15 Tips On How To Vacation On A Budget (According To Thrifty Travelers)

List Rules
Thrifty travelers: vote up the best tips for vacationers on a budget.

Everyone needs a vacation, but not everyone can afford the expensive trips to the fanciest places, right? For those who need to find cheap travel alternaives, these thrifty vacationers have revealed their best tips on how to travel on a budget. After all you don't want to make an expensive travel mistake


  • 1
    4 VOTES

    Camp For Free Close To Big Cities

    From Redditor u/showmethamoney:

    I will emphasize camping, especially in forested regions. My strategy is this: whenever I get to a new city, I google-search for parks, then use Google satellite image to find out if there is tree cover. If so, you can stay pretty well hidden usually, and live for free. In my travels on the West Coast of Canada and the US, I very rarely paid for accommodations. The downside of this is not meeting people in a hostel, which is fun sometimes. Also at least in the Coastal forests, you need to beware of wildlife if you are doing any cooking or storing food. Raccoons and even coyotes will tear up your tent to look for food if you are not around, and then of course there are bears.

    4 votes
  • 2
    4 VOTES

    Skip The Restaurants And Try Street Food Instead

    From Redditor u/DustinBrett:

    Groceries: If you have access to a kitchen then you can make your own food and save a bundle. For $20-$60 you can typically get enough food to last a week in most places in the world.

    Street Food: This stuff is usually cheap ($0.50-$7) and can be really good. It lets you try local foods and get a local experience. 

    Fast Food: If you don't mind eating at places like McDonald's, then in some countries you will find they are a cheap option. This rule is mostly true in "Western" countries.

    4 votes
  • 3
    4 VOTES

    Use Your Credit Card Points

    From Redditor u/suck_my_jaggon:

    Use your credit card points and know your benefits. I use Chase Sapphire Preferred as my main credit card for food/bars/transport. I get 2x points on everything in this regard (many bars are considered restaurants by Chase so why not get 2x points on beers too). Those points add up fast and if I redeem via Ultimate Rewards, I can get 20% more bang for my buck with these points (e.g. $500 in travel = 40,000 points). These points can also be transferred to most airlines at a 1:1 ratio, so if you see a better deal somewhere, feel free to transfer. For example, British Airways Avios can be redeemed for Aer Lingus flights at a discounted rate. In addition, the no foreign transaction fees on this card means I can use it abroad almost anywhere with no penalty and I can buy airline tickets in foreign currencies if the price is less.

    4 votes
  • 4
    1 VOTES

    Crash On Couches For A Local Experience

    From Redditor u/DustinBrett:

    CouchSurfing: I've used CS in many countries and besides the fact that it takes care of your accommodation costs, it's a great way to meet locals and get tips from them about their city/country. This site is about hospitality exchange and not just a free place to stay. Choose hosts/guests carefully based on their profile, references and requests/messages. 

    1 votes
  • 5
    1 VOTES

    Bring Some Essential Gear

    From Redditor u/bonjournal:

    Here's all the gear you need:

    Flipflops!

    Travel power adapter.

    For those with smartphones, scan your passports, visas, etc. Might come in handy!

    Headlamps. You'll never know when you'll need one. And they can also double as a bike light (which are required by some countries if you're riding at night)

    External/extra smartphone battery. If you're like me and you use your iPhone to take pictures, this can be a game-changer at the end of the day.

    Ear plugs & eye masks (could be the difference in getting a good nights rest)

    1 votes
  • 6
    1 VOTES

    Keep An Eye Out For "Free" Activities

    From Redditor u/DustinBrett:

    Look for free activities.

    There are companies that do "free" tours of cities with the expectation of a tip at the end. Also if you're staying in a hostel they often have free tours/events during the week. 

    Many museums have "free" days in which you typically pay what you want.

    There are communities within cities that organize events/meetings for free. They are a great place to meet people and learn new things.

    1 votes