Ten Travel Tips To Save Money: Travel On A Budget

Traveling doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. These travel tips to save money will keep you living your best life, and doing it on the cheap! There are things you can do while you’re planning and while you’re on the trip that can save you money and stress!

A Map surrounded by all the cash you could save with these travel tips to save money.

1. Go Off-Season

Everyone likes to take their trips in the spring and summer, but is it the best time? The weather might be nice, but businesses know about the surge. They upcharge everything! You can travel for much less if you simply time your trips for the off season. Go north in the summer, go south in the winter. I think you’ll find that the change of weather is even better that way!

2. AirBnB’s

The travel overnight game is changing. While hotels used to the obvious answer to the question “Where will we stay?”, that’s quickly fading. AirBnB (and other rent-a-room services) are making huge headway, and it’s for good reason! AirBnB rooms are always cheaper and often much nicer than getting a hotel! Plus you might even have easy kitchen and laundry access.

3. Book Ahead Of Time

Make your plans far in advance! Lots of activities and tours will increase rates the closer you get to the date. Planes and hotels shoot their rates right up if you’re trying to plan during prime time. By planning early, you’ll directly save money on everything!

4. Use Public Transit

Rental cars are nice to have, but they get expensive fast. If you can avoid needing one by using public transit, you can save a ton! Most major cities have pretty robust bus and train systems. They take a little bit to learn, but it’s well worth it!

5. Pocket Wifi

Using your cell phone abroad isn’t easy. You might need to get a special sim card from your provider, at an exorbitant rate. You could try to get a prepaid phone while you’re there, but that’s not easy either. Your best bet is to get  a pocket wifi. These can be rented at the airport and for a low steady fee, you’ll get a mobile hotspot you can take with you! This means you can use any device you’ve got, with no special considerations!

The midwest, a low cost but beautiful travel destination.

6. Walk As Much As You Can

I mentioned using transit over rentals and taxis, but there’s an even better method. Just walk! You might save money by picking a hotel or BnB that’s close to the things you want to see. Plus you’ll get to see parts of your destination from angles you might not otherwise!

7. Shop And Cook Locally

This can be a fun experience in itself. Instead of going out for every meal, cook one in! Go to the local market and buy raw ingredients, they’re always cheaper. If you have any interest in cooking, this is a great way to sample the culture first hand!

8. Get Big Lunch And Small Dinner

Restaurants and bars often charge less for lunch than they do for dinner. So if you time your big meals, you can get decadent lunches for cheap! There’s no set rule for which meal has to be the most important. 

9. Talk To Locals

Make it a point to ask locals where to shop, eat, or what to see. Whether it’s your AirBnB owner, your bartender, or friends, locals always know how to avoid tourist traps! 

10. Pick Cheap Places

Finally, pick cheap places! Your own country has dozens if not hundreds of hidden gems scattered all about. Overseas is going to cost you big, there’s no way around it. If you can find a cozy BnB in your local “wine-country” you can save a mint and still have a great time! This is my favorite of the travel tips to save money. My wife and I have gone on tons of “small” trips that are just as fun as big ones, but a fraction of the price! Your vacation is what you make it.

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Travel Gear List: Must-Haves When Leaving Home

When you leave on a trip you never know what you could run into. For this reason, it pays to be prepared. Now you can’t prepare for every situation imaginable, your backpack would be enormous! But you can bring the right travel gear for the likely ones, and you can try to cover your bases.

Some travel gear layed out on a map.

Below I’ve assembled a list of the must have travel gear you should keep with you for all occasions. If you’ve got all this, you’re ready for anything that comes your way.

A Good Multi-Purpose Day Pack – AmazonBasics Slim Carry On Travel Backpack

AmazonBasics Slim Carry On Travel Backpack

For starters, you’ll need something reliable to carry it all in. A good daypack will be good for a lot of purposes. It can serve as your carry on, your personal item, your day bag, or even your suitcase! There is of course an important decision to be made about size. Backpacks come in all shapes and sizes. I recommend a good midsize, like my example here.

Nail Clippers – SZQHT Ultra Wide Jaw Opening Nail Clippers

SZQHT Ultra Wide Jaw Opening Nail Clippers

I would recommend a multi-tool, but the TSA frowns on those. Multi-tools are massively useful, but hard to travel with. It’s true that multi-tools without blades are TSA-compliant. But, they don’t always follow their own rules. And you can bet anything that if you try to argue, they’re going to search you for anything else. And they search everywhere. For this reason, nail clippers are a good solution. They’re good for cutting a lot of things and can be handy for a lot of things. 

