Traveling on a Budget? Try These Travel Hacks for a More Practical and Meaningful Trip

Moneymax

Moneymax

Last updated June 27, 2022

Travel restrictions have started to ease in many parts of the world, so you can now book a flight to that island paradise you’ve had your eye on for a while. Whether you’re planning to spend your vacation in or out of the country, there are many ways you can enjoy your trip without breaking the bank.

We’ve listed below some travel hacks to help you get the most out of your trip. Just make sure to arm yourself not only with these tips but also with travel essentials in the new normal so that you can be both financially secure and physically healthy while traveling.

General Travel Hacks for the Strict Budgeteer

travel hacks - travel planning

It’s easier to save money while traveling when you live by certain basic principles and apply them when planning for your trip. These general travel hacks for 2022 will make budgeting a breeze if you’re going for a low-cost travel experience.

Take to Heart the Purpose of Your Trip 

Know what to prioritize and what to compromise on. If your main goal is to just take in the beauty of the local surroundings, then you can deprioritize other expenses such as airfare, accommodation, and food. That way, you have enough money to splurge on different attractions and activities.

Read more: Sama All This Summer: Best Outdoor Activities in the Philippines for ₱3,000 or Less

Go Where Your Money Can Go a Long Way

If you’re planning to fly out of the country, make sure to go somewhere your peso has a higher value, like Vietnam and Indonesia.

If you intend to explore the local landscape, there are many travel destinations in the Philippines that can also give you your money’s worth. It’s just a matter of choosing the perfect place where you can maximize your budget.  

DIY Your Travel Itinerary

Forgo hiring travel agents and signing up for package tours that cost you more without necessarily giving you greater value. Cut the middleman altogether and plan for the trip yourself.[1]

You can find everything online if you comb through each website to get the best deals. Also, a do-it-yourself (DIY) trip means you can personalize everything based on your preferences.

Before Takeoff: How to Save on Airfare and Accommodation

Below are some easy travel hacks to help you shave a few bucks off your airfare and accommodation expenses.

General Tips

Consider All Options

travel hacks - compare flight prices

Research and compare different airlines and flight prices. For example, you can look up this Cebu Pacific vs. Air Asia comparison review to see which one has better promos.

The same goes for your place of stay. Many comparison websites out there offer different options. Go for budget airlines and cheaper hotels that still tick the boxes for safety, comfort, and convenience.

Go Incognito When Browsing

Your search history, cookies, and cache can affect your search results. When the algorithm detects that you’re searching for flights or rooms, prices can go up when you visit certain booking websites.

One of the more creative travel hacks you can apply to avoid this is to go incognito when browsing. That way, your search information won’t be a roadblock to you finding the best deals.

Book Off-Season and Ahead of Time

Everything is more expensive during peak seasons like Christmas. So, if you can, book off-season when ticket prices are reduced and hotel rooms are on sale. Flexibility pays off, so try to be more open to various options to find the cheapest one.

Also, if you already know your preferred schedule, book ahead of time as prices rarely go down the closer you get to the date of your flight or hotel stay.[2]

Related: Compare the Best Travel Insurance in the Philippines!

Travel Hacks to Save on Airfare

Be Flexible with Your Seating Arrangement

There are a few travel hacks for flying that you can try out, and this is surely one of the more practical ones. If you’re traveling alone, this is a no-brainer. If you’re with your partner or group of friends, this is still a smart choice, as you’ll only be apart for a few hours. The only time this hack won’t work is when you’re traveling with a child or someone with special needs who has to be seated next to you.

Pack Light to Avoid Overlimit Fees 

travel hacks - pack light

Be conscious of your luggage weight when flying out. You can follow different travel hacks for packing[3] to maximize your luggage space and avoid incurring additional fees.

Also, check out various travel hacks to save space such as using different folding techniques and keeping your clothes in vacuum bags. 

Refrain from Eating on the Plane 

Aside from this still being a health risk due to COVID-19, food served in-flight can also be quite expensive. One of the travel hacks for long flights that you can put to use is to have a proper meal before flying out so that you won’t be tempted to pay a hefty price for airplane food.

Travel Hacks to Save on Accommodation

travel hacks - book cheaper accommodations

Choose the Location Strategically 

To get this right, you need to do a lot of research. What you want is a place that is not located exactly in a tourism hub but just somewhere near it.

That way, you won’t have to pay for expensive lodging marketed to tourists, but you’ll still gain quick and easy access to tourist spots without wasting any petty cash on transportation.

Prioritize Practicality Over Luxury 

Don’t spend more on your hotel fees than you need to. Unless you’re planning for a luxurious staycation, it’s wiser to just book a place that’s comfortable enough to sleep in.

