6 Ways to Travel on a Budget

Traveling is not just for the rich and famous! If you think otherwise, it’s time to change your mindset. Traveling is amazing and everyone should at least try it once in his or her lifetime. The world is so big, so why keep holding off traveling until the “right time”? Many times, the number one reason why people decide not to travel is the large price tag attached to it. Well thanks to the squad at CGS, we have found six travel hacks to help you travel on a budget.

Purchase a Prepaid Phone

When you go somewhere internationally, sometimes the phone carrier can charge you more when trying to make a call or use data. In most cases, there is a roaming fee that all phone carriers have when making or receiving calls while traveling internationally.

Between cellular data, texting, and voice calls, the last thing you want to come back from vacation with is a phone bill sky rocketing through the roof. The best way to cut costs while traveling is to purchase a prepaid phone. Making this purchase will cut costs on your personal phone and give you the comfort of knowing you can make however many calls you need.

Compare lodging Expenses

It can be a bit of a headache trying to find the best place to stay while trying to maintain your budget. Many travelers are notorious to skip out on booking hotel rooms and use alternatives such as Airbnb, Homeaway, or OneFineStay. These alternatives tend to be less expensive when compared to the lodging expense of a hotel.

If you do prefer to stay in a hotel, then it is important to contact the hotels directly because sometimes the price listed online can be different from what the hotel is actually offering. Negotiating prices is not illegal, so do not feel like you can get more for your buck by negotiating for a cheaper rate.

Keep Souvenir Spending Low

It is only natural to want to bring a piece of your vacation back home with you. Occasionally, we find ourselves being carried away with buying everyone a souvenir. Although the gesture is thoughtful, you must always take into consideration the budget you wanted to stay under while vacationing.

The worst-case scenarios when splurging on souvenirs is either you buy so much that you have to pay extra for your checked in luggage, or you purchase so much you don’t have enough funds to enjoy your stay. Even the best budgeters can become impulsive shoppers on vacation because we do not think we will ever find anything else like the souvenirs we are purchasing.

If push comes to shove and you feel your impulsive bad shopping habits are about to take you away, try putting them aside and wait at least 48 hours. If that purchase is still something you want to make, then go for it. Always keep a limit in mind of what you want to spend on souvenirs. Wouldn’t you rather have more money for experiences? Check out CGS Podcast Episode #39: How to Stay in Budget While on Vacation for more tips on keeping your travel spending in check!

Eat Wisely

Just because there is food around does not mean you have to eat everything in sight. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should starve yourself, but keep in mind how often you truly do need to eat. Many travelers tend to underestimate the cost of dining while traveling. Take into consideration the taxes that may be additional on top of the meal itself.

Your spending will likely fluctuate from day to day, so remember to adjust your budget to avoid overspending. Break down your meals each day and identify the times you want to splurge. The trick to eating wisely is to know when to indulge and when to save. For breakfast, pack energy bars so you can save time and money in the mornings.

Limit Transportation

Depending on where you plan to travel, it is important to know where the hotspots are and how far they are from where you will be staying. When traveling on vacation, the cost to get from one destination to the other may cost more than the actual trip. It is important to plan your stay accordingly so money is not wasted. Thank goodness for Google Maps, because you can use it to help decide which places are centrally located. When you limit transportation, you are able to get the most out of what you spend while on vacation.

Research currency options

If you are traveling out of the country, you may be subject to foreign transaction fees, currency exchanges and more. Before heading anywhere, do your research to understand the currency options. If the currency is something other than the dollar, reach out to your bank or credit card company to see what their rates are for currency exchange.

You may want to invest in a credit card that waives foreign transaction fees. You can save yourself a lot of money by skipping those fees! Just make sure you don’t go to crazy with the spending on your credit card. Give yourself a limit and don’t exceed it. Otherwise, you will come back home with more debt than you should have!

Related: 10 Great Places to Travel on a Budget


Traveling is the next best thing to your grandma’s homemade cookies! Studies show that people who travel experience less stress compared to someone who never travels. What tips would you like to share with the CGS community when it comes to traveling on a budget? Have you tried any of the hacks suggested above, and if so, how did they work out for you? Like and follow us on our Facebook page, and do not forget to check out our other social media accounts Twitter and IG @citygirlsavings.

The CGS Team



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