The ultimate guide to frugal travel. How to save money traveling and explore the world on a budget! Tons of tips to save money on flight, hotels, on the road and more!
Hi everyone, I’m Maya!
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We all love to travel, and most of us want to do it as much as possible!
But I’m here to tell you it is possible to travel more without spending more!
I can’t help you travel for free (sadly), but if you really know how to look good into it, find cheap flights, learn the best travel hacks and tips, you could definitely find yourself traveling more, and paying much less.
Now, let’s get started so you can travel frugally!
Booking Frugal Flights to Travel
If you want full details on the best days and times to book flights, as well as all of the travel tips you need to know before booking your flight, head on over to my blog and sign up for my free email course.
If you’re going to fly with children, makes sure you read this post with tons of tips.
This is my favorite flights booking sites. I book 95% of my flights through this site, and I 100% believe in it.
I found (and still find) many cheap flights in here, and the prices are insane! Basically Skyscanner shows you all of the flights that are currently on the market. They show you the cheapest flights/the fastest flights or the best flights.
Also, what I love about Skyscanner is that they show you when is it the cheapest to travel to a specific destination, or when are the cheapest days to travel somewhere during a specific month.
There are so many amazing options in this website, and I actually have a full guide on how to use Skyscanner, and how to book cheap flights with it!
After using Skyscanner I also like to check out Agoda’s flight deals. Sometimes they have some very good flight deals. This is another website I like as well, they have great deals and I have found many cheap flights through their website.
Two Important Tips To Know Before Booking Your Frugal Travel Flight:
First – use Google Chrome’s incognito mode to search
When searching online for flights/hotels/anything you can buy, use the incognito mode of Google Chrome. This way, the websites you are looking at can’t plant cookies on your computer, and can’t track what you are searching for online.
What do I mean?
When you accept cookies from a site on your computre, it means that the sites you are searching at, can see what you are looking for. It is nice, until you want to order something, especially a flight/hotel.
Let’s say you really want to go to Paris, It is your dream to go there and in the past few weeks you’ve been searching everywhere for a cheap flight.
Well, you finally found the one ! you check out, and then suddenly the price goes up !
What just happened here? Why did the price suddenly went up?! Because of the cookies these sites plant on your computer, they know how desperate you are because they know you have been searching everywhere for plane tickets and they take advantage of how desperate you are. Sucks, doesn’t it ?
Second – the more flexible you are, the better
If you have a flexible schedule, you are more likely to find better deals on flights and hotels.
You could find out on Skyscanner when is the best time to travel to a specific destination, or when you should travel to on a specific month or dates. This way you could adjust yourself to the flight and get good deals!
Finding a Frugal Place to Stay on Your Travels
One major expense while vacationing is lodging. Here are ways for frugal travel with regards to where you stay.
In the past few years, Airbnb became a really popular thing that helped so much people to lower the costs of their travels.
I love Airbnb apartments! they are cheap, mostly nice and located in amazing parts of the city you are staying at.
(And did I mention how cheap they are?!)
If you are traveling with kids, I highly recommend booking an Air bnb apartment instead of an hotel, because it is much cheaper.
Usually when booking an hotel as a family, you’ll need at least two rooms, each of them costs money obviously. Well, with an Air bnb apartment you pay a specific amount, that is usually the same price or even cheaper than a hotel room, but you pay that price for the whole family.
Staying at an apartment is much cheaper than staying at an hotel as a family. Also, you can get great prices for apartments that are located in the heart of the city!
If apartments aren’t your thing, and you like to feel completely on “vacation mood”, there are many ways to get good deals on nice hotels around the world!
First they have a whole SALE page with great deals, and even if there isn’t any special deal, the prices are still cheap! I LOVE this website.
I find amazing deals there! Agoda just offers amazing and cheap deals on really nice hotels. I love booking hotels through their site and I highly recommend checking them out !
The first website I like to look at when searching for a nice & cheap hotel, is hotelscombined.com. This site shows you all of the offers that are out online on a specific hotel.
Same idea like Skyscanner, but on hotels. So first, when I am looking at where I should stay in the destination I am visiting, I like to check this website first and see the price range at that destination.
I don’t think there is someone that isn’t familier with Booking.com. It is one of the most famous hotel booking sites out there.
Well, like everyone else, I also like this site. Sometimes they have good deals on different hotels/apartments, even hostels.
Frugal Travel Activities
I have several tips for how to save money on activities to do during your trip.
Frugal Travel Tip #1 – Book tickets in advance
The number #1 tip I can give you to save money during your trip, is to book everything you can before the trip. I am mainly talking about ordering your attractions/sightseeing tickets in advance.
This way you could get amazing discounts, and also options for skip-the-line tickets, that will save you so much time on your trip! (You can thank me later for this.)
