18 Ways for Saving on Travel and Still Have Fun

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Being frugal when you travel can be important if you’re looking to explore the world on a budget. That said, the goal to save as much money as possible shouldn’t come at the cost of your happiness and experience. If you don’t enjoy your travels, what’s the point of traveling at all? 

It’s important to strike a balance between getting a good deal and still being able to go out and enjoy your adventure. The good news? It’s more than possible. 

We’ve come up with some of the top tips from other travelers who manage to make sure that they don’t go over budget while they’re traveling and still have a great time. Here are 17 strategies for saving on travel without sacrificing fun. 

1. If Possible, Plan Ahead

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If you’re not the type to go on excursions at random, you have one key advantage: being able to take advantage of cheaper travel options. 

When you plan in advance, you can typically get plane tickets much cheaper, especially if you plan on traveling during times when ticket prices aren’t usually at their peak. Planning is crucial to saving money, and this applies to travel too.

2. Look for Less Popular Tourist Spots

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Everyone wants to go to Paris and Barcelona, but most people make their best memories at places that are out of the way. As it turns out, this is also the best way to have fun and save money. 

No matter where you’re planning on traveling to, look for the hidden gems that aren’t flooded with tourists. You’ll still get to enjoy yourself and save more money than if you were to visit popular tourist destinations. 

3. Expand Your Search Beyond Hotels

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Hotels are the go-to accommodations for travelers, but they’re hardly the only options. From Airbnb to hostels to guest houses, there are so many other cheaper places to stay that can help you save without costing you your sanity. 

Just make sure that you do your research so you’re getting accommodations that meet your needs. Your wallet will thank you!

4. Use Public Transit When You Can

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Have you been using Uber or other forms of transportation when you’re exploring new locations? If so, you’ve very likely been overspending. 

Public transit like trains and shuttles are much cheaper to use and get you to where you need to go. If it’s a luxury where we live, it’s very likely the same costly alternative to other forms of travel in any country outside the U.S. too. 

5. See If You Can Land Bundle Deals

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Package travel deals tend to get a bad rap. That said, these types of deals can save you a good amount of money and help you get some better accommodations than if you were to shop for and book everything separately. 

Just make sure that you’re using reliable platforms with terms and conditions that you can agree to. There are stories out there about people who’ve booked accommodations, only to have certain things canceled or unavailable without their knowledge. 

6. Know When It’s Best to Travel

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There are certain times of the year when it’s best to travel, especially if you plan on visiting certain countries. For example, more tropical areas are naturally going to be cheaper to visit during the fall and the winter than in the spring or the summer. 

While you shouldn’t visit during periods where you’re not going to able to enjoy certain locations, you can save money by going on the cusp and scooping up cheaper tickets when everyone’s not clamoring to go. 

7. Cook for Yourself

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Part of travel is experiencing the local cuisine, and this is by all means something you should do. However, you shouldn’t be eating out all the time. This will take up a ton of your traveling budget and make it harder for you to enjoy the other things you plan on doing.

Instead, use the kitchen in your space to your advantage. It will help you cut down on food costs substantially. Then, when you do plan on eating out, go to local places that aren’t swamped by tourists. 

8. Don’t Do Anything You Could on Your Own

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Bus tours, walking tours, and other sightseeing activities are quite common when you’re in a foreign land. However, they’re rarely necessary to spend money on. 

You could very likely show yourself around town or even take advantage of free walking tours so that you’re not paying someone to go around and show you things you don’t need to be guided to. 

9. Enjoy Free Attractions

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Speaking of free, there are often so many free things to do around major cities that don’t require you to spend a ton of money. 

This may include free museum days, community events, and beyond. Before you go spending money, see what you can do for free that you might enjoy. 

10. Use Group Discounts

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Group discounts can be an amazing way to spend less money on some of the things you’ve been wanting to do. While this only applies to those who are vacationing with others, it’s certainly a travel savings tip we felt the need to mention here. 

You might even be able to grab a few individual coupons on these sites from time to time. 

11. Be Picky About Where You Shop for Souvenirs

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There are a lot of “tourist traps” throughout major cities and surrounding areas where vendors will mark up certain goods to exorbitant prices to make a quick buck off of those passing through. 

This is why those who are shopping for a souvenir should always turn their attention to local shops. You’ll get a better deal and likely get much better quality goods this way. 

12. Try to Stay in One Place

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Some people love backpacking or hitting up location after location. If you want to save money, this isn’t a very cost-effective way to travel. 

Instead, come up with a list of places you’ve always wanted to see and make it a point to visit them one at a time, staying in one location. This way, you’re not bouncing from place to place and racking up your charges as you go.

13. Take Advantage of Any Discounts Thrown Your Way

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Whether we’re talking about discounts offered by airlines or discounts being offered by businesses surrounding you once you’ve gotten to where you want to be, always take advantage of any discounts offered to you. 

Even more importantly, use rewards cards alongside these discounts to save even more!

14. Always Set Savings Goals in Advance

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The last thing you want to do if you’re interested in traveling is fail to make a budget to help you ensure that you’ll have enough money come the time that you feel like traveling. 

Carve out a section in your budget for travel savings. If you need more, look for odd jobs and side hustles that can help you bring in more income for your travels. 

15. Make Connections With Others

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Having people to stay with when you travel is an invaluable resource that will help you save a ton of money. If you have friends or family in places you wish to visit, see if they’d be willing to make space for you when you finally take off. 

As you travel, aim to make friends in the different places you visit so that you might be able to save on travel expenses if you ever return. 

16. Use Various Platforms to Stay on Top of Deals

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The benefits of modern technology mean that you can constantly get updates in your inbox about deals on cruises, airplane tickets, and other promotions that you’ll likely want to take advantage of. 

There are a host of these platforms out there, so don’t be afraid to sign up for all of them so that you can save more money. 

17. Use a Local SIM Card While Traveling

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Using your cell phone abroad is a great way to rack up charges that you don’t want to deal with when you get back home. One handy traveling hack is to always buy a local SIM card to use while traveling. 

This will keep your cell phone costs down and ensure you’re saving as much as possible even when you’re communicating with friends. 

18. Think Outside The Box

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When it comes to travel, we usually think about flying somewhere or driving. But there are other options to consider.

First, look to see if there is a local tour bus company. They typically take day trips or long weekend treks. Your price usually includes travel, accommodations, and sometimes, meals.

Another thing to consider is traveling with friends. Maybe you can split the cost of a hotel or rental car.

How To Save Money

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If you want to get ahead financially, you need to put some money into savings on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, many of us never do. But that changes now. Here are over 100 simple things you can do to start saving money every day

HOW TO SAVE MONEY

Hide Money In Your Car

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Like your house, your car is another excellent place to hide money. Just don’t make the mistake of putting in your center console.

Instead, use these unique places to hide money from whomever you want

THE BEST PLACES TO HIDE MONEY IN YOUR CAR

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