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Home » Budget Travel » How to Travel FOR FREE: No Money, No Problems!

How to Travel FOR FREE: No Money, No Problems!

It’s something I’ve never been able to fully instil in my non-travelling friends back home:  just how cheap travel can be.  The myth is that travelling the world is expensive; the reality is that it’s often cheaper than being at home. Travellers don’t pay taxes, or electricity bills, or student loans. Travellers live cheap.

So what if we took it one step further? Today, we’re talking about how to travel the world for free!

The best things in life are free, or so it’s been told. Everything we need is right here. Maybe these things are true, I’m not sure. What I do know is…

Life is as simple as we choose to make it.

Nothing in this list of tips for travelling without money is complicated (except maybe frequent flyer miles – goddamn credit cards). Everything in this guide is easy and actionable – the more you apply, the more inexpensive your travelling will be. With enough practice and ingenuity, you may even find yourself spending  $0 !

Did anyone say  “Take a vacation for free” ? Yes, me, right now! Weren’t you listening? Well, you better start because I’m about to teach you…

How to travel the world with no money…

Dis shit is gonna get cheap, yo!

A backpacker in India who knows how to travel for free

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A Big, Sexy Disclaimer

A stop sign for the disclaimer on free travel

Folks, this article is not about how to travel the world like a dickweed. Anyone can travel for free if they take advantage of people along the way, lying, cheating, stealing, and being an all-round douchenozzle.

Similarly, though we’ll cover some of the more crusty methods of travel, as well as tackle that sticky topic of ‘begpacking’ , THAT’S not what this article is about either.

This article is about  learning how to live a low-cost lifestyle of travel. One that’s sustainable in the long-term as well as financially independent.  Travelling until you run out of cash and move back in with your Mum or Dad is cute in your early 20s, but that’s not what we’re about at The Broke Backpacker. That’s not what a broke backpacker is .

At The Broke Backpacker, we’re about teaching you how to live a lifestyle of indefinite travel in a responsible way – responsible to the world, yourself, and those who love you. Go out, travel, see the world, and do it for as long as you like, but do it right.

Don’t begpack, don’t abuse your privilege, and don’t ever expect a handout. Free travel is NOT about exploitation; it’s about travelling without burning through your savings in a way that’s more authentic and less insipid than simply blowing your funds on all the cheap booze and drugs .

Oh, and it shouldn’t have to be said, but, please,  don’t ever go travelling with literally $0 in your bank account. That’s just bloody stupid.

The Best Ways to Travel The World with No Money

How to get a free vacation, how to travel when you’re broke, travel the world for free: is it possible, remaining tips for how to travel free, closing thoughts on free travel.

Let’s start by talking about how to travel for a living. These options for free travel mean exchanging your time and energy (i.e. working) for the freedom of being on the road. (And probably somewhere super-duper pretty too!)

Yes, ok, they aren’t all strictly ‘free trips’ but you’re away from home, not burning through your savings, and, potentially, maybe even saving some money too! If you disagree with my criteria, well, shush your face! Go travel the world for more than three years with your savings still intact like I have and then come back and we’ll argue semantics.

Still with me? Good because I want to travel the world for free and you should too!

Travel the World for Free Volunteering

Volunteering abroad for free – ahhh . This is where it all began for me and, sometimes, when it all becomes too much, it’s back with the hippies in the fields, shoes off and muddy, that I return to. For me, this will always be one of the most authentic and best ways to travel for free or otherwise.

The name of the game is simple: you work some agreed subset of hours, you get a place to sleep and food in return. Hopefully, a washing machine too!

Two travellers volunteering abroad for free

Travelling free by way of volunteering could mean a lot of things: hostel work, farms, working with kids, charities, construction, kitten sanctuaries (god yes). The only way to find out what’s out there is to get out there! (You could also start by reading this review/guide/informational post on Workaway .)

Interested in travelling the world for free volunteering? Here are some excellent platforms:

  • Workaway – The biggest in the game. Follow the link and sign up to receive an extra 3 months on your subscription!
  • HelpX – The oft-forgotten cousin of Workaway.
  • WWOOF – Exclusively for organic farm work.
  • Talking to people – In the 21st-century? Get outta my house!
  • Facebook and other platforms – Plenty of groups for this stuff but it’s best to search by the country or local area.
  • Worldpackers – Follow the link or enter the code BROKEBACKPACKER to get $10 off your subscription. We’ve also reviewed Worldpackers !

Note:  Most of the platforms have an initial subscription fee (nothing in life is  truly  free). It’s a small price to pay in exchange for a year of travelling and volunteering around the world for free.

Work and Travel for Free Teaching English

If you’re reading this sentence, then you probably speak English. Awesome! Step one complete! What’s step two?

Get your TEFL certificate. With that in hand, it’s time to discover another one of the best ways to travel the world. Didja guess yet?

Yup, teaching English!

Teaching English in China

There’s a whole host of ways to get involved teaching English overseas and what an experience it is! Impart wisdom, see cute Asian kids smile (yay), and learn how to travel abroad for free. Well, not free… you’re actually earning money – oh snap!

If you want to take it a step further, you can teach English online . You’re entering the realm of the digital nomad which is certainly a different way to travel but that’s ok because – BOOM, SEGUE!

Ditch Your Desk for a Different Way to Travel

Now entering the realm of the digital nomad . If you really want to learn how to travel more, nothing will give you quite so much geographical freedom.

Anywhere your laptop (and stable internet connection goes), your source of revenue goes. Living the vanlife? Easy.

Renting a nudists-only Airbnb by a beach somewhere? Making money online is best done while tanning your best bits.

Volunteering at a kibbutz in Israel? Now you’re actually travelling for free, costs covered, WHILE earning money. Level-up!

Learning how to travel the world for a living is a whole new ball game. It’s the holy grail for many travellers but beware of the ‘grass is greener’ syndrome: it’s a lotta work and a lot to take on and, at times, your brain will hate you. Is it awesome though?

Fuck yes it is.

Nic working on a laptop in Bohinj, near Bled in Slovenia.

So, yeah, this may be stretching the how to travel for free concept but it’s an important mention for anyone looking at opportunities to travel free and extend their already indefinite adventures. Theoretically, we all gotta grow up eventually and make some cash, right?

I dunno, don’t ask me. I’m still Peter Pan-ning it up over here.

Or Just Work for Inexpensive Travelling

If a job that glues you to your laptop isn’t appealing but adopting the low-cost travel lifestyle of a working traveller is, then maybe just get a job-job. You know, one that sounds better on your Tinder profile than “influencer” .

Backpacking around the world without money busking

What kind of job? Well, potential travel jobs is a long-ass list (which we conveniently have right here) , but if you’re starting from scratch and need to know how to travel the world with no money, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Busker – Traveller-life and street performance go together like drugs and sex.
  • Bartender – A extremely internationally-transferable trade and lucrative too… if you know how to bat those eyelids just right.
  • Scaffolding and stage construction – Construction/labouring is good in general, but the stage construction and scaffolding industries are very international.
  • Picking/Trimming – Also a lucrative industry IF you’re fast.
  • Flight attendant – How to travel around the world for free 101.
  • Cruise ship work – The money can be good contingent on the company and you’ll always have the added bonus of copious amounts of drugs and sex!
  • Tuk-tuk races in Sri Lanka – I dunno; my cousin does them and he seems to be doin’ alright!

free travel cost

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Free international travel is about to get hacked! Ready to hack? It’s time to hack with these hacks!

Did I say ‘hack’ too much? Righto, moving along.

These following ways to travel the world for free are more courtesy of the convenience of the 21st-century. And, that’s exactly where we like to be.

Being a “nomad” these days is very different from what it used to be. No longer do we have to hunt elk and forage for berries in the woods – now we can just order a pizza with UberEats!

Now, we have a whole host of tools and platforms to uncover and exchange free travel opportunities!

Catch Flights Right: How to Travel Overseas for Free

It doesn’t matter how cheap you live when you arrive, you’ll still have to pay for an expensive-ass flight to get there… right? Wrong!

Learning how to catch cheap flights is going to be integral to learning how to travel without money. Error fares, mega-discounts, turning on incognito mode… booking flights does my head in – truly. I just want to travel the world; I don’t have time for this humdrum!

I’d suggest reading the above-linked post because it’s really a whole other Pandora’s Box.

To take it one step further, you can sign up with airlines to earn frequent flyer miles. Accrue enough of these and you’re looking at a cheap or even free trip overseas. A travel rewards credit card is going to stack up points in much the same way until, eventually, you get a free trip.

Cebu Pacific Flight, Aeorplane, Airplane in Philippines

All of this credit stuff does my head in but the point is obvious. Do your research and find the best program to sign up in. Don’t you be wasting them points!

Or, if you’re like me and credit cards and booking flights gives you anxiety, just do what I do – overland it ! Planes are for fools; border crossings are where it’s at. And cheaper!

Apps and Platforms with Opportunities for Free Travel

Ok, now it’s really time to hack this open, right to the gooey, delicious centre. Oh, sorry, I made it weird, didn’t I?

No matter. It’s the 21st-century and now the smartphone has paved the way in much the same way that the wheel once did. These days, a lot of good platforms exist online that offer their own free ways to travel the world:

  • Couchsurfing – Where to go when you have no money… to a mate’s couch! Except now all your mates are strangers and internationally based. Check out our Beginner’s Couchsurfing Guide for more info but it’s basically a platform where travellers asked to be hosted by people with a sleeping space to spare.
  • Housesitting – You’ll need to build up a few references and pay a membership fee but then you can get all kinds of free accommodation… and in a private home too! Travelling by housesitting is a fantastic way to travel for free with the bonus of never having to share a hostel dorm with fatty, unshowered humans.
  • Fly and swap vacations – It’s kind of like housesitting except your swapping homes with someone. That means it’s a bit more nuanced – you need to actually have a home to swap away. HomeExchange and HomeLink are two platforms that cover this.
  • Au Pair – If you enjoy the company of miniature-monster-gremlins hiding in the bodies of children, then consider working as an Au Pair . Travel around the world for free, connect with a family and their spawn, and make some money too!

Yay, ok, my speciality! I may get anxiety from credit cards and fancy hotels but the broke-ass swashbuckling backpacker lifestyle is my answer to the emptiness of existence. Life gets simpler.

Real quick, these tips can be also found in our Budget Backpacking 101 article – some crossover is inevitable in the world of low-cost travel!

There’s a whole host of good advice in there if you’re not just specifically looking at how to travel for free but also at the cheapest way to travel the world. Yeah, these two posts may crossover a bit but hand-in-hand they make for some excellent reading (self-plug) if you’re dedicated to learning about how to backpack around the world with no money.

Consider this your Budget Backpacking Light.

Believe it or not, there is a lot of free food out there! The first and most common way (arguably) to eat for free is dumpster diving . People throw away a lot of perfectly edible food and useful stuff (half my wardrobe comes from late-night scores) and getting good at harnessing this awesome power of wastage is going to go a long way if you want to travel for free.

From the humble park trashcan up to the almighty power of the supermarket skip, free food is everywhere. Alternatively, you can acquire food before it hits the bin by asking for food wastage: bakeries, fruit and veg shops, food markets especially. Then there’s tablesurfing too – eating someone’s leftovers at a restaurant.

It’s an excellently fun game!

Dumpster bear

You’ve also always got food giveaways (we’ll touch on that tentative topic of begpacking in a moment) and religious shindigs too. The Hare Krishnas love, love, love feeding travellers for nothing or next to it.

I’ve eaten free Prasad in the streets of Varanasi and in Gurdwaras in Agra. There’s free food near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and free bread at every turn in Jerusalem (it might be for the cats…). Hell, there’s even an online platform dedicated to helping us intrepid raccoons find excellent freegan sources (urban fruit trees are shockingly common).

The point is if you’re travelling without money, there are still heaps of ways to fill your belly. You just gotta get creative!

This one is a pretty basic tip for free travel. I’ve already mentioned Couchsurfing but option two is to just sleep where you land . It’s a big, wide world out there with ample floor space!

For this, except for truly warm and rain-free climates, you’re gonna need a few things. In my personal order of importance:

  • A sexy-warm sleeping bag
  • Backpacking sleeping pad (the floor is cold)
  • A budget backpacking tent (you could get really nice tent but I’ve always found it to be overkill)
  • A sleeping bag liner
  • Or, alternatively to the tent and pad, a backpacking hammock

With a combination of these things, you can sleep free while travelling pretty much anywhere. Camp out in the woods, in urban environments, or if you think the cops will get funny about you pitching a tent, sleep under a bridge or in a bus station or abandoned building. As my dirtbag travel companion in New Zealand always said: we can sleep anywhere!

Low cost travelling abroad sleeping outside

This, however, is not a commentary on safety. I’ve never had an issue but also I’m a white man covered in tattoos that looks like he sleeps with a knife in his pocket. Be smart, be safe , don’t go past your limits, and learn what a good pitch looks like.

Pro-tip: No one goes into graveyards at night. Oh, and on that note, leave no fucking trace.

Travel Free

If we’re talking the most literal definition of the term, there’s only one way to travel for free that I can think of: hitchhiking. I love hitchhiking! It’s free travel to places, you meet local people – people you never would have met otherwise – and see many worlds from the inside (or outside) of many vehicles.

Best way to travel the world: hitchhiking

Hell, sometimes people invite you over, offer to let you stay the night, or to go on an adventure. I don’t do it as much as I used to but sometimes, when I’m just needing a holiday from the work and travel life, I take a break from the tech and hit the road.

I see who picks me up and sleep where I land – no schedule, no itinerary. Simplicity at its finest. Hitchhiking is grand! And to those who question if it’s ethical – I can assure you some of my best travel memories involve those that gave me a ride.

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I guess that’s the last big question:

how to travel the world with no money? Is it really possible? Teach me sensei that hasn’t bought a new piece of clothing in almost-three-and-a-half years!

Yes! It is. Buy a plane ticket on miles, choose a visa-waiver country, hitchhike from the airport to your volunteering gig, eat only the finest cuisine from the dumpster! It’s a free year long trip !

Ok, look, that may not be your ideal vacation (free or not), but it’s a portrayal of an extreme circumstance. This isn’t a strict guide to travelling the world for free; it’s a handbook. Take what works, when it works, and apply it at will.

Travelling the world without money overland border crossing

Practice makes perfect and pretty soon you’ll be finding that you’re having some pretty dope-ass adventures on some pretty low spendings. Hell, why not set up some passive income at home and then earn a bit while you’re volunteering abroad cheaply. (Or just Couchsurfing.)

I met a dude in New Zealand way back near the beginning and he said something very insightful.

“You don’t need a lot to travel. A plane ticket, $500, and you can be gone for a while.”

He was so right.

Why travel without money?

Because it’s fucking awesome!

Seriously, the stunning sunrises and sunsets I’ve seen only because my days hitching ended where they did. The adventures I’ve ended up on just because I was asking around for a spot of work. The things I’ve done because I was working for a bed and feed… I milked a goat once!

Sunrise at a farm while volunteering abroad

Learning how to start travelling abroad for free opens up a lot of doors, both in the world and in yourself. Pretty soon you start to realise that you’re pretty damn capable! That in all likelihood, you got dis.

And, on the off-chance you don’t, chances are there’ll be someone around to lend a hand.

Give it some time and you’ll start to find that there’s always somewhere to sleep and something to eat. There’s always a spot of work that needs to be done by a willing hand.

After a bit more time travelling the world without money, you may start finding you already have everything you need. If not the best, then at least some pretty insanely spectacular things are free, and, best of all…

Simplicity is so damn blissful!

“I want to travel but have no money.” – Voluntourism, begpacking, and tact.

I said we were gonna touch on this, yeah?

Voluntourism is one can of worms; one that I feel fewer people take issue with. There are some points against it, and some validity in these points, but nothing that I truly believe is able to undo the sheer amount of good that comes from people travelling through volunteering overseas.

Connections between local communities and travellers are made and something is returned while travelling around the world. It’s a symbiotic relationship – if you’re heart is equally in it for the work as it is for the free-living – and it works, usually for the best.

Travelling overseas delivering a wheelchair

Begpacking gets stickier – it’s a modern-day complaint against a style of living that has existed much longer. That, somehow, choosing to travel with no money makes you self-entitled and undeserving of the kindness of strangers. However, even the name “begpacking” itself stands as a bit of a misnomer.

I’ve never “begged” for something and I don’t know anyone who has. (However, travellers who do quite literally “beg” exist and they should promptly hand in their backpacker card).

I’ve hitchhiked but I’ve never even directly asked someone for a ride. I’ve never asked someone for a place to stay and certainly never for money. I have eaten at free food giveaways but only ones that were welcoming and warm to travellers and wanted me there (sometimes, with some volunteering on the side).

Usually, if someone wants to offer you something, then that’s a gift of kindness (except when ulterior motives may be at play). As a traveller, a long way from the comfort of home, a bit of kindness goes a long way.

I know there are people out there that abuse this kindness in their attempts to get a free trip. This is a reminder not to .

