22 Tips to Traveling on the Cheap

Some people think you need to be a millionaire or billionaire to be able to travel the world. If you’re one of those people, STOP!

You can be a recent college graduate, making barely any money and still afford to travel. Being smart, savvy, and determined will get you far. You just have to be willing to sacrifice the normal every day luxuries to save some moo-lah.


1) Having flexible travel dates means you get the best flight deals. Leaving 2 days earlier and staying 1 day later could mean saving $500 on a flight.

2) Fly on an off day. Usually leaving on a Tuesday or Wednesday will give you the cheapest flight price.

3) Go during the off-season. Traveling anywhere during a country’s summer months, a holiday, or popular event will be more expensive. If you want to sight see and aren’t afraid of the cold, try going in winter or when peak season is over.

4) Research flights! Don’t automatically book that $6,000 economy priced ticket from Hawaii to Bali before you shop around. Use a variety of airlines, research airlines that fly into the airport you want, and piece it together yourself. Sure, using a travel search engine seems like the easiest route to take but you’ll benefit by doing your own leg work by saving a few hundred dollars!

5) Fly on discount airlines. If you’re flying to a place that has a discount airline like Ryan Air, Air Asia, Lion Air, etc. use those flying options instead of paying the major carrier price. A quick google search of “discount airlines in Europe” will save you a ton of dough.

6) Use miles!

Signing up for an airline credit card will let you earn miles on every day purchases as well as more miles when you book on their airline. I have a United Mileage Plus card and I love it! You can earn 50,000 miles after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of activation. It sounds like a lot of money at first but if you pay your monthly bills and buy your groceries on the card, that $1,000 rolls around quick. Explore all the features of other ways to earn miles through online shopping, dining out, and booking hotels. You can get a round trip flight from 30,000-120,000 miles for essentially paying your bills.

7) Space A Travel is a great option if you’re eligible through the United States military. Who doesn’t love a free flight?

8) You can also snag a deal by booking your flights and hotel together. Try sites like Expedia, Orbitz, or Travelocity.


9) Stay for free on people’s floor or couches by using Couch Surfing.

10) If floors or couches aren’t your thing, go to airbnb.com to get a cheap deal on a room or someone’s entire place. You can also make a little cash by renting out your own place while you’re gone.

11) Stay with a friend! If you know a friend in the area you’re visiting, ask if you can stay with them in exchange for a place for them when they come to visit. Just remember to be a good houseguest. Bad houseguests don’t get invited back.

12) Sign up for exclusive emails of hotels.com and they will send you coupon codes at least once a week. The coupons range from 10%-50% off your booking so you can snag a great deal. If you pay full price, for every 10 nights you stay, you get one free.

13) Book with a friend. If you and friend are traveling together, the hotel instantly becomes half off and you have a friend to share the experience with.

Pack/buy own food

14) Bring as many non-perishable, customs-friendly snacks as possible. Granola, crackers, cereal, cookies, energy bars, and fruit leathers are my must haves. It’s also a great way to make room in your suitcase for souvenirs once all your food is gone.

15) Once you’ve checked in to your accommodation, head straight to the nearest grocery store, or farmer’s market.

16) Stay away from room service and the mini bar. If you really want to indulge, go out and explore the city. You’ll find the cheapest eateries outside of the tourist area and you’ll spend less if you order take-out. Go find a lovely park to picnic at.


17) Book on a discount car rental service like dollar.com or thrifty.com. The economy model is usually more expensive to rent than the larger cars. If you only need a car for short distances, try the larger model to shave a few bucks off.

18) Call your own car insurance company to see if your rental car will be covered. Don’t get suckered in to buying the extra car insurance if you don’t need it.

19) Pick a travel destination that has an efficient public transportation system. Cities like New York, Paris, and London are some the best cities to save on transportation even though you’ll most likely end up paying more for accommodation in these areas. Choose wisely!

20) Don’t be afraid of the public transportation in other cities. Don’t expect anything AMAZING but saving $400 on a rental car and spending a few more hours using a bus is worth it.

21) Book a road trip and have a few friends come along to share the costs.

22) If you need to get from Point A to Point B on a few bucks, try a Ride Share! It’s basically an organized hitch hiking system online.

To the people who continue to doubt that you can have a job and be able to travel the world, I hope these tips open your eyes. So stop complaining and follow your dreams!