Travel season is upon us! If you have a ton of destinations on your must-see list, but your budget isn’t quite as ample, saving money while you travel can be easier than you think.
It might sound too good to be true, but there are many simple ways to shave off a few bucks here and there… and sometimes a few hundred or thousand of them! Head off on your vacation relaxed and with the peace of mind that you’re saving as much as possible by implementing some hacks from these five ways to travel on a budget.
1. Travel where your money goes further
An easy way to make sure your vacation dough goes further? Head to a place where your native currency is worth more. It might be surprising, but heading abroad can actually make for a more budget-friendly trip when you pick the right spot. In some instances, you’ll be able to live like a king for a fraction of what you’d spend domestically.
If places like Portugal, Spain, Peru, Egypt or Vietnam are on your bucket list, you’re in luck. FinanceBuzz released their list of 10 countries where the US dollar goes the furthest in 2022 and these hot destinations are among them. Tunisia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Mexico, Hungary round out their list of countries that currently have a very favorable exchange rate. That means you’ll be able to stay in better accommodations, spend more at local restaurants and even splurge on fancy additions to your trip like hiring a private driver.
2. Make the most of your credit cards
Credit cards don’t have to be the enemy! In fact, when it comes to traveling they can really come in clutch and help you save big in a myriad of ways.
First, it’s time to redeem those points! Yep, the money you’ve accumulated just by spending money on other things can go a lot further if you redeem them for things like hotels and flights ahead of your trip. Some hotel credit cards even offer free hotel night certificates, while others let you book your room with points instead of cash, which can save you bigtime and means you don’t have to touch the money in your vacation savings.
Credit cards can also be helpful while traveling abroad if you pick the right one. For example, a credit card without foreign transaction fees can help you save. Otherwise, you’re likely paying a percentage on top of all your purchases throughout your trip.
It’s also important to find credit cards that let you withdraw from an ATM abroad, so you don’t rack up fees. This is a great way to procure foreign currency, since the ATM often gives the best rate when you choose to take out the local currency, according to Kate McCulley, a travel expert who weighed in on this great tip to Business Insider.
3. Eat local… like at the local supermarket
Dining out is much more expensive than eating at home. We all know that on our own turf, but it also applies when we’re in a foreign location.
Next time you’re on holiday, consider heading to the local supermarket. Not only is it an adventure in itself — imagine all the unique local groceries — it will also save you big on meals. For example, what’s more Parisian than a loaf of bread, some cheese, and a bottle of wine? Once you procure those staples, head to the Eiffel Tower, and voila: you’ve got yourself dinner and a show for cheap!
4. Use a flight saving service
One of the most expensive elements of travel is the plane ticket. Fortunately, there are ways to get around exorbitant flight costs with services these days. Take Dollar Flight Club, for instance. This service helps you save on all of your travel plans while saving you precious search time.
They hunt down the best deals in Business, Premium Economy and Economy class, with deals abroad like a $330 roundtrip to Madrid or $439 roundtrip to Panama, while also saving you on domestic trips with amazing steals like a $129 roundtrip ticket to Hawaii. All you have to do is add your home airport and watch your email inbox for the deals.
A Premium Plus subscription to this kind of service ensures you’ll consistently save on this pricy part of traveling. Forbes raved about their services, noting, “A great paid service is Dollar Flight Club, which boasts an impressive average of $500 saved per ticket.” And right now you can score that subscription for a lifetime for just $99.
5. Rent your place while you’re gone
With the advent of easy home share sites like Airbnb and VRBO, there is a brand new way to save big while you travel: renting out your own space. No matter how long you’re going to be gone, renting can either help subsidize your trip, or in some instances even allow you to come out on top and actually make money while you’re on vacation.
It sounds like a dream, but it was a true story for Kelly Lack, a content and community lead at Spot. The traveler told Travel Channel about her experience, sharing, “Several years ago, we did the Southeast Asia backpack circuit for a couple months, and rented out our NYC apartment while we were gone. Our travel costs were so low — SE Asia is the trip for the budget-minded — that we actually ended up making money. We found a renter via Craigslist, but you could also list your pad on a site likeAirbnb or VRBO, or look into a house swap on Home Exchange.”
Prices subject to change.