If you want to travel long-term or more frequently, you’ll need to plan your budget wisely—to let you enjoy the experiences and even indulge a bit here and there without eating through your savings. You don’t have to stay in hostels every night, and you don’t have to miss out on fabulous meals, sights, and activities if you’re careful and creative.

Let’s review some tips for keeping to a budget and enjoying your journey!

Plan Ahead for Peak Seasons

Traveling during peak seasons can significantly increase costs for everything—accommodation, flights, and even activities like tours and excursions. Planning your trips during off-peak times allows you to take advantage of lower prices and smaller crowds. This approach saves money and can even enhance your travel experience by providing more opportunities to explore without the hustle and bustle.

Use Loyalty Programs and Travel Points

Loyalty programs and travel points can be a game-changer if you travel frequently. Sign up for airline and hotel loyalty programs to earn points whenever you travel—these points can be redeemed for free flights, room upgrades, and many other extras. Credit cards that offer travel rewards can also help you accumulate points faster and give you perks at different properties and points of interest. You can enjoy luxury experiences without breaking the bank by leveraging these programs!

Get Creative with Transport

Transport costs can vary significantly depending on where and when you’re traveling. Sometimes, you find more adventure in taking a longer bus ride than a shorter, more expensive flight. Other times, the convenience and speed outweigh the cost. Remember to watch for deals that could help you bag a nice upgrade—you could even get a free upgrade to business class if you play your cards right.

To get around day-to-day, look into alternative options to cars—like the metro, bus system, or even biking or walking. It’s a great way to explore your destination and learn how to get around more quickly!

Make the Most of Locations with Affordable Luxury Accommodation

Your accommodation costs might be the most expensive part of your trip, and if you’re looking for a place to crash for a few hours each night, a hostel or basic hotel can make complete sense. But it won’t hurt to push the boat out and enjoy a little luxury in destinations where hotels, vacation rentals, and lodges are relatively cheap. Thailand is a great example; you can enjoy a luxury resort Samui style and live it up a bit without agonizing over your budget. Choose your locations wisely so you can get a little time to relax and enjoy some excellent facilities, ready for the next leg of your adventures!

>> Read our digital nomad housing guide: apartments, vacation rentals, Airbnbs, and other accommodations for frequent travelers

You may even want to combine budget with luxury on your trip—you may want to spend most of your journey in more affordable hostels or hotels, then treat yourself to a night or two in a nicer hotel. That way, you can enjoy a touch of indulgence while staying within your spending guidelines.

Treat Yourself to a Fancy Meal

Food is one of the best parts of traveling, giving you a chance to sample dishes you may find difficult to get elsewhere and learn more about your destination’s culture. And while street food and cheap eats are a fantastic way to experience precisely that immersion you’re looking for, you may want to try a fancier spot for dinner one night to see how those local eats can be elevated into something different and just as spectacular.

>> See our articles and guides for foodie travelers

Take Advantage of Free and Low-Cost Attractions

Don’t overlook the wealth of free or low-cost attractions available in your destination! Many cities have free museum days, plentiful public parks, and fascinating historical sites that can be just as enriching as paid experiences. And you might just find that some activities you thought would cost an arm and a leg are actually pretty affordable—just ask Hannah, who took the cheapest hot air balloon ride in the world during her tour of Southeast Asia! Balancing your itinerary with a mix of free and lower-cost activities ensures you can save money while still enjoying your travels.

Shop Smart for Souvenirs

Souvenirs are a wonderful way to remember your travels, but they can also eat into your budget. Look for unique, locally-made products that are usually cheaper and can be more meaningful. Markets and small shops can offer great finds at reasonable prices. This way, you can bring home a piece of your journey without overspending.

Pick Up Remote Work to Let You Travel Full-Time

If you want more from your travels—like, a lot more—finding a remote job that will let you explore the world might just be the way to go! Even if you just decide to do the odd job here and there, it could make a big difference to your overall budget. Check out these guides to get started:

Featured image by Adam Eperjesi on Unsplash

Frayed Passport is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to