Beginner’s Guide to Traveling on a Budget

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One of the biggest barriers to travel is the cost. Depending on your starting point, the cost of getting to your destination can be pricey enough to prevent you from being able to enjoy your destination once you’re actually there. 

There are a number of ways that you can work around the high cost of travel, so that you can still experience cultures and ways of life other than your own.

It will take some effort and a fair amount of preparation, but you can travel on a low budget. Here are a few ways to get started. 

Take advantage of freebies

In the world of travel, freebies can work miracles, and can stack up to significant savings.

If you’re planning on stopping at any museums, monuments, historic sites, or other tourist destinations, then do some research ahead of time to see if those places offer any free admission days.

Many museums will have promotions allowing free entrance on first Fridays or last Mondays, or sometimes even one day per week.

You may have to rework your travel plans a bit, but taking advantage and skipping the admission fees can save you a ton of money in the long run — especially when you consider that admission to major museums can easily be $25 per person or more.

Travel on the off-days

Nearly every mode of travel has a slow day, and most offer extra discounts on those days. Take notice of these days, and you could easily find yourself saving several hundred dollars per ticket, especially if you travel by airplane.

For airfare, tickets tend to be cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (excluding holidays), but you’ll still need to shop around to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

When traveling by other forms of transportation, the discounted days can vary by region. To figure out which days are the cheapest, you can manually compare the prices, or you can call your bus, train, or ferry company and simply ask when the cheapest tickets can be found.

Work on exchange

Working in exchange for room or board (or both) is one of the most honored traditions of truly low-budget travel. It’s not for everyone, but for those who really want to stretch their money to its furthest extent, it can be a game-changer.

If you’ve never done something like this before, you can start with structured programs such as WWOOF or Workaway. These programs, which you can access through their websites, will pair you with a farm or other business that needs some work done, and in exchange you’ll be given a place to stay and food to eat.

Your living expenses will be significantly lowered or even eliminated, and in the process you’re likely to meet a number of locals and see a side of your destination that you never imagined you’d see.

Apply for an online loan

When all else fails, and you really need some money now, consider applying for a personal loan online.

The process is straightforward, and you can get cash much faster than you would through a bank loan. If you do enough shopping around beforehand, you can also find lenders who will give you low interest rates, particularly if you can pay back the loan quickly.

Try searching with online lenders when you really need a way to fund your travels, now. If you’re traveling as part of a business — including an online blog that you’re using to fund you — your options for online loans expand even more.

Regardless of which methods you choose to make your trip more affordable, remember to live in the present and soak in every moment of your time away.

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Master reviewer of all types of products. Love XL Fountain Sodas!! Cheer Mom extraordinaire. Socialite to all things small town and founder of Come socialize and connect with me.

13 thoughts on “Beginner’s Guide to Traveling on a Budget

  • Great tips for saving money and some I had not thought of before thanks for sharing this one.

  • Thanks for sharing all your tips. Great ideas and information.

  • Thanks for this post.

  • We rarely get to travel but when we do it is definitely on a budget! Thank you for sharing these tips!

  • I love to travel. This will really help make it more affordable.

  • This is really nice, I have never even heard of anything being done like this, I wouldn’t mind giving it a chance even at my age, working for room and board, even if its only for a week or a month.

  • Great advice, thanks for posting!

  • We would love to travel but can’t right now. SAD 🙁

  • Thanks for sharing all of these tips with us.

  • Probably traveling on the off days would be the first thing that I would think of!

  • I have traveled a ton in my life and all of these are great tips. Bon voyage to everyone who is lucky to travel!

  • Thanks for all of the tips as I have traveled so little in my life but would love to do a bit more traveling before I am unable to do so.

  • You’re so right when you say that planning a trip can be exhausting and when you arrive you don’t enjoy it fully…Internet can be a wonderful help in budgeting and saving. When I was in Tokyo I found a website that listed all the free (or nearly) things that you coud do there…It changed my trip!

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