11 Things Anyone Can Do to Afford Traveling

A large percentage of us believe we can’t afford to travel. It can seem exotic, expensive, and totally unattainable for those still in college, working entry-level jobs, paying off student loans, or living paycheck to paycheck.

If you’re like many prospective travelers, you would love to explore the world but don’t know how you’ll ever be able to afford it or enjoy traveling on a budget. But you can travel cheaply and plan a trip that you can afford.

Whatever your current financial situation, don’t let it discourage you. Travel isn’t as inaccessible as many people believe. In fact, traveling on a tight budget has become more and more possible.

We’ve put together some tips and hacks so that you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to enjoy traveling on a budget!

1. Start A Travel Savings Account

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Even if you don’t have a huge salary, there are many ways to start saving up for your trip. Open a separate savings account and put a small amount of money into it every time you get paid. An automatic payment will mean that you’ll eventually forget that this money is accumulating in your savings account until it’s time to start planning your time off.

Working out your income and expenses beforehand is a good idea to determine how much you can afford to save comfortably. It’s always better to save a smaller amount than to go over budget every month.

If you do happen to have “extra” money left over at the end of the month, add it to your travel fund at that time.

2. Choose The Best Method Of Transportation

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Once you’ve settled on where you’d like to go, you need to decide on how to get there.

If you’re traveling within a reasonable distance, driving might be the cheaper option (particularly if you own your own vehicle), even when factoring in the cost of gas, snacks/meals, and lodging.

If you don’t have a reliable vehicle, consider options like taking the bus or renting a car.

However, the cost of flying to your destination might be about the same, but it takes less time. Be sure to check out that option, too, just to be safe.

3. Find Cheap Flights

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If you are traveling overseas or far distances, airfare will be the most expensive part of your trip. Whether you’re hoping to fly to several countries or are sticking to just one, learning the tricks of travel hacking can help you save money.

Start planning well in advance and regularly check travel sites to stay informed about the latest deals and offers. Consider signing up for email newsletters from booking and airline sites so that you can be the first to know about the latest discounts or price drops.

4. Plan To Do The Things You’ll Enjoy The Most

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Choosing your method of transportation is pretty straightforward once you’ve priced out your options. Deciding what you want to do on your trip can be a little more tricky.

Local cuisine, shows, sightseeing, shopping – all of these things can add up quickly. If you narrow your activity down to the things you’ll enjoy most, you’ll reduce your total cost for the trip and have more appreciation for the things you do partake in.

Think quality over quantity.

In addition to the conventional touristy options, consider other options that offer more local cultural bang for your buck, such as festivals and street food.

5. Look Into Free Or Cheap Lodging

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Speaking of culture, no one can give you a better taste of it than the locals. If your proverbial purse strings are exceptionally tight, consider the option of getting completely free lodging by staying at someone’s home.

This isn’t a new or bizarre option for travelers. There’s a whole host of websites that connect travelers with locals who will give you a place to sleep for the night at no cost. You may only get a bed, an air mattress, or the couch – but hey, it’s free! Plus, it’s a great way to make new friends and experience the area and culture up close.

If you want to meet up with like-minded travelers, look into staying at a hostel. Prices will vary depending on the size of the room and the amenities available, but they typically go for $20-$40 per person, per night.

If neither of these options is available or appealing to you, Airbnb can be cheaper than hotels (just look out for those added “cleaning” fees!).

You could always stay with friends or family. When I spent a week in London, England, I was fortunate to stay at my friend’s boyfriend’s house for free, which made the trip possible for me and my budget.

6. Get the Right Travel Insurance

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You may need to invest in travel insurance to cover you for the duration of your trip. Although this might seem like an additional expense if you’re hoping to travel on a budget, it’s essential if you want to ensure that you’re not at risk of having to pay out large amounts of money for medical bills if you become sick or injured.

Take the time to research various insurance policies to find one that suits your needs at the right price.

7. Pack Light, Pack Smart

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You should be mindful of what you bring with you, including clothing, shoes, outdoor wear, toiletries, and other personal belongings.

Packing light will help you save money on checked baggage fees. It will also help prevent or reduce the need to rent a locker or storage space to keep your belongings safe if you stay in shared accommodations like a hostel.

Packing smart will also help you avoid running out to shop for anything you forgot to bring.

8. Do Free Things

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Every city has free events and attractions that you can add to your vacation planning to save money. Museums, parks, and historical sites are often free or have free admission during certain times. Concerts and festivals are also usually free to attend.

Exploring nature is also free, so adding picnics, hikes, or days on the beach can free up space in your budget for other things.

9. Drink Water

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Whether you prefer fancy coffees or fancy cocktails, the price of these drinks can eat into your travel budget. The prices of drinks can be especially high in tourist areas, so drink water instead. It will save you money and keep you feeling energized while enjoying the sights.

So be sure to pack a reusable water bottle in your carry-on and use it.

10. Work Remotely

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I am not suggesting that you should bring your work laptop to the beach with you while on vacation, but, being able to work remotely does give you more options. The important distinction is that with remote work, you are getting paid to work; working while using your time off, however, means you are working for free. Don’t do that.

But if you do have a job that you can do from anywhere in the world, it makes sense to add some travel into your life, too. It means you can stay in locations for longer, or even move there full time. If you have a profitable side hustle, the same idea applies.

Travel Cheap and Still Have Fun

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Exploring a new place or rediscovering an old one is a great way to have a life-enriching experience.

While traveling may still be considered a luxury, it doesn’t have to cost a luxurious price. With the right tricks, hacks, and planning, it isn’t difficult to see more of the world without breaking the bank.

Learn Skills While Traveling

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Traveling tests your skills like planning and communication, but there’s no better way to learn these skills.

Developing soft skills like these make your trips run smoothly and makes you a better employee. Once you’re back to work, you will be more refreshed and productive, which is great, but you’ll also have practical experience applying numerous interpersonal skills.

Cheap Places to Travel

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Traveling is not only an adventure but also beneficial for personal development! Stepping outside your comfort zone can bring a fresh perspective and a new outlook on life.

But let’s be honest, to make the most of your travels, you need the cash to fund your dreams. With the right planning and savvy budgeting skills, you can have an unforgettable travel experience that will leave a lasting impact. Let’s look at cheap places to travel in the U.S. and tips for saving money on travel.

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller is a thriving tech industry pro who juggles her professional role with her flourishing freelance writing career. As a devoted working mom and enthusiastic outdoor adventurer, she shares her expertise in frugal living, savvy money-saving tips, and effective side hustling, empowering others to achieve financial success and personal growth.

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