So, I am here to tell you that we do NOT get to travel that often. We LOVE to travel, but it doesn’t happen often. Mostly because we have very busy work schedule, kids and school, and then when kids are not in school, they still have extra-curricular activities. Even though we love it so much, our budget does not. So, when we do get to travel, believe me, I find every way possible to spend as little as possible.

So, here are a few ideas that we try, and you can too, to make traveling a little easier on your wallets.

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  1. Make a travel budget..NOW

Okay, so first thing you want to do is determine where and when you want to travel. If you can at all possible, plan for next years vacation now. Start getting a plan together on where you want to go, where you want to stay while there, and what kinds of activities they have there for you and your family. Once you have an idea, start researching prices for these things. How much the hotel costs per night, what are the admission costs for the activities you want to do?

When you have a good idea on what those places and prices are, start budgeting for this. Take a small amount from each paycheck and deposit that into a vacation fund account. I know, sometimes this easier said than done. If you have a hard time trying to cut costs other places, I have a great guide for you. Get it here.

2. Figure out meal situations

So, I have a family of 4, about to be a family of 5. So you can imagine the eating situation and how costly it can be. When we travel, we like to bring our own snacks while on the road. Think crackers, candy, cooler full of drinks etc. Also, we like to have our own food available when we need it. Depending on where we are staying, we have options. If we stay somewhere with a kitchen, we will usually plan meals before we go and either bring the ingredients or get what we need when we get there. If we stay with family, then meals usually are taken care of.

If you can, always get a hotel with a kitchenette. Or if not, at least get one that offers FREE breakfast. I am telling you, this will save you tons in the end.

3. If you travel to an expensive city, try staying outside of it, and always use points or miles

Okay, so say you want to travel to a beach resort city such as Padre Island. This is where we vacationed this last year. Well, the closer you are to all the activities and landmarks, the more expensive the accommodations will be. Try looking into a hotel that is a little further outside of the city for better deals.

If you are a part of a rewards system or point plan with a certain hotel, use your points for better deals. A good one is Marriott rewards, Holiday Inn, or even Super 8 has a rewards points

4. If you can’t afford to travel somewhere far, take a mini-vacay close to home. 

We live in Texas, so when we can’t afford to take an out of state trip, we look for alternatives close by. So, if you can’t afford something fancy, that’s okay. Look close by for fun things to do that won’t break the bank. Are there zoo’s in another city that you want to see, museums, or waterpark/amusement parks? We really like to travel to Dallas/Ft. Worth area because the have better zoo’s, an aquarium, and better shopping. It’s a win for us because we also have family in that area, so we are able to stay with them and save that way too.

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Believe me, I know what it’s like to have to budget, save, and try to fit things in when it’s not ideal. But, if you love to travel like we do, then there are tons of ways to try and pinch the budget a little in order to save for that vacation later.

I really do look for anything and everything I can save on in order to not break the bank. Again, if you have trouble with saving, or really have no idea where to start, check out my savings guide completely FREE, here.


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9 thoughts on “How to Travel on a Tight Budget

  1. Great points! I should keep these in mind next time I travel 🙂 I agree with #4, sometimes the best places to go to are close to home and you might even be surprised at the new places you can find.

    Posted on 09/04/2017 at 8:42 AM
    1. Yes, very true. Hidden treasures everywhere!! Thanks Lev.

      Posted on 09/04/2017 at 10:14 AM
  2. Thanks for sharing! We are a family of 4 and my kids are old enough for big vacations. However, we are budgeted so your tips are handy. We live in California so mini-vacays are available in the area, but again, remaining on a budget. Thanks again!

    Posted on 09/04/2017 at 2:24 PM
  3. I’m lucky enough to have been able to travel a lot because my hubby is really savvy when it comes to finding good deals on hotels and being able to use points for things like flights and car rentals!

    One tip that I heard is to clear your browser history before researching flights and hotels otherwise the website will know it’s the second or third time you’ve been looking and they’ll increase the prices!

    Posted on 09/04/2017 at 7:31 PM
    1. That’s interesting to hear, I have never heard that before!

      Posted on 09/05/2017 at 5:34 PM
  4. Great budget travel tips! The added breakfast at a hotel, or the kitchenette, helps SO much. Plus – it is def reasonable to like, get a hotel outside the city, and Uber (or drive, or take public transportation) to the landmarks or central city.

    I also like staying in Airbnbs – sometimes the cost isn’t different, but other times, it’s a significant difference for something with more amenities!


    Posted on 09/04/2017 at 10:40 PM
    1. I have never tried Airbnbs…might have to look into that.

      Posted on 09/05/2017 at 5:33 PM
  5. This was awesome! I love reading about budget travel tips, there are always ways to pinch pennies and still afford the lifestyle you want.

    Posted on 09/05/2017 at 11:19 AM
    1. Most definitely Stephanie!

      Posted on 09/05/2017 at 5:33 PM