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Alternative Living + Long-Term Travel,  Blog

11 Budget Travel Hacks Everyone Should Know

Travelling is not only reserved for the rich, you can travel the world with just about any flexible budget if you’re willing to be flexible. 

I didn’t have the privilege of travelling much when I was growing up. That’s why when I became an adult I was willing to do just about anything if it meant that I could see the world. 

My burning desire to travel the world opened up a world of opportunities for me and that’s why in this post I want to share some of my favourite travel hacks everyone should know! 

Travelling on budget is perfect for anyone who is willing to think outside the box and experience life in a raw and unfiltered way. 

In this post, I’ll be covering the importance of travelling on a budget and some of the most important travel hacks everyone should know if they want to travel more and spend less money! 

Why is Budget Travel Important?

Travel is seen as a luxury by many and it’s not something most people prioritize as an expense in their daily lives. 

What if I told you that you could travel the world indefinitely, and spend less money on the road than you would spend in one year living in North America. 

Sounds too good to be true right?! Well it’s not, in 2018 I spent 2 months backpacking through France as a solo female traveller and only spent $1000 Canadian dollars. Yeah I’m not kidding! 

I’ve also taken several trips since then where I was able to travel comfortably and affordably on salary making less than 35K a year. 

Budget travel has changed my life and my perspective on the way that humans are able to explore the world. 

There’s a whole planet out there to experience and budget travelling is the way to do it! 

Budget travel will open up a whole new world for where you’re able to go and what you’re able to see. 

If the thought of travelling the world on your own terms without breaking the bank excites you then I encourage you to keep on reading for 11 budget travel hacks everyone should know! 

11 Budget Travel Hacks Everyone Should Know

  1. Travel Rewards Credit Card 

Travel rewards credit cards are perfect if you’re responsible with credit and want to earn points for your spending. 

If you’re patient or if you spend on credit often, you can rack up some points quite steadily over time. 

Once you’ve earned enough points you can spend them on flights, accommodation or even fun activities. 

Credit card points can add up without you even realizing, if you take the opportunity to take advantage of this you could be spending much less money on travel overall. 

Imaging earning enough points to cover the cost of your flight, you could then use that extra money you have to travel longer or to experience something you wouldn’t have if you didn’t have the extra cash. 

  1. Airline Memberships 

The big airline companies and even some of the small ones have memberships that come with a ton of perks! 

Travelling on a budget is all about taking advantage of opportunities and discounts, airline memberships offer exactly that. 

If you’re a frequent flyer I’d highly suggest taking a note of which airlines you fly with the most and sign up for their membership program. You can then accumulate points and use those for future discounts. 

Airline memberships points usually give you access to: 

  • Air Travel 
  • Hotels 
  • Rental Cars

Why not earn points if you fly often anyways, it’s good to take advantage of perks if they’re there and in true budget travel fashion opt for the FREE membership programs. 

  1. Discount Booking Sites 

Flights are usually one of the biggest expenses when it comes to travel, especially if you fly out of Canada like I usually do! 

Instead of spending hours searching for good flight prices, new companies have created the modern technology that rounds up the best flight prices that are online. 

My go to sites for finding cheap flights: 

These sites will literally save you hours of scrolling through Google and airline websites. 

ProTip: Use the sites above to search for flights then go directly to the airlines website, search up the flight you found and book through them! This will save you a headache that third party booking sites usually cause. 

  1. Workaway 

Workaway is a platform that allows travellers to exchange their skills for free accommodation and meals. 

I suggest checking out workaway if you’re flexible with your travels and are open to working a few hours a day in exchange for food and a place to sleep. 

This is one of my absolute favourite ways to travel on a budget because not only do you get free accommodation, you usually get to meet some pretty amazing people and see parts of a country you just wouldn’t see on your own. 

You can travel for months on end by doing work-exchanges, I suggest looking into it and taking advantage of the platforms out there if you want to travel but don’t have a lot of money. 

However, you should be very cautious when looking into workaways because you really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into until you arrive. 

Always have a backup plan in case things don’t go right and extra money in case you have to book a place to stay before you land a better workaway gig.

Some good platforms for work-exchanges include:

  1. Couch-surfing 

Couch-surfing is exactly what it sounds like, you sleep on people’s couches for free while you travel around. 

Want to meet new people and travel for free?! This is the way people have been travelling on a budget for years! 

