How To Save Money When Traveling

Traveling with a minivan

There are several ways to save money while traveling, and you can even begin the process before your trip. The better you plan, the more likely you are to save money.

Create A Vacation Budget

If you plan out where you will be going and roughly how you will be spending your money, it will be easier to save money during your trip. First start with transportation fees, beginning with your plane ticket. Using search engines such as Kayak are helpful in comparing flight prices and finding the cheapest option to get to any given destination. Your plane ticket or other transportation costs will probably be the most expensive part of your trip.

When that’s done, the next bulk of your money will go to accommodations and food. Again, you can use a search engine to help with finding a cheap (but nice) place to stay. As for the food, that’ll depend on your personal preferences as well as the size of your appetite. Street food is often a cheap and delicious alternative to a sit-down meal at a restaurant. Better yet, try cooking for yourself while traveling. Finally consider the cost of drinks, souvenirs, entry fees, and local transportation.

If Breakfast Is Free…Eat It

Most hotels and even some hostels offer a complimentary breakfast, often times in the form of a buffet. Even if your only choices are bread, cheese, and butter, it’s smart to fill up on the free breakfast foods. That way, you’re more likely to eat less and save more throughout the day.

Take A Walk

Although local transportation may not seem costly, taxi rides and buses can add up. Throw your fears of getting lost aside and if where you’re trying to go is close enough, take a walk. This will give you the opportunity to interact more with the locals when you ask for directions, and you’ll get to see a side of the city or town you wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise, not to mention it’s free.

Interact With The Locals

While walking from one destination to the other and asking for directions, chat up the locals. It’s likely they’ll be able to provide some insight on where the locals actually go, away from the tourist hotspots. Restaurants and shops that aren’t frequented by tourists won’t have the same inflated prices as the convenient touristic establishments. Not everyone you talk to will be accommodating, but it’s worth the try to ease the strain on your wallet.


With the way the world’s economy is at the moment, many people are canceling their vacations overseas and having staycations instead. Staycations are a great way to take a break and yet not have to incur the expense of flights overseas, visas and extra luggage. It is always a wonderful way to learn more about the place that you live. In addition, many employers tend to be more encouraging of vacations that are taken closer to home.


Another way to save is using websites that allow you to bid on your hotel or flight. It isn’t a guaranteed way to get a discount, but often times you can get your hotel and flight for even fifty percent off what you would normally pay. Coupons are also a great way to save on going out to eat, hunt around on restaurant website to see if they have any vacations. Sometimes even hotel concierges can offer you coupons for local restaurants that they have deals with. If you are have a staycation, you might consider purchasing food from local markets, you could make your own picnics for a fraction of the cost of a restaurant.

Free activities

There are always concerts, festivals and museums that have free entry, be sure to take a look around either online or locally, perhaps at a library to get an idea for what is going on in your area. There are usually historical sites that offer free entry as well. Additionally, if you have a student ID or military ID, most places will offer discounts.

Airport Parking

The best thing to consider even if you aren’t flying is Airport Parking, take advantage of the short stay lots if you are traveling with friends. Car Pooling is a great way to save on travel without emptying your savings account. Depending on your location, and you can utilize Gatwick Airport Parking or Heathrow Airport Parking for safely and often times cheaply parking your vehicle.

If you are flying overseas or to another part of the UK, a great way to save when flying is to book hotels and flights well in advance, many sites will offer discounts for booking in advance.

Standby is a risky, but often can result in a much cheaper flight. Be sure not to take too many bags with you, verify with the airline how many bags that you can checkin and carry on to the plane with you. If you are flying in to Scotland, be sure to look at Glasgow Airport Parking for options on leaving or picking up your vehicle.

Use Layovers And Sleep In Airports

When you’re planning a multiple destination trip or purchasing RTW tickets, you can save some money by planning your trips to include sleeping in airports along the way. We’re not suggesting that you sleep in airports at every stop along the way of your trip or every night on your travels but if you estimate that each stay in a hostel would cost around $30 and you time your flights overnight so you can sleep in an airport, train, or along the bus ride just 3 times a year that’s $100 in savings.

It adds up and that’s using hostels as a baseline, imagine the cost savings if you normally book hotels. There are other advantages of sleeping in airports, aside from their inherent security and the fact that most are open 24 hours, they also have restaurant and some of the better ones even offer free wi-fi Internet access as well. You get a lot, much that you’d find in a hotel or hostel, and almost always for less or free.

Save Even More At The Airport

You can save even further by purchasing your food, snacks, and drinks outside of the airport where they usually are marked up. Smokers and drinkers can enjoy duty-free shops at international airports which is generally the cheapest place to drink in most countries since there are no tariffs or import taxes added on to any of the items sold duty-free, hence the name. You might not be thinking that most airports are even worth sleeping in but just check out what some of these best airports to sleep in have to offer you.

Hong Kong International Airport – Many of the best airports to sleep in happen to be in east Asia – where many of the best places to backpack are – and Hong Kong International Airport is one of them. It’s one of the busiest airports in the world making it tough to find a quiet moment but it was designed with that amount of traffic in mind. You can spend some time at one of the free Internet kiosks or by surfing the web on the free wi-fi offered. You can also grab a cup of coffee at one of the many 24 hour cafes or take a nap in one of the lounges and wake yourself up with a warm shower.

Dubai International Airport – It’s quickly becoming a major hub in the region and Dubai is becoming a popular tourist destination in its own right. Dubai International Airport is one of the largest in the world in terms of overall space so you’re more than likely to find a place to rest your head. The airport itself has massive shopping areas you can stroll around in for hours, free wi-fi, and large couches along the corridors that are comfortable to sleep in. You can also opt to enjoy some time in one of the lounges (around $40) for a bit of extra luxury.

Singapore Changi Airport – We did mention that some of the best airports to sleep in were in Asia and Singapore Changi Airport is among them. The seats throughout the airport don’t have armrests which make them ideal for stretching out on and there are 6 open-air gardens where you can relax along side and stroll around if insomnia hits.

In Conclusion

Include a night here and there at an airport and plan your flights late to take advantage and really save on your next vacation. Particularly if you’ll be traveling through Asia it might not be as bad as you think it is. Sleeping in airports is just another way to chip away and save so you can spend your money on more fun things when you travel.

These are just some of the simple ways to save money while traveling. If you set a budget for yourself before your trip, and keep reminding yourself of it while traveling, then it will be a lot easier to manage your money. Using some of these tips will add up in savings in the long run.

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