6 Secrets to Traveling on a Budget

As a jet-setter, it’s hard to stay home — even if it’s for a good cause. Sitting on your couch watching Anthony Bourdain or Michael Palin tour the world just isn’t the same as making the trip yourself.  

armchair and virtual travel from home

If you’re feeling blue about canceled plans, here’s some good news. All this time spent at home is the perfect opportunity to organize a vacation, honing your plans to see the world on a dime.

1. Cut out Other Luxuries

As you start sketching in the details of your plans, you’ll get a better sense of how expensive your trip will be. You may be tempted to turn to installment loans to bankroll your adventure once the costs rack up. But installment loans are meant for specific situations, like when an unexpected emergency auto repair strikes when your savings are low. 

Using one to afford a flight, no matter how great the deal is, doesn’t count. Check here to find out more about when to get a personal loan and when it’s better to save up.

Since you have all this time until you can put your plans into action, sit down with your budget to see how you can squirrel away more money for your trip. Be ready to cut a lot of spending. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice other luxuries in your day-to-day life to be able to travel the world. 

2. Choose Your Destination Well

Some places are naturally more expensive to visit than others. Think Paris or Tuscany. While they’re popular destinations for travelers, they also cost a lot of money right off the bat. 

Shift your attention to Southeast Asia or Eastern Europe instead. Places like Cambodia, Vietnam, Hungary, and Bulgaria are some of the cheapest destinations in the world. 

3. Go Natural

Have you forgotten what fresh air smells like after all your time flattening the curve? Think about a camping vacation in one of the many national parks around the country. A campsite is cheaper than any hotel or hostel room, and you can’t beat their views!

4. Use Travel Rewards

While installment loans don’t fit into your itinerary, some credit accounts come in handy abroad. You often need a credit card to book a flight, reserve a hotel room, or rent a car. 

If you’re using them anyway, you might as well find something that offers cashback or travel rewards. 

Sometimes, the only way to unlock the best credit card is with a spotless borrowing record and a minimum salary. This means you may not be able to get them if you have bad credit. 

5. Become a House Sitter

Next to flights, accommodations take a big bite out of your travel budget. But there’s a way to cut this expense altogether. If you become a registered house sitter, you can connect with people in need of help. By taking care of their property while they’re away, you have a home base in your destination of choice. 

6. Learn How to Cook Abroad

Whether it’s trying trdelnik in Prague or lapping up llauchas in La Paz, unique street food is the biggest temptation abroad, but these treats can quickly eat into your budget. Snack on these in moderation to save more money. Learn how to prepare food from a hotel, hostel, or house-sitting arrangement. Taking these meals as a picnic is an easy way to see your destination like a local.

What Can You Afford?

Wrestle with your budget to find out what you can afford, then use these tips to plan the perfect vacation. Once it’s safe to do so again, you can put this plan to good use and make up for lost time. Bon voyage!


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