10 Hacks to Help You Travel on a Budget

Spoiler: say yes to more authentic experiences!
by | March 28, 2017

In the infancy of holiday travel and tourism, only the rich were able to take a break from the normalcy of life and leave to somewhere temporarily for a break. Even today, people believe if you travel some, you must have a heavy wallet to spend. Yet, travel is something anyone can enjoy with the right precautions and approach.

If you look at some travelers nowadays, especially digital nomads who seem to be traveling forever and a year, the most common question one would ask would be, “how do they afford it?”

Well, a lot of long term travelers have one of two things. One they have a lot of money or two, they’ve learned the art of managing their money. We’re going to delve a little deeper into the latter, and talk about Budget Travel.

Not everything has to be expensive, flashy and glamorous. There are travel experiences out there that you can enjoy without breaking the bank. Now, of course the strength of a nation’s currency plays a part in how far your money can stretch. However, take a look these budget hacks we’ve came up with, to help you travel further, farther and cheaper.

Eat Street Food

Ask yourself, do you really need that restaurant meal? Street food will keep you going, and generally there’s more authentic ambiance that comes with it, too. You don’t need to eat anywhere else really, so eat what the locals eat and that’ll bring the costs way down!

Take Public Transport

Public transport like buses and trains will certainly be cheaper than taxis. Even with all the apps nowadays, Uber for example, the costs will still be more expensive. Plus, using public transport is an experience in itself. You’ll experience what the tourists typically don’t, and that’s what a lot of travel is about.

Or Walk

Or just use your own two feet! I mean, it may be tiring, but the more you walk, the more you instantly discover. No one is going to ask you for money for walking anywhere!


If you want to save money on accommodation then couchsurfing is a great way to do that. Not only will you have a place to sleep, you’ll be in someone else’s house, and the host will no doubt show you the best areas and secrets of the place you’re visiting — or at least tell you about it. If you’re lucky enough to have friends in the area, hit them up!

Also, using Facebook groups is really a good way of meeting up with people and asking for a free stay for the night!

Or Stay in Hostels

If you want to stay in somewhere more official, then hostels are generally the way to go. Typically nowadays, some of the popular hostels are cost more than some hotel rooms, depending where you go. So, if you are going to stay in hostels and really want to budget your dimes, don’t go for the #1 rated on Hostelworld.

DIY Travel

While you’re in a new place, there will be options to go see the sites via tours or guides. Well, some you’ll have to do (i.e. for the sites that will require you to be with a licensed guide), but others are really there just as an option. If you can figure it out on your own, do it yourself. You’ll save costs in transport, entrance fees and other costs no doubt.

Share the Costs

Solo travel is great, and is probably the most invigorating way to travel. However, if you have a friend who wants to go with, then that’ll certainly cut the costs. Sharing is caring!

Budget Airlines*

Air travel is more and more popular nowadays, and it seems like the deals for flights are getting cheaper and cheaper. Well, keep an eye out on budget airlines because if you do need to fly somewhere, some prices can get incredibly low!

*Hot Tip: Generally if you book your flight six weeks prior to your flight on a Tuesday, flights can work out cheaper!


Roaming around markets is an experience in itself, but as you know, market traders always can up the price on items. Food generally has a set cost, but other things such as clothes or goods certainly are there for the taking. Prominent in Asian countries, always try you’re luck, you may discover your bartering skills are great!

Slow Travel

Stomping around a place at fast speed will never save you costs, so perhaps look at traveling a little slower. For one, you’ll see more of what you want, and secondly, you’ll have time to take down days where you may spend next to nothing. A lot of travelers want to rush about scratching items off their bucket list nowadays, but the real experience is with one who takes their time.

Travel Your Own Backyard

When we think of travel, we all think of destinations new right? What about Big Ben in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Sydney’s Opera House? When was the last time you traveled around your own country? We’re all guilty of it, but as British adventurer Alastair Humphreys suggests, microadventures, or mini travel ventures close to our homes or current destination are a good way to explore, too.

Got more budgeting hacks? Share them in the comments, and share this list with your favorite travel buds.


Tommy Walker originates from Northeast England. He began his journey on the road back in 2012 throughout Asia, Oceania and Latin America. Now, over 4 years in, he is a freelance travel writer and content marketing specialist. Tommy has visited the Philippines twice and especially raves about Banaue. He has attended Sinulog festival, swum with Whalesharks and even DJ’d in Boracay!He was featured in the Business Insider, BBC and Choose Philippines. Tommy goes by his own motto “every new place is a good place.”If you don’t see Tommy focused doing Hot Yoga, trailing through rainforests, ducking into the ocean or eating local street food, you’ll see him at a small bar drinking what the locals drink!

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