Embarking on a worldwide adventure doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. In fact, by using smart travel hacks like leveraging free local transportation, taking advantage of discount admission days and savoring affordable eats, it’s possible to see the world without draining your wallet.
Another great hack is accumulating rewards points and miles to get freebies like flights, hotel stays, tours and more. To find out more, check out our ultimate guide to travel hacking.
1. Use a credit card
Your flights are booked, hotels are reserved, and your itinerary is jam-packed with bucket-list adventures. But before you head off into the sunset, do some financial housekeeping. If you don’t, you could get slapped with hidden fees and forfeit easy savings opportunities.
Credit cards can make travel more convenient and cost-effective. They simplify spending, help with foreign currency exchange rates and can provide insurance coverage for pricier purchases you make on your trip.
Be sure to inform your card issuer of your travel plans, as some cards are more widely accepted in faraway locations than others. It’s also a good idea to bring more than one card, in case one is lost or stolen.
2. Collect frequent-flier miles
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive, but it requires discipline and careful planning. Use these tips and budget travel hacks to make your dream trip a reality without draining your savings.
One of the best ways to save money is to collect frequent-flier miles. With these, you can get discounted flights and other benefits.
To save even more, try to avoid the high-cost tourist areas and stay close to mass transit, especially light rail. Also, bring a reusable cup and water bottle to cut down on spending while you’re out and about sightseeing.
3. Book early
Traveling the world doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. With a little planning and these budget travel hacks, you can see the sights, explore new cultures, and grow your horizons without draining your wallet.
The best way to save on flights is by booking your tickets months in advance. This allows you to find the lowest prices and avoid peak season fares.
Flight prices fluctuate throughout the day, so it’s important to check back regularly. Additionally, be sure to book your tours early as popular ones tend to fill up quickly.
4. Stay in hostels
Seeing the world does not have to come with a hefty price tag. With the right planning and smart choices, you can explore diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes while still keeping your budget intact.
One popular choice amongst budget travelers is hostels, which offer dormitory-style rooms for a fraction of the cost of hotels. They also often organize social activities, allowing you to make new friends and share your travel experiences. Plus, many hostels now offer free breakfast and other meals — so you can save money on restaurant meals.
5. Stay off-season
You’ll find better prices, less crowds and more availability during the off-season. For example, Santorini is just as amazing in September as it is in July. And a luxury cruise in November is much cheaper than one in March.
However, off-season travel doesn’t come without its drawbacks. It may be more chilly, you might have to deal with some seasonal closures and some transportation schedules can be inconsistent. This is especially true for island destinations. However, the pros outweigh these minor issues! The key is to do your research first.
6. Get a local SIM card
Whether you’re traveling for an extended period or just visiting a few destinations, a local SIM card is a good way to save money on international calls and Wi-Fi. Rather than incurring expensive roaming charges from your provider or paying for a data plan at your destination, you can buy a local SIM or eSIM for under $20.
Many people don’t realize how much travel can cost, especially if they’re traveling long-term. But, thanks to credit card bonuses, smart everyday spending, online surveys, and more, there are many ways to see the world without breaking the bank.
7. Shop around
While it may seem that traveling is out of reach when you have a limited budget, getting away doesn’t have to be. With these easy and realistic travel hacks, you can see the world without draining your bank account!
Another way to save money on your trip is to shop around for the best deals. You can find deals on meals and tours by visiting multiple places before settling on one. It’s also worth looking into discount tickets for students, seniors, and military members.
Finally, make sure to avoid peak times, like Christmas and New Year’s, summer (depending on the destination), or spring break (depending on local university schedules). These are often the most expensive times for hotels, tours, and flights.