Whether your dream is to see the world, spend summer in another country, work remotely for long periods of time, or even become a digital nomad… this article shares tips to travel on a budget or help your money go further so you can make your travel dreams a reality!
My husband and I set out as digital nomads around five years ago when we had barely traveled together much at all. Below are a few ways we made it work and stretched our budget further—I hope it helps you do the same!
P.S. Prefer to listen? Check out Episode 128 of the Bright Life Podcast: My Favorite Tips to Travel on A Budget & Make Your Money Go Further or watch the video below!
128. Travel Series: My Favorite Tips to Travel on a Budget & Make Your Money Go Further – Bright Life Podcast
Tips to Travel on a Budget
Travel Off Season
I know, I know… everyone dreams of Italy in summertime… but visiting Europe (or anywhere) off-season is actually a fantastic way to save money AND see the charm of another season.
The first time my husband and I set out as digital nomads, we left for Europe in the fall, not even well-traveled enough to realize that wasn’t a popular time to visit. But it turned out to give us one of our best discoveries—that Europe (and everywhere) is lovely off-season! Not only are the crowds not as overwhelming, but the weather is usually still quite nice (and not as blisteringly hot).
We stayed in Amsterdam, London, and Brussels that winter, and while the weather was cold, that brought its own charm. I have colorful memories of walking to coworking offices in Amsterdam in the snow, bicycles crossing the canals with everyone bundled in scarves, their breaths visible in the morning light. In Brussels, we stumbled upon our first Christmas market (which Europe takes to another level). We loved it so much that, years later, we made an entire trip of Christmas markets, visiting Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest.
I would estimate that you can save one-third to one-half the price of accommodations by visiting off-season while still having just as memorable of a time. So if you’re looking to travel on a budget, consider avoiding high-season and going when the crowds have left.
Make Your Long Flights Stretch Further
Trans-continental flights (like between the U.S. to Europe, Asia, or South America) tend to be the longest, most expensive ones. So another tip I stumbled into is making those as infrequently as possible.
For example, when we visited South America, instead of making the flight back to the U.S. over and over again for each country, we stayed longer and visited multiple countries while we were there. (I teach how to build a copywriting business if you’re interested in a business that lets you work remotely as long as you wish.) We visited Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina and more before heading back to the U.S.
Often, regional flights are much cheaper than trans-continental flights, so if you can save up for that larger flight (or use credit card miles for it) then you can travel more affordably between countries ones you’re there.
Get Outside the U.S. and Europe
Look, I love the U.S. and Europe… but, they’re also some of the most expensive places in the world. Many people imagine them when they think of travel, then wonder how they’ll ever afford it. But there is so much of the world that is much more affordable, full of rich culture, delicious cuisine, and so much history.
Take a look at Google Maps and brainstorm where else you might like to see in your lifetime, from Thailand to the Phillipines, Bali, Egypt, South America, and so much more! In places like these, you can often get a villa for a week for the price you would pay per night in Europe, for example. We’ve had absolutely incredible times and memories no matter where we’ve gone.
Think Outside the Box
While we’re able to travel more comfortably these days, in the beginning, we had to get creative. We actually gave up our lease the first time we embarked on our digital nomad journey, deciding to put our rent money into Airbnbs around the world instead. (We figured that, if we had a monthly lease or mortgage anyway, why not allocate the same amount of money into dozens of places, instead of the same one each month?)
Another time, we sublet our place when we traveled for months at a time. I’m not saying it’s easy, but there are so many ways to get creative these days. If you want it enough, don’t limit your imagination! There has never been a better time to make this possible, with sites for homes like Airbnb and VRBO (with actual space and kitchens!) instead only hotels like back in the day.
So those are my top tips to make the biggest difference in your budget. Of course, you can always do little things like pack protein bars or make coffee at your Airbnb instead of buying snacks and coffee out… but for savings of thousands versus hundreds, try the tips above! And at the end of the day, no matter what your budget is, remember: travel is the one thing that makes your life richer. 💛
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P.S. More on this topic: How I Became a Digital Nomad and Productivity Tips for Working Remotely or as a Digital Nomad.