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Five Tried-and-Tested Tips For Travelers on a Budget

Traveling to a new destination is one of the most exciting and fulfilling activities. Still, a significant hurdle is standing in the way of many would-be explorers: the cost of traveling. While millions of people head off for a weekend break or on a sun-soaked vacation annually, equally as many, if not more, feel stuck at home due to a lack of funds. 

Let’s be honest: travel can be expensive, especially air travel, where ticket prices have soared since the COVID-19 pandemic and show no signs of returning to normal. That said, you can employ expert tips that are almost guaranteed to save you money. Perhaps that dream vacation will no longer be out of reach.

Plan Ahead and Be Flexible

Although it may not always be possible, planning ahead and being flexible can save you a small fortune on travel and accommodation costs. It is only natural to want to travel at weekends because it means using less of your annual leave or holiday allowance. People travel to major sporting events, visit friends and family, and enjoy city breaks on weekends, which increases demand and costs.

Consider traveling midweek instead. You could save a small fortune and likely find popular destinations and attractions less crowded, which is a win-win situation in our book.

It should go without saying that you should avoid peak travel times as much as you can. Whenever schools are on break or religious holidays such as Christmas are on the horizon, the demand for accommodation and travel massively increases, resulting in prices going through the roof. Look at the cost of flights during summer break and compare them to the week after students return to class to see what we mean!

Flexibility does not only concern the dates you wish to travel but also your starting point and destination. Flying out of and into less popular airports could increase the time spent traveling but can also result in substantial savings on airline tickets.

Travel Light and Avoid Extra Fees

What initially looks like a bargain airplane ticket can become an expensive adventure once you start paying checked baggage fees. The prices some airlines charge for checked baggage borders are almost criminal. These costs are not helped, particularly in Europe, by a shortage of baggage handlers.

Our friend booked a flight from the United Kingdom to Poland via a budget airline. The price on the screen showed £70 for the return ticket, which seemed too good to be true. It turned out it was too good to be true because that ticket’s price increased to £190 when they added a checked bag; the suitcase’s transportation cost more than their seat!

It is not always possible to avoid needing checked baggage, especially if you are traveling on an extended vacation or have children. However, if possible, try to fit everything you need into a carry-on bag and avoid the excessive baggage fees.

Traveling light also makes navigating from the airport to your accommodation easier, which you will be thankful for if you use public transport instead of potentially expensive taxis and hotel transfer services.

Use Budget Accommodation Options

Everyone likes enjoying some luxury when on vacation, but luxury and refinement often come at a premium. Mainstream and chain hotels can severely damage your wallet regardless of where you are in the world. Rooms at established chains like Hilton often cost as much in developing countries as in major cities.

Ask yourself if you need the very best from your accommodation or if a more budget-friendly option would work. Websites like Airbnb and Booking.com often have great deals on accommodations, with some other companies offering discounted rooms for regular travelers. 

Generally, if a vacation rental, hostel, guesthouse, or budget hotel is cheap, clean, and not located in the middle of nowhere, it will be good enough for you to rest your weary head.

Wine and Dine Like a Local

A saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” and it rings true regarding saving money once you arrive at your destination. Avoid tourist hotspots when considering your dining options. Instead, talk to the locals and ask where they like to dine out or relax in the evenings. You may unearth a hidden gem where the prices are far less than where the tourists unwind.

Street food stalls, local markets, and smaller eateries off the beaten track usually offer delicious yet affordable meals. Eating with the locals will save you money and immerse you in your destination’s culture, adding to your overall experience.

Use Public Transport or Walk Where Possible

Renting a car is expensive, and hiring a taxi is also costly. Public transport abroad tends to be cheaper than back home; remember that walking comes free of charge! Many cities have tourist passes that provide unlimited access to public transport for a certain period, making it a cost-effective way to get around and explore. Last year, a friend paid €20 for a one-way taxi journey in Cyprus until they discovered they could travel on the local bus for €3 for 24 hours! They soon ditched taxis and used public transport!

Walking is an excellent way to explore a new location, and it is free. At night, try to stay on well-let paths where plenty of other people are walking about; don’t compromise your safety to save a few bucks.


Traveling and exploring the world can be expensive, but it does not need to be. If you plan, show some flexibility, and are prepared to stay in accommodation at the more budget end of the affordability scale, many travel opportunities will arise.

Once you have reached your chosen destination, embrace the local culture, eat and socialize with the locals, and save money by avoiding expensive taxis and using public transport instead. Use these tips to your advantage; you could be jetting off to far-flung lands sooner than you think.

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We are Karolina, Patryk, and Mia, the lazy traveling family. After spending 5 years as digital nomads, and living in many countries in the world, we decided to make Poland our base.

Our mission is to show you safe and interesting destinations where you can travel with your family.

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