It’s about having tact and moving with grace; leaving places in the world better than when you arrived. Be a little bit of good in the world wherever you go. Considering all the places you’ll go, that’s a lot of good.

A low cost traveller delivering a wheelchair for charity

If you’re choosing to travel without money, then remember that’s your choice. A long way from home or not, no one owes you a hand, so be grateful when they lend it.

Before I tie up the ‘How to Get a Free Vacation Handbook’, it’s time for the final bonus tips. These may not individually rock your boat, but together they’ll groove it a bit for sure!

  • Don’t burn out – Always stressing about money, looking for the cheapest way to travel to your next destination, and racing against yourself: it can be exhausting. Don’t push yourself too hard. Take a rest sometimes, go slow, and remember that when travelling without money gets stressful, home is always waiting.
  • Every country is unique – Every country has its own nuances. What food is cheap, expectations on people volunteering abroad, even the hitchhiking hand signals! It takes time to learn a new place and mistakes probably will happen so cut yourself some slack, alright?
  • Mistakes do happen – On that note, so as much as free travelling around the world may be the goal, it pays to stockpile a little rainy day money. Unless you don’t mind calling in financial favours from the ‘rents.
  • There’s free food in more places than the dumpster – Many countries have food growing in abundance that isn’t privately owned (or in a bin). Learning edible plants and how to forage is pretty goddamn top-tier Broke Backpacking, but it’s certainly possible.
  • Know your rights volunteering – While it’s important to put the hard work in for your hosts when volunteering, it’s equally important that you aren’t being exploited either. Not all hosts are top blokes and some do seek to take advantage of backpackers. Remember that no one is doing anyone any favours: it’s an exchange.
  • You’re broke but you’re not poor – This is especially true when travelling in developing nations. It does get tiresome feeling like you’re being targeted as a tourist by touts and beggars, but you are a tourist. Travelling without money doesn’t bring you down to the level of the legitimately homeless and impoverished; one party chose to be there, the other did not. Just keep that in mind.

free travel cost

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Pop your email here & get the original Broke Backpacker Bible for FREE.

Oh, and one last tip… Get insured before embarking on your free travel adventure!

Yeah, ok, insurance isn’t free (or cheap) but when you’re lying in a hospital bed with some truly astounding food poisoning from the dumpster diving, at least your treatment will be! Seriously, travel insurance is a super important consideration for any journey.

Members of The Broke Backpacker team have been using SafetyWing for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re an easy to use and professional provider that the team swears by.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

free travel cost

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

You don’t need a lot of money to travel: that’s the takeaway! Maybe eventually you’ll need some money so leaving the country with $0 in the bank account isn’t necessarily smart. That said, I have a friend that got his working visa in Australia by photoshopping his bank statement, so, really, anything is possible!

Even if the low-cost world traveller game isn’t for you, I still think everyone should try it once. It changes your perspective a lot.

It changes your perspective on the idea of what you need and what you need to be happy; on what is possible. I have a friend that lost it all in Australia (a different friend) and spent months as a hammock-hobo in Melbourne. He says it was the happiest time of his life.

I can relate. My first experience travelling still remains some of my sweetest memories. It was free travel in New Zealand – a smelly backpacking vagabond volunteering, hitching, busking, dumpster diving, and sleeping in parks – and It taught me how beautiful life is. It taught me how kind people are and how simple things can be, should we so choose.

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

A dirtbag like any other travelling with no money

To close, I’d like to repeat what a friend said to me today as we bid farewell (at another hippy farm). He said:

“No, I won’t wish you ‘safe travels’ because everywhere you go, you are safe. You have a good heart and many adventures ahead. I wish you to be free because that is the most important thing.”

And I smiled because I understood (and because he’d just written my outro for me). That’s all it is: be free, travel the world with a good heart, and learn what joy there is in nothing. You don’t need anything to learn how to travel for free.

And you don’t need money to travel.

Some time later, the man still knows how to travel the world for free

Ziggy Samuels

How to Travel for Free Pinterest Image

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free travel cost


Awesome article for traveller specially who has low budget. Wonderful Insight.

Hey, great blog, read it like 3 times already!!! One question though…do you also get jobs ‘under the table’ with tourist Visa? Cause everyone talks about working and traveling to finance their further travels, but nobody talks about Visa issues. Could I work for a bit of money (whatever crappy job) with a tourist Visa/Visa waiver? And would people actually accept my work for cash on the hand, or can you actually find people who would accept your work for them although it could cause trouble because of the ‘under the table’ issue? Cause Work and travel Visa is too expensive for a broke gal like me and one year a long time for one country. I’m talking more about the ‘getting a bit of cash for travel’ kinda thing. Answers would be so so appreciated. Greetings from germany Svenja

People find, and will continue to find all sort of ways to make it work, Svenja… and so will you I’m sure. Some countries do have very strong rules against this type of thing tho, so it may be better looking for other things to trade for, such as food, accommodation, transport.

Wonderful and surprising information, Thank you

What a blog! Very funny and different, I was delighted with this wonderful content.

😀 dumpster eating

Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful info with us! It is so appreciated and I would suggest you travel once to India

Hahah guess where that first picture of me in the tree is taken? Gokarna, baby! 😀

now i know how to travel, the next thing that is left is how to have guts to travel lol

Just do it, dude – you got this!!! All you gotta do is take the first step :)))

Is panhandling, begging/scamming arrogant rich backpackers and sneaking into peoples bushes/fields to sleep considered douchebaggery?

Scamming people is morally deplorable on every level.

As for sleeping in peoples fields and bushes, well as long as you remember the “leave no trace” principle.

Ziggy Samuels, it is very courageous of you to be able to travel like this. Besides, in the middle of the way, find good people to help you, even without asking. Good luck in this adventure that in a way is the best freedom.

Thanking you kindly, Sam – Perhaps it’s equal parts courage and stupidiity 😉 You’re 100% right though. There are good and kind people everywhere, and often, travel wouldn’t be possible (nor nearly as special) without them.

Last year i traveled for Australia for volunteering work and i can say it was one of the best experience of my life without any cost.

One good App for volunteering work is Workaway and it was that i used.

Interesting, I never thought that one can travel so easily without expenses a penny. But few ideas are really I think works like “volunteering the work” helps one to travel without any cost. I’m curious to check how this work. You shared some great ideas here to work on…Thank you for sharing such wonderful post.

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Travel Cost Estimator (Easy Free Tool)

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Calculate and download the travel costs for your next trip or vacation.

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Transportation, accommodation, food & beverage, other expenses.

Total Estimated Cost: $0.00

Cost Per Day: $0.00

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How Do You Calculate Travel Costs?

free travel cost

The first step to figure out your estimated travel costs is to calculate your travel expenses.

To calculate these travel expenses, you can utilize the travel costs calculator above, which allows you to enter some travel details and get an estimate of how much you will spend in total.

  • Select your country to get an estimate of a daily budget. We used websites like budgetyourtrip.com , TripAdvisor and  Forbes to collect the estimated daily budget for each country. 
  • Add your estimated budget in the first input field.
  • The number of vacation days and the number of people in the next two input fields.
  • The total costs of your transportation options, flights, car rental, gas, train, bus, or taxi etc.
  • The charges per night of the accommodation, hotel, hostel, or Airbnb etc.
  • Enter the cost per day of your daily activities and tours / museums, attractions, or participate in any activities.
  • The total food and beverage expenses per day, don’t forget to count any snacks and drinks.
  • Miscellaneous costs like SIM Cards / Internet / souvenirs and other items.
  • Tips at restaurants, hotels, and other services.
  • The total cost of your travel insurance, you can also add an emergency fund for unexpected expenses or changes in plans.
  • Click Calculate to see the results.
  • You can download the budget if you want to keep a copy in your phone.

How Much Budget Do You Need To Travel?

The answer to this question depends on your destination, duration, travel style and preferences.

As a general rule, you can use the following formula to estimate how much budget you need to travel:

Travel budget = (Daily budget x Number of days) + Flight cost (Round-trip)

The daily budget is the amount of money you spend on average per day during your trip, excluding the flight cost.

This includes ground transportation, accommodation, food and beverages, activities and attractions, shopping and souvenirs, travel insurance, and tips and other expenses.

The number of days is the duration of your trip, from the day you depart to the day you return.

This includes the travel days, which are usually more expensive than the rest of the days.

The flight cost is the price of your round-trip ticket to and from your destination.

Flights can vary depending on the season, the airline, the route, and the booking class. You can always use google flight to get the best deals.

For example, if you want to travel to Paris for 10 days, and your daily budget is $100 (Including an Eiffel tower summit ticket ), and your flight cost is $500, then your travel budget is:

Travel budget = ($100 x 10) + $500 = $1,500

This is the total budget you need to enjoy Paris for 10 days, based on the estimated expenses.

Of course, this is just an example, and your actual travel budget may vary depending on your specific trip and choices.

But this formula can give you a rough idea of how much money you need to travel, and help you plan your budget accordingly.

How Much Daily Budget Do You Need To Travel?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on many factors, such as the destination, the travel style, duration, and your preferences.

This is a general rule that you can use to estimate how much daily budget you need to travel, based on the average cost of travel in different regions of the world.

These numbers are based on a backpacker budget, which means staying in hostels, eating local, using public transport, and doing mostly free or cheap activities.

If you prefer a more high end or luxurious travel experience, you can expect to pay more.

If you’re traveling to more expensive countries like Spain, Greece or Norway for example, you can have some extra expenses.

But on a cheaper or more accessible destination, such as Mexico, Morocco, or Thailand, you can expect to spend less.

Frequently Asked Questions About Calculating Travel Costs

A. There are several ways to save when you travel, like booking your flights and hotels early, avoid traveling during peak times and make the most of reward points and any travel discounts.

A. Use public transportation, walk, or cycle whenever possible instead of relying on taxis or renting a car.

A. To keep track of the expenses that the travel cost calculator gives you, use a mobile app that suits you, a journal and a pen (my favorite), a spreadsheet, or travel expense tracker to jot down any money that comes out of your pocket.

A. Again it doesn’t’ matter if you are traveling for or a weekend or 30 days, the answer will depend on several factors like travel style, destination etc, use the travel cost estimator above and enter 30 days as the number of lavation days, and you will get an estimated budget.

A. Yes. You can use the calculator for any type of trip, whether you are traveling on by RV or by a plane or car.

Other useful calculators

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  • Travel Packing & Clothing Weight Calculator : Generate a complete packing list for your next vacation while staying within your airline luggage size and weight limits.
  • Linear Inches Calculator for luggage
  • Travel Planning Guide

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Free Travel Budget Calculator: Easily Make Your Vacation Budget

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Ready to take the hassle out of planning and managing your vacation budget? Our online Free Travel Budget Calculator is  simple, and easy to use, and can help you plan and track your vacation expenses in just a few clicks.  

I’ve used these same methods and categories of expenses for every trip I’ve taken over the last 25 years. From multiple  3 month solo adventures through Europe and South America, to weeks long trips to Cuba and Vancouver Island, Canada with my family. 

Now online with automatic calculations, so you don’t have to mess around with spreadsheets or hand write in printables that clutter up your home. 

In this post you’ll get access to this free tool, plus, you’ll get my top tips for planning your budget effectively for your trips and how to save money on travel. All the advice you need for smarter travel planning is right here.

Table of Contents

How to Use the Travel Budget Calculator & Try It Out!

Graphic of a planner sheet with travel icons in front of a tropical beach background.

Make sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it anytime you need to track your vacation expenses and make travel plans.

This free vacation budget calculator will give you an estimate of total travel costs for your trip and whether your budget is enough to cover what you want to do.

It can help you identify areas you can potentially save money on trip expenses. Whether it’s choosing more budget-friendly hotels, walking or taking the bus instead of taxis, or prioritizing your top not-to-miss activities.

You can also start with your budget.

Then play around with the length of your trip, how much hotels, flights etc will cost to help you determine your price range for each travel expense as well.

  • Enter 0 (zero) if there are certain categories you don’t need . The calculator will output an error ($NaN) if you don’t.
  • Instructions for the calculator are below the Travel Budget Calculator, to give you an idea of what you should include under each budget item.

Vacation Budget Calculator

Calculator instructions.

Enter all your estimated expenses you’ve gathered during your vacation research.

Make sure it’s actually a realistic travel budget. For a  family trip with young kids, you’ll also need to factor other things like diapers, baby wipes etc.

  • Travel Budget : Enter your overall vacation budget you have for this trip.
  • Number of Travellers: Enter the number of people you are paying for on this trip
  • Number of Nights: Enter the number of nights you will need accommodations for. This will be used to calculate hotel costs.
  • Number of Vacation Days: Enter the number of days you will be on vacation. Include travel days to be safe . This will be used to calculate your overall food & drink, daily transportation and activity costs.
  • Total Flight Costs: Enter the estimated total of flight costs for everyone travelling. Be sure to include any baggage fees.
  • Transportation Costs: Enter the total transportation costs for the trip. This is for any major transport costs that aren’t flights like trains, city transfers, car or RV rentals.
  • Daily Transportation Costs: Enter your anticipated daily transport costs. This is for things like taxis, buses, Ubers, parking costs etc, you might need to get around every day.
  • Hotel Costs (Per Night): Enter the amount your accommodations will cost each night. Don’t forget to include any tips for housekeeping staff etc. you may need to pay.
  • Total Tour Costs: Enter your overall total budget or cost for tours, including guide tips.
  • Activity Costs (Per Day) : Enter the amount you expect to spend on activities daily (do not include tours). These are for things like seeing movies, souvenirs, shopping, trips to a rec centre / pool, bowling, seeing a hockey game or a concert etc.
  • Food & Drink Costs (per Day): Enter your overall daily food & drink budget or expected costs for everyone. Don’t forget to include tips.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Enter an amount of money you will have overall for unexpected expenses or miscellaneous costs that pop up. Be sure to also include extra travel expenses not covered elsewhere.
  • Travel Insurance: Enter the overall amount of money you will pay for travel insurance for everyone. This is for things like travel health insurance, trip cancellation insurance etc.

Budget Outputs

Currency Note: While the output is in dollars (uses the $ symbol), you can really use any numerical currency you’d like. Just ignore the $ symbol.

Once you hit the calculate button, you will get 4 pieces of info based on the numbers you provided:

  • Total Vacation Costs : This is the estimated cost for your vacation based on the info you provided.
  • Over Budget / Under Budget: This is the amount you are either over or under budget. If your expenses are over your vacation budget, it will say Over Budget and the number will be negative. If it says Under Budget, that is the amount you are under your estimated budget.
  • Travel Costs Per Day: This is the amount of money your trip will cost you each day.
  • Cost Per Person Per Day: This is the amount of money your trip will cost you per person, each day.

Make sure to review your results. If your over budget are there things you can do to bring the costs down? Or is there a way you can save or make more money before your trip?

Why You Need A Travel Budget

One side tropical beach with text so you can enjoy this. The other side is a stressed out couple over money with the words without this.

Listen, I am all for spending a little extra to do things our family doesn’t get to do at home. 

But there is nothing more anxiety-inducing than running out of money on a trip, or having to pay off huge credit card bills at 28%  interest because you didn’t plan ahead.

This is where a vacation budget can really help. 

It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or spend money.

Creating a budget will actually help you be able to afford your dreams. Plus be able to relax & have fun on your vacation knowing you won’t be in debt when you get back home.

The trip budget calculator will make financial planning fun, and easy.

How To Set Your Travel Budget & Determine Expenses

1. determine your overall travel budget.

First things first. Decide on your overall vacation budget or the money you are willing to spend on this trip.

When determining your overall vacation budget, you’ll want to consider a few things:

  • How much money are you willing to spend on this trip?
  • How much have you already saved?
  • How long do you plan to go for? (more or less time can impact your budget)
  • How many people will be travelling? (some places like Europe limit 4 people to a hotel room, this can significantly impact cost)
  • When do you want to travel and how much time do you have to add to your vacation fund?
  • How much extra can you afford to put away every week / month on top of your regular bills & household expenses?
  • Is there any way you can decrease household expenses, or increase your income to add to your vacation fund faster?

Just make sure it’s a realistic budget. It doesn’t do anybody any good to use too low or too high numbers as a starting point. 

2. Do Your Research

The type of trip you want to take, the length and the type of activities you want to do, will really impact your budget.

For example a week long trip to Thailand will be much different than a week in Japan, or a trip to Disneyworld.

Do some intial research to give you an idea of what your basic travel expenses will costs, so you can have ballpark figures to enter in the travel cost calculator.

You can always google average costs of living / travelling at your destination.

Careful planning is an important part of any travel budget. 

3. Find Ways to Cut Costs

Unless you have a rich benefactor, or suddenly won the lottery, it’s a good idea to consider ways you can cut costs, save money and use your travel budget wisely.

Besides using our holiday budget calculator, our favourite ways to save money on travel expenses.

