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Do you want to travel on the cheap? Many people save money with the aim of taking vacations during the festive season. However, they fail to plan in advance on how to spend money once they start travelling.

That means they end up paying more than what they initially budgeted. Fortunately, this step by step guide to travel on the cheap will help you to save money.

#1 Decide Your Travel Destination

You should start considering travel destinations as soon as you start saving. Knowing where you’re heading will dictate how much you need to save.

Things like the exchange rate, the average cost of transport and accommodation, and also food prices, vary from country to country, so it’s important to save with a destination in mind.

Passport travel plan map

#2 Decide the Duration of Your Trip

Another tip for travelling on the cheap is deciding the duration of your vacation in advance. It’s fantastic to travel spontaneously without a plan, however knowing how long you’ll be away for allows you to plan your expenses for the entire period.

Avoid randomly deciding to extend your trip. This will obviously leads to additions to your budget.

#3 Research Costs

Don’t decide on a budget blindly. Always research costs before a trip. Excluding the obvious,  that this ensures you won’t be met with any nasty financial surprises, research also enables you to compare destinations.

There are excellent places that target budget travelers, and research means you’ll have the information required to consider all options. You may otherwise miss out on some of the best and secure countries to travel with your family because you simply didn’t know.

Avoid choosing a country just because they offer cheap quotes. You may end up spending more on unwritten expenses if you haven’t fully read the fine print.

Girl tearing money

#4 Use Discount +Voucher Codes

Another tip for travelling on the cheap is by using discount +voucher codes, for example by using to save money on hotels. You can find many discounts on accommodation and flights, and they cover many different destinations.

#5 Save Money

Once you have decided on a destination and completed your research, start saving money for your trip. Great ways to save include cutting down on expenses such as coffee, Cable TV and not eating out. It’s much cheaper to purchase groceries and cook at home.

This will mean you’re able to save enough cash for your vacation without taking loans.


#6 Check Last Minute Deals

Always make a habit of checking last minute deals, as many websites offer last minute deals on both flights and accommodation.

Last minute deals can mean still taking a vacation even if you’ve had a busy schedule and forgot to book. Or perhaps you have a flexible cancellation policy with your current bookings and can swap them out for a better rate.

Make sure you choose last minute deals from reputable websites. You want to avoid losing your money to fake or spam sites.

#7 Buy Travel Insurance

You should always purchase travel insurance before you travel, whether domestically or overseas. You may be trying to travel on a budget, though that budget’s going to be smashed to pieces in the event of flight cancellations, hotel overbookings, or an accident.

Insurance is incredibly affordable, and covers you for the costs on lost items and equipment breakages, for example, expensive cameras. It might seem costly at first when purchasing but saves you money in the long run. Insurance also helps in the event of falling sick while far away from home.

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


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

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: US passport by jpmatth. Girl tearing money by


  1. Such a good guide of helpful tips! I swear cutting out the excess like you said (coffee, cable tv, movies etc) is such a great tip. I think a lot of people think because it’s only a little here and a little there that it won’t matter but it makes a HUGE difference when you are trying to save money!

    • Thanks Katie! Yes, absolutely, all the little expenses add up to quite a lot, especially over time. You add up $5 a day for a year, and that’s $1825! Every little sacrifice helps :)

  2. Great post with lots of brilliant ideas! People are always asking me how I afford to travel so much and its because I do all of these things. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Claire :) Now you can point them to this guide without having to explain every time :D Happy travels :)

  3. You have some great tips there and I will definitely take a few onboard in the near future. You are so right about cutting out/down on expenses like coffee, Cable TV and not eating out. These things definitely add up and I would rather use my money on other things. Great advice and post.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, yes every little thing adds up in the long run! You add up $5 a day for a year, and that’s $1825! Every little sacrifice helps :)

  4. thank you for great post

    • Glad we could help :)

  5. I find that Internet has changed the way we travel and makes it so much easier to plan budget travels. Good point in mentioning to take into account the exchange rate. Some people get overly excited when they find a great deal on a flight but forget that they might lose a lot of money when buying another currency.

    • Absolutely agree with you – especially with the amount of apps now which let you keep track of your budget while you’re on the road, scanning receipts and what not, we have access so such an amazing range of resources these days.

      And yes, we’re always very cautious to try and not blindly book a trip just because we found a great flight deal. Have done that once before and then realized there was no accommodation expect for the 5 star resort. Ended up paying $700 a night on a room!!! Though granted it was a pretty great room!

  6. I tr and travel as cheap as possible and then I find food. That is my number one expense or paying for flight upgrades.

    But every time I leave my house I say “I am doing this on the cheap!”

    • We love hitting up local grocery stores when it comes to food, such a great way to immerse yourself into the local scene while saving money too :)

  7. I’ll be the first to admit that I am pretty bad at planning for traveling on a budget haha. I have some cushion in mine, but overall ever little bit helps go toward something better. I really liked the tip about researching costs. I hear about people landing deals to Stockholm all the time and I’m like that’s one of the most expensive countries!!

    • Yes, I always facepalm when I hear the same!! Sweden, Norway, Australia … cheap flights doesn’t mean it will be a budget holiday!!

      Happy travels in 2017 :)

  8. I’ve found that those last minute flights and hotel stays are the best way to save money on travel. Of course you have to be flexible with your dates, and your destinations, but if you can swing it, that’s part of the fun, right?

    • Absolutely … spontaneous trips based off last minute deals are always the best! That said it’s often helpful to have saved a little bit of a travel nest egg even when you don’t have plans if spontaneous trips are your thing :)

      Happy travels Tara!

  9. There are some really good tips here. I have a friend who ALWAYS extends her trip and it really adds up.She thinks she should get home and have a couple of days to herself before going back to work but then she loves where she is and can’t leave. I’m going to send her this list as a gentle hint!!

    • Thanks Shobha :) Haha yes, feel free to pass our notes along!

  10. What a great list of useful tips. love the way you tell about these tips from your experience. Noted it!

    • Thanks Sridhar! Yes, we hope that our experiences can at least act to help others to avoid the same! Happy travels :)

  11. Internet has changed the way we travel and makes it so much easier to plan budget travels. everything easy if we are smartphone

    • Absolutely – there are so many resources now at our fingertips, especially with technology like the smartphone which has so many uses :)

  12. thank very much

    • Glad to help :) Happy travels!

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