Have you ever told yourself “I wish I could travel more but I can’t afford it”? Many people think that traveling is something they could never afford to do because: 1.) lack of free time and 2.) it’s expensive. Sure, exploring the world can be costly but trust us, even the brokes can travel because of the budget travel hacks they live by!

Traveling on a shoestring may be a challenge but it will let you save money. Here are the 5 budget travel hacks that every tourist should follow!

asian girl eating street food

1. Live like a local

Do as the locals do and the new place you’re visiting will instantly make you feel like you’re home. It will strike up a sense of familiarity and it’s the best experience you can have. Instead of going to posh and touristy restaurants, opt for smaller, less mainstream establishments owned and frequented by locals (example: eatery, street food). Not only will it make your stay in the place feel more authentic, but you’ll also contribute to the locals’ livelihood! Now that’s traveling with a purpose.

2. Be a smart traveler

You wouldn’t want your trip to be interrupted or worse, ruined by minute problems that can easily be prevented such as wrong trip schedules, missed flights, or overbooked accommodations. Do your research on where you’re going, plan your trips ahead of time, and join group tours. Traveling may not always be smooth-sailing, but being a smart and practical traveler will save you from tons of inconvenience (and a lot of money)!  

girl looking on her map

3. As much as possible, just walk

Now, this may sound a little crazy especially when you’re in an unfamiliar place, but hear us out. When you find yourself exploring the city or a little town in the province, instead of spending on taxis or other modes of transportation, have your Waze and/or Google Maps with you, learn how to navigate like a pro, and walk. It’s one of the budget travel hacks that backpackers live by.

If your mobile devices cannot find any signal in the area, go old school and have a copy of the locality’s map. It might just take you to new discoveries and will make you appreciate the views even more (plus it can count as your daily dose of cardio).

4. Haggle

More often than not, travelers struggle with dealing with other people marking up their prices knowing that they can pay more. This is the most important part of budget travel hacks. When you find yourself in a busy town putting expensive fees on food, tours, or other services, put up a strong front and fight when you’re right. A trick commonly used by many, and which works most of the time, is by telling them that you’ll scout for others that are cheaper. They’ll eventually mark down their fees and you’ll get the price you deserve. However, keep in mind that these people are trying to make a living, so always make sure to meet with them halfway! Haggle reasonably.

5. Spend more on experiences. Buy less.

Travel is all about exploration and every experience that comes with it, but it sure doesn’t have to be pricey. What better way to save up on your budget than paying less on transport and accommodation? Find quality but affordable seats and hotel rooms by always checking airline and hotel promos online! ZEN Rooms offer budget hotel rooms at the lowest rates, and bookings can be made via ZEN Rooms’ official website. Guaranteed, you’ll have more to explore and you’re up for a travel experience of a lifetime!

Travel while you can. Don’t worry about the money because for sure, it will come again. You will be surprised that traveling can be much cheaper than you think it is.

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