Transportation & Accommodation

  • Find flight deals & error fares : The best way is with Going (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) Flight tickets can be a big expense and make up a good portion of the total cost usually. 
  • Consider housesitting: is our go-to site for housesitting around the world.
  • Rent a place with a kitchen : Save money on food with a vacation rental . They can also be cheaper than renting multiple hotel rooms if you have a large family or group.
  • Compare car rentals: Using Discover Cars can help you save up to 70% by quickly comparing rental cars options.
  • Book early: Hotels, flights and trains are generally cheaper booked in advance. You won’t want to risk paying significantly more waiting until last minute.
  • Take public transportation: If it’s safe to do so, take the local bus, or walk instead of relying on expensive taxis all the time.

⭐️ Also check out our list of the best ways to save money on flights .

General Money Saving Tips

  • Travel off season or peak season: Not only is it usually much cheaper, there’s usually fewer tourists.
  • Use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees : Those transaction fees can really add up. Also consider if travel credit cards with points are for you.
  • Eat where the locals eat : Avoiding the touristy restuarants, and eating where the locals eat will not only save you lots of money, it will give you a more authentic look into their local cuisine and culture.
  • Avoid popular destinations:  The most popular touristy destinations  often cost a lot of money, compared to smaller, lesser known destinations.  
  • Consider using travel agents: Sometimes a travel agent can find you a great deal, with much less work on your part. 
  • Adjust your travel style: Luxury resorts may be out of your price range. Road trips, camping trips can be just as memorable for for a family vacation.
  • Plan free activities : Pick some free activities to do in between your more expensive tours, theme parks, & day trips to ancient ruins. 
  • Check out these ways to save on flights

Final Thoughts Using The Vacation Budget Calendar

Creating a vacation budget might seem challenging, but don’t worry! Equipped with the right tools and a bit of strategic planning, your next epic adventure is closer than you think.

Using a vacation budget calculator can help guide you to make smart, affordable choices, allowing you to experience the journey you’ve always dreamed of, without stressing about expenses.

Travel can be exciting and enjoyable at all budget levels. So here’s to making memories with your family, and friends.

Related travel planning resources:

  • Ultimate Pre-Travel Checklist
  • Family beach vacation tips
  • Tips for saving money on road trips
  • Easy ways to build a travel fund
  • Save money on attractions: Where to buy online tour tickets

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Donna Garrison is the founder of Packed for Life, an ever curious traveler with a passion for making memories with her family. With a unique perspective on travelling on a budget gathered over 30 years, 20 countries and 5 continents she gives families the tools & resources they need to experience the joys of travelling more for less through practical solutions. She helps over 20,000 families a month plan & take the family travel, camping and road trip adventures of their dreams in Canada, the USA and around the world. Contact her at: Donna [at] packedforlife.com

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How to travel for free: the secret that no one tells you

Want to travel the world for free? I've been doing that for a long time. In this article, you'll get an in-depth view of what I do, how I do it, and how you can do it too!

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Ayla Life in Lala's Land

Dec 19, 2023

how travel for free

Of course I have seen people all over Instagram and Facebook living these incredible lives, getting to see amazing places all over the world. I must confess I always thought this was fake or that they were all rich people. But since I came across the answers of how to travel for free (that no one told me) it completely transformed my life.

The purpose of this article is not to simply give you a list of the options you have to travel for free. You can find that on the internet anywhere.

I’m here to give you real life proof of how I already travel the world for free , since I’ve been travelling and living the nomadic life since July 2019. I'm crazily excited to share this, knowing just how much of an impact it can make to a person's life.

how travel for free

Some people get a little sceptical before they really get what I do , which I completely understand. If someone I didn’t know told me I could travel the world for free, I would probably think they were trying to scam me or something. But I didn’t have anyone tell me about it. I found it myself , and now I want to help others do the same.

I knew I wanted to travel and quit my job to do it . That would mean no money coming in - an exceptionally tight budget. So, I found a solution to the problem:  free food and accommodation !

In this article I’m going to walk you through how to do that. You can travel the world doing activities you love and get free accommodation - and even get paid to do it!

You might also like :  14 TOP cheapest countries to visit as a Worldpackers volunteer

Travelling for free: how it all started

One day I woke up and realised just how much I hated my daily life . I was working a ludicrous number of hours to get a great paycheck each week, but I was miserable. I decided that I had to take it into my own hands and create a life that I enjoyed living. And for me, that means new discoveries and environments.

In February of 2019 I handed in my resignation with 4 months’ notice. This was mainly for me to know I finally had a date I would be escaping the rat race. By July of that year, I was on a one-way flight to volunteer in India with a backpack and a suitcase with everything I owned in them.

how to travel for free

When I said goodbye to all my friends and family, they knew that I had no intentions of ever returning to Australia or the life I was so eager to leave behind. 

I had no idea of what I was going to do, how I would be making money travelling or being able to survive, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I had left behind a life that I didn’t want, in search of one that I loved.

It was then that I happened to stumble across the greatest life hack known to mankind – how to travel the world for free ! I have now been doing this and enjoying every moment of it.

I have the freedom to go anywhere I want in this world, and know that I am able to support myself. With a combination of these two life hacks that I will be speaking about here, I get almost all my food and accommodation paid for. 

I write for about two hours a day and I'm able to actually save a significant amount of money whilst I am travelling and experiencing the world.

how to travel the world

How to travel for free: here's the secret

The number one best life hack that I have ever known is Worldpackers , hands down. 

Worldpackers is a platform that connects volunteers with certain skills or abilities to hosts who are looking for help in these areas. The method behind it is work exchange , where volunteers give their time helping out around the place in exchange for accommodation  and other benefits like meals, classes and tours.

It has provided me with numerous opportunities to travel through different countries on a tight budget, by not having to worry about accommodation and food. Not only that, but it has also given me an opportunity to build my name as an artist through both India and Sri Lanka .

As a girl who had a dream of travelling the world for free - with no idea of how to actually do it when I started - I am so lucky and grateful to have stumbled across Worldpackers!

Basically, you pay one fee of $49 USD which gives you access to all the hosts for a full year. To put that into perspective, $50 USD is likely A LOT less than you pay for one night of food and accommodation in most countries . And then you can spend 12 months with free accomodation and food wherever you want!

Seem’s crazy not to do it right? And what you give in exchange for the ability to travel for free, is often an experience you would be paying a hefty price for.  So really, it’s wins all around! You’re saving sooooo much money when you travel the world with Worldpackers.

how travel for free

Volunteer and travel for free

There are heaps of different options available when it comes to volunteer programs. So you’re sure to find something that calls to your heart. Some of them that I have chosen to work with are:

  • Work in Schools
  • Work on Eco projects
  • Work with Hostel Administration 
  • And primarily Art Projects

There are so many more options available , but these are the ones I have volunteered with so far. I typically look for art projects as I love painting. But other times I will apply for positions that pique my interest such as eco projects, because I am very much a save the world type of gal.

I have been very lucky to have had a range of volunteering experiences , mostly with painting. Mural painting is not something that I had ever even considered doing before.

I was so excited to do my first one and put my heart and soul into it, and surprisingly it was actually  not that bad. From there I was able to apply for more Worldpackers positions as an artist where I received free accommodation and all my meals for free.

This is a dream come true for someone who had been travelling for two months. I had no idea how to make any money and was just trying to spend as little as possible to stretch the money I did have as far as it could go. 

I’ve built great connections throughout communities doing this, and I’ve been asked to come back to a number of places, which is so heartwarming.

If you’re wondering how to travel for free, making an impact and giving more value to your contribution in this world , this is the secret. There are volunteer options that suit a range of different personality types and interests.

volunteer and get free accommodation

How to travel for free and also get paid

Although using Worldpackers covers almost all my expenses that I need to survive , there are still other things I need to pay for as I travel. Any flights, visas, sightseeing and going out with friends are costs that come out of my own pocket.

But someone I met at my first volunteer position provided me with a solution. I was only about two months into my travels at this point, when I explained to her my situation. She was blown away that I had no plan to balance working and travelling . In hindsight, it's a pretty crazy thing to do. Quit your job, pack your stuff and leave your own country without any means of income.

So, she introduced me to the world of  freelancing . This is something I had never heard about before then. She explained to me that there are many people that work remotely and get paid for it, which is what she does for a company she worked for back in Germany.

I told her that I wouldn’t be able to do it as I was absolutely terrible with technology and had no skills that would be of any value . She convinced me that I had everything I already needed: fluent English and a tablet I could write on.

She told me about some freelancing websites and I signed up to both Freelancer and Upwork . I then started applying for different positions but was not getting any luck. I had been trying for basic administration positions, which of course every other unskilled person was also applying for, so I was just getting lost in the masses.

Earlier in 2019 I had decided that I wanted to write a novel , which I am currently still working on, and this is something that I had shared with the girl who told me about freelancing. She saw me working on my novel all the time and motivated me to apply for some content writing positions . 

"The worst they could do is say no, and the best that can happen is you start getting paid to travel."

Eventually one company gave me a trial. Turns out they loved my writing style and offered me an ongoing position.

how travel for free

Becoming a digital nomad

The work I do could not be more perfect. It is incredibly flexible, I can ask for as much or as little work as I want, and it is something that I enjoy doing. 

I write content for businesses all over the world . Each piece might take me around 3 hours and will make me $50 USD. It’s not a lot, in fact, this job pays pretty terribly compared to the others I have now.

But depending on which part of the world I am, it pays for a LOT more than it would be back home. 

And I have such a different relationship with money than I did when working a ‘normal’ job. I am only interested in making enough money to cover my expenses from the previous month or to splurge on a vacation, such as a fancy resort somewhere.

Not only has securing a freelancing job been able to free me financially, it is such a different experience to be working on your own clock . Sometimes I might go a few days or a week without writing at all. Because I don’t have the need for money. But other times I might write for a full week and do nothing else. That is the beauty of freelancing.

Each week I decide how many projects I want, which generally is anywhere between two and 10. So that is a maximum of 30 hours a week if I really want to make some serious money, but I rarely have the need for that. So most times, I only work about 6 a week.

Combining this small amount of income with travelling the world for free with Worldpackers, I am able to save money while I’m travelling ! How crazy is that? I never would have thought that was possible.

An added benefit to freelancing is how much y ou learn about the potential of online work. I went from a non-tech savvy girl 15 months ago, to now having my own digital marketing agency . 

I do this by outsourcing all the work to the talented freelancers I’ve met along my journey . So whether you’ve got that business mind, or just want to work 5 hours a week to live as a digital nomad, it works for everyone.

worldpackers helps you travel for free

Balancing freedom and motivation

When I was in Australia, I was a businesswoman. Always in a suit rushing around from meeting to meeting and under immense stress. Now I wouldn’t be recognisable to any of the people from my old position, or the clients that I worked with so closely. I am able to completely and freely express myself.

I now have blue hair and am starting to gather a collection of tattoos , and do you know what? It makes me so happy that I am able to live a life that is true to my own personality . Not to be living life restricted by the confines of society. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have responsibilities.

I have the freedom to now travel where I want, dress (country-specific of course) and later my appearance as I please. And all I need to do is work about 5 hours a day to make that happen. So on average, I would spend 1 hour a day working and another 4 volunteering.

Although it can be tempting to run out with my friends as soon as the volunteering is done, I just give myself a reality check. It’s one hour. And if I schedule my time well, it makes little difference to my day, but a big difference to my life.

For me, I found setting out schedules works best for me. Mine looks something like this: yoga, breakfast, work, volunteer, lunch, write my novel, then free time. Sometimes I find myself creating stress out of nothing , but finding my balance with a schedule and yoga always helps me to keep motivated.

volunteering with mural painting during my travels

What in the world are you waiting for?

Yes, there is a legitimate way to travel the world for free and get paid, if that is the kind of life you want to live. I do it myself, and I’m just your average everyday person. Sometimes I realize how lucky I am to live this life, and then remember that luck had nothing to do with it . I found this out through research and took a leap of faith.

Seeing new countries and experiencing new cultures has been eye opening for me. And this is not something I would have been able to do for so long if I hadn’t stumbled across this life hack so early into my trip.

But luckily for everyone reading this, I have found them so that you don’t have to go searching . So now that you know how to travel for free, what are you waiting for? Go see the world! 

Join the community!

Create a free Worldpackers account to discover volunteer experiences perfect for you and get access to exclusive travel discounts!

Ayla Carlin

Life in Lala's Land

An Australian solo traveller who set out to find herself while discovering the world. My aim is to discover the untouched, make long lasting connections, and expand my mind through the new people I meet and places I discover. I want to inspire others through my experiences, showing just how important travel is for the soul, and how it can transform your life in the most positive ways.

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Already have an account, are you a host, leave your comment here.

Write here your questions and greetings to the author

free travel cost

Oct 15, 2020

You're living the life, girl! As an author myself, that's pretty much a dream come true. Traveling and writing. Thank you for your words. I wish you all the success!

free travel cost

Oct 22, 2020

I wanna thanks you for your loyalty, and probably encourage you gave too all committee, thanks for who you are

free travel cost

Ayla (Author)

Nov 02, 2020

Thank you beautiful girl!! You also do the same??

Unfortunately, I don't. Right now, I just write in my home country. But I was published by a small publisher this year and I'm working on getting better to write on the road one day

free travel cost

Oct 19, 2020

Wow you're ao cool

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Oct 20, 2020

Thank you beautiful people! Let's keep sharing our stories and welcoming more people to the traveling the world for free community!

free travel cost

Amazing text 🤍🤍 thanks for that

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Oct 24, 2020

Good job👍👍💐💐

Feb 26, 2023

Amazing. Great job. Good Luck

free travel cost

Thank you ☺️

free travel cost

Oct 31, 2020

Thank you so much❤️

You are so welcome girl! ❤️❤️

free travel cost

Wooaaaaahhh 🤩🤩🤩🤩

free travel cost

Nov 06, 2020

free travel cost

Nov 08, 2020

It's great, I am cherishing the trip like you, currently I am looking for an online job to have money for the trip but I still haven't found it. Please guide and share your online work experience and your itinerary. Look forward to your guidance. My email: [email protected]

free travel cost

Nov 10, 2020

Thanks for sharing your experience.

free travel cost

Nov 11, 2020

free travel cost

Welcome Morocco

free travel cost

Nov 12, 2020

Super inspiring! :)

free travel cost

Nov 25, 2020

Hi Ayla, your story is very encouraging and motivational. I’m a newly certified Health and Life Coach, my dream is to work from anywhere, I got lost and confused, meanwhile I’m working part time as a professional organizer and decluttering, my dream is to travel so I decided enough of waiting to do it so I signed up here. But I’m interested in knowing more about your Marketing Biz, would like to talk to you about my business. Please could you reach out to me, [email protected] Thank You!!!

free travel cost

Nov 27, 2020

Well articulated

free travel cost

Dec 01, 2020

wow i like it thank you so much for sharing this

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Dec 03, 2020

Thanks for your inspiring words, keep it up! :)

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Cool with patient and courage

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Wow, I really needed to hear this. I'd love to chat with you deeper since I have so many questions! How can I contact you? Do you have Instagram?

Dec 04, 2020

Hey Linda, I'd be happy to help 😊 My insta is lifein_lalasland

Sent you a message there!

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Dec 08, 2020

Hi there, I admire your courage, wish i can do the same, but i'm in a different situation. I loved your article, it's inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

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Dec 09, 2020

Wow! This was such a good read.

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Dec 13, 2020

World are amazing & I love Nature 🙏🏞️🌄🌎🌏🗺️🥰

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Dec 17, 2020

Hi there we had a small conversation in Bangkok while Brushing the truth i am so glad to meet you cheers Appreciate it

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Dec 22, 2020

And you have written a beautiful blog here 😊

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Very inspiring after reading what you have wrote. Yes, the money for buying a ticket is really concerning for me to step out from my comfort zone, and was thiking a lot should I make this work with travel the world with FREE. ❤

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Dec 29, 2020

Wer are you from

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Jan 04, 2021

Thank you dearly, you have helped me and beyond, I have connections and so do they. Keep sprinkling more kindness, also free lol.

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Jan 13, 2021

Thank you so much for all what you've shared am impressed good luck to you bye

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Jan 17, 2021

I am very much inspired by your story, I have a account in freelance and upwork. But in freelance they ask me to pay security deposit first is it safe to do so .

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Jan 18, 2021

Hi I want to travel world for free

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Jan 19, 2021

click bait title and too long text which is a lot of filler text. could be shorter and to the point.

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Feb 02, 2021

l am active now in France heading to Spain

Mar 26, 2021

Is this possible with two children?

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May 16, 2021

مرحبا انا عندى سؤال هل انا بدفع مصاريف السفر صح ام لا وهل ينفع ان اعمل واخد مال ام لا

May 31, 2021

Such a priceless story that you can even describe with words🙏 I absolutely believe that hapiness can change this World. And when everyone starts to SHARE yourself for others - we will make a planet smile and blossom❤👋

P.s. Thank you for that motivation. I will try to spread around the love which I found here

Jul 23, 2021

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Oct 09, 2021

great writing. I hope i can join this life soon enough

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Hi Pretty I hope you are doing in good health, I am Asif fresh graduate from United Arab Emirates Dubai. i am interests travel to European countries. i am applying many volunteers position. If you are free then guide me which European countries best cheap for foreigner students. Respectfully thanks for your precious time.