My favorite website for discount sightseeing tickets is GetYourGuide.com.
They sell multiple discount tours/entery tickets to many attractions and sightseeing places around the world. I always order tickets through their site and I always find the best deals!
Frugal Travel Tip #2 – Buy an Attractions Pass
It’s a pass which you pay a certain amount of money, and you get access to a variety of attractions in the city of your choice.
The best part is that the price you paid for the ticket is much cheaper than buying an entrance ticket for each attraction separately. And who dosen’t love DISCOUNTS?!
This card is such a money saver during a trip and I really recommend buying one for your next one. You get a discount regardless the fact that buying this pass costs less then buying each ticket individually. How cool is that???
How does it work?
You buy a pass that includes entrances to a variety of attractions around the city.
The attraction card has two options:
First option – Choosing a certain number of attractions you want to visit (2/3/4/5/6/7/10 or 12 attractions from the list). The pass is valid for 30 days from purchase, so you can buy it in advance from home, and saving unnecessary hassles while on vacation.
Second option – Choosing a number of days (1/2/3/4/5/6/7 or 10 days) where you have an unlimited number of attractions! A good thing you would like to know, there are cities that gives you unlimited tourists bus rides, or even free public transport in the city, while buying this option, which is another huge money saver, since public transport takes us quite a lot of cash.
RECOMMENDED ATTRACTION PASSES:
- The NYC Sightseeing FLEX pass
- The Paris Pass
- The Barcelona Pass
- London Explorer Pass
- Los Angeles Ultimate Attractions Pass
- The Berlin Pass
- Best Of Rome All Access Pass
Frugal Travel Tip #3 – Free entries for children
I highly recommend while planning your trip and planning the attractions and places you want to visit, to check if they have free entries for kids! It is a huge money saver obviously, and multiple places offer free enterys for children.
Frugal Travel Tip #4 – Eat out less
Eating three times a day outside as a family on your trip isn’t the best budget friendly action you can do. Try limiting your restaurants meals to once a day, or even once every other day.
If you are staying at an Airbnb apartment, it’ll be perfect – you can just buy your groceries and cook everything at your apartment, and spoil yourself once a day or two with a good meal at a nice restaurant!
There’s a great post here with ideas on how to cook in a microwave to eat at a hotel.
Frugal Travel Tip #5 – Free activities
While planning your trip, do your research and find free activities you can do with your family in the destination you are visiting!
Frugal Travel Tip #6 – Walk more, or use public transportation
Even though a taxi or an Uber is the fastest/most convenient way to get places (or even a car rental), it also way more expensive, and sometimes will take longer to arrive if there is a lot of traffic in the city.
Honestly, I’m all about walking as much as possible while traveling. I think walking around is the best way to get to know and explore a new destination.
I know walking isn’t all kids’ favorite activity, so if it dosen’t work, just use the Metro/Subway – the fastest way to get to places in a destination (if it has a Metro/Subway), and also the cheapest option.
Frugal Travel Tip #7 – Pack a Reusable Water Bottle
I’ve said it a few times on my blog, but one of the most money wasting things we do while traveling, is buying too much water bottles during the day and waisting our money.
Instead, just pack a reusable water bottle, be eco friendly and also save your money and fill your water bottle when every you need to.
This way you wont be spending too much money on buying water bottles you don’t really need, and also saving the world!
Frugal Travel Tip #8 – Flying Off-Season
Usually, when flying off season, the flights, hotels and attractions prices goes down – which is a really nice money saver!
You don’t have to go in the winter of that destination, and freeze to death only to get a good vacation price. But let’s say, you could visit Europe during September, instead of in August, when it’s the most crowded and definitely the middle of the tourists season.
Frugal Travel Tip #9 – Use Cash
Using cash is one of the best ways to save money while traveling. What I like to do is bringing cash with me, and taking a credit card just incase of an emergency.
This way I travel on a budget, and plan my daily budget each day. This is one of the top tips on traveling on a budget, and it is the best way to avoid exceeding the budget.
Frugal Travel Tip #10 – Travel With a Trolley Suitcase (Carry-on)
Most airlines offer traveling with a trolley suitcase for free. Why should you care? Because it’s the best way to travel!
Not all airlines include a checked suitcase in the plane ticket’s price, and usually they cost extra money. Besides, traveling with a trolley suitcase is the best time saver thing you could do! you don’t wait in huge lines for checking the bags, and obviously you don’t pay for that trolley suitcase – MONEY SAVING ALERT.
One last tip…
Before I finish here, if you are traveling with kids/toddlers, I have a great “travel essentials for traveling with kids” post up on my blog, that is dedicated to travel essentials you should pack with you when traveling with kids.
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