7 Tips for Travelling on a Budget

Backpackers. I admire them. There’s something truly freeing about being able to ‘survive’ on the bare minimum of everything. Clothing, food, supplies, etcetera. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that it may not entirely be my cup of tea. Personally, I like having more than 3 pairs of underwear and some choice of wardrobe on my travels. I am, however, on the backpacker budget. Like a friend of mine once put it: “You have a champagne taste on a beer budget”. And, well.. they were not wrong. I like having best of both worlds. The good stuff for the cheap price. Sound familiar? Here’s some tips for travelling on a budget.

1. Book at the right time

Timing is everything. Start searching for the cheapest tickets pretty much as far ahead as you can manage. That way you get the best deal. There’s an app that calculates when is the cheapest time to fly to your destination of choice: Hopper – Airfare predictions. (FREE: IPHONE/ANDROID) Also, play around with the dates. Flexibility is key in finding the cheapest options.

budget travel_web

2. Go for the cheapest country

Sure, Paris is amazing and London is always a good idea. But those cities can drain your wallet pretty fast. If you’re tight on money this year, you may want to venture to places a little more budget-friendly. Iran and Egypt are now the cheapest to visit. You get good value for your money, the tickets are reasonable and these countries are not as ‘rough’ as their reputation states (and they have amazing accommodations). Still a little worried about travel risks? Boris’ got some tips for you.

3. Bed with(out) breakfast

Ahh, the beauty of being free to stay wherever you please. Once your destination is set, it’s time to find a place to sleep. There’s many great options to do so for free. One of them is Couchsurfing. You stay on someone’s couch, for free. This way you travel low budget and get to meet awesome new people. And you pick the host, so you can be selective about location, housing, and the person you’re staying with. (You will have to come to a mutual agreement before actually having a place, of course). Not a fan of the adventurous? Staying in a small town next to your city of choice can save you a lot of money, as well.


4. Cook your own meals

I’ve been staying away from hotels with meals included ever since I found out I had allergies. And I’ve been surprised at how much money it’s saved me. If you book hostels or apartments, you get to cook your own meals. And this is amazing, especially if you’re a picky eater (like me). If you shop locally, at farmers markets and small supermarkets, you save a lot of money on groceries, too. You get a healthy, sometimes even organic, meal and your bank account will be happy. And.. if you ever do want to go out to eat during your trip, make lunch your main meal!

5. Your feet can take you anywhere

When I said the thing about the champagne taste, I may have exaggerated a bit. I love walking (and biking, of course). Stay away from spending money on expensive taxi’s if you can avoid it. If the walking distance is reasonable: go by foot! You’ll see so much more of your surroundings that way. And if you’re tired, or have to go someplace too far to walk, there’s always public transport.

6. Don’t underestimate the power of social media

You may have a friend of a friend of a friend that has a nice spare room in exactly the city you are planning to go to. Asking your social media network can never hurt. Post something on Facebook, saying you’re looking for a place to stay and will bring snacks from home (or something like that) and watch the suggestions roll in! Easy as pie. (Did someone say pie?)

7. Little budget travel-hacks

Should you find yourself in real money trouble at the end of your trip. There’s a few things you can do. For example: Shower in fountains, ring doorbells asking if you can help out around the house for a nice meal, ask for extra bread at restaurants which you can re-use for breakfast the next morning and last but not least: sleeping on a park bench will supposedly be one of the most amazing experiences you’ll ever have. And.. it’s free ;)

Like the KLM bags and towel shown on the picture on your right? You can order them in the KLM webshop.

Posted by:   Esmee Droog  | 
Join the conversation Show comments

Elizabeth Phillips

This post about backpackers, brought a tear to my eye after laughing so much. Well written, extremely entertaining and informative. I will take note of your advise.

Esmee Droog

That’s great to hear, Elizabeth! That’s what we write blogs for. Hope you will have a budget friendly holiday and thank you for your comment!

Elizabeth Phillips

hahaha I have budget written all over me. Thank you! Well I just love the KLM accessories, I want one of those spiffy travelling bags please! I love Airline travel items. I do hope to go on a holiday, and I wish Father Christmas would send me a ticket to France


Just a remark : some links have not been filled in in the message (“[LINK BLOG BORIS]” or “Couchsurfing. [LINK]” ;-))

Esmee Droog

Oh my, thanks! It totally slipped our minds. The links have been added. Thank you for your comment!


A fun read, but please be careful following up on the tip of sleeping on a park bench. Depends where you are, but you could be arrested for vagrancy. Sleeping is a police cell is still a cheap option, but perhaps not quite what you intended…

Esmee Droog

Thanks for your comment, Roel! That would indeed be unfortunate.

vinky mitchell

me next year i go back philippines holiday i like the bag

Esmee Droog

Thanks for your message! I hope you will have a nice trip to the Philippines! You can get the bag here:


Great tips! I always like to travel on budget!


Either this is for total begginers, or I am already a well experienced on-budget-traveller :D

I would add – talk to the homeless.. Not only they are very nice, but they also usually know the city the best, they have the best stories to tell, etc :)

Best Travelling tips

These tips are useful if we want to travel on a budget. I always like to travel on a budget and suggest to relatives and friends travel in the world on a budget.

Travel and Visit

Book at right time! Yeah, timing is too important for everything.

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Thanks for another informative web site. Where else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect way? I’ve a project that I am just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.



Amazing post dear! I really want to travel but a budget is a big issue for me!! I’m still a student but my head says I want to travel. After my graduation, I am going to enjoy the most beautiful amazing places with your budget vacation ideas

word hickson

Your post information is very unique and useful for all readers.

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