How to travel on a budget: 5 top tips

By on February 21, 2021
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So you’re wondering how to travel on a budget, or if it’s even possible at all. Well, the good news is these days it is entirely possible to explore the world on a shoestring, as long as you’re armed with a few tips and tricks. We’ve rounded up just a few of these below.

Choose a destination that is friendly on the wallet

Some destinations are just more expensive than others, so when asking how to travel the world on a budget it’s wise to know your pricey places from your not so pricey places. Asia on the whole is significantly cheaper than other continents for example, with the likes of India, Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka in particular appealing to those looking to make their money go further.

People often wonder how to travel Europe on a budget, and while it is true that Europe is a more expensive region to explore, it is by no means off the cards for those with a tighter budget. Avoiding the most popular destinations like the UK, Italy, Switzerland and Scandinavia and instead opting for more ‘off the beaten path’ places like Bulgaria, Slovenia or Georgia will not only help your budget go further, you’ll also enjoy a completely different experience away from large crowds.

Lake Bled in Slovenia
Lake Bled in Slovenia is an idyllic location

Opt to travel with a company that does it all for you

When considering how to travel the world on a budget it can often be tempting to think that you’ll get the best deal by booking your flights, accommodation, car rental and everything else individually, but this isn’t always the case. Booking travel this way means your budget can quickly spiral out of control, not to mention all the hidden costs that can arise.

Instead, opting to travel with a guided touring company like Trafalgar Tours or Costsaver, not only saves you time and stress, but can also work out more affordable in the long run. The beauty of guided touring companies such as these is that they organise everything for you, so you know how much you’re spending from the get go. Booking with Trafalgar means your accommodation, transport, meals and experiences are all covered and paid for in one up front cost and, even better, you can browse by tour price on the website to ensure you stick to your budget.

A family on a Trafalgar Tour in Rome, by the Colosseum
A guided tour with Trafalgar ensures a stress free travel experience

Costsaver are a little different to Trafalgar in that they offer more flexibility to travellers. Your accommodation, transport, some meals and city tours are all included in the up-front price, but their itineraries offer more free time for you to do what you want – a feature that is reflected in their tour prices.

Travel out of season

If you’re not restricted by having to travel at specific times of the year such as the school holidays, travelling out of season is a great hack for how to travel on a budget. Travelling in shoulder season (March – April / early May, or September – October / early November) will mean you’re not always guaranteed the best weather, but you will be able to take advantage of lower prices as well as smaller crowds.

Many travellers actually prefer to explore during these months as you’re afforded a more local experience. Away from the height of summer, you’ll see locals going about their daily lives, be able to take your time visiting the icons you’ve been dreaming of, and generally enjoy a more laid back and immersive experience.

A local man in Rome
Travelling out of season allows for a more local travel experience

Book in advance

When people think about how to travel on a budget, it’s easy to assume that booking a last minute deal will score you the best price, but this isn’t always the case. Last minute deals require you to be super flexible with both your dates and destination of choice to secure the cheapest rate which, which isn’t always a luxury many can afford. Instead, booking your travel experience further in advance can often be the solution to how to travel the world on a budget. Booking flights when they are just released and have less demand for example, will be cheaper than booking closer to the departure date when lots of people are searching for the same thing (as flight prices are based on supply and demand).

Equally, many travel companies (and again Trafalgar Tours are a good example of this) offer Early Payment Discounts at certain times of the year for those organised folks planning their travels 6 months or more in advance. These discounts can see you taking advantage of savings of up to 15% off, or more if you’ve travelled with the company previously as a loyalty reward.

Search for cheap flight deals

Flights can often be the Achilles heel for those asking how to travel on a budget, as prices can vary massively between airlines. To help you get the best deal, use a flight comparison site like Skyscanner or Google Flights. Skyscanner in particular has a number of features to help you find the cheapest deal, such as signing up for flight alerts to know when your desired route has dropped in price, or using the ‘whole month’ tool if you have more flexibility about when you’d like to travel.

view from a plane window

Do you have any tips for how to travel on a budget? Share them in the comments below!

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