Traveling on a budget is so easy, especially with the hostel and budget airline world booming, it’s now easier than ever to start your adventure. I traveled to 5 continents in a year on a ridiculously low budget. It can be done!
Below are my most used tips and tricks that I used while I was an au pair in Europe and living on a strict budget.
1. Join a traveling group on Facebook or login into Couchsurfing and find members that live in the specific city you are traveling to.
Ask the individual to give you the inside scoop on the non-touristy destinations.
These restaurants and shops will most likely be a lot cheaper, and you will also get a real, genuine experience of the city or country you are staying in.
Tip: Cushion is an app that refunds bank and credit card fees. You can expect refunds on things like late fees, overdraft fees, monthly service fees, account maintenance fees, ATM fees, credit card interest charges, late fees, and more!
2. Get cash back with Ibotta
Ibotta is a free app that gives you cash back for making purchases on things like groceries, clothes, toiletries, and much more while traveling.
Before I visit a grocery store or make any purchase in-person, I check the Ibotta app to see what kind of cash back I can get.
Currently, there are deals like getting up to $2 off toothpaste, up to 20% cash back from Groupon, $1.50 off pasta, and so much more.
It’s silly not to use Ibotta if you’re a regular grocery shopper and also have to buy things like clothes, toiletries, and pretty much anything else you’d find at a store like Walmart or Amazon.
If you sign up now, you can get $10 in your account by using my link here.
If you’re downloading Ibotta on your phone, the app will ask if you have a referral code. Use my referral code: lwyxxrb and you’ll get $10 for signing up.
Would you like to pay off debt without even thinking about it? Stay with me for a sec because this isn’t some generic money-saving app.
Qoins helps you by using your spare change from everyday transactions to make an extra payment to your debt.
Let’s say you go to Starbucks and pay for a coffee that is $3.71. Qoins rounds up your payment to $4.00, meaning $.29 goes to your debt. This might not seem like a lot, but it definitely adds up over time. Qoins has helped users pay off $4.5+ million with this method, so it must be working.
4. Do your research and stay in hostels that are offering the highest number of free add-ons.
It’s effortless these days to find a hostel that is going to offer free wifi, free buffet breakfast, and free showers.
You can even use this $1000 travel fund to plan your dream vacation! Pin it for later.
5. Sign up for Ebates to get travel discounts.
Ebates gives cash back on online purchases, such as flights and other travel-related expenses.
If you regularly shop online, Ebates is perfect for you. Make money while doing your usual online shopping.
Create an Ebates account here. Make an online purchase of $25 and get $10 as a welcome bonus! So easy.
Ebates even has a free browser extension that automatically applies the best coupons to your purchases and activates cash back. There are so many times I forget to use Ebates when I’m online shopping – so the Ebates button reminds me every time I go online shopping. It’s a must.
Digit is a fun money-saving app that helps you save money for a particular goal.
Say you want to save up for a vacation, Digit will analyze your spending and automatically move money from your checking account to Digit when you can afford it.
Digit knows exactly how much to save, and allows unlimited withdrawals so you can access savings at any time, and even has a 1% savings bonus.
You can even create a custom travel savings fund in Digit!
7. Take advantage of Groupon and its travel section.
There are tons of discounted trips, flights, and packages that are worth looking into. I have a few friends that have personally used the Groupon trips, and they have all said it’s 100% worth it.
8. I have found that souvenirs are not worth it.
They can be bulky and wasteful, and most of the time, end up in storage.
If you must buy a souvenir for you or a friend, I recommend buying magnets or postcards. They are cheap and small to pack.
Tip: Trim helps you negotiate cable and internet bills, analyzes and gives you spending updates via text, and will find and cancel unwanted subscriptions for you. Trim users saved over $1,000,000 last month alone.
9. When you travel, you are going to find that there are often many travel agencies that offer “free tours.”
Yes, these are free, but they do recommend you tip, and the tour guide will also mention tipping at the end, which usually costs the same as buying a ticket from an actual tour agency anyway.
10. Buy a water bottle and use the bathroom whenever you have free access to one.
Bathrooms cost money in most foreign countries, and water is not cheap, and in some cases, not clean enough to drink.
Here is a fruit-infused bottle that works great for adding a little flavor to your water.
Traveling does not have to be expensive or stressful when planning out. There are so many different ways to save money while traveling, and some of my favorite memories while traveling has been free.
What to read next: How I Built A Profitable Blog While Working And Being In School Full-Time
How do you travel on a budget?
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