10 Expert Tips for Budgeting During Travel

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10 Expert Tips for Budgeting During Travel

Written by Erich Allen Oct 12, 2022 03:00 PM

Traveling can be expensive. But just because your trip might set you back a few hundred dollars doesn't mean that you can't go on your dream vacation! 

With some planning and smart budgeting, you can easily enjoy your time away without breaking the bank. In this post, we’ve outlined 10 expert tips to help you do just that! 

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10 Travel Budgeting Tips from Seasoned Travelers  

1. Budget before you go.

Budgeting starts way before you land. It starts before you even start packing your bags. Sit down and figure out how much money you can realistically afford to spend on your trip. Then, plan where you'll stay, what activities you'll do, and what sights you'll see. This will help you avoid any surprises when it comes time to pay the bill at the end of or before your vacation.

2. Find deals and discounts.

There are many different ways to save money while traveling if you know where to look. Sign up for deal websites like Travelzoo or Hipmunk and follow airlines and hotels on social media for special rates and promotions. You can also search for coupon codes before booking any activities or attractions. Just a little bit of effort can go a long way when it comes to saving money on travel expenses.

3. Stick to public transportation.

Once you arrive at your destination, do your best to use public transportation instead of taxis or rental cars whenever possible. This is usually much cheaper than other options, and it's a great way to get a taste of the local scene as well. If public transportation doesn't seem feasible, see if any city passes available will give you discounted access to attractions and transportation options.

4. Eat like a local.

If you want to save some serious cash while traveling, skip the tourist traps and eat where the locals eat instead. Not only is this usually cheaper than eating at more upscale establishments, but it's also a great chance to try lots of new foods and get a feel for the culture of the place you're visiting. Street food is often delicious and inexpensive, so don't be afraid to try it!

5. Track your spending.

The easiest way to overspend while on vacation is simply by not tracking how much money you spend daily. Make sure to take some time each day to write down what you've spent so far and what funds you have left to work with. This will help prevent impulse purchases and ensure that you stick to your budget throughout your trip. 

6. Save on accommodation 

You don't have to stay at a five-star hotel to enjoy your vacation. At least not the entire time, anyway. In fact, plenty of affordable accommodation options can still be super comfortable. Consider staying at a hostel, Airbnb, or even couch surfing to save some serious cash! There’s always something cheaper out there, you have to find it! 

7. Travel during the off-season.

This is a classic decision. Consider planning your trip for the off-season instead of the peak tourist season. This will often be cheaper, but you'll also avoid the crowds and have a more authentic experience overall!

8. Check out the free stuff

One of the best things about traveling is that you can find many great activities and attractions that won't cost you a dime. Do research in advance to check out what's available, and don't forget to ask the locals for their recommendations as well. Free walking tours will also allow you to explore a new city without spending any money. You'll find lots of fun experiences you can have almost everywhere without even spending anything on them! That way, you can spend that extra budget somewhere else.

9. Avoid currency conversion fees

If you're traveling outside of your home country, be sure to take some time to learn about the currency and how it works before you go. This will help you avoid costly mistakes, like getting stuck with a bunch of foreign currency you can't use. You should also try to find a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, as this can save you a lot of money in the long run.

10. Save on souvenirs

Souvenirs are a great way to remember your trip, but can also drain your finances if you're not careful. Instead of buying something for everyone you know, try to find more unique and personal items that will mean more to the people you love. You can also find plenty of souvenirs without spending any money; take some time to explore and see what you can find!

The Bottom Line:

Budgeting during travel doesn't have to be difficult or painful—it just takes some preparation and forethought. Following these simple tips, you can easily enjoy your vacation without blowing through all your savings in just a few short days. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your dream trip today!