Budget Travel Tips: 21 Ways to Save Money on the Road

Backpackers heading out on a trip around the world are often working to a tight budget and want to see as much of the world for as little money as possible. It’s amazing how far you can get around the globe on a shoestring if you plan out what you want to do with the money you have available, and that doesn’t mean sacrificing the activities you want to do.

On trips that last 6 months, a year or longer, you can make huge savings through small, everyday changes, leaving plenty of your budget available to do the things you want to do and see the places you want to see.

Below are 21 tips to make small savings along the way and leave your travel budget available for the stunning sights and breathtaking experiences:

Food & Drink

  • Skip lunch – eat late breakfast late and dinner early
  • Stay at hostels with inclusive breakfast
  • Cook your own dinners
  • Lay off the booze – we all like a drink but it’s an expensive game and can really eat into your budget. 1 less a day/night can really help your bank account.


  • Travel by public transport
  • Avoid taxis where possible, barter when you do use them for the best deal
  • Take night buses and trains and save on accomodation
  • Choose flights which take slightly longer but are much cheaper
  • Walk – it’s not always as far as you think and you’ll see so much more. Getting lost is often the best way to discover the true face of a destination.


  • Go couchsurfing
  • Stay outside the tourist zone – you don’t have to go far and you’ll save a lot
  • Don’t book too far ahead – if your plans change then you’ll end up wasting money on deposits.


  • Find the free things to do in your destination
  • Look for deals on the expensive activities you want to do. You can often find deals on entry fees if you go at off-peak times.


  • Find a bank that has a good ATM withdrawal rate, ideally one that doesn’t charge you for withdrawing abroad.
  • Always be aware of the exchange rate – this can get really confusing if you move quickly through countries so it’s important to stay on top of it.


  • Keep your belongings safe! Losing documents/cameras/bags can result in spending a large slice of your budget simply replacing what you already had.


  • Learn some of the local lingo – it will open up many saving opportunities that you’d never discover through hand signals


  • Choose your destinations wisely – if your budget is limited you’re better travelling where your money will go further. 3 months in Thailand will cost less than 3 months in France.
  • Take shorter trips close to home.
  • Do your research. You’ll spend money on the things you want to do and will waste less on disappointments

Hopefully these budget travel tips will help you spend less on the road and allow you to do everything you want to whilst travelling. These are just a snippet of the tips out there, it would be great to hear some more in the comments!