If you budget for travel, you can prioritize the right trips for you at the right time, without sacrificing your financial health. Heed these tips from our leading travel experts so you can get out and explore more, without breaking the bank!
Budgeting for travel might not sound very exciting, but it’s an important part of your journey. From research to daily expenses on the road, listen to the experts as they offer insightful tips for saving and spending the right way.
Whether your financial situation has recently changed or not, travel is certainly different right now. Maximizing opportunities and deals can help you stretch that budget farther when you’re ready to hit the road.
That’s why we brought travel experts together at the Wanderful Woman Summit to chat all about their best tips for budget travel and recorded their super helpful chat.
You can review the session “Big Dreams, Little Budget: How to Scratch off Your Bucket List Without Emptying Your Bank Account” to get all the expert tips!
Whether you have less in your travel bank account than usual or want to snag a great deal for that first trip, you’ll love these ideas from Oneika Raymond, Nour Brahimi, and Vanessa Chiasson of Turnipseed Travel on how to keep costs down and make good budget choices.
You’ll also be able to watch all the other sessions on road trips, small-town travel, outdoor adventures, and more! Get it all for free and watch on-demand whenever you’re ready:
The full recording offers all of their tips for a stretching your budget to travel more and farther. Don’t miss out!
How to Budget for Travel
First of all, start by doing an honest assessment of how much money you have. The world is not going anywhere, so there’s no need to sacrifice your financial health for a trip that can wait a little bit longer.
Take advantage of virtual tours and similar opportunities to do your research on various destinations. When the time is right and you’re able to plan those bigger trips, you’ll be better prepared to prioritize the places you really want to visit.
You’ll also be ready to take advantage of deals and to time your visit for special events at a destination if you’ve done your research in advance.
Planning ahead is important, as is taking a pause to reflect and even to dream a little bit more.
What to Do When Travel Plans Go Wrong
As we’ve seen this year — and for many other personal reasons at any time — travel plans can sometimes get undermined by other circumstances.
Maybe you’ve been saving for a special trip or you’ve been planning to go to a certain place for a long time. If those plans take a detour, don’t let that totally derail your travel dreams.
How can you stay motivated when plans get changed? Considering alternative destinations is really easy. Staying local is ideal for that. We all have amazing places in our countries that we overlook.
You’ll save a lot of money on airfare and other relevant expenses (visas, airport parking, taxis, etc.) by sticking closer to home, too.
Also think of traveling locally as a way to support the local economy and local businesses. Seek out the minority-owned businesses wherever you are and show your support in each local community.
Consider taking a road trip to explore your own backyard safely!
Another key way to stay motivated for travel is to plug into your community for support. Online communities who understand you and empathize with you can offer resources and guidance, along with support and encouragement.
You can also use this time to travel through books and music to enjoy your travels for longer. Ask your travel community for local tips and insights from all around the world.
Instead of spending only one week in a destination, you’ll feel like you’re spending so much more time by reading local authors and enjoying a more enriching experience.
If you live in a large city like New York City, you can travel all around the world through food and simply talking to people from other places.
Budget-Friendly Destinations to Add to Your Bucket List
Need some travel inspiration? There are so many budget-friendly destinations to consider!
Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam are very affordable destinations where you can stretch your budget.
Egypt is very affordable as well, offering mind-blowing history, world-class SCUBA diving, beaches, and more!
In Latin America, Mexico is a great destination! Visiting other, less popular parts of these countries makes it even cheaper for the average traveler. Guatemala is very affordable with great sites and it’s very easy to get around.
If you have more budget for airfare, Bolivia is highly recommended. The scenery is incredible and the indigenous culture is strong.
Of course, travel preferences will always vary. Where you want to go will likely reflect what your passions might be.
Are you seeking a specific type of activity where you go? Consider how your travel style suits a destination and then work it into your budget accordingly.
For example, London is not known for being budget-friendly! However, there are tons of free galleries and museums, and there is amazing diversity in cheap food. Plus, you might have a connection to crash on someone’s couch (like the Wanderful community!), so you can make it more budget-friendly if that’s the style of travel you want to do.
Embracing Budget Travel
Budget travel doesn’t mean you have to do everything at the bare minimum!
You can still enjoy the finer things, but at a good rate. Budget-friendly doesn’t mean that it’s not nice, it just means that you’re conscious of the cost and the overall value.
Being flexible on where you travel is a crucial part of affordable travel. Choose your destinations based on the deals available and the style of travel you want. That can usually be easier than choosing a destination and trying to force your budget to fit that place.
But there is always flexibility! (Consider the London example above.)
Trying to cut back on travel expenses can be daunting, but there are lots of options available.
Finding destination-specific deals is a great way to save on travel without cutting back on comfort. There are several examples of travel deals currently running, from Cancun to Sicily and more! Destinations are desperate for tourists to return, so it’s a good time to take advantage via your bookings.
Keep looking for those deals and seek out places that are eager to welcome you and your tourism spending power. Spend wisely and support economies that could really use your contributions!
Budget-Friendly Places to Stay
Staying in a hostel, sharing rooms with other travelers and cooking some of your own meals can cut your budget dramatically.
And, the fun part is, people who stay in hostels travel a lot! You can meet interesting people from all around the world with diverse perspectives.
Staying in a hostel is, in itself, an experience during your travels. It’s a community. You can share tips and get honest opinions from fellow travelers.
If you’re worried about sharing a bedroom, many hostels also have private rooms, which can be much cheaper than a hotel room without needing to share a space. There are also semi-private rooms or private rooms with shared bathrooms.
But knowing how to budget for travel isn’t just about hostels!
Pensiones, for example, are smaller, local-style hotels that are more intimate and generally cheaper.
Couchsurfing is a way to stay for free or very low cost around the world.
And there are unique types of accommodation that you can seek out around the world!
Safety and Budget Travel
How do you balance saving money for an emergency while also respecting the overall budget? Planning is absolutely crucial.
You always need a Plan B — just in case!
You should never sacrifice your safety to prove a point or to save a dollar. Always have back-up plans and contingency funds so you can adjust your plans if necessary.
Also, travel insurance is so important!
Do your research before you travel and be sure to follow-up during particularly challenging times. For example:
- Call the hotel to ask about cleaning policies and procedures.
- Book everything as refundable — it will be extra upfront, but it’s worth the peace of mind and the opportunity to cancel if you need to or don’t feel comfortable.
Right now especially, it’s vital to ensure your own safety and comfort in a place. That goes from airlines to hotels, so don’t be afraid to call companies and talk to an individual to get a real feel for their standards and policies.
Dream Trips! With NO Budget Limit, Where Would You Go?
If money were no object, where would you go? While we can talk about budget travel all day, it’s important to dream and to reach for a big trip, too!
Antarctica, Maldives, Namibia, Peru, Seychelles…there were lots of destinations talked about in the chat and by the travel experts!
Wanderful Woman Summit: Get all the tools you need to travel safely and confidently.
Feature image by Spencer Davis from Pexels