Skip To Content

    18 Travel Hacks That Have Saved Me Thousands Of Dollars And Taken Me All Over The World

    From couch surfing in Puerto Rico to flight hacking my way to Bali, I've figured out how to see the world without draining my bank account.

    The coronavirus pandemic is still impacting travel and destinations around the world have different COVID-19 restrictions in place. It’s important to check and adhere to local government policies as you're planning any future trips.

    Travel is a privilege, pure and simple. But it doesn't have to break the bank.

    Woman in the desert and camels in front of Petra

    After living in 5 countries and visiting over 50, here are my biggest money-saving hacks:

    1. I like to find ways to stay for free, like visiting friends, to keep my costs low.

    2. If I'm booking via Airbnb, I try to stay in one place for a full month.

    Screenshot of Paris Airbnb with a 49% monthly discount

    3. I always use the flexible date feature when booking a plane ticket.

    Screenshot of flights

    4. I swear by only eating out one meal a day. (PB&J will be your friend.)

    5. I plug in several airports near me and at my destination to see if there are any cheap or direct flights.

    Screenshot of direct flights from Newark, New Jersey

    6. Once I'm in the area where I want to be (Southeast Asia, for example), I'll fly local, budget airlines to hop around.

    Screenshot of a sample flight from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh

    7. I adapt my travel style to the cost of living at my destination.

    Woman in the metro in Paris

    8. I only take free city tours, but I always tip the guides well.

    9. I rely on Wi-Fi rather than paying for an international phone plan or SIM card.

    10. I usually opt out of rental car insurance and rely on credit card benefits.

    11. The same goes for travel insurance. I don't buy it because I know my credit card perks cover most of it.

    12. I book overnight flights and buses to save on lodging.

    Woman asleep on a plane

    13. Until recently (I'm 35), I used my student ID to get student discounts.

    14. I swear by my carry-on suitcase and backpack combo. Truly. It's all you need.

    Person walking with a backpack and carry-on suitcase

    15. I refuse to pay extra to choose an airplane seat.

    16. On more complicated trips, I'll go rogue and book a ton of separate flights.

    Screenshot of great travel deals

    17. I switched banks so that I never have to pay an ATM fee again.

    Screenshot of ATM card benefits

    18. I only use credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and great travel rewards benefits.

    Chase Sapphire Reserve info page showing no foreign transaction fees

    Any money-saving tips I missed? Please share! I'm always looking for new money-saving travel hacks.

    And for more money-saving tips and tricks, check out the rest of our personal finance posts