15 Travel tips to help you navigate on a tight budget


Have you ever wondered how you can travel cheaply? If so, here’s the good news: There are plenty of ways to cut costs while completing your bucket list of destinations to visit.

If you’re thinking of taking a backpacking trip across Europe or planning an adventure on the road Here are 18 tips you can do while traveling-and organizing your travel plans to save money.

Principal lessons

  • Even if you’re not able to go to a specific location “cheaply,” it’s possible to reduce costs by setting a budget and sticking to the plan.
  • The earlier you book, perhaps even months in advance can allow you to save money on hotel rooms, flights, and tourist attractions.
  • Utilizing strategies to save money, such as earning rewards miles or avoiding fees for foreign transactions can also help allow budget travel to be more affordable.

1. Save money on your trip by making early plans

It’s recommended to begin planning your trip at least 10 months before departure. That means you can begin tracking the cost of your tickets. There are numerous websites, such as Capital One Travel, that permit travelers to set up alerts on fares and track the best timing to purchase tickets for flights.

Another crucial step to plan is to gather all the documents you’ll require. You might want to purchase your passport in advance in case you don’t have one or renew it in case it’s nearing expiration. If you’re forced to rush through the process, fees will quickly add up. If you need travel visas, you’ll be required to verify that these are in good order, too.

If you are thinking of getting insurance for travel, it may assist in arranging it prior to your travels, too. You can also be aware of travel advisory issued by the U.S. Department of State.

2. Explore when the rest of us aren’t

This applies to all seasons and weeks. If you’ve determined the place you’d like to go and what time of the year, you can determine the time of year that your destination’s shoulder season is, which means that there are fewer tourists. In this period, you might be able to avail of deals on travel that are cheap and will save you cash on hotels and flights as well as enjoy a quieter experience. For instance, if you are planning to visit Greece you should consider traveling between May and October instead of the busy summer months.

Additionally, look into your options for your desired dates for travel. If you’re planning your spring vacation and all the Saturday-to-Saturday flights are costly Consider flights from Friday to Friday instead. If you’re flying on major holidays rather than the day before could be beneficial, too.

3. To save on airfare, think about making an additional stop

When looking for flights, bear an eye out for low-cost airlines that aren’t listed in the results of your search, because they don’t travel the entire route. When you’re finding a flight that takes you from Point A to Point B is too costly You can grab the map and find Point C–which could be a more affordable airport to fly to, and then find a way to get a different transport option to your destination.

For instance, let’s say you’d like to travel between California to Venice however the cost is expensive. Instead, travel to Budapest and spend a couple of days there, and then fly on a low-cost carrier starting from Budapest in the direction of Venice. This option is likely to cost less than a flight directly to Venice. This can be an option to add a second location to your travels one you might not have considered before.

4. Combine travel locations

Are there many destinations on your travel wish list? If your travel schedule is flexible, you can combine several places into one. This could save you the time spent on flights and also costs compared to visiting just only one location. If you’re looking for a place that you aren’t sure is affordable, you could consider combining your excursion with a different, less expensive destination to visit. This will help you tick items on your wish list, without spending a fortune.

Heading to the Caribbean? Consider visiting a variety of islands. Do you want to visit London, Stockholm and Rome? You could consider seeing them all in the same day. Consider low-cost airlines all over the globe that could be reasonably affordable for one-way flights. If you want to go further. You could create an itinerary that includes seven or six countries across four continents within several weeks.

5. Make direct contact with hotels

If you’ve come across a hotel you’d like to stay in but the prices are expensive when you search online consider calling the property directly. You can inquire about what the dates of value are, or if there’s a specific timeframe that could fit within your budget. Hotels are more flexible in their pricing than you think, particularly during times of low occupancy.

6. Be consistent

If you usually travel more than two every year, redirecting your miles to a single travel reward or airline credit card can yield a great return. The benefits could include more reward points, lower ticket prices as well as better experiences on the plane, shorter lines, more convenient boarding, and improvements.