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10 Ways to Travel the World For Free in 2023

Sustainable travel expert, adventure seeker

Chicago, IL, USA

5-star resorts, private shuttles, and business class have conditioned us to think that travel is always going to break the bank. Of course there’s space for budget-minded travelers, but have you ever pondered how to kick it up a notch and really save money — perhaps by spending hardly any? With some creative spirit, there are plenty of ways to travel the world for (nearly) free.

Most of these are for the adventurous soul, so prepare to exit your comfort zone and enter that money-saving mode. From sleeping in airports to crashing on random couches, there’s no shortage of ways to cut costs. Try one of these 10 ways to make it work:

See the world for free by joining a work exchange platform

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Can you pick fruit all day? Clean a questionably nasty bathroom? Wash piles of dishes? If the answer is yes and you’re willing to do it, you can find an opportunity for these types of jobs (and a handful more) by joining a work exchange platform. Participating travelers provide their labor in exchange for a free place to stay, with occasional bonuses like food or drinks, depending on your setup. With opportunities all over the world, this is one of the most common methods to get a free place to stay on the road.

How: Some of the more popular platforms include Workaway and Worldpackers .

Work in a hostel, earn free accommodation

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For those who gravitate towards the backpacker lifestyle, working in a hostel gives you a cost-free place to hang your hat, cultivate a community, and have fun while doing it. Many hostel jobs are posted on the aforementioned work exchange platforms, but cold emailing is another useful tactic. Most hostels will ask for several days per week of work in exchange for a free dorm bed — and don’t be surprised when you receive free drinks, either. It almost makes up for the moldy shower that you now call yours.

How: Check out Hostel Jobs to find your new home.

Hack your hotel budget by becoming a house sitter

free travel cost

Enter house sitting: a far more comfortable way to be a total cheapskate. Studies have shown significantly lower volumes of snoring bunkmates and moldy showers by taking this avenue. It’s a bit more competitive — but not impossible. General duties include making sure that no one breaks in, occasional care for pets, garden tending, and any other upkeep that requires a traveler’s touch.

How: Aspiring house sitters can check out House Carers and Mind My House . Word of mouth is fairly popular with this option, but the magic of the Internet can pull through too. Either way, references are a big help. And, if you have a home of your own, check out HomeExchange : a unique, mutually beneficial way to share your home in exchange for a stay in someone else’s.

Save cash for future travel by Couchsurfing

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Couchsurfing is a global network of travelers and gracious hosts opening their homes (and often hearts) at zero cost. That’s right—it’s 100% free, and often an awesome social experience.

How: For social butterflies who embrace unpredictability, Couchsurfing is a one-of-a-kind way to make connections across cultures and stay for free all over the world.

Score a free stay while WWOOFing

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No, it doesn’t have to do with dogs (sorry). World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a database filled with international organic farms that offer once-in-a-lifetime volunteer opportunities for those who wish to explore their green thumb. You can earn a free stay and learn about local life, all while contributing to sustainable practices.

How: Visit wwoof.net to register and find farms in your destination of choice. Membership costs a small fee, but it pays for itself, especially if you plan to travel long term.

Make bank by teaching english abroad

How to Travel for Free

Teaching English abroad can take many forms: TEFL certified teaching positions, online teaching, or a less formal arrangement. The good news is: this option can actually be quite profitable, especially if you’re living somewhere in Southeast Asia where the cost of living is dramatically low.

How: Paid jobs usually require TEFL certification , which can be achieved through a variety of in-person or online classes. The uncertified can still volunteer their knowledge of the English language by participating in a volunteer program in exchange for room and board. Diverbo and Culture Go Go are online resources to jumpstart your experience.

Earn free travel opportunities by living on a boat

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Have you ever said screw land and lived on a boat? If you haven’t, it’s time to consider it. Cruise lines and yacht companies are always looking for crewmembers, especially during the high seasons for tourism. Whether you have experience in hospitality, cleaning, kitchens, or entertainment, the available positions vary greatly.

How: Carnival and Royal Caribbean are the biggest companies, offering seasonal positions and year round options. For yacht opportunities, try out Crew Seekers .

Cut transport costs with ride shares

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While there’s no guarantee of safety for this one, there are several countries in the world where hitchhiking is both acceptable and common. HitchWiki breaks it down by country, so you can be the judge of your own chances. Proven fact: hitchhiking builds character, so stick out your thumb and hope for the best.

How: If you prefer a tad bit more of an organized process, try out an arranged rideshare. These long-distance carpool services can be incredibly cheap, despite the lengths traveled. Blablacar is worldwide, and Ridesharing.com is popular in the U.S. and Canada. And hey, it’s good for the environment too!

Travel the world for free by becoming an au pair

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Think babysitting, but instead of your childhood suburb, it’s a beautiful coastal town in the south of France. Au pairs are in high demand in several countries, and it’s a formidable way to learn about a different culture, and also live for free. There are both English and non-English speaking opportunities, but knowing a foreign language opens up more doors. France, England, and Australia are three of the more popular destinations for au pairs, but the opportunities are worldwide.

How: Visit AuPairWorld or AuPair.com to connect with families around the globe.

Save money on travel by signing up for airfare alerts

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Okay, okay, it’s not completely free, but it can still save tons of money when you play the cards right. There are a few budget airlines worth keeping an eye on. Sales and promotions are common, and if you can hop online when they go live, there’s a great chance at scoring a major deal.

How: A few to keep in mind are Ryan Air , Air Asia , Jetstar , and Virgin Australia . In addition to the airlines themselves, fare finders like Scott’s Cheap Flights can send you alerts based on the latest and greatest deals. There’s no guarantee for legroom, but who needs it anyway? You’ll be on the beach in a few hours.

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How to Make a Travel Budget in 2023 [Free Template]

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How to Make a Travel Budget in 2023 [Free Template]

Table of Contents

Can you afford to travel, the 2 approaches to travel budgets, travel budget template worksheet, travel budget considerations, websites to help research travel costs, the best apps for travel budgets and expense tracking, saving for your vacation, final thoughts.

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Creating a travel budget isn’t all about boring spreadsheets and searching for low budget bargains — a finely-crafted budget it is designed to maximize your total travel experience.

Let’s start out easy here. You may have dreams of globetrotting and living your best life in distant lands, but can you actually afford it?

The amount you have to spend on your trip will need to be proportionate to the place you are visiting. By that, we mean that some destinations can be done on the cheap, while others will be a bit more of an investment.

Where you want to stay, what you intend to do when you get there, and physically how far away you will be from home can all have a considerable bearing on how deep your pockets will need to be.

Before you book yourself silly, really break down the potential costs of your dream trip and tally it up with the amount of money you will realistically have to fund it.

Bottom Line: Sometimes, it may be better to put your plans on hold until you have saved up enough cash to really experience a place, rather than rushing to get there and missing out on some of the best bits.

Whether you are a plan-well-in-advance sort of traveler or more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, there are different ways to approach setting out your budget based on what works best for you.

Plan Your Adventure Well in Advance

The most traditional way to book a vacation is to think of somewhere you want to go, plan your vacation dates, and decide how long you want to stay. This kind of advanced planning is the usual go-to for most travelers, as it allows you to book time off of work or plan trips around school semesters, and gives you the opportunity to firm up plans before you leave.

Knowing when and where you are going also has another key advantage — it gives you plenty of time to save up all the cash you will need to really enjoy your time there. Booking in advance also means you get your choice of cheaper accommodation at better rates.

Book months in advance and you can research your planned itinerary and potential expenditure, and maybe even save enough extra for upgrades of luxuries to make your adventure truly special. This kind of planning is a great incentive for saving hard.

Travel Based on Your Bank Balance

If, on the other hand, you want to take your cash and get the hell out of dodge, you can work backward to identify the most amount of fun you can have for your money. If you are feeling lucky, and you know how much you are willing to spend, the world really is your oyster.

The awesome power of the internet has made impulse traveling even easier, as you can simply hit up any number of booking sites to find an exciting destination, as well as suitable flights, accommodation, and excursions in just a few clicks.

Another great way to make your budget go further is to think outside the box. Visiting popular destinations out of season, taking shorter vacation times, or even looking at places away from the main tourist trail can all make your money go further.

A trip to the legendary Yosemite National Park during April or May, for example, is a great way to experience some of the most iconic open spaces in America before the schools let out, or hit the beaches of Miami or the Florida Keys during September and October when tourists shy away from the increased risk of stormy weather.

You can also look at alternatives to the more traditional resort destinations to get more bang for your buck. Consider a trip to Reno instead of Las Vegas, hit the slopes in Winter Park instead of the sky-high prices in Vail, or take in the history of Williamsburg and avoid the price tags of New York or Los Angeles on your next city break.

Globe on Desk with Travel Money

To help you plan and keep track of your travel budget we have created a free, handy Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

📋  Click to Download Our Travel Budget Template >  📋

When planning your travel budget, there are lots of different things to consider. Break down your budget into subsections to make it easier to plan and stick to:

Passport and Visas

One of the most essential elements of your travel plan will revolve around the legal and local requirements for travel to and from your destination. You must research any visa requirements and restrictions before you fly, and be sure to have all the documentation you need before you leave.

Most countries will have their own individual and very specific entry requirements, and there may be restrictions on how much local currency you can bring with you, as well as how long you can stay.

As a very rough guide, some examples of the requirements for U.S. citizens could include:

  • Travel to Europe — If you are traveling to or through any of the main 26 European countries, you must know the requirements of the Schengen Agreement, which eliminates borders and assumes that travelers will be able to enjoy up to 3-months of visa-free travel. This will change in January 2021 with the introduction of the ETIAS .
  • Travel to Australia — You must have a valid U.S. passport and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enjoy up to 90 days of travel in Australia.
  • Travel to Central America — You will not need a visa to visit most Central American countries, but you may need a tourist card for some destinations (~$10) to allow stays of up to 90 days visa-free.
  • Travel To South Africa — You must have a valid U.S. passport, but do not need a visa for stays of 30 days or less.

Check out our guide to tourist visa information on over 100 countries.

Travel Insurance

There are many great reasons why you should always buy travel insurance coverage for your trips overseas, and only 1 reason not to. Trust us. If the worst should happen while you are away, you will wish you hadn’t tried to save money by skipping on the insurance, so make sure you always make space for travel insurance in your travel budget .

The best travel insurance policy does not necessarily have to be the most expensive one you find, but it probably won’t be the cheapest either. With this in mind, shop around and speak to a variety of providers before committing to any 1 product.

There will be different levels of coverage available to suit the requirements of every type of traveler, from lone backpackers to family vacations, but at the very least you should try to include:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Repatriation expenses
  • Cancellation or curtailment coverage
  • Lost baggage coverage
  • Travel delay/missed departure coverage
  • Journey disruption coverage
  • Personal liability coverage
  • Legal expenses coverage
  • Electronics loss/theft and damage coverage

Depending on where you go, what you’ll be doing, and the nature of your trip, you may want to also consider dedicated financial protection that could include specific coverage for:

  • Winter sports coverage
  • Terrorism disruption coverage
  • Cruise coverage
  • Business coverage
  • Sports equipment coverage

It is important to remember that the domestic health insurance that you use at home will not necessarily cover you if you get into medical trouble overseas . Don’t leave it to chance — invest wisely in your travel insurance and never skimp on the coverage just to save yourself a few bucks before you go.

You should also look into insurance coverage for your prized electrical items and personal belongings, too . While we would recommend leaving the diamonds at home, unless you are going somewhere exceptionally glamorous, many of us will take expensive electronics with us everywhere we go.

Find coverage that offers repairs or replacement for damaged, broken, lost, or stolen items before you go.

Hot Tip: There are some credit cards with travel insurance , so you might already have some coverage without knowing it!

map of world syringe vaccination


Some parts of the world pose more of a risk to our health than others. By ensuring that you have all the travel vaccinations you need before you go, you can reduce the risk of developing serious diseases that your immune system may not be used to.

You can pretty much be vaccinated against all of the world’s most common communicable diseases at your local doctor’s office, health care center, or health department, and there will be medical professionals who will be able to provide you with useful information for your trip.

You will need to do your own research before you travel and speak to healthcare providers about the risks. But, as a rough guide to keep in mind when planning your travel budget, here are some of the most common travel vaccinations and their approximate costs:

  • Cholera — A single-dose oral vaccine costs around $45.
  • Hepatitis A — A single-dose vaccine costs around $115.
  • Japanese Encephalitis — 2 doses given 4 weeks apart costs around $290 per injection.
  • Meningococcal Disease — This single-dose vaccine is recommended from pre-teenage years and costs around $135.
  • Rabies — A series of 3 or 4 injections into the muscles over the course of 4 weeks costs around $3000 for the entire course.
  • Typhoid Fever — A single oral dose for anyone over 6 years old costs around $60.
  • Yellow Fever — This vaccine is not stocked everywhere, but if you can find a clinic that offers it, you will need a single shot costing as much as $350.
  • Malaria — There is no single vaccine, but antimalarial tablets can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting the disease by 90%. These may need to be taken as far as 3 months in advance and can cost anything from $20 a pack up to $260 per pack.

Clothes, Gear, and Toiletries

What you need to take with you will depend very much on where you headed. Whether you choose to travel light or max out your luggage allowance is up to you, but there are plenty of ways to help keep costs down when it comes to packing for your next adventure.

Compile a Capsule Wardrobe

Travel guides always bang on about the legendary “capsule wardrobe” — but it literally is a real thing. By taking 7 or 8 items of clothing with you that can be worn in a variety of ways you can dress for days at a time without worrying about overfilling your luggage or maxing out your travel budget.

Choose 2 pants, skirts or jeans, 3 tops, 1 sweater, 1 dress or a smart shirt and a coat or jacket, and you should be pretty much good to go. Throw in beachwear, sports gear, or thermals as-needed and some socks and underwear to see yourself sorted for the duration of your stay.

Another way to keep costs down is to avoid buying new stuff for every vacation . Your favorite bikini, flip flops, party dress, or even hoodie should be shown off time and time again, so never feel the need to replace your vacation clothing unless you really need to.

Here are some destination-specific packing lists:

  • Beach Vacation Packing List
  • Cruise Vacation Packing List
  • Disney Vacation Packing List

If you want to take your travel camera with you, your GoPro for awesome live video, your phone, tablet, laptop, headphones , or any other bits of kit — think carefully about whether or not you really need it.

Taking more expensive gear with you increases the risk of stuff getting lost, broken, or stolen, as well as weighing your luggage down and tying you to charging ports and electrical sockets.

Keeping Clean

Most people like to have their favorite toiletries with them, but save money and space in your luggage by not taking full-size products.

You needn’t even worry about wasting money on cute little travel size products either. Simply decant your full-size bottles and pots into smaller travel containers instead . This is super easy to do, meets with TSA regulations, and saves you a few dollars here and there.

Alternatively, buy what you need when you arrive. Most destinations and airports will have plenty of shops to choose from. One area where you shouldn’t cut costs, however, is sunscreen. Buy the best you can, ideally from a trusted brand, before you leave.

Finally, check if the airline you are using charges extra for checked baggage and if so, see if you can get away with just a carry-on case instead.

The amount you pay for your flights will vary widely depending on a wide number of variants, including:

  • Your destination
  • Who you choose to fly with
  • Whether you fly direct
  • Whether you fly return or one-way
  • The day of the week and time of day that you fly, and even the time of year
  • Where you fly from
  • When you book

There are many different ways to fly around the skies, but here are some ways to bag cheaper flights :

  • Use Points and Miles — If you aren’t accumulating points to fly, read this beginner’s guide to get started.
  • Book as Early as You Can — Flights often significantly increase in price within 3 weeks of the departure date.
  • Stay Flexible — Flights leaving on different days or at times of day can be cheaper than others.
  • Don’t Dismiss Discount Airlines — Short journeys, internal flights, and even some international journeys can be way cheaper on discount, no-frills airlines.
  • Sign Up and Shop Around — Sign up with airlines direct to be notified of discounts and flash sales, and be sure to check in on all airlines that fly to your preferred destination.
  • Use Aggregation Sites — Sometimes this is a winner, sometimes it isn’t — but don’t be afraid to try. Sites like Kayak or Skyscanner can be good, but don’t just accept the first price they give you.
  • Buy Connecting Flights — It can be cheaper to buy 2 separate connecting flights than a direct 1. Check your destination and see who stops where along the route.


Again, how much you spend on where you stay is entirely up to you. Keeping costs down can be harder in large cities or expensive beach resorts, but there are ways to rest your head without losing your mind over the cost of it all.

Whether you are going for an all-out 5-star luxury or a family-friendly motel room, there are always deals to be had. Book direct through the hotel, include weeknights or a Sunday night in your stay, and be flexible on location.

Hot Tip: A hotel just outside of town, for example, will offer more attractive nightly rates and free parking and will usually represent better value for money than a downtown hotel will.

Renting a private home or vacation apartment on a short term basis can be much more affordable than a hotel. You can also find some superb properties for rent, complete with everything you need to enjoy your stay.

