My Favorite Budget Travel Hacks

My Favorite Budget Travel Hacks

Many people think that you need a lot of money to travel, but it’s simply not true! Depending on what kind of trip you want to take, believe it or not, you can do almost anything on a shoestring. There are lots of tips and ‘hacks’ I’ve learned along the road and here’s a roundup of my favorite tips for budget travelers.

Flight alerts

Did you know that sometimes airlines make mistakes with their prices? These are called error fares, and they can result in some super cheap tickets. Check out sites like fly4free to keep up to date on the latest deals, and set up a flight alert with a country or city you know you’ll be flying to or from soon.

Search incognito

If there’s one tip you take away from this post, make it this one. When you’re booking travel, always always *always* use the incognito function on your web browser. This prevents websites from using trackers and cookies on your computer, which they use to monitor what you’re searching for, then adjust the price or make it seem like tickets are running out.

Travel off-peak

Traveling somewhere out of season can result in significantly reduced airfare and accommodation prices. Whether it’s summer in a skiing town, or monsoon season in Asia, being flexible on when you travel can save you big. The day and time you travel can also make a difference, with weekends being the most expensive, and unsociable hours or multiple connections being cheaper.

Say yes to being bumped

Airlines quite often overlook flights, believe it or not. When you’re at the gate, you may hear a call out for volunteers to be bumped from the flight in exchange for perks. If you’re a flexible traveler like me, it just makes sense to say yes. Unless you have strict commitments, why not? These perks can involve a night’s stay at a nearby hotel, an upgraded seat on a different flight, and flight vouchers for future travel. Seems like a win-win to me.

Get a prepaid travel money card

Choosing a prepaid travel money card can help you maintain your budget during travel. By loading a predetermined amount onto the card, you can establish a clear financial boundary, effectively curbing impulse spending and fostering disciplined financial habits. The card’s capability to lock in exchange rates can further offer you stability, shielding you from currency fluctuations and aiding in precise budget planning. What’s more? By utilizing real-time expense tracking through online platforms, you can stay in sync with your budget, fostering transparency and informed decision-making. Furthermore, with low or no foreign transaction fees, these cards can enhance your cost efficiency, ensuring that more of your allocated budget is utilized for experiences rather than being spent on fees. You can learn more about this in detail at or a similar platform.

Local currency always

Taking money out from the ATM? If you’re using a foreign card, you’ll get asked by the machine if you want it to charge you in the local currency or your home currency. Always select local currency, as the ATM will do its own conversion rate if you select to convert it, which could be almost anything, and is never the cheaper option.

Free walking tours

Some of the best information I’ve learned about a city has been on free walking tours. These tours are given by locals of the area who are not only trained in their jobs but have lived in the area for a long time. These tours are, as the name suggests, free, but it’s customary to tip your guide at the end, and it’s usually well worth the money. If you don’t feel like walking, you could try a Hilton Head bike rental or something similar. Riding a bike, especially if the location is near the beach, might be a lot of fun!


Not one I would do with my kids but if you’re short on money, accommodation is likely one of the most expensive parts of your trip. But luckily, there’s an easy and fun way to cut the costs. Couchsurfing is a website and community of like-minded travelers, and here you can find a place to stay for a night or two, for free. Find a host who has common interests or who you think you’d get along with, and send them a message. If they accept, take them out for a drink or a meal to say thank you. I’ve met some amazing people during my couch-surfing experiences, and seen parts of cities and countries I never would have otherwise.

There are dozens of other tips and hacks out there, and these budget travel tips and hacks have never steered me wrong. What are some of your go-to budget tips? Let me know by dropping a comment down below!

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