How to Travel on a Budget

Blue world map with colorful Straight Pin

Taking the time to experience the joys of travel is one of the most exciting gifts you can give yourself and your family. This includes travel to worldwide locations, as well as visiting the far corners of your own nation. When you travel, there is a variable plethora of new experiences just waiting to enrich your life.

Unfortunately, too many people spend their vacation time merely sitting at home. They wrongly believe that travel is only for the wealthy or those people who are on a business oriented excursion. What they’re missing is the fact that with just a little bit of thoughtful budgeting, everyone can visit the city, state or country of their dreams.

Pre-Plan your Trip


Take the time to thoroughly research your intended destination prior to booking your trip. Your travels will be more enjoyable if you stay within your budget, no matter how high or low this figure might be. If you need to keep your overhead low, consider visiting a nearby city, state or country rather than one that requires more extensive transportation.

Remember the “Extras”


Leave a little wiggle room in your budget for required documents, procedures and fees. These vary depending upon your destination and time away. You’ll need a:

. Passport
. Visa
. Foreign Drivers License

If you intend to visit another continent, there may be necessary immunizations to obtain at your doctor’s office. It’s also a very good idea to take out a travel insurance policy, just in case your trip is canceled by circumstances beyond your control.

Internet Discounts and Social Media


Discounts abound online for the savvy shopper. Simply keep an eye out for weekly sales and seasonal promotions. Begin by signing up for the frequent flyer programs offered by both major international airlines and relatively unknown regional carriers. This allows you to receive advance notice of sales, promotions and last-minute deals. In each case, you’ll be asked to give some basic information about yourself in order to receive emails and updates as they occur.

Social media sign-ups include:

. Facebook
. Twitter
. Comparative fare websites like Kayak, Hipmunk, Trip Adviser and Trivago
. Websites for Hotel chains, railroads, restaurants and popular attractions.

Alternative Options Equal Impressive Savings

Have your heart set on traveling on a particular day or holiday weekend? The greater your degree of flexibility, the more budget-friendly your trip will be. Don’t forget that using an alternative airport can also provide significant savings. Just as well, driving a longer distance to depart or arrive at a major airport may provide a wider berth for active sales.

Pack Light to Avoid Fees

Discount rates generally do not include checked baggage fees, which unfortunately add up quickly. Whenever possible, travel with only what you can take on the plane with you. This means carrying a regulation carry-on bag that fits in the overhead bin or under your seat. Every airline has a different fee set-up, so ask before you book your ticket if you absolutely need to take that extra suitcase.

Free Activities and Local Events

Think before spending money on expensive amusement parks, shows and concerts. Most museums and historical parks have days set aside as free for guests. Additionally, check online and in local newspapers for no-cost regional events. These include open-air festivals, outdoor movies, art displays and farmers markets.

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