Fully-equipped kitchens, parking, TVs, and even pools often come standard and depending on your destination, there are lots of great Airbnbs and other holiday rental websites available.

If you are heading to the coast, the backcountry, or just getting out into the great outdoors, camping can completely transform your experience. Many campsites come complete with showers and cooking facilities and even pools, sports facilities, and fitness centers. You can take your own tent or rent one.

Another great way to save money on accommodation is to look at hostels in the area. A far cry from old fashioned student accommodation, many modern hostels are clean, bright, and modern and offer a combination of dorm-style bedrooms and private double or family rooms with en-suite facilities.

Hot Tip: Hostels are a great way to stay right in the middle of some of the most expensive cities in the world.

Rent a Recreational Vehicle

Another great choice if you are heading out on the open road, RVs can save you a fortune as you literally take your accommodation with you. RV trips are fun, family-friendly, and provided you aren’t always in a gas station, a great way to save money on where you stay.

RVshare and Outdoorsy are 2 companies that rent out campers and RVs.

You can pretty much rent any kind of vehicle , anywhere in the world. Although if you are staying in a city, public transport is a much more useful and affordable proposition.

The same rules also apply to some intercontinental trips, as well. For example, it can be easier and cheaper to travel through Europe using trains and buses than worrying about having to take care of a car when you get there.

If you want to explore out of the way destinations, hard to reach beaches, or just like the idea of being free to come and go as you please, car hire is readily available in most corners of the world.

Before you commit to it, think about the rental fees, fuel costs, and other potential expenditures and compare the costs of using public transport in your chosen destination.

Car Rental

Car hire here in the U.S. will vary depending on the type of car you choose and how long you intend to hire it. Small city cars are the most cost-effective, and big SUVs, 4x4s and luxury cars can also be hired if you have deep pockets.

When it comes to car rental, keep your costs down by:

  • Booking your vehicle in advance
  • Looking outside the airport as you may get a better deal in town
  • Choosing a practical vehicle to suit your needs, not your dream supercar
  • Being aware of mileage limits and one-way fees
  • Use a credit card with car rental insurance , so you can be ready to turn down unnecessary add-ons and cross-sells that you don’t need
  • Making sure the vehicle is checked for damage before you take the keys
  • Only hiring it for as long as you need it
  • Keeping your eyes out for deals on particular types of car, and better prices for longer-term rentals

Local Transportation

Most tourist hotspots, big towns, cities, and even some iconic landmarks will offer a wide range of public transport options to get you around. There will be more choice and more frequent services in highly populated areas, while services may become more restricted further out in the countryside or suburbs.

If you are clever, you could save yourself a small fortune by grabbing good deals on public transport, leaving you with more cash to spend on the fun things in life.

Try these to tips for traveling around town on the cheap:

  • Buy daily, weekly or even monthly travel passes in advance
  • Bulk buy tickets online or via an app
  • Take advantage of student passes or discounted fares for families, seniors, or children
  • Avoid traveling during peak commuter times
  • Services like Greyhound offer cheaper fares for mid-week journeys
  • Sign up for early notification of flash sales and other promotional codes and discounts

Attractions and Activities

Wherever you are headed, there will no doubt be plenty of things to do and places to see when you get there. The key to not missing a single thing is researching everything before you leave.

Have a plan in place of all the activities you want to take part in and the attractions you want to see and integrate the potential entrance costs, additional fees, and other expenses into your initial budget.

With a bit of luck, you will be able to find plenty of local discounts, city passes, and money-saving ways to see all of the very best attractions at rock bottom prices.

Pick up a copy of the local listings magazine or newspaper and check out free events , as well as using the coupons and discount codes they supply for all kinds of attractions. You can also subscribe to online discount sites like Groupon to find discounted ticket prices.

Historical landmarks, museums , art galleries, theme parks , sporting events, concerts, and many more attractions often offer reduced entrance prices at off-peak times or group discounts to entice visitors in. Some even have a free entrance day once a month.

Big cities often have lots of free entertainment on offer, too. Check out the artsy districts of major cities for street entertainers and free shows. If you are heading to the beach, research costs such as sunbed rental, locker rental, and even the menus at local restaurants to gauge an idea of how much a day on the beach could potentially cost you.

If you want to try your hand at surfing, sailing, or other kinds of water sports, you may want to get back on the internet and find reduced price lessons or discounts for group bookings.

Colosseum during daytime

Walk-Around Money

While you may have budgeted every dollar down to the last cent, you should also keep a contingency plan for some pocket money . Days out in the town, lazy afternoons on the beach, or even a trip on a planned excursion can present you with lots of little unknown expenses.

Whether you need to buy an extra bottle of water, some sunscreen for your face, or entrance to additional attractions, keeping a little cash on you is a good way to be prepared.

Large amounts of cash should never be carried about your person while you are out exploring, but a couple of dollars stashed into your pocket or travel wallet and can be incredibly useful.

In order to keep your money safe, you should:

  • Never flash wads of cash
  • Keep your notes and loose change somewhere safe like your inside pocket or in a money belt
  • Carry small denomination notes and coins
  • Understand the local currency you are carrying, so you known how much to give over when paying

Walk-around money is simply a little buffer to keep you going, but set yourself a daily budget and stick to it.

Gifts and Souvenirs

These days, almost everyone travels at some point. This means that those unusual and unique products that we used to buy as souvenirs are no longer as sought after as they once were.

Nearly every tourist destination on earth will be able to sell you tacky bits and pieces for you to take home, but savvy travelers bypass these and look for more personalized and unique mementos to take home with them instead.

Bottom Line: A t-shirt here, a guide book there, and lots of little bits and pieces in between can soon add up. Spend wisely, and if you must buy gifts and souvenirs, choose ones that have a special meaning to you, that you can treasure forever.

To help make your research easier, some clever folks who have traveled before you have made websites that can help you to research and plan every single aspect of your next big adventure and what the costs involved may be.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip is a huge repository of travel costs that have been hand-gathered from thousands of travelers, and now provides an incredibly comprehensive guide to how much your trip will really cost you.

You can create and personalize your very own travel budget once you register with the website. You can also pick up tons of top travel tips and advice for both new and experienced travelers alike.

Nomad List offers a heap of resources and information for remote workers, digital nomads, and travelers, Nomad List is designed to help users navigate the world. Find information on thousands of destinations, places to work, neighborhoods to stay, and even make new friends before you go.

A great site for anyone who wants to work and travel for longer-term adventures, you can ask questions and arrange meet-ups to touch base with other like-minded wanderers.

This clever little website has 1 goal in mind — to let you know exactly how much money you really need to stay at your dream destination. Expatistan offers direct comparisons between different locations and the website is essentially a giant cost-of-living database that is updated and improved on a regular basis.

Using collaborative information garnered from expats from all over the world, this website really will give you the lowdown of where you can, and can’t, afford to be.

Keeping track of your expenses using your bank balance alone can be a real pain. A dedicated travel money app will help you to keep control of your finances, even when you can’t check the internet. Here are some of the best:

Trail Wallet

Trail Wallet

This easy to use expense tracker is a great way to keep an accurate record of your finances on the go. Designed to be incredibly intuitive and easy to use, you can make a note of all your expenses in a way that makes the best sense to you. Set up daily spending limits, view records of your recent outgoings, and upload images of receipts for multiple trips with custom start and end dates.

Perfect for use both at home and away, this clever little app will even let you input amounts in local currencies from over 200 countries , and you can update the app with the current exchange rate.

Trail Wallet can be used on both iPhone and iPad and is free for up to 25 items, or unlock unlimited amounts for continuous travel with the $4.99 upgrade.

Trabee Pocket

Trabee Pocket

Trabee Pocket is available on both iOS and Android, and you can choose between the free version or additional services in the paid-for version. Even with the basic version, you can add the details of as many expenses as you like, covering various trips and destinations. You can choose your currency, and there are 8 basic categories to file your virtual expenses under.

You can add images of the physical receipt and produce an expense report and breakdown of expenditure using the data from each category . The upgrade costs around $2.49, and you can add multiple currencies and additional customized categories.

All in all, Trabee Pocket is sleek and an easy to use app that helps you to see how much you are spending and where you are spending it.


TripCoin is a concise and easy to use app that is available on iOS only. It is free to download , and there are no upgrade options at the present time. This smart app allows you to keep tabs on your spending at the touch of a button while making is super easy to add new entries when you need to.

Summary reports can quickly be compiled to let you see progress reports and spreadsheets, and you can even export the data to Excel, Numbers, Open Office, or Google to keep your inner accountant happy anywhere in the world.

Wally App

Wally was designed to help anyone to manage their finances, anywhere in the world easily. It promises to offer a simple, seamless tool that works in an intuitive way, making it super easy to keep track of your money on the move.

The basic version allows you to add details of all of your regular incoming and outgoings as well as inputting your day to day expenditure, creating groups to manage joint accounts, and splitting payments with your friends when you need to.

It can be set to your local currency and lets you divide your outgoings into easy to find pre-set categories. Available on both iOs and Android, you can upgrade to the paid-for version for $24.99 a year to enjoy unlimited trips and categories.


This is a brilliant invention for anyone traveling with friends. Available on both iOS and Android, you can download it for free, but an in-app upgrade is available to Splitwise Pro. No more scrambling around with a pen and paper to split the bill, this app allows you and your buddies to keep track of your shared expenses and balances at the touch of a button.

You can add a bill, and choose how to split it, or send text or email requests to remind your friends and family that payments are now due. You can also categorize your expenses, calculate amounts in over 100 different currencies, and even sync all of your expenditures with the Cloud.

If you want to keep a more detailed record of your accounts, this little app will also export the data into easy to read CSV reports.

Before you worry about how to manage your finances while you are away, you will need to devise a plan that gives you the funds to get you there in the first place. Unless you have been blessed with a sudden windfall or a lottery win, you will need to save your cents to achieve your goals.

Set a Savings Timeline

If you receive a regular wage, or you are able to forecast your earnings accurately, you can start to set a timeline on how long it will take you to save up for your vacation . If you put aside just $100 a month, for example, you will be able to have $1200 to play with in just a year. This amount may not pay for a new life abroad, but it could you buy a week by the ocean.

Bottom Line: Think of where you want to go to, find out how much it will cost, and then set a monthly savings goal and stick to it. Some months you may have to sacrifice on your social life or shopping habits, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Multiple Savings Accounts

Once you know how much you need to save each month, be sure to physically remove that money from your day to day bank account. Set up at least 1 separate savings account and electronically move it , or set up an automated payment to leave your regular account on payday.


Re-train your brain to save instead of spend, and you will be able to tally up every cent you save with something amazing . Your first $150 saved, for example, could mean that you have those tickets for that boat party in Miami in the bag, or that you are on your way to paying for a 4-star hotel instead of a mid-range one.

Whether you are dreaming of trekking up the Himalayas, backpacking around Asia, Interailing through Europe , or a long-awaited family vacation, seeing what your savings can afford will super motivate you to save more.

Wherever you are planning on traveling to, being in control of your finances will make your experience even more amazing. Worrying about getting into debt on your credit cards or not having the cash in your pocket to really explore the region will ruin your adventures.

Save hard, spend well, and look for ways to save money across every aspect of your trip. Plan your spending before you go and keep track of your expenditure while you travel. There are deals to be had on flights, accommodation, food, attractions, and almost every area of your next vacation. Plan in advance and enjoy knowing that you are having the best time for less.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can i travel with a low budget.

There are plenty of excellent places to travel on a low budget. Here are some great options:

  • South Africa

How much should I budget for a trip?

There are lots of factors that make up how much you should budget for a trip. Where you are going, the time of year, your travel style, what you want to do, and how long are you going for are just some of the considerations. It’s best to work out exactly what the trip would cost, cut out anything you can do without, and go from there.

How do I stick to a budget while traveling?

The best way to stick to a budget while traveling is to keep track of all your expenses so you know exactly where you are against your budget. The easiest way of doing this is to use a travel budget and expenses up like Trail Wallet, Trabee Pocket, or Tripcoin.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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Free Travel Budget Calculator To Help You Set A Trip Budget

By Jessie Festa. This budget calculator for travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for a free travel budget calculator to help you set a trip budget and stick to it?

Then you’re in the right place!

If you’re dreaming about your next vacation but feel overwhelmed by the financial planning it entails, don’t fret; I’ve got a solution that can help you manage your trip expenses in just a few clicks.

Welcome to my free Travel Budget Calculator – a simple yet powerful tool that takes the guesswork out of budgeting for your vacation, ensuring that you’re financially prepared for every part of your journey.

With escalating costs and numerous variables to consider, planning a budget for travel can often seem like navigating through a maze; however, my travel calculator simplifies this process, helping you create a comprehensive budget tailored to your unique travel needs.

And, that’s not all. Along with the free budget calculator for travel, I’ll also be sharing advice on how to properly create a trip budget as well as save money on travel.

Quick tip: Flights are often the most expensive aspect of your trip. Luckily, there are platforms that can help you easily find flight deals and error fares like Going (formerly Scott’s Cheat Flights) and FareDrop . In terms of accommodation, search Hostelworld for hostels (many of which have private rooms), consider housesitting through Trusted Housesitter s , book a vacation rental with a kitchen to save money on food through VRBO , or stay on free couches through Couchsurfing . And when it comes to car rentals, Discover Cars can help you quickly compare your options and save up to 70%! These are just a few of the many ways to score the best deals on travel. Keep reading for more!

Free Budget Travel & Planning Resources

But first, before we map out how to budget your trip, I invite you to grab access to my free  Ultimate Travel Planning Kit  — which includes 40+ travel resources — from printables to quizzes to itineraries — all meant to help you explore the world beyond the guidebook!

Some highlights of the kit include:

  • Trip budgeting calculators for road trips, backpacking, cruising & more
  • Free “Where Should You Travel Next?” personality quiz
  • Pre-plotted Google Maps for 45+ destinations
  • Printable travel journal with writing prompts
  • Packing lists for different types of trips

Once you’ve grabbed your copy , keep reading for tips on creating a travel budget as well as the vacation calculator.

budget calculator travel

Why Use A Travel Budget Calculator?

While travel is incredibly fulfilling, trip expenses can certainly add an element of stress. From airfare and accommodation to meals, sightseeing, shopping, and miscellaneous costs, managing finances effectively can become a daunting task.

That’s where the role of a travel budget calculator becomes crucial. While there are many reasons to use a budget calculator for travel, here are some of the main benefits:

1. Stress-free travel planning

First and foremost, a vacation budget calculator can dramatically ease your planning process. Instead of manually listing out and totaling all possible vacation expenses, the calculator does the heavy lifting for you. It’s an efficient tool that streamlines the entire budgeting process, helping you plan your trip without getting lost in a sea of numbers.

2. Customized trip budgeting

Not all travelers are the same, and neither are their budgets. For instance, creating a solo travel budget will look different than creating a budget for a luxury trip. By accounting for your unique needs and spending habits, it helps you make informed financial decisions that fit your travel aspirations.

3. Avoid spending surprises

Unanticipated costs can be a traveler’s worst nightmare. My trip budget calculator helps you avoid unpleasant financial surprises on your trip. By considering a comprehensive set of potential costs, it provides you with a realistic budget that takes into account everything from essential travel expenses to leisure activities and even potential emergency costs.

4. Financial control

By providing a clear financial roadmap for your journey, a vacation budget calculator enables greater financial control. You can track your expenditures, identify areas where you might be overspending, and adjust your budget accordingly.

5. Facilitates travel savings

When you have a clear understanding of your travel expenses, it becomes easier to identify areas where you can save money. A travel budget calculator can help pinpoint these opportunities, whether it’s choosing more budget-friendly accommodation, opting for public transport over taxis, or prioritizing your must-do activities.

travel budget calculator

Factors To Consider When Planning A Travel Budget

When it comes to travel budgeting, knowing what to include in your calculations can make all the difference. Here are some key factors that the below holiday budget calculator takes into account, providing you with an accurate and realistic travel budget:

1. Transportation

Transportation costs are often one of the largest expenses. Consider all forms of transportation you will need: flights, trains, buses, taxis, car rentals, or even ferries. Don’t forget to account for transportation to and from airports or train stations.

For instance, I know personally that taxis to and from JFK add up to about $200, which is a pretty solid dent in my travel spending.

2. Accommodation

Lodging costs can vary greatly depending on location, time of year, and the level of luxury you prefer. From budget hostels to luxury resorts, your accommodation choice plays a big role in your travel budget.

3. Food & Drink

Consider both dining out and grocery costs. Remember, touristy areas often have higher prices for meals, and don’t forget to include a budget for trying local delicacies or more upscale dining experiences if that’s your preference. Additionally, keep in mind that alcohol can increase your bill considerably.

4. Activities & Sightseeing

Whether it’s museum entrance fees, guided tours, or adventure activities, these trip costs can add up quickly. Research the costs of the attractions you want to visit and add them to your budget. If it makes sense, consider weaving in some free experiences.

5. Local Transportation

Consider the costs of getting around your destination. This might include public transportation, taxis, or the cost of gas or car rental for a road trip .

