8 Budget Travel Tips

Please enjoy our first guest post by one of our favorite travel experts, Swig Meets World! -XX

Budget travel is an art. When done properly, it can grant you a lifestyle of traveling 365 days a year. I have been working and traveling around the world for roughly 6 years now and my journey has taken me to over 60+ countries. My travels have ranged extensively; from budget to luxury travel and everything in between. I love all types of travel, and think that the only “correct” way to travel is the one that makes you happy. Once I made travel one of the top priorities in my life, everything else came together easily. While wandering around the world over the years, I have picked up quite a few budget travel tips.

Check out more of my Travel Photos on Instagram: @SwigMeetsWorld

#1 Watch Daily Expenses

The biggest concern for anybody who wants to budget travel is of course money. When you are living or traveling, it can be easy to succumb to wasteful spending.

The first thing that you will need to master to be a budget traveler are your daily expenses. If you can set a limit, whether that be $15 a day, or $50 a day, you can be sure that you will always be meeting your budget for the month. There are a lot of great free services that link up to your bank accounts and let you clearly see where your money is being wasted. One free service I use is called Mint, it is a great tool to help organize your budget.

#2 Quality Travel Gear

Not all travel gear is created equally, and just because something is expensive does not mean it is high quality. There are so many options for travel accessories out there, and it can be a bit overwhelming. I travel light, and only carry the bare essentials. This prevents me from buying unnecessary items on my trip, and I always put the extra savings towards experiences. My current bag is packed full for 1 year of travel, and weighs less than 10 KG (22 pounds). You can see my list of the best travel gear here.

#3 Save Money On Flights

This can be one of the biggest travel expenses. Thankfully, there are a ton of ways to save money on your flights. I highly recommend signing up for a cheap flight service like, Scott’s Cheap Flights. They send out massive flight deals and let you select which region you want to depart from. This is perfect for spontaneous travelers, and 100% free! For more information, check out my full review of Scott’s Cheap Flights.

If you have a more exact date for your travel, then I recommend using Skyscanner to help pick your destination. They have great feature that shows you the cheapest flights out of a city on your selected dates. Select your origin city, and then put “everywhere” for the “To City.” This will list the cheapest flights for your selected dates!

If you have a destination in mind, and your dates are not flexible, it is going to be hard to find a crazy deal. Try utilizing multiple search engines for the like Google Flights, Skyscanner and Momondo since they offer some of the best rates.

Multi-City

One other great tip I have is to book a “Multi-City” flight. A lot of times you can visit a new city or country for the same costs as your round trip ticket. I just recently booked an upcoming trip to Vietnam and decided to do a multi-city in Dubai. The ticket price is exactly the same, but now I get to visit Dubai for 3 days. I have used this trick to see a ton of amazing places like Fiji, Hawaii and Laos. Every major flight search engine has a multi city option that can be used to book a trip like this.

#4 Fly for Free

The majority of my flights are either free or extremely discounted since I book with frequent flier miles. There are many ways to accumulate miles, but one of the easiest ways is to open a credit card with a large sign-up bonus that includes a lot of frequent flier miles. Opening multiple credit cards can be scary, but if done correctly it can actually help your credit score. If you want to learn more about doing this, check out my 5 ways to fly for free.

#5 Stay For Free

There are a few great services out there that offer free accommodations. One of the most popular services is called Couchsurfing, and it is pretty amazing. Some of the nicest and most generous people I have met while traveling were through Couchsurfing. The main concept of Couchsurfing is focused more on sharing experiences with a stranger, than simply getting a free place to stay.

If you are looking for more privacy, then house-sitting might be an option for you. There are a few great services out there, but the best ones cost a small annual fee. The most well known site for house-sitting is called Trusted Housesitters.

Why not stay with a friend? You would be surprised at how many friends or acquaintances you might have around the world. One really cool tip I learned is to search on Facebook: “Friends living in city name here.” When you do this, it  creates a list of every one of your friends living in that specific city. This is great for meet ups, asking questions about what to do, or maybe even getting a free place to crash!

 

#6 Explore for Free

Practically every major city in the world has some type of free city tour offered. These tours are extremely popular in Europe. One of the big companies that offers free city tours is Sandemans. They provide free tours in over 18 cities worldwide, and they are simply incredible! The only catch is that you should tip your tour guide at the end if you enjoyed the tour.

#7 Location, Location, Location

Not every trip has to be an extravagant bucketlist adventure where you are skiing in the alps or on an African safari. There are so many places to see and do in your own backyard. Domestic travel or even local travel can sometimes be the most interesting. Consider taking a road trip, hopping a bus, or grabbing a train to somewhere not too far away. You might discover that these trips are some of the best that you can have.

#8 Don’t be TOO frugal

The travel community is full of some amazing people! Over the years I have met so many different types of travelers that come from all walks of life. Having the same common interests allows people to connect a lot easier and share their love of travel with one another. Budget travel is always a popular topic, but some people cross the line of frugality. I recommend having a budget, but there are some things that are worth breaking the budget on. I have witnessed many extreme budget travelers miss out on so many things, all because they didn’t want to pay for it.

Be smart with your money, but there is no point to traveling if you aren’t going to try the local food, explore the city, or experience what a new culture has to offer. There is a right and wrong way to budget travel. Like I said before, the only correct way to travel is the one that makes you happy!


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