How to Plan a Trip on a Budget – You Can Do It

Traveling is one of the most fulfilling experiences for anyone to have. It is the most amazing way to connect with the rest of the world. There are so many spectacular things to see and learn through travels. It doesn’t matter what type of travel either. Just traveling to any neighboring city, state or country can awaken so much within a person. It’s exhilarating!

So, why is it that many people rarely travel? One major reason is that people think that traveling costs a lot. I’m not going to sugar coat anything because traveling can be expensive. BUT I am also here to help and guide you and show you How to Plan a Trip on a Budget – You Can Do It.


First and foremost, get yourself into the right mindset. You want to travel, so, you have to put yourself into traveler mode. Believe that you can do it. You deserve this! Put aside any doubts and just go for it!

Budget and Itinerary

Whatever your budget is stick with it. If it’s a minimal amount, it’s fine. The value of the trip is what you make of it and the memories you make on the trip are worth every dollar.

Now that your budget is set, time to plan your itinerary. Search for a destination nearby that won’t cost as much as the ultimate dream vacation you’ve been longing for. BUT look at this budgeted trip as a stepping stone to that dream vacation. Perhaps instead of going by air you can go by train or bus or better yet, go on a road trip. There’s no rule that states that you have to take a trip on a plane.

However, if your budget is enough to take you on some air travel, check out to check for destinations with reasonable airfares closest to your area.


Oh food, food, food…we need it for nourishment but do we need excess amounts of it while we are on a trip? Yes, I know it’s debatable but when you are planning a trip on a budget you might be able to bypass 3 full square meals a day and do just one complete meal and two snacks instead.

Now if you cannot resist breakfast, lunch and dinner, there used to be a TV show where the host would go to a certain place and spend something like $40 per day for 3 meals and a snack. Perhaps you can simulate doing the same thing but according to your food budget. So, instead of $40 per day you can perhaps can cut it down to $20 per day.

Breakfasts can be light and yet nutritious. Some cereal and fruit or a croissant with your breakfast beverage should suffice for most of the day. A light snack in the afternoon like a sandwich could hold you until dinner. Then at dinner, eat a hearty meal as a reward for all the adventuring you did during the day.

Another recommendation is to cook your own meals and that will save a lot and expand your budget a little more!


The best way to save on lodging during your trip is to stay with some friends or relatives. People tend to think that doing this is burdensome to friends and relatives but really that is just a thought that we have in our minds. If you’re only there for a few days and don’t over welcome your stay, people really won’t mind having you over.

Another way to save on lodging is to become a house sitter. Many people who go on vacation look for house sitters to tend to their homes while they are away. As a house sitter you are able to secure a place to stay sometimes for free in exchange for caring for the home while the owners are away.

If you are a single traveler, you might want to check out some hostels in the area. A hostel is “an establishment which provides inexpensive food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, or travelers”.

Or instead of renting out four-star hotels and if you are an adventurous traveler you can stay in a decent motel. After all, you will only need a place to shower and sleep and there are some motels out there that are adequate for that purpose.

Lastly, you can search for Airbnbs. People who travel in large groups could benefit from Airbnbs. You can rent out a large home, for example, for the duration of your trip and split the rental cost by the number of people who will be staying there. This will probably cheaper than renting hotel rooms per day.

Souvenirs and Gifts

Sure it is always nice to get some souvenirs and gifts for yourself or people back home to memorialize your trip, but you can also do without them. Take lots of pictures and videos instead! They’re worth more than that t-shirt or key chain.

Go on a Vacation

As you can see, even on a small budget you can go on a vacation. As the saying goes, “if there’s a will, there’s a way”. These are just some ways on “How to Plan a Trip on a Budget – You Can Do It”.  I am sure that there are other ways to be savvy on a trip and I look forward to hearing how you plan a trip on a budget. As well, I am sure that everyone reading this looks forward to reading about them too.

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11 Replies to “How to Plan a Trip on a Budget – You Can Do It”

  1. HI Geri, I loved visiting your site to with your expert tips and strategies for traveling today. What concerns me is definitely diet at times, as I like to eat out at resaraunts when traveling or even taking in an alcoholic beverage here or there. Flying is not considered on may of my trips either. Thanks for showing us the way here today.

  2. These are some great tips for someone who is limited on their budget. has some great rates on flights. Usually cheaper than all of their competitors.
    When I travel I usually stay with family but when I travel to places where I dont have family then I limit the amount of time im there to stay within my budget.
    I think that if we lived more frugal, we would have the funds to travel more often. Thanks for the amazing tips!!

  3. Hi Geri, Thanks for providing that document on travelling on a budget, I actually went on vacation a few weeks back and I saved quite a bit as I was staying with family, however my biggest concern was money for doing certain activities while I was there, It’s probably ideal to have some money for that as well as you cannot stay in the motel or the house of your host most of the holiday, would you say a local tour can help in reducing the cost?

  4. Inspiring post!
    Traveling can so often be expensive. But if you use the right resources and plan ahead, you can go on an amazing adventure for a reasonable price.
    Getting into the traveling mindset is key because there are so many different places that you can go to and so much to see. Once you set your mind on traveling, you can travel just about anywhere and there are so many beautiful places to see in this world.
    Staying with friends and family is always a big way to save money.
    Thanks for sharing these tips!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your tips on traveling on a budget. It can be so hard to do – I love the breakdown and simplicity of your ideas. It is not hard to accomplish, doing a little more research on a place to stay or traveling in between somewhere by a different means than normal to save some money. This is great!

  6. Thank you for sharing How to plan a trip on a budget. 

    You know each family, each individual has a different financial status. Special in the USA. The husband and wife might have a separate bank account. 

    Well, just personally I feel the budget is more important on how to plan a trip on the budget. I mean we can cut down some unnecessary daily expenses such as morning coffee, snack time, TV monthly subscribers and so on-> the goal is increasing our budget for travel. 

    The next step would have more choices. Let’s say the budget for travel after one-year working is 3000 USD. In the USA, with a regular full-time employee, you have 3 weeks paid vacation leave. If you use all the extra sick time -> the total amount you can travel after one-year working is 4 weeks. 

    The next step is choosing the destination. Would you choose to domestic travel or international? Would you dare to step out of the comfortable zone to discover the new city in foreign countries? With the exchange currency, we have many choices in worldwide. 

    For 3000 budget, you would not last long 2 weeks vacation in Japan. If you choose Mexico, Spain, Miami, or some East countries such as Malaysia, Viet Nam, Laos-> 3000 USD dollar can grant a comfortable travel trip!  

    It would be so good if you have relatives all around the world…Staying in the house with friends can strengthen friendship… These days the young generation prefers to use Airbnb more. Even with some middle-aged people. It brings some business opportunities for some retirees.


  7. I need to bookmark this page 🙂 I always keep canceling my plans because I don’t have enough budget. Perhaps I will never have it and I better plan my travel using these tips 🙂

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