6. Shopping & Souvenirs

Whether it’s a postcard, a t-shirt, or local crafts, make sure you have a budget set aside for souvenirs and shopping if it makes sense for you.

7. Emergency Funds

It’s always a good idea to have some money set aside for unexpected costs. This could include anything from a sudden health issue to a lost passport or unplanned extra nights.

8. Travel Insurance

While it’s an added expense, travel insurance can save you a significant amount of money in the event of trip cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies. Personally, I recommend SafetyWing , which is budget-friendly while still providing robust coverage.

9. Tips & Gratuities

In many cultures, tipping is customary, and not accounting for it can lead to awkward situations. Research the tipping etiquette for your destination and include it in your budget. You might also download an app like Global Tipping to help.

10. Connectivity

Depending on your destination, you may need to consider the cost of local SIM cards or portable Wi-Fi devices to stay connected. Luckily, buying a SIM card in your destination is typically budget-friendly, as is buying an eSIM from a company like Airalo .

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Free Travel Budget Calculator (With Instructions)

Now let’s go over the vacation cost calculator itself and how to use it.

Step 1. Enter your intentended budget. Start by entering your intended trip budget at the top – as in, the total budget you plan to spend – and then your expenses in the following rows.

Pro tip: when creating your trip budget, I recommend considering what aspects of travel are most important to you as well as your unique travel style. For instance, if you’re like me and think experiences are what make travel special, you might allot more of your budget to the Activities category.

Step 2. Pay attention to travel category instructions. You’ll also want to note which categories ask you for your total spend, like Flights, and which ask you for your per day spend, like Food and Lodging.

Step 3. Adjust for how many people you’re traveling with. Finally, make sure to note how many travelers you’re calculating for, which will change the “per day per person” totals. If you only want to calculate the trip budget for yourself, enter “1” as the number of travelers.

Step 4. Calculate your vacation budget. Once you hit “Calculate,” the calculator will tally up your expenses and let you know if you’re over or under your budget – and by how much. You’ll also get a pie chart visually showing you where you’re spending the most money.

Step 5. Adjust your budget. With this information, you’ll be able to see exactly where you may be overspending as well as where you have some wiggle room. Adjust accordingly.

Instructional notes:

  • If there is a category where you’re spending $0, please put “0” in the line field. Otherwise, you may receive an error.
  • This holiday cost calculator looks at your per person, per day costs.
  • If you’d prefer to calculate by your total spend for each category – or if you’d like this calculator on its own standalone page to bookmark for later – please grab access to my free Travel Resource Library here . The library also includes other types of vacation spending money calculators for road trips, cruises, backpacking trips, and more!

Travel Budget Calculator

How to save money on travel.

One thing that makes sticking with a trip budget easier is knowing how to lessen your travel costs. A few important tips:

1. Choose your destination wisely

Calculating travel expenses typically begins with choosing your travel destination - which is one of the most important factors in your travel budget. Different locations have varying costs of living, affecting the price of accommodations, food, and activities. Research typical costs in your chosen destination to establish a baseline for your budget.

2. Consider your travel dates

Before you calculate vacation costs, realize that the time of year can also significantly impact the cost of your trip. Off-peak or shoulder seasons often offer reduced costs for flights and accommodations, while the high season can be much more expensive.

3. Use tools to find flight deals

Along with following flight deal accounts on social media - like @TheFlightDeal on Twitter - you can use platforms like Going (formerly Scott's Cheap Flights) and FareDrop to find low fares and error fares to save big.

4. Book accommodation beyond hotels

For instance, you can snag free accommodation through CouchSurfing , where you'll sleep on local couches, and TrustedHousesitters . Just note that with the latter you'll be expected to do something in return, such as housesit or pet sit.

Additionally, hostels offer affordable accommodation, and many even feature private rooms. You can peruse the Hostelworld website to quickly find great options.

5. Travel like a local

While a vacation mindset tends to lead to overspending, living in your destination like a local means being more savvy with your finances by taking public transportation, eating at non-touristy restaurants, or even cooking your own meals if you book a place with its own kitchen through a site like VRBO . This can really help you keep food costs down.

6. Get savvy with travel credit cards

First off, you'll definitely want to get a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. From there, you'll also want to consider whether you want a card with no annual fee, or if an annual fee makes sense for the additional travel perks - such as miles and points that you can redeem for free travel.

These strategies can bring your totals in the vacation budget calculator down quite a bit.

7. Book early

In general, booking airline tickets and hotels in advance can significantly affect your spending. You'll typically pay a lot more when leaving these big expenses until last minute.

8. Compare your rental car options

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9. Research airport transfers

Instead of simply arriving at the airport and hopping into a taxi, do your research to see what is the best option for getting to your hotel. While typically public transportation is the most budget-friendly, it's wise to factor in how long the trip will take and if you'll need to switch bus/train lines. In some cases, it'll make more sense to take a car or book an airport transfer even if it costs a bit more.

traveler paying with a travel credit card

Final Thoughts On Using A Travel Budget Calculator

Using a calculator to budget for travel can help you create an intentional budget and stick with it.

That being said, it's important to remember that the goal is not just to save money, but to make the most of your trip within your financial means.

Travel can be enjoyed at any budget level, so focus on creating memorable experiences rather than feeling obligated to do everything.

At the very least, you'll learn skills for keeping your total cost down so you can better plan ahead for your next trip!

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Travel Cost Calculator

Quick links, trip pricing calculator.

Travelmath provides an online cost calculator to help you determine the cost of driving between cities. You can use this data to figure out a budget for a road trip. The driving calculation is based on the average fuel efficiency of your vehicle, and you can change the gas mileage in mpg or L/100 km to match your exact make and model. Gas prices are automatically estimated based on current fluctuations, and again you can adjust these to fit your local gas station prices. Both U.S. and international units are available to make the calculations easier to use, and the output is given for both one-way and round trip travel routes.

Check the driving distance for your planned route, and see if the total driving time requires an overnight stay. If it's a long trip, you may want to research some hotels along the way . Or compare whether it's better to fly or drive to your destination.

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Travel Budget Calculator

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Your Ultimate Guide To Smart Travel Planning

Planning a trip can be exhilarating, but it often comes with the stress of managing finances. Fear not! With the Travel Budget Calculator, you can embark on your dream journey with confidence. In this guide, we’ll delve deep into the intricacies of budgeting for travel, empowering you to make informed decisions and maximize your experiences.

Understanding the Travel Budget Calculator

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Embarking on a journey starts with meticulous planning, and the Travel Budget Calculator serves as your trusty companion. This tool revolutionizes the way you approach travel expenses, offering a comprehensive overview of your financial landscape. By inputting essential details such as number of nights, duration, accommodation preferences, and activity interests, the calculator generates a personalized budget tailored to your preferences and constraints.

Vacation Budget Planner is the ultimate tool for travel budgeting! Easily estimate your trip expenses and budget your journey with precision using our user-friendly Travel Budget Calculator. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a month-long adventure, our tool helps you plan every aspect of your trip, from accommodation to transportation and meals.

Simply input your desired budget and our calculator will provide you with a detailed breakdown of estimated expenses, including flights, hotels, meals, and activities. Planning a trip for 4 days with a budget of $2000? No problem! Our tool helps you allocate your budget efficiently to make the most out of your travel experience.

With features like the Trip Expense Calculator and Vacation Budget Estimator, you can plan your itinerary with confidence, knowing exactly how much you’ll spend. Plus, our tool caters to every budget, whether you’re a backpacker on a shoestring budget or a luxury traveler looking for premium experiences.

Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to stress-free travel planning! Try our Travel Budget Planner today and make your dream trip a reality.

Benefits of Using the Travel Budget Calculator

Planning your itinerary can be overwhelming, but the Travel Budget Calculator simplifies the process. Here’s why incorporating this tool into your travel planning arsenal is a game-changer:

  • Efficiency in Planning: Say goodbye to tedious spreadsheets and guesswork. The Travel Budget Calculator streamlines the planning process, providing instant insights into your projected expenses. With a few clicks, you can fine-tune your budget and allocate resources efficiently, ensuring a hassle-free travel experience.
  • Financial Transparency: Transparency is key to effective budgeting, and the Travel Budget Calculator offers just that. By breaking down expenses across various categories such as transportation, accommodation, dining, and activities, you gain a clear understanding of where your money is allocated. This transparency empowers you to make informed decisions and prioritize experiences that matter most to you.
  • Flexibility and Customization : No two travelers are alike, and the Travel Budget Calculator recognizes that. Whether you’re a budget-conscious backpacker or a luxury seeker, this tool adapts to your preferences and constraints. Adjust parameters such as accommodation standards, dining preferences, and activity intensity to tailor your budget to your unique travel style.

Travel Budget Calculator: Your Key to Financial Freedom

In conclusion, the Travel Budget Calculator empowers you to embark on unforgettable journeys without compromising your financial stability. By leveraging its capabilities and implementing savvy budgeting strategies, you’ll unlock a world of possibilities and create cherished memories that last a lifetime. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your next adventure today and let the Travel Budget Calculator be your guiding light.

FAQs About Travel Budget Calculator

Below are some basic questions that arise while using a travel budget calculator.

Q. How does the Travel Budget Calculator work?

A. Calculating a travel budget isn’t rocket science; it’s just simple math. As we know, if we have exact numbers in front of us, decision-making becomes much easier. A Travel Budget Calculator simply provides us with all the expense numbers.

Q. Is the Travel Budget Calculator suitable for all types of travelers?

A. Absolutely! Whether you’re a budget-conscious backpacker, a luxury seeker, or somewhere in between, the Travel Budget Calculator adapts to your preferences and constraints. Simply adjust the parameters to align with your unique travel style and embark on your adventure with confidence.

Q. Can I trust the accuracy of the Travel Budget Calculator?

A. Yes, the Travel Budget Calculator is designed to provide accurate and reliable estimates based on the information provided. However, it’s essential to factor in unforeseen expenses and fluctuations in prices to ensure comprehensive budget planning.

Q. Can I save my budgeting preferences for future use?

A. Unfortunately, the Travel Budget Calculator does not currently offer a save feature but you can download it. However, you can easily recreate your budgeting preferences each time you plan a trip by inputting the relevant details into the calculator.

Q. How frequently should I update my travel budget?

A. It’s advisable to review and update your travel budget regularly, especially as your trip approaches and circumstances change. Factors such as fluctuating exchange rates, last-minute bookings, and unexpected expenses can impact your budget, so staying proactive is key to financial planning success.

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The 12 Best Budgeting Apps for Travelers

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Ashley Rossi

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

After interning at SmarterTravel, Ashley joined the team full time in 2015. She's lived on three continents, but still never knows where her next adventure will take her. She's always searching for upcoming destination hotspots, secluded retreats, and hidden gems to share with the world.

Ashley's stories have been featured online on USA Today, Business Insider, TripAdvisor, Huffington Post, Jetsetter, and Yahoo! Travel, as well as other publications.

The Handy Item I Always Pack : "A reusable filtered water bottle—it saves you money, keeps you hydrated, and eliminates waste—win-win."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience : "A week in a bamboo beach hut on India's Andaman Islands."

Travel Motto : "Travel light, often, and in good company."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat : "Window—best view in the house."

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While you’re stuck daydreaming about your next bucket-list vacation, why don’t you get a hold of your finances and make it a reality by first budgeting out your travel expenses? Whether it’s a road trip or international vacation that you’re planning, easily forgettable items like parking fees can add up. That’s why you should use a travel-specific budgeting app to help streamline your costs on your next trip. Here are 12 budget apps to help you plan your expenses.


PocketGuard App

Link all of your financial accounts and cards to this app, and it will automatically update and categorize your spending in real time. It then tells you what spending money you have with the “in my pocket” feature. It also automatically builds you a spending budget based on income, bills, and the goals you set. It even finds ways to lower some of your monthly bills for you … sign us up.

Download: iOS | Google Play


Tripcoin lets you enter in your expenses per day and even works offline. It then processes your spending to give you a spending summary of your trip, which you can export for other uses. This lets you see how much you’re spending on each category of your trip, broken down by day, so you can monitor your vacation expenses in real time.

Download: iOS

9 Sneaky Travel Costs You Might Forget to Budget For

Trip Expense Manager

Trip Expense Manager

The Trip Expense Manager app is ideal for large traveling groups that need help planning and monitoring travel expenses. For each trip you take, you can add Google users, a list of places to go, and expenses, and even mark who paid which bill.

Download: Google Play



I love TravelSpend for its easy-to-use features and simple design. How it works: You add expenses as they happen (the app works offline and even converts foreign currencies) and the app tracks your spending by total and by day. You can even follow your spending on a map throughout your vacation.

wally app screenshot

Wally connects to your current financial accounts and tracks your spending so you can get a handle on your cash flow and spending by category. Wally is useful because unlike some of the other budgeting apps, it lets you use private groups for managing trip spending or other budgets. You can even add reminders, notes, lists, documents, and comments.


Users love TripMate for its simplicity and easy-to-use features, plus it’s all free. This travel expense tracker app lets you create a trip and then add and remove users as needed. You can add expenses, receive a personalized summary, and even get hotel, and other booking-related information.

Trail Wallet

trail wallet travel budget app

If you’re looking for a travel-specific budget tool and expense tracker, this is your best bet. Input your expenses into Trail Wallet and the app will split them up based on category so you can get a closer look at your spending. Note that only the first 25 items you enter are free.

11 Budget Travel Lies You Should Stop Believing Right Now


This travel expense app makes splitting costs a breeze. Simply invite your travel partners to the trip you’ve created on the app, and each person can enter in his or her expenses. Once the trip is over (and all expenses have been entered) you can see who owes whom what amount.


Splitwise is another useful cost-tracking platform that easily lets you split group expenses while traveling. You can split by percentage or shares, and it’s even available in offline mode. It’s great for international trips, too, as the app is available in seven languages and over 100 currencies. Plus, it’s integrated with Venmo and PayPal for easy payback.

free travel cost

Mint is so much more than just a travel expense app—it connects with all of your bank accounts to give you an overall summary of your cash flow. You can then easily create a budget for different categories, like saving for a vacation.

30 Essential Non-Travel Apps for Travelers

The Bach

For those who have been involved in the planning of a bachelor or bachelorette party, you know the trials and tribulations that come with splitting large group expenses. This app was created specifically for those organizing large group trips and includes building an itinerary, polls, and chat features as well as ways to track payments and bar tabs within your group.

YNAB (You Need a Budget)

YNAB (You Need a Budget) is a popular software used for budgeting. While it’s slightly pricey ($84 annually), the positive reviews are endless. On the app version, you can set savings goals and itemize your vaca expenses. There is a free 34-day trial to get you started.

More from SmarterTravel:

  • Single Travel: Essential Tips for Planning a Solo Trip
  • 5 Ways to Stay Sane When Planning a Trip with Friends
  • The 7 Best Trip Planner Apps for Travelers

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on  Twitter   and  Instagram   for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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Save money on airfare by searching for cheap flight tickets on KAYAK. KAYAK searches for flight deals on hundreds of airline tickets sites to help you find the cheapest flights. Whether you are looking for a last minute flight or a cheap plane ticket for a later date, you can find the best deals faster at KAYAK.

