how to save money when traveling | traveling on a budget | affordable travel | budget travel tips

How to Save Money When Traveling

Traveling is super fun, but it can also be super expensive. And while there’s lots of ways to try and make sure you get the best deal on your airplane tickets or train or whatever, there’s also lots of ways you can save on the little things that can add up over the course of a trip. Here are a few quick and EASY ways to save money when traveling.

Bring an empty water bottle

Buying a bottle of water at the airport can cost upwards of $3 sometimes more. And while you’re not allowed to bring a water bottle full of water through security, you CAN bring an empty water bottle. You can then fill it up at a drinking fountain or sometimes the food courts won’t mind if you use the soda vending to get cold water for your water bottle.

So always be sure to bring an empty water bottle because it’s not only saves you money but it’s environmentally friendly as well.

Pack your own snacks

While liquids are not allowed through security, food is. At least when you’re traveling domestically, internationally it’s another issue. So pack some snacks.

Remember that spending money on snacks at the airport can cost tons more money than if you  just bring some from home. Pack some crackers, candy, a bagel, whatever it is that you need for your meals, chances are you can pack it.

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You can also pack a box of snacks to have throughout your trip as well rather than always eating out.

Bring Your Own Headphones

Some airlines do you offer free headphones, however, many don’t. And there is nothing worse than sitting on a long flight without headphones.

Almost all airlines will at least offer free radio at your seat, but many may offer the ability to watch TV or Movies. If you’re watching something from your own device then it’s only polite to do so through headphones.

Plus, headphones help to drown out any noises you’d rather not listen to, like kids screaming.

Use rewards

If you have a credit card with the airline then take advantage of using it on board. If you’re really not able to pack snacks or something for your flight and you’re going buy something on board, do it with the airline credit card so that you are getting the extra points. Sometimes they’ll even give you discount using that credit card, it just depends on the airline.

Use rewards to save on plane tickets. This past Christmas I was able to buy  a round-trip cross country flight from North Carolina to Washington state for under $200. I was able to do this because I had points with the airline. Which manage to soften the blow of the cost of a usual plane ticket around Christmas time.

Use A shuttle service or Lyft or Uber instead of taxis 

Shuttles usually cost a lot less than a taxi or even just using local public transportation is going to save you money over taking a taxi a Lyft or an Uber.

Now if you can share the Lyft or Uber with other people that you know, it’s perhaps worth it just to save you the time over a Shuttle or Public Transportation. However, often times there’s lots of shuttle services that won’t take much longer but will save you significant money.

First check to see if where you are staying has a shuttle service from the airport or train station etc. Then see if the shuttle will take you anywhere else. Alternatively, google shuttle services for your destination, chances are you’ll find something.

Wrapping it Up with a Bow on Top

In the end besides the travel hacks of getting the tickets or hotel for free, there are lots of other ways you can save to ensure you’re keeping your travel costs to minimum. Most of them don’t require much effort. Just make sure you know what you are and are not allowed to pack and you can save yourself some significant money.

Life tools & resources I recommend

The Skimm (for staying informed) I've been a loyal Skimmer for over three years. The Skimm is a news source that shows up in your email first thing in the morning M-F. It gives you a 5-minute rundown of what's happening in the world and links to legitimate news sources if you want to learn more about a topic. I start every day with my coffee and The Skimm. I <3 it so much.

Winc (for Wine Delivery) I like ordering a box of different wines to try from Winc every few months. The bottles average $13 a piece and delivery is free when you get at least 4 bottles (more wine please). If you want to check out Winc, you can get a free bottle of wine using my link. I'm very pro free wine.

Checkout 51 (to save on groceries) To save money on groceries, download the Checkout51 app and sign up for free. Each week on Thursday, "new deals" come out. Go through and star the items that are on your grocery shopping list. Do your shopping and at the end use your phone to snap a picture of receipt through the app and hit submit. Once you earn $20 in rewards you can cash out and Checkout51 will send you a check.

how to save money when traveling | traveling on a budget | affordable travel | budget travel tips
how to save money when traveling | traveling on a budget | affordable travel | budget travel tips


Liz is a writer for hire, specializing in personal finance, entrepreneurship, and legal issues. She shares her own journey to debt freedom and helps graduates dealing with above average student loan debt on her site, Less Debt More Wine. She currently resides in NC after calling Massachusetts home for nearly a decade.

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