25 Ways to Save Money When You Travel

By Brittany Hawes on November 15, 2017

As students, we are always looking for a new adventure and to set out on our own paths. We want to reach new horizons and explore all there is to know about this world. Traveling can do that for us!

Traveling is a fun and enjoyable way to learn about different cultures and to visit the places that many of us have only read about in textbooks. It opens new doors and possibilities, such as the chance to meet new people and make friends with others from cultures that are different from our own.

The one thing that a lot of students say is holding them back from travel is the expense. Airfare, car rentals, hotel rooms, food, souvenirs, international calling, tours, and more are just some of the expenses you have to consider when traveling.

Traveling, especially overseas, can be expensive. But you don’t have to completely toss out the idea of traveling just because you’re worried you won’t have the money to go or not have the money to really enjoy yourself. There are several hacks that are available for you to use so you can save money when you travel and still have an awesome time. The following techniques will help you to not only save money on airfare, but also on room and board, food, sightseeing, and everything else.

Image via Pixabay.com

Save on flights

1. Look on cheap airfare sites

Websites like Skyscanner.com and Travelzoo.com offer ways of finding some of the cheapest flights available. Try searching through websites like these and comparing prices until you find the best ticket for your money.

2. Don’t fly during holidays

Holidays are when tickets get much pricier because of how popular it is to fly during these times. If possible, try to schedule your trip for a month that isn’t as popular to travel, such as January. Not only will you save money on your flight but you also won’t have to worry about being stuck in long lines or raised prices on hotels.

3. Schedule your flight during unpopular hours

“Red-eye flights” are flights that leave late at night and arrive at their destination usually early in the morning. These flights are usually less popular and prices are lower.

4. Pack light

Save on baggage fees by only packing the necessities. If you can get away with just carry-on bags, that would be even better!

5. Teach overseas

Some companies that are looking to hire native speakers of English to teach in their country might be willing to cover the cost of your airfare. If you’re passionate about teaching and want to travel, this could be the perfect opportunity to save hundreds of dollars on airfare.

Save on lodging

6. Check out a hostel

Hostels are places that offer cheap food and shared accommodations for travelers. They are often cheaper than hotels and you’ll get to meet other travelers like yourself who are looking to also meet new people. Some hostels even have private rooms!

7. Couch-surf

A fun way to meet new people and really get immersed in the culture is to try out couch-surfing. Couch-surfing lets you stay with local people who are willing to share their home with you for a few days or so. You’ll get to live with the locals and see how their daily lives are, which can be the best traveling experience to have.

8. Stay with a host family

Much like couch-surfing, staying with a host family gives you a closer look at how life as a local is. Check online and with your school to see what study abroad options are available to you.

9. Airbnb

Looking for rental homes on the website Airbnb can be a cheaper and more exciting route than booking a hotel room. I’ve seen entire house rentals in Japan for less than $100 on this site. If you’re traveling with friends, you can even split the cost of the house and save a lot of money.

10. Stay outside of major cities

Many of the hotels and rentals inside of major cities, especially cities known to attract a lot of visitors, can be expensive. Look into getting a hotel just outside of the city or in a smaller town nearby. From there, you can take the bus or catch an Uber and ride into the city when you’re ready to explore.

11. Try Travendly

Travendly is a website that helps young professional travelers meet in foreign countries and form travel groups. There might be some amongst the group who would love to split the cost of a room with you or split the cost of a tour.

12. Try WWOOF

WWOOF is a program that allows travelers to stay and work on farms all over the world. The farm owners will allow workers to stay in their home and provide food in exchange for the help. If you enjoy hard work and want to help out a business that does a lot for the world, I recommend giving it some research.

13. Go on a mission trip

Traveling with your church group can save you money. Many times, the hotel rooms will be shared, saving you money while you still get to have the experience of traveling to a new country.

Image via Pixabay.com

Save on transportation

14. Split fares by sharing rides

Ride-sharing apps like Uber are all over the world. Splitting the fare with other people bound for your destination can save you a lot of money as you go exploring.

15. Take public transportation

There’s no better way to experience the city firsthand than by using public transportation. Subways and buses can be cheaper than car rentals (and more economic).

16. Walk when you can

Experience scenery firsthand and not just as a passing blur by walking. Be safe when you walk and try not to walk alone if possible, especially at night.

Save on food

17. Book a hotel with free breakfast

If you stay in a hotel, it can be beneficial to you if the hotel offers free breakfast. This way, you won’t need to go out and buy food in the morning.

18. Eat a big breakfast

Eat as much as you can for breakfast so you won’t be as hungry during lunch time. Pack snacks to eat for lunch and then dish out money for a nice dinner.

19. Shop local and cook in your kitchen

Shopping at the local supermarkets can introduce you to new kinds of foods. Have fun cooking back at your room and trying out all kinds of new cuisine. 

20. Steer clear of tourist areas

Areas that have a lot of tourist attractions often mean higher prices for food and drink. If possible, look for food in places where the locals go.

21. Always pack a to-go box

If you go out to eat for dinner, make sure you take whatever food you don’t eat home with you. Warm it up for the next day’s lunch so you won’t have to spend money on more food.

Save on sightseeing

22. Find free events

Do some research before you go on your trip and see what kinds of free events will be happening. Look for free movie showings, concerts, art shows, comedy acts, air shows, and more so you won’t have to spend a lot of money going to other pricey attractions.

23. Look into free museums, parks, etc.

Some places have free admission. Sites like the D.C.’s national zoo will let you walk in and explore at no cost. 

24. Ask about student discounts

Being a student is great! Make sure you ask if places like museums and other attractions will give you a discount as a student.

25. Check out activities hosted by your hostel

Want to learn how to make great drinks or cook up a new dish? Some hostels host free events for the people staying there.

Remember, don’t let anything as trivial as money hold you back from doing something you really want to do. Start saving now and create a budget for when you go on a trip so you’ll be less worried about money when you travel and more excited about the prospect of an adventure. Happy traveling, everyone!

Hi there! My name's Britt and I'm a senior majoring in English major at Florida State University. I have these crazy, big dreams of traveling the entire world and writing novels in my spare time. I love music, food, and the Japanese culture. I plan on teaching English in Japan upon graduation from Florida State. My first YA novel, Twisted, was published by Deep Sea Publishing Company in 2014. It won a Readers' Favorite Book Award that same year. Alongside schoolwork, I'm working hard on the second book in the Twisted series as well as a number of other novels.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format