The Best Budget Tips From 8 Years Of Frequent Travel.

How to travel internationally on a budget…

Ten of the best budget tips I’ve learnt from travelling the globe? Say less. I’ve got you, as it’s fair to say I know a thing or two about keeping your bank balance happy when abroad. While I wouldn’t particularly consider myself a budget traveller, as I don’t stay at hostels as a first choice nor do I actively seek out the cheapest eats, let’s not forget I started this blog visiting countries with only 50 euros in my pocket. Thestrawberrysnaps has come a long way since then, but today we’re going back to our roots.

One thing I dislike about most budget travel articles is the reference to the most obvious tips you could imagine. Things like ‘don’t buy food at the airport’. With all due respect, I’m pretty sure a kid could work that out…

For this reason, I’ve taken a different route and put together a list of points which I’ve found most useful during the 8 years I’ve been travelling. I’ve also included light travel inspo for 5 budget-friendly places to visit in 2023. You know, to put words to the test.

Want some pre-reading for affordable flights during Valentine’s month? You need to run to my article on the best city break ideas in Europe. If it’s the gift side of things you need to nail, how about this post on cool virtual travel gifts? Last-minute individuals, you have no excuse!

Budget Travel Pinterest Pin - Pink sunset view with landscape of a palm tree and small house

Useful Tips For Travelling On A Budget – The Exact Methods I Swear By.

The question of how I fund travel is one I see regularly. The answer to that is pretty simple, I hold down a stable full-time role. However, that doesn’t mean I move recklessly. I still have living expenses to pay, after all. For a while now though, travel has remained as important in my schedule as making sure bills are paid. An expensive lifestyle? Not quite.

Over the years I’ve evaluated various methods to see which are the biggest game-changers for, somewhat, affordable travel. To prevent scrolling through every single blog post for the findings, I’ve put the points together. 8 years of insight condensed into 10 budget travel tips. We care about your time over here.

Put Money Into Different Envelopes.

After I blew my entire bank balance by day 2 in Seville, back when I was a student, I swore to myself that I’d physically separate cash to relax my spending. I started putting money into different envelopes for different days when travelling. Without a doubt, this has been one of the easiest ways to keep track of how much I’ve spent without actually calculating anything.

Make Use Of Flash Sales.

Bulk-buy during airline sales. That’s right, snap up deals for the next few months rather than booking one trip at a time. Highly underrated, yet highly effective. This was how I flew to Spain, Poland and Malta for less than £50 combined.

Do Summer In Winter.

And on that note, summer destinations in winter. Winter destinations in summer. To some extent, anyway. Once you get flights to Portugal for 20 in Jan/Feb/March, you’ll physically not want to spend 200 + during summer.

Sign Up To Flight Newsletters.

Oh, there’s also a whole range of ways to notify you when error fares are found, or when airlines drop prices to ridiculously low numbers. This is your sign to put flight newsletters into your inbox. The ‘Hopper’ app is another strong contender.

Consider A Hotel, Yes Really.

Ditch the mentality that Airbnb is more affordable than a hotel. Even if a hotel is, initially, more costly. Why? I’ll tell you. If you’re paying 20 euros more per night for a hotel room, and that comes with breakfast, you’re probably still saving money overall. How much would unlimited breakfast, where you can pocket snacks, set you back if you went into the city? Exactly.

Free Events Are Everywhere. Find them!

Need some entertainment? You’d be surprised by the number of free events over on apps like ‘Eventbrite’. In my time, I’ve witnessed everything from painting to pottery, to yoga, to social meet-ups, to street parties. What better way to connect with people without participating in #hostel-life.

Plastic Bags Aren’t Just For Liquids.

Those plastic bags for liquids that you get at airports? Grab multiple. You’ll use them for everything, resulting in fewer expenses for things like passports wallets, jewellery nets, or storage bags.

Think Like A Local.

You might think 6 euros for a gelato cup is no big deal, but it will sting when you find out the average price locals pay is 2 euros. Have a rough idea, via a quick search, of what you’d typically expect to pay for something in the country you’re visiting. Seriously.

Run Away If No Price Is Displayed.

Buy from places where prices are displayed. No label? No purchase. Sellers tend to magic up inflated numbers quicker than a genius on ‘University Challenge’. Nothing screams ‘tourist trap’ louder.

Chat Your Way Into Budget Travel.

Utilise the knowledge of locals to the point they tell you which zones to avoid, where all the authentic restaurants are, and when entrance fees are the cheapest. Never underestimate the power of reaching out to people, whether that be in person or social media.

5 Budget-Friendly Destinations For Backpacking In 2023.

Now that we’ve got the above, it would make sense to mention destinations which come in HOT for backpacking on a budget. The featured spots differ in culture, location, and climate, but share one major thing in common. An ability to make you say ‘I thought I’d do more financial damage than that’ towards the end of your trip.

  1. Turkey. Remember when a content creator made a viral video showing the number of things you could buy with £1 in a Turkish supermarket? I can confirm from my own experiences that you’ll walk out with a carrier bag full of edible items. Not a bad way to fuel your adventures.
  2. Bulgaria. Yes, Bulgaria is one of Europe’s cheapest holiday destinations, but this shouldn’t be the only reason you add the country to your list. In warmer months, you’ll literally gasp over a choice of scenic hiking trails. Just Google how stunning ‘Vihren Peak’ is.
  3. Albania. If you consider yourself a foodie, you’ll fall in love with Albania. A food crawl will leave your stomach satisfyingly full, but your pockets more so.
  4. Romania. There’s something mysterious about Romania. No, I’m not talking about the notorious mythical legends. Instead, I’m referring to affordability. Just wait until you see how reasonable ‘luxury’ experiences are. The type of budget tips we like to hear!
  5. Poland. With the UK often flying to many Polish cities for less than £20, you’d be missing out if you didn’t let curiosity get the better of you. Sipping cocktails on a rooftop bar, munching on endless pierogis, wandering around markets and stocking up on souvenirs barely put a dent into 15£. How could it, when fridge magnets set me back a small 18-pence? Thinking about a short weekend trip? I’ll link you to my guide on the best things to do in Poznań.

Liked this post? I think you’ll love reading about my recent experience in Lanzarote, as nearly all of the suggestions fit into the ‘budget travel’ category, or how about sticking with the theme of must-know travel tips?

After visual content? I think you’ll like my vibe-y inspo posts on Instagram. I’ll catch you over there.

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4 Comments

  1. Great tips, Yaz! I’m with you on bulk-buying as it not only can save money, but also save time and worry later. I have traveled to summer countries within the winter for less, but I think it also depends on whether you’re willing to put up with the occasional cold at times (e.g. I’ve been to Portugal and the south of France in the winter, but it can still be a bit nippy!). I also agree with you that countries in central/eastern Europe don’t get as much love, but I have a soft spot for them, especially Poland…they are inexpensive, but also offer a lot of beautiful sites to see, as much as those in western Europe!

    1. Thank you so much Rebecca! Very true, some places are far too cold to be enjoyable for long periods of time 😂 France is a place I’m keen to explore! Do you recommend any particular city there? I’m a bit wary of Paris for some reason

      1. Paris didn’t wow me at first, but with repeated visits, it slowly grew on me. I’d definitely recommend checking out a selected few of the touristy sites, just because (e.g. Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré Coeur) and spend the rest of the time wandering the streets and seeing what exciting hidden courtyard, street art, café, etc. pops up! As for the rest of France, I have a soft spot for the southwest, especially Toulouse. Lots of cute little villages there, too!

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