‘I really wanna travel but I can’t afford it’ – we’ve all been there.

With these 10 travel hacks, you’ll be closer to being able to travel and hit those savings goals this year.

Travel on a budget? Sorted.

1. Book a carry-on only ticket

travel on a budget solo backpack view

If you’ve never travelled with only carry-on luggage, you need to give it a go.

Why? Because a smaller bag means less faff when you get there, aka no more panicking at 8am when you need to check out of your hostel but you’re yet to pack your bag.

Trust us, you’ll be surprised by how little you actually need to take with you on holiday.

2. Take overnight trains when you can

travel on a budget overnight train

Overnight trains are a win-win situation. You’ve got your transport sorted AND you’ve saved on a night’s accommodation at the same time.

Get cosy in your cabin, play card games, write in your journal and watch the world pass by before you fall asleep.

Tip: stock up on drinking water, snacks, refresher towels and face wash (depending on the train, facilities can be quite basic).

3. Travel with friends

travel on a budget group photo rome colosseum

Splitting the cost of food, accommodation and experiences is one way to stretch your travel budget further.

Plus, travelling as a group means you have more people to reminisce and plan future trips with.

4. Go window shopping

galeries lafayette paris france travel on a budget

Low on funds but still wanna get some retail therapy in?

Hit up the most OTT department store you can find – and buy nothing.

Our top picks:

  • Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
  • Galeries Lafayette in Paris
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

5. Do ALL of the free (or discounted) things

travel on a budget friends group barcelona view
Free walking tours, free museums, free food markets, free parks, free views. The list goes on! And these are some of the best ways to explore the real parts of a city.

Plus, in many European countries, national museums (such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay) are free for everyone under 26 with European Union residency.

If you’re studying, keep your student card handy when travelling. You’ll often get cheaper rates on the door.

Aaand, most of the world’s major cities offer a City Pass that include public transport as well as reduced price entry to museums, galleries and attractions.

6. Buy fewer restaurant meals per day

travel on a budget cinnamon roll paris france

All it takes is a little pre-planning.

Take a quick trip to the local boulangerie for a pastry breakfast.

Pop to the local market at lunch and grab some fresh food to make yourself a delicious picnic for your day of sightseeing.

Get creative! Make your own panini, fruit salad or nut mix so that you save your cash for new experiences instead.

The same goes with those long-haul travel journeys – don’t get stuck buying overpriced items at roadside service stations.

7. Dive in and try the street food

travel on a budget pho food vietnam

Endless travel inspiration is just one street food meal away.

From ćevapi in Eastern Europe to Vietnam’s best pho, get a taste of the world’s flavours – on the cheap.

For inspo, check out our interview with the Very Hungry Nomads on their top 5 meals from around the world.

8. Use public transport

travel on a budget dubrovnik croatia

Don’t fork out for a cab. Use public transport instead.

It’s what the locals do, it’s usually the cheapest transport option and you’ll get to check out some of the prettiest metro stations around the world (London, Paris and Moscow we’re looking at you).

9. Ditch the souvenirs

travel on a budget travel diary

If there’s one thing travel teaches you, it’s how much unnecessary baggage we carry around with us (and how refreshing it is to go back to basics).

When you start to focus on reducing your possessions both at home and in your suitcase, somehow life feels a little more free and easy.

Instead of carting around ceramics or a painting from your holiday, have your favourite travel photograph printed and framed when you’re back home, send a postcard (everyone LOVES receiving a postcard), or write in a journal for all of your travel memories.

Or make your own world map on a pinboard and fill it with your travel goals 😍 

10. Pack an SOS kit

travel on a budget asia

First Aid items can be quite expensive to buy on the fly in foreign countries.

Our tip? Stock up before you go with some of the essentials and keep them in your day pack: cold and flu tablets, painkillers, plasters and hand sanitiser.

Earplugs and eye masks are kinda necessary if you’re sleeping in party towns too.

Ready to take the leap?

Have a read of our blog on top 2019 travel experiences for more inspo.

Bianca Blades
Bianca is a lover of the written word and travelling the world. When she’s not catching high-speed trains and getting lost in art museums, she enjoys exploring new forms of storytelling.