Americans spell it traveler, most others in the world spell it traveller, whichever way, here are six best resources for the budget traveler.
When I first started traveling, it felt super overwhelming. I didn’t any idea what the best travel resources were for budget travel. All I knew was that I wanted to do it as inexpensive as possible.
I mean, I wasn’t going to be one those ultra budget backpackers who slept in a tent in some random location. Getting to sleep in a cheap hostel with unpredictable guests and levels of noise? Now that’s my jam! haha.
Jokes aside, I didn’t have much of an idea of the best travel resources I could use as a backpacker on a budget. Whenever I would look around on Facebook groups or through Google searches, I would be inundated with lists detailed dozens or even hundreds of things. Talk about getting overwhelmed.
Slowly but surely, I started to find a small handful of things that have been super helpful not only to me, but many other budget travelers as well.
The resources below have helped me so much in being able to not only save money while traveling but also allowing me to travel to new places. A lot people get into the mindset that travel has to go a certain way. The typical scenario of booking a standard hotel room, using a large and common travel website to book flights, and overall thinking that travel is expensive.
Travel does cost money however you slice it. But it doesn’t have to be expensive. Through a little savviness and being resourceful, you can cut down on the cost tremendously.
Read below on the top travel resources for budget travel.
I used to never understand how people were able to get great flight deals. I thought it involved either obsessively checking flights nine times a day or signing up for a dozen different airline emails and just waiting.
Once I found Skyscanner, getting good deals on flights got a lot easier. Instead of using a big travel search platform like Expedia, I started using Skyscanner for most of my flight searches.
Skyscanner is great because it allows you to not only search for a destination you have in mind, but you can also put “everywhere” in the destination box and it will pull up a list of places (low to high) that you can travel to.
I used this a lot when I was living in Thailand and figuring out cheap places to travel to. Now that I’m back in the states, I use it to see where the cheapest flights to places in South America are.
As with a lot of travel planning, you have to be savvy and not just rely on one site. Skyscanner is great but I always make a point to check out Google Flights and Kayak as well.
Skyscanner, and also Kayak, have “hacker fares” where you fly different legs of a round-trip flight on different airlines. If you’re okay with not always flying direct, then you can get some good savings.
Who would want to stay in a bland hotel room when you could stay in a more spacious and accommodating Airbnb instead? The great thing about Airbnb is the variety of spaces offered, with the prices being comparable or even lower than traditional hotels/motels most of the time.
You can stay spacious rooms, full apartments or houses, Airstreams, trailers, and even tree houses!
I like Airbnb because of the flexibility it has. I used it to book an inexpensive room in Astoria, Queens for $35 a night when I took a trip to New York City a few months back. All the traditional hotel rooms would have cost $100+ a night.
Often times, you’re able to interact with the host and get recommendations on best places to visit and eat at. Always great to get the perspective of a local.
Click here to get a $40 credit towards your first stay!
Booking.com is a site you can use when you are on the search for a traditional hotel, motel, or guesthouse. Sometimes Airbnb doesn’t work out, you can’t find the right spot, or the offerings are sparse in an area. Booking.com has plenty of offerings, often with low prices and no extra fees.
The interface of booking.com is really nice, letting you see all the features a place has (WiFi is probably at the top of priorities, amiright?). A great thing about the site is you can usually book a place without having to put down a deposit.
Travel insurance is essential. It’s weird to think about what would happen if you were to get injured or really ill while traveling, but it’s something you have to plan for. Most health insurance plans don’t cover you while you’re traveling. Even if they do, coverage might not be the best.
I have used and loved World Nomads for my travels. Their coverage is great, reporting claims is simple and they have great customer service.
Make sure to read the terms and fine print on any plans you’re considering to make sure it’s right for you.
Click here to get a quote for travel insurance!
What better way to find out more about a place than to spend it with a local? Couchsurfing is a community of travelers where you can search and find free accommodation across the world.
Although it’s way more than just free accommodation. You can use it to find community events, activities to do, and meet up with people.
Travel Reward Credit Cards
What? Credit cards? Those are evil!! Well, not exactly…
I swore off credit cards for the longest time because I thought getting one would immediately spiral me into horrible high-interest debt.
Luckily, that hasn’t happened, haha. I set up a financial foundation for myself before even touching credit cards. This involved getting on a budget and developing a debt payoff plan for my student loans.
Once that groundwork was laid, I went into the world of credit card sign-up bonuses. You see, there are lots of credit cards out there that offer sign up bonuses in the form of airline miles, travel credits, hotel credits, and more by spending a certain amount within the first few months of opening your account.
It’s usually something like “spend $3,000 within the first three months” or “$2,000 in the first three months” etc.
I’m not a credit cards expert. You’ll want to follow The Points Guy for that. Credit card rewards can help get rack up airline miles and travel credits to use for travel based on the typical monthly spending you’re already doing.
Get on it if you can!
What resources do you use for budget travel? Anything you’ve found to be super helpful?