How to travel cheaply

Want to see the world without breaking all the world's banks? Some helpful hints on keeping costs low from one broke traveller to another.

girl in market

Haggling helps

International travel is the stuff that many of us only daydream about. You look at your wallet, dangerously thin, and realise a ticket for the local cinema where you can see those far off destinations is really all you can afford.

Well don’t worry, it’s still possible to travel on what’s left in that almost-empty wallet. You just need a bit more creativity and planning to see all you want to see on a skint budget.

Borrow a travel guide from a friend

Note that prices quoted in the book for attractions and accommodation might have risen since the book was published. Call ahead from one destination to the next to reserve accommodation, and to check that the accommodation still exists! Speak with well-travelled friends to get the lowdown on value for money in far-flung destinations.


Get a student/young person’s discount card

This makes your plane, train, or bus tickets much cheaper and gives you cut-price admission to some attractions.


Take some night trains or buses

This will save you some hotel money, but can also take away a good night’s rest and slow down your sightseeing the following day.


Find the cheapest place to stay

Hostels can be found in most travel destinations. Low budget hotels or camping should also be considered. If you are female, staying in convents can be a cheap, if very basic, option.


Walk around the cities you are exploring

Not using the public transport saves a small fortune, and will also give you loads of exercise, fresh air, and a better feel for the city you’re in. Don’t just shuttle yourself from one tourist trap to the next. Take your time and stroll around, meet the locals, see what’s beyond the queues for the landmarks and museums.


Save on food

Don’t stick to burgers and fries – taste the food of your different destinations, it’s part of the culture. Plan expensive meals out as a special treat, other meals can be handled for less cost. Look for hostels that have kitchen facilities, get groceries and cook. Buy a loaf of bread and make sandwiches for cheap lunches.


Steady with souvenirs

Pressies for friends, family, and yourself are always great, but they add extra weight to your backpack and they lighten up your wallet. How about sending postcards to loved ones instead, to make them feel part of your journey? You can often buy postcards in bulk if you look for cheap deals.

Photo of girl in market by Shutterstock

Next Steps

By Michelle Fawcett

Updated on 29-Sep-2015