions

One tip to save money when traveling is to take advantage of free activities and attractions. Here are some ideas:

  • Visit the local library. Many libraries offer free events, lectures, and workshops. You can also check out books for free or borrow them for a small fee if you’re a member.
  • Go for a hike. You don’t have to go on long hikes in exotic locations; there are many great hikes close to home that you don’t have to spend a fortune on. If you live in a city, you can search for hiking groups on Meetup or other social networks – many of these groups are free or low-cost.
  • Visit your local museum. Visit an art gallery or museum in your community, even if they aren’t free at certain times of the day or during the week. Many museums offer free admission days throughout the year and don’t charge admission on certain days (such as Tuesday evenings).

24) Consider Your Transportation Options

Whether it’s a cab, rental car, or Uber, any transportation mode’s travel costs can add up quickly. But you can do a few things to save money on the road.

  • Check out deals at your destination before booking a cheap flight and accommodation. If you’re staying at a hotel that offers free shuttle service to and from the airport, take advantage of it!
  • Find out if your hotel has a shuttle service for locals (or if there’s a bus stop nearby) and use that instead of renting a car or taking an Uber.
  • Use public transportation instead of taking taxis/rental cars/Uber repeatedly (travel costs can add up quickly!).
  • Buy discounted train tickets online or at the ticket counter (if available) instead of paying full price at the station counter or vending machine when you arrive in the city you want to travel from.

25) Check Out Local Events

Local events are a great way to experience a city without breaking the budget! From festivals to sporting events, there are plenty of ways to have a good time without spending money on entertainment options at the venue (which can be quite expensive). You can also check local newspapers for free events in your area, such as free concerts or festivals downtown during the summer or on weekends throughout the year.

26) Skip Tours

Tours are often expensive because they’re heavily marketed by tour operators who want to make money off their customers’ purchases. If there’s something specific you want to see on your trip, do some research to see if there are guided tours on your own instead; that way, you’ll save money without sacrificing anything important.

27) Stay Off the Beaten Path

If you’ve time to explore an area, look for less popular attractions that are often free or inexpensive. They offer a more authentic experience than big tourist traps that charge high prices because they can get away with it.

28) Eat Out

Eat as cheaply as possible at local restaurants, street stalls, and markets rather than fancy restaurants. Many places offer delicious local food at reasonable prices, much tastier than anything you’ll find in a traditional chain restaurant like McDonald’s or KFC.

For example, street food is a great option if you’re in Sri Lanka or other places in Southeast Asia, and it’s very cheap and often delicious. The same is true for Central America and many emerging countries.

29) Buy Food From Local Markets

Buying food from local markets is a great way to save money and still get authentic, affordable meals, especially in Western Europe and Eastern Europe. This is especially true for those who like to try new foods and flavors as much as possible during their travels!

30) Cook Your Food

If you’re in a country where eating out is too expensive, some hostels have kitchens where you can cook your food and save money.

Cooking your food is also a great way to save money on the road. It’s cheaper than eating out, and you can eat exactly what you want. This is a good option for you if you’re staying in a kitchen hostel. If not, plenty of simple dishes won’t take you much time to cook, and you won’t need any ingredients!

As long as you’ve access to a supermarket or market, you can easily make pasta with tomato sauce or a simple cheese sandwich.

31) Search for Free Activities

If you’re on a budget and want to travel cheaply, look for free activities. There are plenty of things to do that don’t cost money. You can find free activities in your hometown or on your trip.

Here are some examples of free activities:

  • Visit a public library. Many libraries offer free programs for adults, children, and teens. Some libraries also have free WiFi hotspots, which is great if you need to work while traveling.
  • Take a walk on the beach or through the woods. A walk in nature is always relaxing and good for the soul! Plus, it’s free, so you don’t have to worry about spending money!
  • Visit a museum or art gallery in your city or on a trip abroad. Some museums offer free admission on certain days of the week and sometimes even all day long! The same goes for art galleries – some even have permanent exhibitions open to anyone who wants to visit!

32) Be Flexible With Your Plans (Change Them if Needed)

Don’t be afraid to change your plans at the last minute. If you’re on a budget, it’s always better to travel for less by being flexible with your plans.

If you have an idea of where you want to travel but don’t know exactly when, you can create variations of your itinerary and see which one fits your needs best. If you want to visit three countries in Western Europe and Eastern Europe but can only afford two, consider which ones are most important and plan accordingly while staying flexible with last-minute deals.

33) Avoid Credit Card Debt

Avoid credit card debt. Many people use their credit cards to pay for their travel expenses. While this is an easy way to keep track of your purchases, it can also lead to debt if you’re not careful to pay off your balance each month.

Set aside some extra money each month for recreational expenses and emergencies. If you’re planning a big trip or need some extra cash

34) Skip Luxuries

Luxury hotels and restaurants may be tempting, but they’ll drain your budget faster than expected. Instead of staying in fancy hotels or eating in expensive restaurants every night, look for cheaper alternatives that still meet your needs while traveling.

35) Avoid Souvenirs

Souvenirs are tempting when traveling because they represent memories of your trip and make great gifts for friends and family back home. However, souvenirs can add up quickly over time, so try not to blow your vacation budget on souvenir purchases!

36) Skip the Spa Treatment

While getting pampered is relaxing and fun, it’s also an expensive affair that can eat up your budget faster than expected. If you want to treat yourself on your trip, treat yourself to something less costly, like a massage at a less expensive spa, instead of booking an expensive hotel room with spa access!

37) Make Friends Locally

The people who can give you the best travel tips for your road trip in their country are the locals, and if you befriend the locals, you can also learn a lot about the local culture. When locals approach you, pay attention to whether they’re friendly or trying to sell you something or if they mean to be friendly. As in your home country, there are certain types of approaches and places (e.g., popular tourist areas) where you probably wouldn’t make friends with locals and would just become a target.

When traveling in your home country, join a club or social group that offers free or low-cost events. This way, you’ll meet new people and have something fun to do on the weekends or during your vacation.

Related Blog Post

How to Travel Cheap: 36 Tips to Help You Save Money on Your Next Trip