New York Flights

  • Flight Chicago - New York (ORD - LGA) $40+
  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - Newark (FLL - EWR) $40+
  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - New York (FLL - LGA) $52+
  • Flight Miami - New York (MIA - LGA) $52+
  • Flight Atlanta - New York (ATL - LGA) $54+
  • Flight Orlando - Newark (MCO - EWR) $56+
  • Flight Atlanta - Newark (ATL - EWR) $65+
  • Flight Orlando - New York (MCO - LGA) $65+
  • Flight Houston - New York (HOU - LGA) $74+
  • Flight Dallas - New York (DFW - LGA) $80+
  • Flight Dallas - Newark (DFW - EWR) $85+
  • Flight Chicago - Newark (ORD - EWR) $89+
  • Flight Chicago - New York (ORD - JFK) $122+
  • Flight Los Angeles - New York (LAX - LGA) $126+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Newark (LAX - EWR) $129+
  • Flight Burbank - Newark (BUR - EWR) $192+
  • Flight Dallas - New York (DFW - JFK) $194+
  • Flight San Francisco - New York (SFO - LGA) $208+
  • Flight Seattle - Newark (SEA - EWR) $218+
  • Flight Ontario - New York (ONT - JFK) $256+
  • Flight San Francisco - Newark (SFO - EWR) $256+
  • Flight San Francisco - New York (SFO - JFK) $267+
  • Flight Los Angeles - New York (LAX - JFK) $289+
  • Flight Seattle - New York (SEA - JFK) $296+

Orlando Flights

  • Flight Atlanta - Orlando (ATL - MCO) $36+
  • Flight Baltimore - Orlando (BWI - MCO) $41+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Orlando (PHL - MCO) $41+
  • Flight Newark - Orlando (EWR - MCO) $51+
  • Flight Raleigh - Orlando (RDU - MCO) $58+
  • Flight Houston - Orlando (IAH - MCO) $59+
  • Flight Dallas - Orlando (DFW - MCO) $60+

London Flights

  • Flight New York - London (JFK - LGW) $310+
  • Flight New York - London (JFK - LHR) $325+
  • Flight New Windsor - London (SWF - STN) $360+
  • Flight New York - London (LGA - LHR) $363+
  • Flight Washington, D.C. - London (IAD - LHR) $380+
  • Flight Boston - London (BOS - LGW) $400+
  • Flight Washington, D.C. - London (IAD - LGW) $424+
  • Flight Boston - London (BOS - LHR) $430+
  • Flight Chicago - London (ORD - LHR) $447+

Fort Lauderdale Flights

  • Flight Atlanta - Fort Lauderdale (ATL - FLL) $38+
  • Flight Baltimore - Fort Lauderdale (BWI - FLL) $39+
  • Flight Dallas - Fort Lauderdale (DFW - FLL) $39+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Fort Lauderdale (PHL - FLL) $39+
  • Flight Raleigh - Fort Lauderdale (RDU - FLL) $39+
  • Flight Chicago - Fort Lauderdale (ORD - FLL) $40+
  • Flight Detroit - Fort Lauderdale (DTW - FLL) $40+

Boston Flights

  • Flight Baltimore - Boston (BWI - BOS) $40+
  • Flight Chicago - Boston (ORD - BOS) $50+
  • Flight Newark - Boston (EWR - BOS) $56+
  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - Boston (FLL - BOS) $59+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Boston (PHL - BOS) $59+
  • Flight Orlando - Boston (MCO - BOS) $67+
  • Flight Detroit - Boston (DTW - BOS) $71+

India Flights

  • Flight Dallas - New Delhi (DFW - DEL) $572+
  • Flight New York - New Delhi (JFK - DEL) $580+
  • Flight New York - Mumbai (JFK - BOM) $583+
  • Flight Washington, D.C. - New Delhi (IAD - DEL) $621+
  • Flight San Francisco - New Delhi (SFO - DEL) $649+
  • Flight San Francisco - Bengaluru (SFO - BLR) $650+
  • Flight San Francisco - Mumbai (SFO - BOM) $650+

Japan Flights

  • Flight New York - Tokyo (JFK - HND) $561+
  • Flight San Francisco - Tokyo (SFO - NRT) $641+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Tokyo (LAX - NRT) $642+
  • Flight New York - Tokyo (JFK - NRT) $675+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Tokyo (LAX - HND) $744+
  • Flight Seattle - Tokyo (SEA - NRT) $750+
  • Flight Seattle - Tokyo (SEA - HND) $751+

Phoenix Flights

  • Flight Ontario - Phoenix (ONT - PHX) $38+
  • Flight Salt Lake City - Phoenix (SLC - PHX) $43+
  • Flight San Diego - Phoenix (SAN - PHX) $50+
  • Flight Dallas - Phoenix (DFW - PHX) $54+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Phoenix (LAX - PHX) $55+
  • Flight Denver - Phoenix (DEN - PHX) $60+
  • Flight Portland - Phoenix (PDX - PHX) $60+

Honolulu Flights

  • Flight Los Angeles - Honolulu (LAX - HNL) $214+
  • Flight San Diego - Honolulu (SAN - HNL) $227+
  • Flight San Jose - Honolulu (SJC - HNL) $247+
  • Flight San Francisco - Honolulu (SFO - HNL) $252+
  • Flight Ontario - Honolulu (ONT - HNL) $258+
  • Flight Oakland - Honolulu (OAK - HNL) $265+
  • Flight Seattle - Honolulu (SEA - HNL) $297+

Los Angeles Flights

  • Flight Oakland - Los Angeles (OAK - LAX) $39+
  • Flight Salt Lake City - Los Angeles (SLC - LAX) $39+
  • Flight San Francisco - Los Angeles (SFO - LAX) $42+
  • Flight San Jose - Los Angeles (SJC - LAX) $76+
  • Flight Dallas - Los Angeles (DFW - LAX) $78+
  • Flight Houston - Los Angeles (HOU - LAX) $79+
  • Flight Houston - Los Angeles (IAH - LAX) $79+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Los Angeles (MSP - LAX) $86+
  • Flight Portland - Los Angeles (PDX - LAX) $89+

Chicago Flights

  • Flight Atlanta - Chicago (ATL - ORD) $50+
  • Flight Denver - Chicago (DEN - ORD) $52+
  • Flight New York - Chicago (LGA - ORD) $53+
  • Flight Dallas - Chicago (DFW - ORD) $55+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Chicago (PHL - ORD) $56+
  • Flight Boston - Chicago (BOS - ORD) $61+
  • Flight Orlando - Chicago (MCO - ORD) $61+

Denver Flights

  • Flight Dallas - Denver (DFW - DEN) $38+
  • Flight Ontario - Denver (ONT - DEN) $55+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Denver (MSP - DEN) $58+
  • Flight Chicago - Denver (ORD - DEN) $65+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Denver (LAX - DEN) $75+
  • Flight Austin - Denver (AUS - DEN) $78+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Denver (PHL - DEN) $81+

Washington, D.C. Flights

  • Flight Boston - Baltimore (BOS - BWI) $40+
  • Flight Atlanta - Baltimore (ATL - BWI) $44+
  • Flight Chicago - Baltimore (ORD - BWI) $69+
  • Flight Houston - Baltimore (HOU - BWI) $73+
  • Flight Houston - Baltimore (IAH - BWI) $73+
  • Flight Dallas - Baltimore (DFW - BWI) $78+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Baltimore (LAX - BWI) $101+
  • Flight Boston - Washington, D.C. (BOS - DCA) $133+
  • Flight Houston - Washington, D.C. (HOU - DCA) $143+
  • Flight Seattle - Baltimore (SEA - BWI) $148+
  • Flight Dallas - Washington, D.C. (DFW - DCA) $154+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Washington, D.C. (MSP - DCA) $154+
  • Flight Boston - Washington, D.C. (BOS - IAD) $159+
  • Flight Chicago - Washington, D.C. (ORD - DCA) $179+
  • Flight Atlanta - Washington, D.C. (ATL - IAD) $189+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Washington, D.C. (LAX - DCA) $194+
  • Flight Seattle - Washington, D.C. (SEA - DCA) $194+
  • Flight Atlanta - Washington, D.C. (ATL - DCA) $196+
  • Flight San Francisco - Baltimore (SFO - BWI) $197+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Washington, D.C. (LAX - IAD) $204+
  • Flight Dallas - Washington, D.C. (DFW - IAD) $209+
  • Flight San Francisco - Washington, D.C. (SFO - DCA) $220+
  • Flight Seattle - Washington, D.C. (SEA - IAD) $285+
  • Flight San Francisco - Washington, D.C. (SFO - IAD) $290+

Atlanta Flights

  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - Atlanta (FLL - ATL) $24+
  • Flight Baltimore - Atlanta (BWI - ATL) $35+
  • Flight Houston - Atlanta (HOU - ATL) $38+
  • Flight Houston - Atlanta (IAH - ATL) $38+
  • Flight Orlando - Atlanta (MCO - ATL) $38+
  • Flight Miami - Atlanta (MIA - ATL) $39+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Atlanta (PHL - ATL) $39+

United States Flights

  • Flight Newark - Miami (EWR - MIA) $39+
  • Flight Newark - Fort Lauderdale (EWR - FLL) $40+
  • Flight New York - Miami (LGA - MIA) $52+
  • Flight New York - Fort Lauderdale (LGA - FLL) $56+
  • Flight New York - Orlando (LGA - MCO) $64+

Hawaii Flights

  • Flight Los Angeles - Hawaii (LAX - USHI) $214+
  • Flight San Francisco - Hawaii (SFO - USHI) $225+
  • Flight San Diego - Hawaii (SAN - USHI) $227+
  • Flight San Jose - Hawaii (SJC - USHI) $247+
  • Flight Ontario - Hawaii (ONT - USHI) $258+
  • Flight Seattle - Hawaii (SEA - USHI) $295+
  • Flight Las Vegas - Hawaii (LAS - USHI) $348+

Tampa Flights

  • Flight Atlanta - Tampa (ATL - TPA) $38+
  • Flight Baltimore - Tampa (BWI - TPA) $45+
  • Flight Atlantic City - Tampa (ACY - TPA) $50+
  • Flight Raleigh - Tampa (RDU - TPA) $54+
  • Flight Detroit - Tampa (DTW - TPA) $61+
  • Flight Cincinnati - Tampa (CVG - TPA) $66+
  • Flight Chicago - Tampa (ORD - TPA) $67+

Houston Flights

  • Flight Atlanta - Houston (ATL - IAH) $39+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Houston (PHL - IAH) $46+
  • Flight Miami - Houston (MIA - IAH) $49+
  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - Houston (FLL - IAH) $57+
  • Flight Orlando - Houston (MCO - IAH) $59+
  • Flight Chicago - Houston (ORD - IAH) $61+
  • Flight Detroit - Houston (DTW - IAH) $61+

Las Vegas Flights

  • Flight Los Angeles - Las Vegas (LAX - LAS) $24+
  • Flight Burbank - Las Vegas (BUR - LAS) $27+
  • Flight Santa Ana - Las Vegas (SNA - LAS) $38+
  • Flight Oakland - Las Vegas (OAK - LAS) $39+
  • Flight Dallas - Las Vegas (DFW - LAS) $50+
  • Flight Seattle - Las Vegas (SEA - LAS) $51+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Las Vegas (MSP - LAS) $58+
  • Flight Denver - Las Vegas (DEN - LAS) $62+
  • Flight Detroit - Las Vegas (DTW - LAS) $67+
  • Flight Houston - Las Vegas (HOU - LAS) $76+
  • Flight Houston - Las Vegas (IAH - LAS) $76+
  • Flight San Francisco - Las Vegas (SFO - LAS) $80+
  • Flight Baltimore - Las Vegas (BWI - LAS) $86+
  • Flight Atlanta - Las Vegas (ATL - LAS) $89+

Miami Flights

  • Flight Atlanta - Miami (ATL - MIA) $38+
  • Flight Baltimore - Miami (BWI - MIA) $39+
  • Flight Dallas - Miami (DFW - MIA) $39+
  • Flight Chicago - Miami (ORD - MIA) $40+
  • Flight Philadelphia - Miami (PHL - MIA) $40+
  • Flight Charlotte - Miami (CLT - MIA) $47+
  • Flight Houston - Miami (HOU - MIA) $61+
  • Flight Houston - Miami (IAH - MIA) $61+
  • Flight Boston - Miami (BOS - MIA) $73+
  • Flight Raleigh - Miami (RDU - MIA) $75+
  • Flight Detroit - Miami (DTW - MIA) $100+
  • Flight New York - Miami (JFK - MIA) $117+
  • Flight Cleveland - Miami (CLE - MIA) $121+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Miami (LAX - MIA) $123+
  • Flight Denver - Miami (DEN - MIA) $133+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Miami (MSP - MIA) $141+
  • Flight Washington, D.C. - Miami (DCA - MIA) $159+
  • Flight Salt Lake City - Miami (SLC - MIA) $162+
  • Flight Seattle - Miami (SEA - MIA) $179+
  • Flight Ontario - Miami (ONT - MIA) $187+

San Francisco Flights

  • Flight Ontario - San Francisco (ONT - SFO) $36+
  • Flight Los Angeles - San Francisco (LAX - SFO) $42+
  • Flight San Diego - San Francisco (SAN - SFO) $69+
  • Flight Santa Ana - San Francisco (SNA - SFO) $97+
  • Flight Phoenix - San Francisco (PHX - SFO) $99+
  • Flight Denver - San Francisco (DEN - SFO) $123+
  • Flight Dallas - San Francisco (DFW - SFO) $134+
  • Flight Seattle - San Francisco (SEA - SFO) $143+
  • Flight Burbank - San Francisco (BUR - SFO) $157+
  • Flight Chicago - San Francisco (ORD - SFO) $175+
  • Flight Houston - San Francisco (HOU - SFO) $180+
  • Flight Austin - San Francisco (AUS - SFO) $183+
  • Flight Minneapolis - San Francisco (MSP - SFO) $184+
  • Flight Philadelphia - San Francisco (PHL - SFO) $187+

Seattle Flights

  • Flight Ontario - Seattle (ONT - SEA) $68+
  • Flight Phoenix - Seattle (PHX - SEA) $71+
  • Flight San Diego - Seattle (SAN - SEA) $72+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Seattle (LAX - SEA) $82+
  • Flight San Jose - Seattle (SJC - SEA) $100+
  • Flight Santa Ana - Seattle (SNA - SEA) $100+
  • Flight Denver - Seattle (DEN - SEA) $108+

Paris Flights

  • Flight Washington, D.C. - Paris (IAD - CDG) $289+
  • Flight Baltimore - Paris (BWI - CDG) $292+
  • Flight Boston - Paris (BOS - CDG) $298+
  • Flight New Windsor - Paris (SWF - CDG) $311+
  • Flight Newark - Paris (EWR - ORY) $351+
  • Flight New York - Paris (JFK - ORY) $352+
  • Flight New York - Paris (JFK - CDG) $369+

Europe Flights

  • Flight New York - Rome (JFK - FCO) $342+
  • Flight Newark - Barcelona (EWR - BCN) $363+

Florida Flights

  • Flight Atlanta - Florida (ATL - USFL) $38+
  • Flight Dallas - Florida (DFW - USFL) $39+
  • Flight Newark - Florida (EWR - USFL) $39+
  • Flight New York - Florida (LGA - USFL) $52+
  • Flight Boston - Florida (BOS - USFL) $56+
  • Flight Chicago - Florida (ORD - USFL) $63+
  • Flight New York - Florida (JFK - USFL) $111+

Dallas Flights

  • Flight Houston - Dallas (HOU - DFW) $46+
  • Flight Atlanta - Dallas (ATL - DFW) $58+
  • Flight Minneapolis - Dallas (MSP - DFW) $58+
  • Flight Fort Lauderdale - Dallas (FLL - DFW) $59+
  • Flight Chicago - Dallas (ORD - DFW) $60+
  • Flight Orlando - Dallas (MCO - DFW) $65+
  • Flight Los Angeles - Dallas (LAX - DFW) $66+

San Diego Flights

  • Flight San Jose - San Diego (SJC - SAN) $40+
  • Flight Phoenix - San Diego (PHX - SAN) $48+
  • Flight Sacramento - San Diego (SMF - SAN) $48+
  • Flight Oakland - San Diego (OAK - SAN) $57+
  • Flight Dallas - San Diego (DFW - SAN) $62+
  • Flight Seattle - San Diego (SEA - SAN) $64+
  • Flight Houston - San Diego (HOU - SAN) $65+

Frequently asked questions

What do i need to know before booking a flight.

There are various factors to consider when booking a flight including cost, fare classes, baggage policies, the complications of flying long haul, and complying with airport regulations. To make your booking journey smoother KAYAK has developed a comprehensive flight guide including insights on finding affordable flights, packing efficiently, and utilizing the best travel tools.

What is the cheapest day of the week to book a flight?

The best day to book your flight depends on a number of factors, but there are general trends that you can follow to increase your chances of cheaper plane tickets. Based on an analysis of KAYAK data for all flights departing from inside United States over the last 12 months, the cheapest day to fly for domestic flights is Wednesday. For international flights, Tuesday had the cheapest tickets on average.

Which month of the year are flight prices lowest?

It’s well established that flights in the low season are generally cheaper than ticket prices during the high season. That means that knowing which month to find the lowest priced plane tickets will depend heavily on seasonality and your destination. While avoiding peak travel times can help you keep costs down, our data shows that the month with the lowest priced plane tickets for domestic flights based on all searches made on KAYAK in the last 12 months was January, while the most expensive was May. If you’re booking an international flight, then January is the cheapest month to fly and June the most expensive.

When is the best time to buy plane tickets - Last minute or in advance?

Last minute flight deals are definitely up for grabs but when exactly to purchase your plane tickets will depend on where you’re traveling to and from. Based on all data for flight searches made on KAYAK over the last 12 months, prices for domestic flights remained below the average price up to 1 weeks before departure. For international flights, deals could still be had up to 1 weeks prior to the departure date, with prices remaining below average. If you’re flexible, KAYAK brings you both advance and last minute one-way and round-trip flight deals.

Can flying international flights with a layover save money on airfare?

For many long-haul international flights, flying non-stop is not possible and you will have to fly with a layover. Some routes will offer both and you could consider flying with a layover for a number of reasons. Firstly, breaking up what would otherwise be a long-haul flight, taking a rest and then completing the journey might make the flight more manageable. Secondly, prices can also be lower than non-stop flights, so while it might take longer for you to reach your destination, you could save money. We’ve looked at prices over the last 12 months for the 100 most popular international destinations for KAYAK users and on average, prices for non-stop flights were cheaper than flights with a layover.

How does KAYAK find such low flight prices?

KAYAK processes over 2 billion flight queries annually and displays results from hundreds of airlines and third party sites, allowing it to find a variety of flight prices and options. It also displays results from 2M+ properties along with rental cars, vacation packages, activities and millions of verified reviews so users can see as many available travel options as possible.

