Nineteen suggestions for travelers on a tight budget

2023-01-15 12:15:07 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.
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You may be curious about low-cost travel options.

My childhood vacations consisted of driving to visit family for the holidays. We couldn't even afford a cheap vacation to Disney World, much less an expensive one to Europe.

My ignorance was shocking. Don't get me wrong; I treasure my time with my loved ones. However, the world is full of wonders that I have yet to discover.

I was a broke twentysomething journalist when I finally figured this out. There was hardly any money left after paying rent and tuition. So, where would I get the money to go?

At that point, I committed to traveling on a tighter budget and learned about some of the most cost-effective ways to see the world.

Please don't let a lack of funds prevent you from seeing the world. To help you see the world without breaking the bank, here are some tips for budget travel.

How to get around for less than $20

Please find below some advice I've picked up along the way.

1) Use points as currency

Although you know money doesn't come from thin air, the allure of credit card rewards might make you feel otherwise.

Calculate your typical monthly outlays, and use a travel rewards credit card, such as the a href="MY_REDIRECT_PREFIX" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">span>Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card/span The points can be cashed in for travel-related expenses such as airfare, lodging, and more.

Sign-up bonuses are a great way to quickly rack up rewards points when using certain credit cards. Keep in mind that it may take more time to save up enough rewards for your trip if you rely on points and miles you earn through your regular purchases.

Optimal mileage redemption

To maximize the value of your rewards, you should use them for out-of-reach expenses like flights and hotels, and use your credit card to cover the more affordable costs you incur along the way.

Co-creator of the Travel Hacking Cartel Stephanie Zito did this while backpacking through Asia. Instead of paying full price for a flight on Cathay Pacific to Vietnam, she used her points to book cheaper flights on regional carriers that connect the two countries.

The more expensive portion of a trip can be made more affordable by saving up points to redeem at a later date.

Third, take a low-cost carrier.

When it comes to regional flights, budget airlines can save you a lot of money, but only if you're willing to forego some comfort. If you're looking for better perks, budget airlines may hit you with a bunch of unexpected fees, so be prepared to pack lightly and squeeze into the middle seat of a cramped row.

Do you want a seat by the window or the aisle? Choosing a specific seat can cost more money, which could add up if you're taking a trip with a large group and everyone wants to sit together.

Carry-on only flights Even if you choose not to have your bags checked, you could still be charged a fee. Carrying a small bag like a purse or backpack will not cost you anything.

Hungry Different low-cost carriers have different policies, but in some cases you may have to pay for a snack or meal that is provided free of charge on more conventional airlines.

If you wish to board before the scheduled time, what do you do? Dues must be paid.

However, if you know how to avoid extra fees, budget airlines can be one of the cheapest ways to travel.

Want to find even more affordable plane tickets?

Maybe you should sign up for Scott's Low-Cost Flights. If you're a frequent flyer on a tight budget, sign up for this email newsletter. Scott's Cheap Flights has in the past alerted subscribers to unbelievable deals, such as a $260 New York to Paris flight and a $364 San Francisco to Bali flight, respectively.

You can also try your luck with and if you're looking for low-cost flights.

Time is of the essence, number 5.

If you have some leeway in when you can take off, you'll have a much easier time finding a good deal on

You can save a lot of money if you are willing to take an overnight flight or a midweek trip. Off-season travel can save you a lot of money on airfare and lodging, especially if you don't mind experiencing less-than-ideal weather.

Booking in advance is also recommended.

6. You shouldn't automatically book a flight out of your closest airport.

If you're willing to fly through less convenient airports, you might be able to save money.

Those residing in the District of Columbia, C Tickets departing from BWI Airport are typically less expensive than those departing from Reagan National Airport or Dulles International Airport. To save money on airfare, you can either fly into San Francisco International Airport while visiting San Francisco, or into Oakland International Airport while visiting Oakland.

The trick is to be adaptable regarding your airport of departure, even if it means traveling a greater distance. Don't forget to add in the price of transportation to and from the airport.

7 You can save money by traveling with a group of people you know and trust rather than paying for everything individually.

There are benefits to traveling alone.

Hotels and car rentals can add up, but if you travel with a small group of friends or family, you can save money by sharing these expenses. If staying in an airbnb or motel works out to be cheaper per person, don't be afraid to bunk up with a large group.

It's possible that a group of four is the most convenient size for a vacation. Over that, and the hotel may start charging you for an extra room.

Depending on the vehicle you rent, you should be able to seat four people comfortably.

Get twice the vacation for the price by visiting two different destinations.

There is the possibility that a companion ticket will help couples who are traveling together save even more money.

After accumulating 110,000 points in a calendar year, I was awarded the Southwest Companion Pass, which allowed me to bring my girlfriend on all of my flights for nearly two years at no additional cost. For this, we forked over about $5. There will be a total of 0 in taxes and fees for her one-way flights. It's important to remember that the taxes and fees you pay may increase depending on the airline and the route you take.

Check out Credit Karma's top-ranked companion tickets for buy-one-get-one-almost-free airfare.

