Though they say that the best things in life come free, travel ain’t cheap. So either they’re lying, or travel just isn’t that great. Never mind, they’re definitely lying. There’s just no way travel isn’t awesome.

Related: What on Earth is a Travel Exercise Bank?

Money is a significant barrier to travel for many people. That being said, there are tried and true ways for you to save big money before and during travel so that you can extend your travel experiences that much farther. Keep on scrolling to find out our top tips on how to save for travel!

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Save big before your trip

  1. Take shorter showers.
  2. Only run full loads of laundry.
  3. Charge your devices at school or work.
  4. Turn off the lights religiously.
  5. Turn down the thermostat and wear more/less clothing.
  6. Only heat/cool the area that you’re occupying.
  7. Sell your car. You won’t need it when you’re travelling the world.
  8. Take public transit, rideshare, bike, or even walk to get around.
  9. Ditch the memberships that you never use (yeah, I’m talking about your gym membership). Instead, get some exercise by jogging or biking to run errands!
  10. Cook and eat at home. Restaurant food is much more expensive and less healthy than what you could make yourself.
  11. Reduce meats and sweets. Eating less of these will be good both for you and your wallet!
  12. Stop the Starbucks habit. Your morning coffee could be setting you back more than 20 dollars a week.
  13. Sell your junk. Your great aunt’s taxidermy pig? Probably should get rid of it.
  14. And buy somebody else’s junk second hand! Textbooks, shirts, furniture, and much more can be bought for a lower price at a thrift store.
  15. Borrow or rent things you won’t always need. A library card is a must if you’re a bookworm, and you’ll almost always be able to borrow or rent a neighbour’s lawnmower or toolbox.
  16. Curb impulse spending. One of my favourite ways to do this is to ask myself 3 questions: Will I actually use this? Will I regret this a year from now? and If I left and came back in a week, would I still buy this? If the answer to any of those questions is no, I walk away.
  17. Opt for nights in instead of nights out. Instead of going to a club or a cafe, host a dinner party, or stay home and watch a movie.
  18. Put your savings into the bank. You might earn a few dollars of interest, which honestly isn’t much, but still counts as money.
  19. Cut coupons to save on your groceries and toiletries.
  20. Cut out your bad habits. Smoking and drinking excessively are as bad for your wallet as they are for you.
  21. Work part time or freelance. Tutoring, transcription, ghostwriting, babysitting, and landscaping are all good at earning you a small but solid sum of money.
  22. Downsize if you think that your home has too many more amenities than you’d ever need, or even want.
  23. Get a roommate or two or three if you don’t want to downsize.
  24. List your home on Airbnb or join the Couchsurfing community.
  25. Get a new credit card for some free money, but don’t use them to spend more!
  26. Wait for sales to buy things that you really need but can’t be found secondhand.


Save big during your trip

  1. Travel during the off-season.
  2. Be flexible with your schedule. You never know what might happen, be it a free ticket, last minute deal, or clerical error!
  3. Travel light. Avoid getting slapped with overweight baggage fees, plus there’s less to lose when you have fewer things with you.
  4. Don’t fly round trip, instead book two one-way tickets.
  5. Use budget airlines.
  6. Book with a tour operator. Less fun but also less expensive.
  7. Choose a country with a weaker currency to get the most out of your conversions. Southeast Asia tends to be a pretty good choice for this.
  8. Work while you travel. WWOOF or teaching English are two popular options.
  9. Use Airbnb and Couchsurf or stay in a hostel.
  10. Use free nights to your advantage. A lot of museums and other fun activities have these.
  11. Get around on public transit instead of taxis.
  12. Take overnight buses, trains, and planes.
  13. Eat like a local. Street food and small restaurants will generally be safe and clean if there are locals eating there.
  14. Find the free WiFi. If your accommodations don’t have it, look for a McD’s or Starbucks.
  15. Don’t eat at restaurants all the time. Buy some groceries and have a picnic or a nice home-cooked meal.

Money doesn’t grow on trees (dumplings don’t fall out of the sky, according to my mother), but with our tips and tricks, you’ll save big in no time and you won’t need money to grow on trees or dumplings to fall from the sky! We hope you’ve enjoyed this post; as always, please give us a thumbs up and a share down below and we’ll see you next time. Happy travels!


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Comments (34)

  1. Couldn’t agree more on #10 but sometimes all the good restaurants surrounding me in the office are always testing my EQ! LOL!

  2. I read #16 and cried a little on the inside. You mean the waffle cone maker I bought on a whim last week because it was on sale was a bad idea?! And yet I still wonder why I never have enough to travel…

  3. Very often tour operators take more for their services and offers in contrast to what you can find by yourself (only if not to speak about charter flights). But its good when you just want to relax and don’t get much into planning)) and one-way ticket is always nice choiсe for saving and great adventure)

    • That’s true in many cases, but there are regions where tourism is regulated and tour operators are the only way to go. As well, I’ve seen tour operators in other regions (particularly outside North America and Europe) offer combined rates for airfare and hotels that cost less than if you were to go alone 🙂 It’s all personal preference

  4. Great tips, thank you for sharing! We have cut back drastically on spending so we can take at least 2 bigger trips a year. Eating like a local is always fun!

  5. Just shared this widely on Pinterest! Brillient advice! Thank you so much — i’m proud to say that I pretty much follow all of this advice. Except for the travelling light — i really struggle with this…for some reason…I always end up carrying too much…

    • Thank you! Haha, for me I have the opposite problem; sometimes I’ll end up with packing one shirt to last 8 days: that’s when I know I need to reevaluate my confidence in my packing!

  6. Very comprehensive list! I especially like your tip for curbing impulse spending. I do something very similar and find that, more often than not, I leave stores empty-handed. Eating like a local is a big one. Street food, in addition to being far less expensive in most cases, is often even tastier than restaurant fare!

  7. Those are good tips! It’s true, how low your budget might be, it doesn’t last forever 🙂 We are traveling really low budget and our travel style might not appeal to everybody but we mainly hitchhike or sleep in our tent. This saves a lot of money too but to be honest, that’s not the reason why we do it. We just love to hitchhike and wild camp 🙂 The tip on making your own meals and picnics is definitely a good one too!

  8. Great tips, these look really useful!

  9. Jeez, this is very detailed! And so helpful. I am for sure bookmarking this. I have a drafted blog entry on a similar topic and you just inspired me to finish that. Really need to cut back and save for traveling!

  10. That is quite an exhaustive list but i do feel that if travel is your passion, you will do it anyways. I think though one needs to save and cut costs, there is always the risk of overdoing it. I would rather prefer to enjoy life today than save for a tomorrow which may not even come 🙂

  11. Haha great minds think alike! I’m working on a really similar post right now and it seems like we share a lot of the save cost-cutting tips! Saving up for travel can be tough but the reward is well worth it 🙂 I’ve definitely done my fair share of these throughout the years haha but these days, I’m less willing to make sacrifices than in my backpacker past. Like overnight buses for example – eugh those are the bane of my existence!

  12. I love how a lot of these tips are not only budget conscious but also environmentally conscious. Living frugally often goes hand in hand with living a sustainable life 🙂

  13. I always thought that saying was bogus for the same reason. Great tips here! I would only agree with buying two one way tickets if you’re going back home from a completely different place than where you flew to. If you’re flying to and from the same place, it’s often way cheaper to fly round trip than buying two one way tickets.

  14. I love how straight forward your tips are 🙂 Indeed dumplings doesn’t fall from the sky, I wish it does! 🙂

  15. Good tips ! Always looking for ways to save for travelling. Thanks

  16. […] Related: How to save more, so you can travel more […]

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