We all love to travel. Seeing new things, eating new foods, meeting new people; traveling is one of the most exciting things anyone can do. But there's no denying that traveling is an expensive past-time.
From pricey flight tickets to accommodation and food, your traveling budget can quickly rack up if you're not keeping on top of it. But it doesn't have to be that way.
In fact, there are many sneaky travel hacks that you can take advantage of to save on money whilst you travel. We've taken the time to note down these 12 of them for you!
That way, you'll be fully prepared to travel on a budget the next time you get the urge to getaway!
1. Travel Hacks: Be Smart With Flights
Flying to your destination is usually where much of the cost is incurred. Flights are expensive, and that isn't looking likely to change any time soon.
But there are ways you can avoid paying so much if you're smart with your flights. Do your research and look at which routes are the cheapest at the time when you're looking to fly.
Also, make sure to use discount checking services for flights. These, like Skyscanner, can help you to see the cheapest options for flights and can save you a lot of money in the long-run.
2. Dodge Flight Extras
With flying though, you're rarely just paying for the flight itself. Most airlines try to sneak on additional fees for food, baggage, and even choosing your own seat!
Trust us, you don't need these. Well, you do probably need your baggage, but other than that avoid any in-flight extras where possible.
If you're desperate for food on the flight, buy some snacks before you get to the airport; they'll taste better and be a lot cheaper!
3. Pack Light
One way you can mitigate the cost of baggage, and save money in the long run, is through packing light.
Make sure to only take the essentials with you when traveling, especially if you're going away for an extended period. You don't need loads of clothes, as you can simply wash them at your hotel or accommodation.
Think about what you need, and don't take it if you don't need it. That way your bag will be smaller and it'll cost less to take it on the plane.
4. Don't Fly
Depending on where you're traveling to, a good way to save money is to not fly at all! You'll usually need to fly home and back, but why not get buses around various countries?
When in Europe or Asia this is surprisingly easy to do and will save you hundreds that would've been spent on flights. It also means you get to see more of the country you're in whilst you look out of the window!
Not only that, but most buses won't charge you to take a bag with you, so you save on baggage costs too! It isn't an option for everyone, but depending on where you are, traveling by bus can be a better way to go. It's also much better for the environment!
5. Stay in a Hostel
Another major cost of traveling is on accommodation. One way to save on this is by staying in cheaper places like hostels.
Hostels don't give you as much privacy, as you'll be sleeping with a bunch of other people. This can be a benefit though, as it can help you to meet like-minded travelers. This is particularly great if you're traveling alone and feel like you need some socializing time.
Hostels are also considerably cheaper than staying in hotels, making them a much better option for budget travelers.
6. Stay Somewhere With a Kitchen
If you'd prefer your own space, think about staying somewhere with a kitchen, or at least a fridge.
That way, you're able to cook your own food. This saves a lot of money in the long run, as eating out every single day can get expensive very quickly.
It also means you can eat whatever you want, and try to cook foods you wouldn't normally at home. It means you can explore a country's food, but also learn how to cook it for the future. That makes it a practical option as well as a much cheaper one.
7. Eat Like a Local
If you are eating out, make sure you do so at local areas, rather than always at chain restaurants or fancy places. This means you get to try more of the food that locals in the area eat regularly.
Not only is this food typically delicious, but it's also almost always cheaper! This is the food that everyday people eat in the country, so it'll be using local ingredients and cooking methods.
It's the best way to both sample the cuisine of where you're traveling as well as to save money on food costs. The more adventurous you are with your eating, the better your budget will be. It's also usually a good way to eat healthily whilst traveling.
8. Shop Local Too
Not only should you be eating locally, but you should also be shopping locally. Ask people where they do their shopping, and what markets the people living here actually go to.
In particularly touristy locations there are often markets that are more expensive and used to trap tourists into paying more. This is usually fine, but if you're on a budget you don't want to be spending more than you need to.
This is particularly important if you're doing your own cooking. Shopping in local markets rather than supermarkets can save you loads of money on your cooking and ensures you're trying exciting new ingredients.
9. Go To Free Attractions
When you're traveling you'll likely want to see some traditional tourist sites at some point. When doing so on a budget, make sure you go to the free options where you can.
A lot of museums are free to visitors and can provide a whole day out of exploring. Or, local parks and green areas provide beautiful sites for no entrance fee at all.
Do your research before you arrive to make sure you know where is free and where is outside of your current budget.
10. Use Student and Age Discounts
If you're eligible, make sure to remember to use discounts where you can. Many museums and other tourist locations have incentives for students or young people and can cut a large discount off the entrance fee.
This option is usually available to older visitors also. Always check this before you visit and make sure you carry I.D. with you at all times, either student or otherwise, to prove your age.
If you don't have your I.D., you might be refused the discount no matter what age you look.
11. Don't Use Your Data, Use WiFi
As anyone who's been traveling knows, using your phone can be a nightmare. Roaming charges in other countries can tally up extremely quickly, but when you're in a new place it's hard to avoid using your phone's data.
Make sure to use any WiFi spots available to you where you can. Try to leverage your phone in other ways that don't use data also, like downloading apps such as maps.me which work without an internet connection.
It's better to avoid using your phone when traveling where you can, as it also means you better appreciate where you've visited. You don't want to spend all your traveling time panicking about data or your phone battery.
12. Don't Just Travel to the Tourist Locations
When traveling, try to branch off of the beaten track. Obviously, everyone wants to go to the capital cities of a country, but don't limit yourself.
Often the capital city is the most expensive place to be and isn't the best option for those on a budget. Consider spending a few days in the capital after a flight, before traveling to areas of a country that people don't normally visit.
The less touristy a place is, the cheaper it's going to be overall. It also makes you feel more adventurous and can help you to unearth some truly beautiful cities that few people are visiting right now.
What If I Need More Traveling Tips?
Those are our 12 key travel hacks for travelers on a budget. It can be hard, and you should always keep your budget in mind when traveling, but it is doable to travel cheaply.
No matter how much you spend, make sure to focus on enjoying your travel. You might never be in this country or place again, so make the most of wherever you are in the given moment.
If you're interested in reading more travel tips or hacks, take a look through our great outdoors blog posts. We've written loads of hiking and traveling tips that you can take advantage of the next time you're exploring the world!