How to Travel Cheap: 10 Simple Ways to Cut Travel Costs

woman looking for travel destination on map surrounded by travel objects

One of the main reasons we believe we cannot travel the world or take a vacation is a lack of funds. Most of us have certain expenses that we cannot cut, such as our daily expenses, food, and other necessities. Some of us even save money from the little we earn to travel. Of course, saving money is directly related to our income, and it may take a long time before we can gather the amount we require or manage our budget to afford our travel costs.

Here I am going to tell you how to cut down on travel costs so that you can travel to one of the destinations on your bucket list without worrying about the budget. If you follow some or all of these ways to cut travel costs and save money, I am sure you will soon be able to travel to not one but many of your favorite destinations. So without further ado, let’s dive into it!

1. Make Reservations in Advance

Flight Booking Reservation

Getting your flight tickets well in advance is one of the easiest tricks for saving money on travel. When you book your tickets 3–4 months in advance, you usually get a better deal on airfare. Also, try to avoid booking on weekends and opt for flights during the mid-week. Moreover, flights that leave early in the morning or late at night are typically less expensive. The chances of finding lower fares are higher in these scenarios.

2. Travel During the Off-Season

Woman relaxing by the sea during off season

Due to lower demand for flights and hotels, traveling during the off-season can cut your travel costs significantly because airlines and hotels offer discounted prices to sustain their business.

Airfares and accommodation rates are exceedingly high during peak seasons, holidays, and prime events as there is additional demand. As a result, airlines and hotels do not offer any discounted fares. 

3. Take Advantage of Sales Day!

Flight Ticket Sale

As per the general trend, if an airline releases a sale fare, the other airlines also release various offers or deals to lure customers. If you have a little bit of patience, you can easily take advantage of these sales by comparing the fares of different airlines. Sites like Airfarewatchdog or Google Flights will help you compare fares and alert you when prices drop. However, it is not advisable to wait too long to book your plane tickets.

4. Use Different Airports

Airline Passengers in an International Airport

One of the best steps to travel on a budget is to use an alternative airport instead of the popular or major ones. It doesn’t matter if you are relatively close to one airport, but it might not be the cheapest to use in your area. You might also consider a multi-city itinerary. Just because you landed at a particular airport doesn’t mean you have to return from the same one. Look for the other nearby airports, compare the prices, and book the cheaper one. Take your time to explore all the options.

5. Pack Light

woman passenger standing by in the waiting hall for boarding the aircraft

Packing up light has many benefits and advantages. For starters, you can move around a lot easier with a light suitcase or backpack. You can easily take public transport from the airport instead of hailing a taxi or cab. Also, you save on baggage fees charged by the airlines. And lastly, you won’t be tempted to shop for souvenirs during your trip because of the limited capacity.

Read Also: 5 Thrilling Destinations to Work Remotely

6. Arrive Early

Staff At Airport Check In Desk

Make sure to reach the airport early. There are chances that you may get upgraded if you arrive early and ask for it. Plus, you will avoid getting an overpriced cab in a hurry instead of taking public transportation, which will cost comparatively less. Cab companies and ride-sharing companies raise their airport rates at certain times of the day. Reaching the airport early will allow you to avoid those prices. Plus, you don’t have to reschedule your flight at the last minute because you arrived late.

7. Ground Transportation Options

Woman looking for a taxi in New york city

You can opt for ground transportation options to travel depending on your destination. While some cities are not well-connected with frequent trains or buses, you will still find periodic services. There are plenty of options for ground transportation services (trains, buses, taxis, and rental cars) in most European and Asian countries.

You can research various travel websites to find the best and cheapest ways to travel around your destination. Do not stick to traveling by plane only. Feel free to opt for other methods of travel to save money. While it may take extra time to reach your destination, traveling on the ground is a great way to explore different regions or countries.

8. Visit the Jump-off Cities

Lombard Street in San Francisco

A two-for-one or three-for-one trip is one of the best ways to save money while traveling. Visiting jump-off cities means you cover two or more destinations in proximity during your trip. An example of this would be visiting San Francisco and then exploring California’s Wine Country. Another example would be to fly to Las Vegas to party and then head to the majestic Grand Canyon by road. After witnessing the canyon, you may either head back to Vegas or go to Phoenix if you find a cheaper flight from there.

9. Find Free Attractions

Young woman with a backpack sitting high on the top of the mountain

No matter where you are going, you will find plenty of attractions and things to do and see that will be free of charge. Many cities offer free guided tours of their popular tourist hotspots and historical landmarks at particular times. You will have to research it thoroughly to know the exact timings. Also, there is no cost for enjoying nature, you can spend a day on the beach or hike through the woods with less money. 

Of course, you can spend some money on a particular attraction(s) that you want to see, but that doesn’t mean you should go extravagant on everything.

10. Go Where the Locals Would Go

View along the Na Pali Coast from the Kalalau Trail in Kauai, Hawaii.

Always make sure to get recommendations from the locals while visiting another place, especially when looking for accommodation or restaurants. Locals will know the best and cheapest locations with quality food and services. They can even guide you to some hidden treasures to explore without spending much.

These are just a few tips for saving money on travel. Your trip can be as expensive or as cheap as you make it. There is no check on what you can do or not. Make sure you plan your budget and try to stick to it! And do not forget that research and planning are the two vital keys to cutting travel costs.

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