Couch-surfing is perfect for anyone who is open-minded and has strong intuition. I say that because let’s be honest, sleeping on strangers’ couches in foreign countries isn’t exactly the safest thing in the world to do especially as a solo female traveller. 

Couch-surfing can also be used to find free or cheap events in the city you’re visiting, so take advantage of all of its functions! 

Couch-surfing is extremely freeing and exciting for those who crave new experiences. It can open your mind to a lot of new things and create lifelong connections with people all over the world! 

A good profile and a genuine attitude about travel should do the trick when it comes to getting approved for stays when you’re abroad, you could even try doing it in your hometown or nearby city. 

  1. House -sitting  

House-sitting is another one that is exactly what it sounds like. In exchange for free accommodation, a house-sitter is required to look after a homeowner’s home and often take care of their pets while they are away. 

House-sitting is a great option for those who run online businesses and maybe don’t have a lot of free time to do a work-exchange! 

Just like with a lot of the other platforms I mentioned, house-sitting allows you to see parts of a country you may not have had the chance of seeing if you paid to stay somewhere else. 

It’s also very freeing knowing you’re saving tons of money on accommodation while staying in and looking after beautiful properties!

Some great house-sitting websites are: 

You might also want to check out my post “5 Ways To Save Money On Travel” for more advice on how to travel on a budget. 

  1. Carry On Only 

For shorter trips I highly recommend that you pack your items only in a carry on. 

Travel is all about the experiences, not the things you take with you so consider travelling a little minimally for once and see how awesome it is! 

You’ll save tons of extra cash on baggage fees when you only travel with a carry on so I highly encourage it for short distance trips! 

  1. No Souvenirs – Use Photos & Videos For Memories

Why buy tacky souvenirs when you can save that money on valuable experiences?! 

Instead of picking up physical souvenirs, compile an album of travel content you shot while on the road and use those as memories of your adventures! 

You’ll save a ton of money and time spent trying to find the perfect gift for friends and family. 

Check out my Instagram page for photos I’ve documented of my travels over the years! 

  1. Cheap Destinations 

If you do the right research you can visit some of the most beautiful and unique destinations around the world. 

Even if you’re not venturing out on an international adventure any time soon, why not look up the cheapest cities and towns to visit in your area. 

Adventure shouldn’t have to be costly, by choosing affordable destinations you’ll be able to have a ton of fun and save money while you’re at it. 

Don’t forget though, “as a budget traveler, it’s important to know your budget and keep to it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to nickel and dime all of your expenses, but keeping track of everything is important. – Alexis from The Soul Traveler

  1. Flexibility

Flexibility is going to be your best friend when it comes to travelling on a budget, you can get a lot further by being flexible when you’re on the road. 

The more flexibility you have when it comes to your adventures, the less expensive it gets, even during pre-departure you’ll find that flexibility works in your favour when booking things like flights and accommodation. 

I suggest planning out your trip as far in advance as possible and weighing out the different options you have in terms of travel dates, times and destinations. 

The earlier you plan and the more flexible you are the easier you will find cheaper alternatives for your trip. 

11. Open A Separate Savings Account For Travel

This hack comes directly from finance and travel blogger Ambar from Souled Out Journeys!

Opening a savings account for travel will make your life much easier when it comes to budgeting for your adventures.

“You have to open a separate savings account for your travels. Setting aside 5-10% of your income in a travel savings account will allow you to book that great deal that comes up with peace of mind. I recommend opening up a high yield savings account for your travel savings.

High yield savings account have higher interest rates than your regular savings accounts which means more money for you! For example, if you put $1,000 in a regular savings account with an interest rate of .01%, you’ll earn .10 cents.

But if you put $1,000 in a high yield savings account with 1% interest rate, you’ll earn $10. That’s 10x how much you’d make with a regular savings account!”

Ambar – souled out journeys

Overall, travelling on a budget can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the world. If you’re willing to make sacrifices and live simply you can travel the world forever. 

Travelling on a budget can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, it can be as low budget and high budget all depending on what works for you. 

Whether you use one of these tips or all of them I guarantee you that you will save money on travel! 

If you enjoyed this post then I encourage you to follow me on Instagram and stay updated whenever a new blog post comes out!

Interested in ethical tourism, check out my Etsy shop and grab yourself and eco- friendly hand-printed tote bag to take with you on your next adventure!

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