We often get asked how we can travel on a budget. People assume that since we teach Financial Peace university, we have to sacrifice all fun – especially travel.
The key to being able to travel is ultimately prioritizing travel above other things. We keep other areas of our budget incredibly low to be able to put a little more into our travel fund. Still, we have big goals, so we don’t set aside a ton of money for our trips. Budgeting wisely before and during travel means we are able to keep our costs low and travel more frequently!
We’ve found over the course of our travels that the two things that can easily ruin a travel budget are flight costs and food costs. Here are our top tips to stay on budget!
Travel on a Budget: Flights
Patience is key in this area. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a trip and book a flight right away, but being patience and shopping around can often help you find a better deal.
Another key is being willing to sacrifice the amenities many flights offer. Flying isn’t always glamorous, so it can be tempting to splurge on fancier seats. Being willing to skip the extra food and give up some leg room can save you hundreds of dollars.
Another tip for flying is to pack light! Baggage costs can be steep, so we try to consolidate into as few bags as possible. Often times we each bring a personal item and we share a carryon. Not checking a bag saves money on most airlines! Check your airline’s baggage standards to see what will save you the most on your trip.
Finally, being willing to travel in the off season will save you lots of money too. Traveling to the beach during spring break will cost you a lot more than it would during a less peak time!
Travel on a Budget: Food
Food can be one of the sneakiest things in a travel budget. It’s so easy to indulge in all sorts of treats and drinks. Plus, grabbing food while on the go can quickly add up!
Bringing your own snacks and a water bottle will save you lots of money at the airport. We also try to pack snacks on road trips too, because those little pitstops can end up costing you! Sure, it’s often only $5 a time, but every stop on every trip is a lot of money!
When traveling, we also do our best to continue making our own food. Not only does this allow us to eat a little healthier while traveling, but it saves us a ton of money! Stop at a local grocery store to stock up for some, or even most, of your meals.
Finally, plan ahead. We love to try food in new places, and could easily it out for every meal. When we travel, we prioritize what places we REALLY want to try, and plan times to eat at those establishments. We allow a little wiggle room for when things come up, but only eating out a few times keeps us focused on our goals – health-wise AND financially!
What other tips do you have for traveling on a budget? We’re always on the hunt for new tips that will help us travel even more!