Being loyal to a particular airline can have other benefits. For instance, charges for baggage checks could be waived, and the same could happen for bags that aren’t quite over the weight limit of your airline. This could also include benefits like access to exclusive airport lounges.

7. Obtain and make use of frequent flyer miles

You could be able to boost the amount of travel that you can afford with frequent flier miles every time you can. There are occasions when you can accumulate frequent-flier miles by travel, for instance when you purchase tickets for an airline. It is also possible to earn them using credit cards with travel rewards to make purchases daily.

When you use Capital One travel rewards cards you will earn miles for any purchase. Certain cards, such as VentureOne may even provide bonus miles for new cardholders. Additionally, you could earn points on travel made via Capital One Travel using eligible cards.

8. For fee-free payment, use local money

Some credit card companies impose foreign transaction charges when you purchase in foreign currency using their cards. Typically, the cost is around 3 percent of the amount you spend.

If you’re charged the fee for transactions in foreign currency will be contingent on the credit card you’re using. Certain card issuers do not charge these fees, which includes Capital One’s U.S.-issued credit cards.
In addition to carrying a credit card with you for your trip, it is possible to carry cash as well as an account with a bank debit card to assist in making cash transactions at ATMs.

9. Remain arranged and make thoughtful packing decisions

Planning ahead is essential to budget-friendly travel, for instance when packing. It can, for instance, stop you from purchasing unnecessary things to take on your journey. It can also help you not have to pay for a checked bag for your flight the case if you pack cheaply enough to take your luggage on the plane.

In general, take only what you’ll need. Make sure that you’ve not left any important items prior to leaving.

10. Utilize public transport

Using public transport instead of hiring a car or paying for taxis can be a great method to save money when traveling. The good thing is that many cities across the globe have transportation systems that make it easy to move around without the need for a vehicle. You might find that studying the bus, train, and subway routes to the destination you want to visit before you go can be a good idea and time well-spent.

11. Locate free sights to see along the route

If you’re going on an excursion that will last for several days, you’ll likely need to eat out and try the local food. However, you can save money by shopping at a nearby grocery store and cooking some meals using local, fresh ingredients.

You might also want to bring water bottles while traveling. This way, you’ll be able to save money on bottled water or other beverages while you’re in the city.

12. Benefit from exclusive savings

Certain places are more expensive in comparison to other places. This means that sticking to your budget could mean that you travel where your money will go the farthest.

Consider what’s important to you and then prioritize your spending according to your priorities. Are excellent accommodations essential? Are your interests more in sampling the local dishes? The most important thing to consider when spending less be figuring out yourself and deciding on where to save and where to spend your money.

13. Journey to small towns

Big cities aren’t the only places where adventures can be had. Consider visiting tiny communities where you might be able to afford a vacation. Budget-friendly lodging, regional cuisine, and free or inexpensive attractions like parks and historical sites can all be found in small towns. 

Smaller, less congested locations might often translate into a more tranquil vacation.

14. Consider taking a local trip

Instead of scheduling a trip far from home, if you must travel on a tight budget, think about visiting local attractions. Day travels within your local area can be a fulfilling and reasonably priced experience. 

Alternatively, you might go on a week-long staycation, where you might do anything from start learning a new language to go camping in the garden with the kids. 

15. Prepare some meals on your own

If you’re taking a trip that’ll last several days, you’ll naturally want to eat out and sample the local cuisine. But you can economize by shopping at a nearby supermarket and making some meals yourself from fresh, local ingredients. 

You may also want to carry a water bottle with you on your travels. That way, you can avoid buying bottled water and other drinks while you’re out and about.

Travel tips for budget travelers in a snap

If you have to travel within a spending budget, there’s options to achieve that. Setting up a budget and adhering to it will help you reduce expenses. Also, using strategies to save money such as booking flights and hotels earlier and avoiding foreign transaction charges.

When you’re trying to figure out ways to save money on that next getaway, you might also think about a travel reward credit card issued by Capital One. You’ll earn miles indefinitely on each purchase, and you can use them to pay for hotels, flights rentals, cars for rental and many more.