Want to explore the world, but want to do so without emptying your bank account? Here are some of my top tips on how to see some amazing sights around the world while travelling on a budget!
Choose cheaper destinations
If you’re really on a tight budget, it can make a lot of sense to choose a destination where your money will go further. Rather than tourist hotspots like Paris or New York where prices are sky high (or should I say sky scraper high?!), why not go to the Czech Republic or the Philippines? While flight prices can be higher, the lower food and accommodation costs can easily make up for it, especially on longer trips.
Keep the exchange rates in mind
This goes with the above tip. See how the currency at your destination is doing against your home currency. Take advantage of these currency fluctuations! Also make sure you exchange cash at the right place. Banks typically provide the best rates, while exchange bureaus at airports provide the worst.
Going abroad? Check out my checklist for preparing for international travel here.
Alternatively, travelling doesn’t have to be a 3 week long international jaunt. By being a tourist in your own city/state/country, you can still get the thrill of adventure without the huge expense. I love Pinterest for getting inspiration to travel to places near me that I didn’t even know about!
Take advantage of rewards
This one is almost a no brainer. Always sign up for the loyalty scheme of flights, hotels or any booking website that you use. Not only is it free, this can help you get a lot of perks, including free upgrades! I love using Hotels.com because if you stay 10 nights, you get one for free!
Use a rewards credit card
I put this one off for way too long, and I’m kicking myself for it now. By using a credit card whose rewards are geared for travellers, I can get points for buying things like groceries and household supplies that I can then use for buying plane tickets. How amazing is that? I use the Chase Sapphire Preferred since it also gives me perks like travel insurance. You can learn more and sign up for this card using my referral link here.
Being flexible with your travel dates mean that quite often you score some great deals. Willing to fly on holidays like Thanksgiving or Boxing day? You’ll get the bonus of fewer crowds along with low prices. Win win!
Consider available amenities
When booking your accommodation, check for extras such as free breakfast, free parking (if you will be driving at your destination) and free coffee and tea. Places with these amenities can often end up being more value for money than a no-frills place. If you are going to be going on a slightly more extended trip, consider staying in a place with a kitchen and/or laundry facilities to save even more money.
Not only is travelling with only carry on a lot easier, it can be cheaper since most carriers now charge for checking in bags. As an added bonus, you won’t have to wait for your bags at the other end or worry about your bags going missing!
Curious about my favourite travel gear? Check out my resources page here.
Free walking tours
Many cities have free walking tours where you can get a guided tour around parts of the city, usually from a local. Not only do you get to learn about the history, they are also a great way to get insider tips that you wouldn’t normally find on a website. Keep in mind that these tours solely rely on tips, so make sure to carry cash with you.
Take public transport
Taking taxis or Ubers everywhere can easily add up and take a massive toll on your wallet. In busier places, finding a parking spot can be quite the hassle if you decide to rent a car. Taking the public transport (when available) can not only be cheap and efficient, but is also a great way to support the local economy and cut down on your carbon footprint at the same time. What’s not to love?
Always carry drinks and snacks
Tasting the local food and drink can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of travelling. However, shilling out for over priced bottles of water or snacks because they are the only options available when you are tired and cranky from walking around all morning. Pack your own bottle of water and favourite snacks so you can save your pennies for the restaurant you have been told serves the best food.
Make the most of free attractions
Many famous attractions such as the Smithsonian museums and the British museum are completely free to enter. Other attractions such as the Eiffel tower or the Big Ben are also free unless you want to go up. So make the most of all the amazing free things you can do at your destination, and splurge on the things that you REALLY want to do. Prioritising is key when travelling on a budget.
Check out my post on the best attractions in London here.
Check for free entrance times
Even if they aren’t free attractions, some museums will often have certain times where entrance is free. The boy and I saved $50 this way by timing our trip to the Boston museum of Fine Arts just right.
Use city passes wisely
Sometimes, city passes such as the Paris Pass or the New York pass can end up saving you a lot of money. However, they can also end up being a massive rip off if you don’t take full advantage of them. Do your research to see if the attractions you will be visiting are included in the pass before taking the plunge.
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