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There’s a myth among many that travel is an activity reserved for the rich. When you consider the cost of hotels, flights, public transportation, and food, you can easily spend a fortune if you’re not careful with your cash.

But if you have a tight budget, there’s no need to despair. There are many ways to cut your costs when traveling. Follow these basic tips and tricks for traveling on the cheap, and you might even return home with extra cash to spare.

Travel During the Off-Season

Every destination has a peak season, a shoulder season, and an off-season. Traveling during the off-season is the best way to get the most bang for your buck. Avoiding the most popular times of the year will save you a lot of money, and you can take a holiday for a fraction of the regular price.

Prices generally peak over holidays like Christmas, Easter, and school breaks, and they can drop drastically when tourism is low. Research to determine peak season for your destination, and plan your trip for a time that’s less busy.

Travel during the off-season to pick up some great fight deals and cheaper hotels, and you won’t have to wait to enter popular attractions due to long lines.

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Plan It Yourself

One of the biggest ways to cut down on costs is to plan your own travel and avoid using a travel agent. This means you have to invest time instead of money to do the research, find the best deals, and make individual bookings.

If you’re short on money but not on time, this is a fantastic approach to traveling cheaply. Save on the fees you would otherwise pay an agency to plan your itinerary for you, and put that toward your trip instead.

Rent a Car

If you’re spending a considerable amount of time in a destination and planning on taking several tours, it may be cheaper for you to rent a car and drive yourself.

For instance, day trips to the famous Mayan ruins near Cancun can cost up to $200 per person, per day. In contrast, a car rental may cost less than $100 per day. Renting a car also offers you the freedom and flexibility to travel at your own pace, and you can fit up to four people in a car.

You can always find coupons, deals, and promo codes to make car rentals easier on your wallet.

The US was made for iconic roadtrips. Anyone with a car can go anywhere, and the nice thing about this mode of transportation is that the journey is the destination in itself – a road trip is an adventure!

Take Public Transportation

The cost of taxis can add up, quickly becoming the most expensive part of your trip. While taxis can be much faster than public transportation, you can catch the light rail, a train, or a bus for a mere fraction of the price of a taxi in most major destinations.

Research options for public transportation from the airport before you arrive, or call your hostel or hotel for tips in advance. Most will provide you with schedules and other details.

We highly recommend Will Hatton’s “How to Travel the World on $10 a Day” – he arms you with the tips and tricks you need to travel the world with confidence, on the most basic of budgets. 

Click to Learn Will’s Secrets

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured Photo by Images Money.


  1. Good tips. You should always check the prices for car rentals vs. day tours where you travel, as sometimes cars (and gas) can be more expensive. Overall, I think you’re right though. When it’s more than one or two tours, a rental may be better, especially if you’re traveling with one or more other people.

    • Thanks Anne – yes, we’re a big fan of car rentals over day tours when we travel. So much more freedom and flexibility of schedule to start with, but they do end up being cheaper when you factor in multiple people, and not having to pitch in for the cost of having a guide :)

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