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For many people, an overseas vacation is a short break from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and an opportunity to splurge at a luxury hotel and eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But for others, traveling is a long-term lifestyle, and the more you can save along the way, the longer you can stay on the road. 

If you’re looking to make your money stretch as far as possible, check out these seven budget travel tips for budget-conscious travelers. 

how to save money for travel cash

7 Best Budget Travel Tips

1) Find Budget-Friendly Accommodation

One of the biggest expenses when traveling is accommodation, with the nightly costs of hotels and resorts quickly adding up. That’s why it’s best to opt for short-term holiday homes or apartments, which tend to be much more affordable. 

Vacation rental budget travel tips

Holiday rental sites such as Rentola Dubai showcase properties in all corners of the globe, allowing you to compare what is out there and find one that’s right for you. Unlike long-term rentals, you won’t be locked into a set tenancy period and can negotiate how long you’d like to stay.

In most cases, you’ll get a better deal for weekly or monthly stays compared to the nightly rate. 

2) Cook Instead of Eating Out For Every Meal

Another big budget “plus” of booking a holiday rental over a hotel is the fact that many offer access to a kitchen, meaning you’ll save a lot of money by self-catering.

Cook your own meals

Rather than eating out at overpriced tourist restaurants, you can shop for fresh produce and local delicacies at community markets, then come home and cook up a storm, just like the locals. 

3) Travel in the Off-Season

Traveling during the peak season means higher accommodation rates and flights. It can also mean sharing the destination with hordes of other tourists and having difficulty making restaurant reservations. 

Traveling during the off-season comes with a host of benefits, most importantly the reduced costs of accommodation and transport. On the flip side, it can also mean exploring a destination when the weather isn’t at its most favorable, although this is not always the case. 

Koh Lipe snorkeling boats

If you’re visiting Europe outside of the busy summer period, you’ll be treated to milder weather that is often more enjoyable for sightseeing. While the rainy season in tropical climates can mean heavy daily downpours, it also means that the birding is incredible! 

4) Be Flexible With Your Flights

If you have set dates for flying from A to B, you might end up paying significantly more than you would if you shifted your search by a day or two. Flight prices tend to reflect demand, so weekends see inflated fares when compared to mid-week. 

how to save money for travel - get cheap flight alerts

When searching for flights, play around with your dates to find the best deal or take advantage of the “I’m flexible” box to reveal the cheapest prices for a given period.

Remember, you should always take into consideration the additional costs of accommodation if you choose to stay somewhere for a couple more nights to get a lower airfare. 

5) Explore on Foot

Getting around your destination can be another significant travel cost and can quickly eat into your budget. This is particularly true if you are using taxis and ride-share services in favor of public transport. 

But even more budget-friendly than using public transport is walking to get from A to B. Who knows, it might even end up being quicker or more convenient than getting to the station/bus stop, waiting for your service, and walking to your destination at the other end. 

Walk around The Rocks in Sydney

If you opt to walk, you’ll also experience things along the way that you might miss from a train or bus window. Perhaps it’s an off-the-beaten-track bakery that only the locals know about or a hidden garden amidst the concrete jungle of a city center.

Exploring on foot during your travels is all about enjoying the journey and not just the destination. 

6) Drink the Tap Water

In some destinations, drinking tap water has not been deemed safe, in which case you should always opt for bottled or filtered water. But if the health authorities have given it the green light, filling up a reusable bottle from the tap could save you a lot of money. 

how to save money for travel - pack a water bottle

Not only is bottled water expensive but it has a long-lasting, detrimental impact on the environment. Many rental properties are responding to this by providing water filters for guests to use, giving them peace of mind that they are hydrating safely. 

If you want to ensure you are safe when drinking out of a tap abroad, I recommend taking a LARQ self-cleaning and purifying water bottle with you on your travels – I love mine.

7) Avoid ATM Withdrawal Fees

Withdrawing money from an ATM is an inevitable part of traveling and the way that most people fund their daily adventures. But it’s not uncommon to see hefty foreign transaction fees added to your account, simply for withdrawing money that is yours. 

To avoid this unwanted surprise, chat with your bank before you depart about the foreign transaction fees they charge and consider opting for a travel money card instead. While these aren’t fee-free, they are often considerably better for your budget. 

If you travel often, consider changing banks to a bank like Charles Schwab that refunds all foreign ATM fees and doesn’t charge any transaction fees.

If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my other travel tips:

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