Yet another method of maximizing one's financial return Plan a flight with a layover

We were able to spend a week on Iceland's stunning Snfellsnes Peninsula before flying to Paris on Iceland Air. The price of the ticket was the same as if we had flown directly to our destination.

9 Get in the car and go!

If you don't have a car, you can still go on a road trip. There was a time when I took a carpool from Munich to Prague with complete strangers and only spent twenty dollars doing so. That wasn't the wisest move, looking back. Hitchhiking the traditional way, by holding up your thumb, is fraught with risk because you never know who might pick you up.

The risk may be reduced if you use a carpooling service like BlaBlaCar, which not only helps you find others going in the same direction, but also checks the credentials of both the driver and the passenger. There is a BlaBlaCar service for women only who need a ride. Never get into a car with a complete stranger without first thoroughly checking them out.

Another option is to find a car-transfer service that moves rented vehicles that were returned to a different location. These services may not be available everywhere because they are still fairly new, but they are definitely something to look into once you know where you'll be going on vacation.

Zito returned a rental car for a friend at a significant discount in New Zealand using Transfercar.

She says, "I drove the opposite direction as the other tourists, and I helped relocate the van back to its rental location, so I only paid $5 a day to rent a camper van."

It's possible that taking a road trip would be more cost-effective than taking a flight, depending on factors like the cost of the vehicle you'd need to drive or rent, the number of people in your carpool, and whether or not you'd be able to earn gas rewards with your credit card.

Taking the bus, number 10

The cost of bus travel is typically much lower than that of air travel.

For only $5, you can take a bus across Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and get on and off at any of the many convenient stops along the way. This scenic route may even prove more cost-effective than flying.

When you factor in things like airport location and layovers, taking a bus may actually be faster and more convenient than flying between nearby cities.

Don't wait for a taxi

Though using rideshare services like Uber or Lyft could save you money, getting around a new city on foot, two wheels, or with public transit is almost always going to be less expensive.

These are also wonderful vacation activities that will help you see the city.

To avoid getting lost, it is a good idea to study a map of the area and learn the public transportation system. Before visiting a new city, make sure the public transportation is safe for tourists by reading up on it beforehand.

Don't forget to pack a meal!

Skip the restaurants and save money by making your own lunch and dinner instead.

Finding lodging like a hostel or AirBnB with a kitchen is ideal. Our host in Paris provided us with croissants every morning and lunch leftovers, so we didn't even need a kitchen.

Yet another ruse Zito suggests getting a snack to go from the hotel or an airport lounge. (Some charge cards, including The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offer membership in Priority PassTM Select, which grants access to over 1,000 lounges worldwide. )

Even though we hope you'll never have to use it, travel insurance is there for you in case anything goes wrong on your trip.

The Name Is Sacred: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a top pick because it includes free trip insurance.

With Credit Karma's travel insurance guide, you can find out more about the various protections offered by these cards. However, it's imperative that you contact your credit card company to learn the specifics of their policies and how they affect you.

Foreign transaction fees are levied by some credit card companies on all transactions processed in a foreign currency or that go through a foreign financial institution. Payment is typically assessed as a 3% fee of the total transaction amount. You'll thank us later for suggesting that you use a credit card that doesn't charge you extra when making purchases made in a foreign country.

Try to keep your cell phone from incurring any additional fees while abroad.

In order to use their phones while abroad, savvy tourists frequently purchase SIM cards from local providers.

I made the switch to T-Mobile because it offers free unlimited data and texting in more than 140 countries. However, despite T-Mobile's reputation for erratic service in the United States, S It has the potential to offer excellent coverage throughout Europe.

Don't throw away your hard-earned cash on ATM fees.

If you need cash, a debit card that reimburses ATM operator fees and doesn't charge a fee for making foreign currency transactions is your best bet.

But don't take out the whole paycheck at once.

Information for those taking an international trip and planning to use their debit cards

Benefit from the robust U. S dollar

Remember that this could shift at any time if the dollar's value changes. S decrease in dollar

The current exchange rate is more favorable for travelers to places like Mexico, Colombia, and Indonesia.

Abroad Education at Age 18

It's possible to save a lot of money on a trip if you're a student and willing to travel.

When you're 27 or younger, you can save money on a regular adult Eurail pass throughout Europe. Flights can be booked at a discounted rate through CheapOair for students. Some organizations, such as National Geographic and the SYTA Youth Foundation, offer travel grants to deserving students.

19 - Work (or volunteer) in a foreign country

Getting a job in a country you'd like to visit is something to think about if you've recently graduated or will soon be graduating. Jobs that allow you to work from home are another option.

In addition to providing services, many volunteer organizations will provide you with subsidized housing.

The cost of transportation while traveling can add up quickly.

But budget-conscious vacationers who are always on the lookout for deals can cut costs by employing even a few of these simple strategies. We promise not to be hurt if not all of your ideas are implemented. It's fine to take only a few of the ideas to heart.

Help is greatly appreciated in any amount.

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