Making Your Money Stretch Further – Tips and Ticks for Budget Travelers

July 8, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Cost of Traveling,Deciding to Travel,Planning,Travel Tips

Travelling can be SUPER expensive. With so many exciting things to do, see, eat and try, one can easily be forgiven for blowing the budget without even trying. But for families wanting to make every dollar count and help their budget stretch a little further, today we look at ways to save money, without sacrificing the fun along the way!

To make long-term travel (or even regular travel) sustainable, it is important to find ways to get the most out of every dollar to help you stick to your budget. Does that mean you need to sit at home every day, curled up in front of the tv, avoiding anything that may cost money? HELL NO! It just means you need to get smart about ways to save money and figure out how to travel cheap!

Whether you are traveling long or short term, saving money along the way can completely change the way you travel, and opens the door to some exciting adventures and experiences!


Go slow!

There are so many ways slow travel can help the health of your budget, but when it comes to tours and activities that you’d love to do, slow travel is a great way to afford some little luxuries.

When you are traveling fast, and only visiting a city for a few days, it’s natural to be on the move and trying to fit in as much as you can. If you slow down a little though, you can almost double your budget!

How? Firstly, sites like Airbnb, offer huge discounts for long stays, with many owners offering over 50% discount for stays of one month or more!

Another huge benefit is that slower travel allows you to have some downtime, and save money at the same time!  Most kids (and adults for that matter) can’t maintain the routine of constant exploration and activity for any long period – it is literally exhausting! So, many slow travel families look at a ratio of 1:1 (1 day out to 1 day at home) or even 2:1, allowing plenty of rest time. If not much money is spent on the down days, a 1:1 ratio means you almost have 200% of your daily budget to spend on your days out!!


Slow down and enjoy your travels more – your budget will thank you for it!


Find Free Tours and Activities!

A budget travelers best friend when it comes to saving money on family activities is GOOGLE.

In every city you visit there are loads of free and super cheap activities for families to do – numerous walking tours, activities, and adventures that can show you around the city, without costing a fortune! You just need to know how to find them, and that is where Google comes in!

A trip to London is a great example of this. London is frightfully expensive for a family traveling on a budget – but that doesn’t make it out of reach!

Simply jump on Google with the following phrases – “free walking tours in London” and “free things to do in London”. Of course, you could add any number of other phrases but these two work a treat!

What you’ll find is a crazy number of sites offering free, or extremely low-cost activities that will allow you to explore the city, AND stick to your budget! Surely that constitutes finding cheap ways to travel! 🙂


Become a Bargain Hunter!

If you are trying to keep your costs low, it is important to constantly ask yourself what can you can do to get more out of every dollar. For some, budget travel is all about bargain hunting. Realising that scoring a bargain is not only incredibly rewarding but also allows your family to do more, is all part of the game.

For many families, travel is part of an annual vacation – something that everyone looks forward to year long, and an opportunity to “live it up! 4 and 5-star resorts, eating at fancy restaurants, spending every day doing a myriad of expensive activities. But for many Worldschooling Families, that isn’t sustainable for long-term travel, so finding cheap ways to travel can be the difference between going on the adventure of a lifetime and not going at all!

I am a huge bargain hunter – there is an incredible rush in finding an awesome flight, tour or accommodation deal at a fraction of normal price. And if you can learn to get enjoyment out of a bargain, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve! I’ll admit that sometimes it doesn’t quite work as you plan, but learning how to travel cheap makes travel fun!


Use Discount Sites!

Why pay full price for adventures when there are sites out there literally BEGGING to give you a 50-80% discount? Sites like Groupon offer family activities, at a huge discount!

These sites also act as a search tool to help find activities that one may otherwise not have known about. Plus you get a huge discount!

The variety of services and experiences available on these sites is just brilliant – need some down time with a great massage? Groupon has you covered! Love to have a yummy family dinner at a fraction of the price? Groupon has you covered!


Remember You’re Not on Vacation!

A trap that many families fall into when first setting out is feeling like they are on vacation, but it’s important to realize early on that you’re not!

Traditionally, “regular” families might spend 12 months working and saving up for a vacation. They go away for 2 weeks and squeeze in as much as possible. They stay at a nice resort, they eat at fancy restaurants, and visit as many tourist attractions as possible! In just 2 weeks, their 12 months of vacation savings is gone.

But for long-term travelers, the money needs to last a lot longer! Realizing that you aren’t just on vacation, that you are now living your “regular” lives in a vacation like destination is an important skill for Worldschooling Families.


A 7-Day Family pass to Disney World or a month traveling the world?


Know It’s OK to Travel on a Budget!

It’s taken me a while to get used to this one! Learning how to travel cheap means learning it’s ok to stick to a budget. It does not mean you are poor, it does not mean you have no money, it simply means that you prioritize things differently.

It’s not that we don’t have the money, it’s just that it’s not a priority!

When you first start traveling, fearful of blowing the budget, it’s easy to fall into the trap of telling your kids “no, we don’t have the money.” But it feels horrible. It’s very restrictive and just not fun. You’ll quickly become the bad guy having to say no all of the time. But, of course, if you want to keep traveling long term, you know you have to stick to the budget.

So, what can be done? Share the budget with the kids. Show them exactly how much you have each day. Let them see how much accommodation costs when you book it, talk about how much flights cost. And let them see you tracking your spendings (check out Trail Wallet for a great app to use on the road!) By doing this, at the end of each day you can see exactly where you are at, and we can see exactly when you have some extra money. And what does that mean? It’s time for a treat!!! Woo Hoo!

Instead of your budget being a horrible restrictive thing, hanging over your heads at all times, your budget is now your vehicle to keep traveling. Do you need to eat expensive American takeaway foods when getting lunch at a mall? Or could you try some new local foods at half of the cost? Once the kids know that saving when you can means having fun later, they’ll quickly become bargain hunters in their own rights!


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Transitioning to Worldschooling challenges families in so many ways, and managing the budget is certainly high on the list! But with a little bit of effort and some family teamwork, it can be easier than you think, and help you maintain your new lifestyle long term!


Do you have any tips and tricks to save money that you use when traveling?

Share them in the comments below!



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  1. Sally said on July 9, 2018 5:15 am:

    I have a monthly travel budget so I quite often buy flights and accommodation in different months. I know, for example that we will be going to Paris in July 2019 as I have a 2 bed studio apartment (with kitchen and wi-fi) already booked for €209. Just waiting for cheap flights either there or back to come up next – may not book them both at the same time 🙂

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