Travel First Aid Kit – General Medi Mini First Aid Kit

General Medi Mini First Aid Kit

A First Aid Kit is always a good thing to have. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It just needs to be enough to patch yourself up in case of small accidents. If anything serious happens, there are always doctors. Just make sure there aren’t scissors in it as the TSA gets a little testy about those, too. 

Water Bottle – HYDAWAY Hydration Travel Pack | 25 oz

HYDAWAY Hydration Travel Pack | 25 oz

Having your own water bottle is always nice. You won’t be able to take it on the plane full but you can fill it up after the security checkpoint. When you’re travelling about, especially outdoors, you don’t always know when the next convenient drink will come around. Having your own water bottle will let you fill up and take your hydration into your own hands.

Travel Towel – Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

Travel towels are compact and they come in clutch. You never plan on needing an emergency towel. But it’s for precisely that reason that they’re so useful. They fold up small and are super handy. Plus, in a pinch, they can double as a soft place to put your head on a plane!

Compact Travel Blanket – Comfort Plus 3-in-1 Premium Travel Blanket

Comfort Plus 3-in-1 Premium Travel Blanket

You’ll also want a travel blanket. Some of them fold up to be very small! They’re always useful for a little warmth or a slice of home on a cold plane, train, or bus. By keeping this with you, you ensure that you’ll always be able to get comfy!

Universal Charger – Unidapt Universal Charger Power Adapter

Unidapt Universal Charger Power Adapter

This is a lifesaver for traveling abroad. You want to have a charger for your phone, it might as well be universal. A universal plug will let you charge anything using any outlet. This is one that people often forget about until it’s too late!

Power Bank – Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger

Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger

A power bank will also help you stretch your devices! It’ll give you a backup supply of power for when you really need it. I actually recommend having two power banks. You can use one all the time, and save the other for emergencies, so you’ve always got a plan!

Pocket Notebook – Five Star Fat Lil’ Pocket Personal Notebook

Five Star Fat Lil' Pocket Personal Notebook

I’m still a big believer in pen and paper. I think there’s value to writing things down and I think it’s a lot easier than phone notes. Not to mention it’s classier than phone notes and you can rip off and use pieces of paper. You should definitely pick up a little notebook and pen for your travels.

Compact Umbrella – SY COMPACT Travel Umbrella

SY COMPACT Travel Umbrella

Finally on my list of must-have travel gear, always plan for a rainy day. A compact umbrella is a great low-weight low-space way to do that! It’s a little easier than carrying around a bulky jacket or a poncho and it’s super easy to use and put away!

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10 Crucial Travel Accessories You Simply Must Have

Travel accessories will make your adventure a lot easier. These are my top picks for the must-have accessories to bring your travel to the next level.

Carry Your Travel Accessories

Canway 65L Travel Duffel Bag

The most important travel accessor of all is the one that carries all the other. That’s why you need a good travel bag! This bag from Canway is classic, stylish, and effective. It’s roomy enough for everything you need and the materials are top notch. It’s got quality zippers and a waterproof material to keep everything safe!

ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack

Collapsible backpacks are a must have for travel. I don’t go anywhere without mine! You never know when a day bag could make all the difference in your adventure. I know when my wife and I travel, we pick up souvenirs. There’s nothing worse than loading up on stuff early in the day, only to have to carry it in shopping bags for hours. With this collapsible day pack, you can take it with you during the day, and pack everything back up when you’re travelling home!

Catch Some Sleep

MLVOC Travel Pillow Sleep Set

You’ve probably had a travel pillow before. They’re simple, cheap, half-donut pillows that don’t do a great job. That’s why you need a quality neck pillow like this once from MLVOC. It’s ergonomically designed with 3 points of support and memory foam padding. Plus, for all this cushioning, it compresses down to the size of a cell phone for storage. As an added bonus, it comes with a set of earplugs and an eye mask! It’s a nap in a bag!

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise cancelling headphones have come a long way. It used to be you couldn’t get a decent pair for under $300. This $60 makes noise-cancellation available for everyone, without breaking the bank. Plus these headphones have Bluetooth connectivity. As a late convert to Bluetooth headphones myself, I can tell you: you won’t go back. Hands free headphones are so much more convenient and comfortable than you’d even think they are. Plus, these will filter airplane noise!