Plenty of hostels, inns, homestays, and apartments can provide you with the comfort you need without costing you a fortune.

Get a Place with a Kitchen 

Just buy something from the local grocery store or market and put together a meal at home. You can also minimize your food spend if you reheat leftovers from when you eat out.

Need a credit card - compare now

After Touchdown: How to Save on Other Daily Expenses 

Here are more travel hacks to save money on daily expenses, especially food and transportation.

General Tips

Look for Free Activities for Tourists

You can do plenty of exciting things that’ll cost you close to nothing. Sometimes, the activities that you can do for free are the ones that’ll really let you soak in the culture of a place. You can look up these activities online or ask the locals themselves for recommendations.

Use a Credit Card with a Low Foreign Transaction Fee

travel hacks - use a credit card with low foreign transaction fee

Carrying a credit card around when traveling is convenient, as you no longer have to use cash for transactions. Just make sure your credit card charges zero to minimal foreign transaction fees to avoid messing up your budget.

Some cards also let you win travel rewards such as airline vouchers, hotel discounts, cashback, and frequent flier points. Sign up for one to maximize the benefits you can get.

Use Wi-Fi to Avoid Roaming Charges

Airports and hotels sometimes offer free Wi-Fi. Take advantage of that when browsing the web.

You may also rent or purchase a pocket Wi-Fi or a travel SIM card before your trip, so you have something to use during your trip, especially when you need access to certain navigation apps. This is a safer option than public Wi-Fi when it comes to data privacy, as you won’t be sharing a network with potential hackers who might get access to your confidential data when you log in to your social networks and mobile banking apps, for example.

Travel Hacks to Save Money on Food

Eat Local and Authentic Food

travel hacks - eat local food

One way to soak up the culture of a place without spending a fortune is to explore the local cuisine. Sometimes, nothing tells a story better than food prepared locally.

Eat like a local! You can look up different types of authentic dishes that are worth trying, or you can just wing it and ask any local to point you in the right direction.

Cook More and Eat Out Less

Food costs can add up pretty quickly. You’ll realize that sooner than later if you tend to eat out all the time. To stretch your travel budget, prepare a simple home-cooked meal instead of wining and dining at a fancy restaurant every night. Cooking your own meal also gives you a chance to try out different local ingredients and spices available in the market.

Carry Snacks and Water Outside

It’s inevitable for hunger and thirst to strike when you’re out exploring and hopping from one place to another. To avoid wasting your money on overpriced snacks (which are a luxury that you need to watch out for when traveling on a budget), shop for local snacks at a grocery store before heading out. 

The only time you can buy special treats is if they’re unique to a particular area, and you can’t get them anywhere else. Another tip is to bring your own water tumbler, so you won’t have to overspend on bottled water. This way, you also help save the environment by lessening your carbon footprint.

Travel Hacks to Save on Transportation Costs

Take Public Transport

travel hacks - take public transport

If cultural immersion is one of your travel goals, then you shouldn’t miss out on trying mass transit options in the area, especially if you’re visiting a foreign country.

Public rails are usually a good starting point. If the country you’re visiting has its own version of the Philippines’ tricycle and jeepney (such as tuktuk in Thailand and Cambodia—just avoid drivers who charge a high fee), you should try those out as well just to understand how the daily commute works in that location.

Do a Walking Tour

Planning your itinerary properly will help you save on transportation costs. When your route covers places near one another, you can just walk from point A to point B and take in the view from the ground on your way to your destination. You’ll also get to see a glimpse of the place from a local’s perspective. Nothing beats that kind of experience.

Rent a Vehicle for Your Group

Transportation can be quite costly. If you’re traveling with a big group, it’s more practical to rent a van that can take you anywhere. Weigh out all your options to see if this is the best one for you. 

Apart from the potential savings, renting a vehicle is also a good way to make the trip your own because you can explore as one big group together. You also get to have more control over your time when touring around. 

Final Thoughts

Traveling doesn’t have to be a budget wrecker. Remember that you still have a life to go back to after going on an adventure. It’s best to secure your finances while out on a trip—and as you have seen above, there are many ways you can do that. 

The travel hacks we propose don’t take any enjoyment away from your outing. In fact, some of them can even enrich your overall experience and multiply your opportunities to have fun without worrying about overspending. Try them out and see for yourself if you can travel the same way ever again.

Personal loan application

Sources:

Helping Filipinos lead a healthier financial life, Moneymax is your trusted source of information and tips on credit cards, loans, insurance, investments, and other personal finance topics. For more financial news and articles, follow Moneymax on LinkedIn.