How to Travel on a Budget: Tips and Tricks for Affordable Adventures

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Not everyone can afford flights, luxury hotels, restaurants and expert-led tours – and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are plenty of ways to travel in a cost-effective (and environmentally friendly) way, which can be easily achieved by doing your research beforehand and remembering a few things. 

I’ll list them below, and then at the end I’ll give you tips for a few destinations where you can make the most of your newfound knowledge of low budget travel. 

Set a Budget

The first and most important thing is to determine how much you plan and how much you can afford to spend on your trip. Figure out how you will get to your destination: by car, bus, train? Check all of your options and their prices.

And where do you plan to stay? In a pension, a motel, a hotel? Even if you plan to camp with a tent, you need to check how much you’ll have to pay at the designated campsites – and whether there are any campsites at the destination, because if there aren’t, camping may not be allowed. 

Don’t forget about eating. You can take food with you, it’s not necessary to eat at restaurants or buy food at grocery stores, but you’ll need to factor in the cost of the ingredients to make your sandwiches too, if you want a really cost-effective trip. 

It’s also obvious that you want to do different activities on your trip. These may be free, depending on what you’ve chosen, but you may also have to pay for them, if nothing else, then the price of admission. Be sure to look into these too and factor them into your budget. 

Do you also want to buy souvenirs for those who will be waiting for you at home? Then don’t forget to include these. Taking all these things into account will help you make informed decisions and prioritise what you’re going to spend on. 

Travelling Off-Season

The tourist hotspots are not recommended in peak season for those who don’t like crowds or who want to travel cost-effectively, but the less popular places are also worth visiting outside the peak tourist season. 

In peak season, not only are crowds bigger, but prices are also higher, i.e. travel costs (e.g. airfares), accommodation and activities, and even restaurants are more expensive. 

In addition, if you travel off-season, not only are the prices lower, but the local culture is also more exposed to you, giving you a more authentic experience. 

Flexibility with Travel Dates

It’s worth choosing your travel dates based on when the travel tickets and accommodation are cheapest. Therefore, it is useful to start looking at and comparing the prices of tickets and accommodation as soon as you start thinking about your trip. It often happens that you can get them for half or even a quarter of the price weeks in advance. 

Packing Light & Smart

Even the longest trips can be made with just one backpack. It may not be as convenient, since you can’t carry all your amenities, but honestly, are they absolutely necessary? The purpose of travel is primarily to experience new things, to explore new perspectives, so it’s worth stepping out of your comfort zone. 

For this reason, try to take only the essentials, preferably in as small a bag as possible. That way you won’t have to pay extra for your luggage and you’ll be more mobile. 


Other Cost-Effective Tips

There are a few other, smaller things to keep in mind, as they can save you a lot of money:

  • if you are travelling by plane, look for airlines that offer low-cost flights and work with smaller, lesser-known airports (these are also useful to consider when using other means of transport);
  • when looking for accommodation, look for alternatives, not just hotels: hostels, guesthouses, holiday rentals, camping etc. are all cheaper, and it’s not difficult to find them thanks to booking portals such as Airbnb, Hostelworld or Couchsurfing;
  • trying authentic local food is a nice activity, but eating out all the time can be very expensive, so I’d recommend making some lasting food for yourself before you go (if nothing else, at least for the road) and cook for yourself after you arrive – and buy the ingredients at local markets or small grocery stores;
  • instead of renting a car or taking a taxi, use public transportation or walk whenever you can;
  • take advantage of the free attractions – research local museums, parks, festivals and other entertainment in advance;
  • sign up for travel rewards schemes if you come across one, as you can often get some pretty good deals. 

Some Budget-Friendly Destinations

As promised at the beginning of this article, I’ve put together a selection of places that offer a breathtaking yet affordable experience. Below you will find some destinations that offer excellent value for travellers on a tight budget.

Eastern Europe

Rich history, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, budget-friendly accommodation and public transportation, warm-hearted hospitality – these await you if you decide to visit Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, or the Czech Republic. The prices in all of these countries are lower compared to many other European destinations. 


Even in bigger cities like Marrakech or Fez, the accommodation and the food are very affordable, and you can enjoy a lively mix of culture, history and natural wonders. Make sure that you visit the bustling markets, the ancient medinas and don’t forget to go hiking on the steep slopes of the Atlas Mountains.


Compared to other Western European countries, Portugal is affordable even for those who have not robbed a bank. And it’s a country that oozes history, culture and beauty from every corner – at an affordable price. 


I hope you find the tips and tricks you’ve learned in this article useful, and I hope I’ve piqued your interest in some of the lesser-known travel destinations. Remember, when travelling low-budget, it’s important to be flexible just like when you play in online casinos, for example. See you outside that comfort-zone!