Money Management

passport organizer the most important travel accessories

AmazonBasics RFID Travel Passport Wallet Organizer

If you’re travelling abroad, your passport is your most important possession. This makes a way to keep it safe one of your most important travel accessories. Literally anything else can be replaced except your passport. No one wants to spend their vacation fighting to be allowed home in a foreign consulate. This organizer bag will keep everything right where you put it and keep you from misplacing a thing.

money belt

Alpha Keeper RFID Money Belt

Pickpockets are creative. But if your wallet is strapped right to the front of your waist, they’re going to have a hard time getting anything. Plus, criminals aside, this wallet belt is convenient! You might look like a dorky tourist, but who cares? You’re having the time of your life and you’re not worried about losing anything getting in your way!

minimalist wallet for money travel accessories

Travelambo Front Pocket Minimalist Leather Slim Wallet

Whenever I travel, I like to keep a couple wallets. I’ll keep my main wallet, but I’ll also keep a decoy wallet. You can put in a little cash and some of those fake credit cards that you get in the mail. That way, if something happens and someone is demanding your wallet, you’ve got one to throw and one real one.

Travel Accessories: Electronics

travel accessories need a universal power plug

Unidapt Universal Travel Power Adapter

Something you might not consider when travelling is outlets, but it’s absolutely crucial. If you make it all the way to your European hotel room before you notice, you’re going to be in trouble. 

And airports know how crucial these are, that’s why they’ll charge you through the roof! Order one online and never be caught without again!

headphone splitter travel accessories

Belkin RockStar 5-Jack Multi Headphone Audio Splitter

There are a lot of headphone splitters out there. The problem with them is that normally they’ve only got two ports! This might be okay for some. But if you go for one of these star shaped multi-splitters, you’ll always have enough ports.

The star shaped design lets you plug in up to 5 headphones, enough for the whole family!

power bank travel accessories

Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger

Portable chargers are important. If you’re in an unfamiliar place, your map app is your lifeline, and that means your phone is your lifeline! When it comes to portable chargers, I recommend having 2. One for normal use, and one just in case charger for emergencies!

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Essential Travel Accessories: What Do I Really Need?

When it comes to travel accessories, you can go big or you can go small. You can pack as much as you want to carry or you can pair it back to what you need. There are tons of different accessories and gadgets that are very useful that I won’t include on this list. But this list will cover all the essential travel accessories that you need to get started on your way!

essential travel accessories

Good Bags

For starters, you’ll need bags. If you don’t have a good bag you may even lose the other things you pack! In addition your your luggage (and I recommend hard shell luggage), you need your carry on. You should get a quality duffle or large backpack for the small stuff you’re keeping with you. This can be your weekend or overnight bag, or it can be your medium bag for long trips. 

Personally, I use a small duffle for this purpose. It fit’s all the essentials and a few emergency items if I lose the rest of my luggage.

The other bag that I recommend, is a folding backpack. They make lightweight backpacks that fold up to to be very small. My carrying onw of these bags, you’ve got options. You never know when you could use a little more storage space and utility.

Essential Travel Accessories: Comfort Gear

When you’re going to be stuck somewhere for a long period of time, you want to be comfortable. Whether its a train, a plane, a bus, or a car, you need to relax.

A good structured neck pillow will pay for itself in no time. The last thing you want to do when travelling is start your trip off with a sore neck!

The other things that can really pay off are ear plugs and an eye-mask. This might seem cliche but nothing beats it if you need to fit sleep time in and you’re out in public. 

Even better than ear plugs are noise cancelling headphones. These can be the difference between life and extreme annoyance on a long trip with loud kids (or friends!)

Essential Travel Accessories: Money And Document Holders

Tourist destinations attract all sorts of people. You’ve got tourists, the people that are trying to make money from them, and the people trying to take things from them. Crime is a real concern!

If you’re travelling, especially abroad, you have to make sure your ID and money are safe. There’s nothing worse than getting caught away from home without your documents.

A document holder that you can lock to your bag is essential for your passport! And you should always have a fake wallet and a way to hide money if you’re walking around.

Personally, I never keep all my money in one place. I keep cash hidden in a few places around my bag and body. That way if I get robbed or pickpocketed, I’m never totally out of luck!

Electronics Gear

Finally, you’re going to want some electronics gear. If you’ve got a phone, you need a charger. The best way to do this is to get a universal outlet converter. This way, the same charger can keep you full in almost every country around the globe!

Headphones are also a must! I mentioned noise-cancelling headphones above and I’ll mention them again here. Nothing beats being able to tune into your own world wherever you are for a moment of peace. But if you want to share that moment, a headphone splitter is also a great idea! This will let you share whatever you’re listening to with anyone you want!

Finally, a power bank can come in clutch! Phones never last as long as you want them to. And if you’re away from home, you might really need it just to get around. I recommend keeping two power banks. One for general use and one that you save for emergencies only!

There are a lot more travel accessories that will make your life a lot easier. I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t look for them! (In fact, I’ll talk about them myself in other articles.) I just wanted to cover the basics here to let you build your bag off of!

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