How do I find the best flight deals on KAYAK?

A simple flight search at https://www.kayak.com/flights scans for prices on hundreds of travel sites in seconds. We gather flight deals from across the web and put them in one place. Then on the search results page you can use various filters to compare options for the same flight and easily choose the best flight deal from all of the deals coming straight from the travel sites to your screen, with no extra fee from KAYAK.

How can Hacker Fares save me money?

Hacker Fares allow you to combine one-way tickets on different airlines when it can save you money over a traditional round-trip ticket.

Does KAYAK query more flight providers than competitors?

Yes, KAYAK has access to more data and information than online travel agencies and consistently outperforms the competition in accuracy, globally.

How does KAYAK's flight Price Forecast tool help me choose the right time to buy?

KAYAK's flight Price Forecast tool uses historical data to determine whether the price for a given destination and date is likely to change within 7 days, so travelers know whether to wait or book now.

What is KAYAK's "flexible dates" feature and why should I care?

Sometimes travel dates aren't set in stone. If your preferred travel dates have some wiggle room, flexible dates will show you flights up to 3 days before/after your preferred dates. That way, you can see if leaving a day or two earlier will find you a better deal. You can also select the flexible "weekend" or "month" search options to widen your search range and find the cheapest price that works for you.

Search cheap flights with KAYAK. Search for the cheapest airline tickets for all the top airlines around the world, airports around the world and the top international flight routes . KAYAK searches hundreds of travel sites to help you find cheap airfare and book a flight that suits you best. Since KAYAK searches many plane tickets sites at once, you can find cheap tickets from cheap airlines and for trains and buses quickly.

KAYAK also helps you find the right hotels for your needs.

Travel Budget Worksheet

Are you planning a major trip? Will you be able to stay within your budget? Rather than just spending without a plan and then dealing with the debt for the next few years, use our travel budget template to list your travel expenses. It will help you estimate your total travel costs and see if you will be able to take your trip without going over budget.

Travel Budget Worksheet | Travel Cost Estimator

License : Private Use (not for distribution or resale)

Authors: Jon Wittwer and Jim Wittwer


This travel budget template makes it easy to enter your travel expenses for your next trip. The top section allows you to set a total budget, and as you enter your travel costs you can quickly see where the money is going, how much extra you'll have, or how much you'll need to add to your budget.

The worksheet is set up to let you enter a quantity and unit cost for each item. For example, for lodging you can enter the number of nights you will be staying and the cost per night. If you will be driving rather than flying, you can enter the total miles and the cost per mile. Remember to include both fuel and wear as part of the cost (see the link below for what the IRS uses as the standard mileage rate - $0.56/mile in 2014).

Additional Resources

  • Be sure to check out our Travel Itinerary and Packing List templates.
  • IRS Publication showing Standard Mileage Rates at irs.gov - You might consider using the standard mileage rate if you are estimating the cost of driving.
  • Tips for Creating a Budget for Travel at wikihow.com - This article is actually a really good resource to help you remember what to consider when budgeting for a trip.

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Related templates.

Thumbnail - Travel Itinerary Template

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How to Get Cheap Last-Minute Flights, According to the Experts

By Mark Ellwood and Blane Bachelor

How to Get Cheap LastMinute Flights According to the Experts

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Taking a spontaneous trip is one of the most rewarding forms of travel. Finding cheap last-minute flights, on the other hand, can feel like an impossible barrier to flying by the seat of your pants. But booking with low-cost carriers isn't the only way to avoid forking over exorbitant fares. There are last-minute deals to be found—if you know where and how to look.

Before you get started, having a basic grasp of how airlines determine their ticket prices can be helpful. Increasingly, airlines are implementing what’s known as dynamic pricing, a model used by hotels and other segments across the travel industry. With dynamic pricing, airfare costs go up or down depending on market conditions, which means the same seats on the same flight can be sold for many different prices at different times depending on the specific airline's pricing algorithm.

Fortunately, a growing selection of technological tools with predictive features take the guesswork out of knowing when the best time to buy flights is—or when you should wait it out. Along with a few time-tested guidelines, getting the best deal doesn’t have to be a stressful, time-consuming task.

If you feel like you're the only flier still paying full-price for airfare–or feeling overwhelmed by all the newsletters and flight deals to keep track of—don’t fret. We've assembled the best tips and tricks from frequent travelers and budget travel gurus to ensure you can take those spontaneous trips without breaking the bank.

Take advantage of tech tools

Tech tools can be a traveler’s secret weapon to scoring a cheap flight—and there are more options than ever to choose from.

Already a favorite for its functionality, Google Flights upgraded its ability to tell passengers exactly when to buy tickets (or wait) with a feature it launched in August 2023 backed by trends data on and around the flight route and trip dates. Google Flights also has a handy tracking feature that notifies you by email when prices drop on routes that you have specified. In fact, Google is so confident in its predictive data that it will guarantee the lowest fare on select flights ; if you buy a flight marked with the colorful price guarantee badge, Google Flights will pay you the difference (up to $500 per year) if the airfare decreases after you book.

Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) is another fan favorite for its ability to deliver excellent flight deals straight to your inbox. There’s a free option, but for the most serious savings, consider the Premium or Elite membership options, the latter of which also includes some great deals on business class fares.

Other platforms, including Hopper and KAYAK , also have features that notify passengers via email when prices drop on preferred routes. Via Hopper’s “Price Prediction” tool, passengers can choose whether to “book now” or “watch this trip.”

Avoid peak travel periods

A virtually guaranteed way to save money on flights (and battle with fewer tourists at your destination)? Avoid flying to destinations during peak travel times.

Times depend on the destination, but passengers can keep in mind a few general rules of thumb. For example, flying to Europe during the summer months of June, July, and August in Europe is almost always more expensive than a trip during the fall or winter (except around Christmas, another peak travel period). Similarly, the Caribbean heats up with visitors during the cold weather months, followed by spring break crowds, from December through April.

The bottom line: aim for the offseason whenever you can for more affordable flights and an unforgettable experience.

Be flexible with destinations and dates

Travel experts often advise checking to see if flying a day earlier or later or from a nearby airport—options that are now offered on most online search sites—might result in cheaper fares. But for bigger savings, consider extending your flexibility to the destination as well. If your dates are fixed, browse the options on Skyscanner , which allows users to select “explore everywhere” as the destination. Then skim for the best value over a certain timeframe.

When flying to Europe, remember that you don’t need your ultimate destination to be your first stop. If direct flights to Paris are pricey, look around and see if routes to, say, Amsterdam are cheaper on those dates. Then, you can take a budget airline for the final leg—instead of sacrificing your comfort for the entire long-haul journey.

Huw Owen, cofounder of TravelLocal , an agency that specializes in creating uniquely local trips, also advises looking at “secondary and tertiary cities” throughout Europe. “This is a great option for those who are doing a week- or two-weeklong itinerary in a particular country, where it doesn't matter where you land and you can have your local operator collect you and start the adventure from there,” Owen explains. “We're seeing this above all in Europe, where the competition with low-cost airlines has allowed secondary cities to become the new gateways to a destination, for example flying into Porto instead of Lisbon in Portugal. And in Georgia you can now fly to the historical city of Kutaisi, which is a lot cheaper than flying into the capital, Tbilisi .”

Take advantage of waived change fees

One traveler-friendly benefit from the pandemic: Many airlines finally scrapped those dreaded change fees once and for all—hallelujah! So if you see a too-good-to-pass-up deal, grab it while it’s still available—and if you do end up changing it, you won’t take as big of a hit. “The reason this is beneficial for last-minute bookings is if you're especially worried that the fare might drop after you book, now you're covered,” explains Scott Keyes, founder of Going. “If you pay $300 for your flight and a few days after booking the price drops to $200, you can rebook it at the new price and get the $100 difference back in flight credit.”

Search for fares individually

It takes some extra time, but searching for a single seat—even if you’re flying with a family of four—can save you big. The reason? Airlines’ automated pricing systems are poorly designed and will only look for four seats of the same exact price, returning you a quote of $400 each, perhaps.

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If there’s one or more in a lower fare class —a seat priced at $320, say—the system will overlook that in favor of consistency as it can’t divide up the query. Search by single seat, though, and the system will find that cheaper seat —savings that can really add up when you’re traveling with a group. Just make sure to link the reservations together after you finish booking so the airline knows you’re all flying together. “Most airline phone agents should be able to walk you through this, though any travel agent can do it quicker and easier,” says Brandon Berkson, founder of trip-planning service HAP Concierge .

In the same way, always check one-way flights alongside returns, especially on domestic trips, since stitching together an itinerary by taking one carrier outbound and another return could offer some savings, too. And if you’re looking at different seat prices within the same class, keep in mind that airlines' clunky systems struggle with combining different classes on the same itinerary. Say you want to take an economy round-trip flight, but only premium economy seats are left on one leg. The booking system will adjust the price or force you into the higher category to reflect that difference. Book each leg separately, and you can avoid that risk.

Timing is everything (kind of)

Another good rule of thumb for cheap last-minute flights: There is no secret time to score the perfect deal. While some research says flights are cheaper on certain days of the week (a 2024 report by Expedia found airfare is, on average, the least expensive on Sundays and the most expensive on Fridays), it usually isn't that simple.

Generally, the best prices tend to drop off once the flight is less than three weeks out. If it’s 21 days before you plan to travel and you haven’t seen a flight deal to your destination, go ahead and book. That’s because airlines’ automated fare systems are configured to treat later bookings as last-minute business traveler flights and price them accordingly (high, in other words). Case in point: Going’s Keyes watched one trip stay at $489 for weeks, before booking on day 21; just 24 hours later, the same flight cost $630. “The 21-Day Rule is still the gold standard if there's a flight you're looking at and it's getting close and you're trying to decide whether to book or not,” he says.

To get a jump on booking for winter holidays in 2024, consider that most airlines release their tickets between six and 11 months out—so it’s never too early to keep an eye on fares to snag early deals (and the best selection). But according to Google Flights , for mid-December trips, it could pay off to wait a little closer to booking, as average prices tended to be lowest 71 days before departure, based on the most recent data.

If you haven’t yet firmed up your summer vacation plans for 2024 , it’s time to get moving—especially if you have your eyes set on Europe. Per Google Flights, the best time to book flights from the US to Europe is at least 72 days prior to departure. And flights to Europe tend to increase over time, especially at about 10 weeks prior to departure.

Try a last-minute rewards search

Last-minute flights can be a smart time to burn off frequent flier miles , as airlines will sometimes release unsold seats as cheaper-than-normal mileage tickets. Don’t just search online for these, though; sometimes, it may be worth calling the airline’s customer service number or chatting online with a rep, even if the rewards app or website shows no redemption opportunities.

This is also a good time to make sure you’re using the right credit card for your travel habits and airline loyalty, which can easily pay for flights through points. There’s a learning curve involved, but it’s never a bad time to get started, especially since most major credit cards offer significant sign-up bonuses several times a year. All major airlines have their own credit card (or one that’s co-branded with a bank), and most major banks, including Chase, CitiBank, and Bank of America, also offer travel-specific cards that can offer big-time savings on flights (plus hotels and more travel expenses). Take a peek at the deals on offer—and how you can snag them—with our monthly Points and Miles Travel Deals column .

Consider fifth freedom flights

Fifth freedom flights , in which an airline offers service between two countries outside of its home base, can be a boon to budget-minded travelers for several reasons. First of all, they’re often serviced by larger aircraft on popular international routes, which means more competition and lower prices, and they also sometimes offer overlooked frequent-flier availability—all of which can translate into significant savings, not to mention a superior onboard experience.

Beware of ‘skiplagging’

Say you need to fly from DC to Dallas , but the price is too high. Since booking a longer flight with a layover is usually significantly cheaper than a non-stop route, some passengers might book a flight from DC to Los Angeles via Dallas, and deplane in Dallas with no intention of traveling on the next leg. This controversial tactic is known as a “hidden-city ticket” or “skiplagging."

Skiplagged is the best-known search engine for this workaround, but be super careful if you decide to give it a go. The tactic is strictly prohibited in many airlines’ contracts of carriage, so if they catch you flying this way, your ticket could be invalidated—or even worse, you could be sued . United Airlines and American Airlines have both cracked down on passengers taking advantage of hidden city booking in recent years.

Hidden-city tickets "can get travelers cheaper fares, but there are significant potential problems if you're caught," says  Brett Snyder , president of Cranky Concierge . "It's just not worth it, especially for the casual traveler who won't really fully understand the potential ramifications.”

Don’t be afraid to ask for a deal in person

Instead of shelling out big bucks online for an upgrade, try a more human approach—a strategy that paid off big-time for Kimberley Lovato , a travel writer who specializes in France, on a transatlantic flight from San Francisco to Amsterdam about five years ago. At the check-in desk at SFO, Lovato jokingly asked the agent whether anyone had bought one of the $10,000 business class upgrades she’d been monitoring online. No, the agent replied, but did she want one?

Not for $10K, Lovato responded, countering with $400—and, to her surprise, the agent said, “Done!”

“I’m not sure if it was because she was in a good mood or I just got lucky, but it made my flight, for sure,” Lovato says. The moral of the story: “You never know. More times than not, I’ve asked for things that seemed crazy and gotten them.”

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Free volunteer abroad programs are the best way to experience meaningful travel opportunities when you are on a budget ... read more

Free volunteer abroad programs are the best way to experience meaningful travel opportunities when you are on a budget. Cheap or even free volunteer opportunities can make an impact as big as any other program and is a great option for volunteers willing to go back to basics.

Volunteering abroad gives you the chance to meet locals while you work for affordable or even free projects. South America . Cheap and even free volunteering programs are everywhere. A budget doesn't need to hold you back from volunteering abroad!

Primary School Support In Rural Kwahu Mountains

Provide a supporting role within our schools that extremely lack resources. Run tutoring sessions covering English and core subjects as well as teaching assistance. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="0" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Dog Sanctuary Supporter

Our Dog Sanctuary is a place where the dogs can roam free. They live in the house where you are staying; a unique experience to learn about the dogs and connect with them landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="1" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

School Construction Associate

Calling all aspiring adventurers! Join Maya Universe Academy's construction team in Nepal. Make a meaningful impact, and embrace a vibrant culture. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="2" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

English Teaching & Tutoring in Rural Schools

Help out in schools to assist with the teaching and understanding of the English language. Providing a strong foundation for the children to develop. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="3" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Reforestation and Afforestation in Kwahu Mountains

Combat climate change and the affects of deforestation by growing seedlings, planting trees and working alongside the local communities on educational outreaches. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="4" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Wildlife Rehabilitation - a Jungle Adventure

Interested in animals and nature conservation? This is your place. Come help us save the rainforest and its amazing creatures. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="5" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

English Teacher Supporter & Cultural Exchange Trip

Bangkok WAT ARUN Area COOKING CLASS + FREE TOUR INCLUDED We offer you to work other provinces after you will work in Bangkok 2 weeks : Chiang Mai Phuket, Nan,River Kwai landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="6" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Sports Education & Coaching

Run a variety of sports focused programs from physical education lessons in school, after school sports clubs to coaching local academy teams. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="7" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Football Academy Support

Assist at a local youth football/soccer academy to help grow and nurture the local children's talent and passion for the game. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="8" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Teaching Children and Assisting Teachers

We run a school which help children from low income families to have access of getting free education where local teacher and volunteers conduct lessons to our children landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="9" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Green Farming Assistant

Experience the joy of sustainable farming! Join Maya Universe Academy's farm team in Nepal. Embrace organic practices, connect with nature. Volunteer now! landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="10" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Teaching Assistant in Community School

Passionate about education? Join Maya Universe Academy as a volunteer teacher in Nepal. Inspire young minds, make a difference. Apply now! landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="11" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Teaching Primary and Secondary Schools

Teaching children age 3-14 in public and private school, as well as in the library. Depending on your skillset, subjects can vary: English, Mathematics, Science,... landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="12" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Support the Biggest Recycling Village in the World

Project Wings is building the biggest Recycling Village in the world out of plastic garbage, so-called Ecobricks. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="13" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Building & Painting Of Rural Schools (Renovation)

Improving local facilities by renovating unsafe structures and creating positive learning environments through painting and creative wall displays. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="14" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Care for Rescued Wildlife

Ambue Ari is a Wildlife Sanctuary that cares for over 70 animals, of more than 20 different species, specialising in the care of large felines. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="15" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Help Renovation / Construction at Primary Schools

This project is perfect for anyone eager to use their hands to help. If you want to see tangible results from your volunteer work, join our Building Project. landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="16" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Building an Outdoor Activity Camp

Help to build an outdoor activity camp! landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="17" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Nunnery and Monastery Supporter

Teaching English to Nuns and Monks around Nepal famous cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara for good karma . landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="18" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Environmental Conservation Assistant

Support a women's group with beach-clean ups, water filtration and tree planting on the way to financial independence in Zanzibar landing-page#addSelectItemEventToDataLayer" data-landing-page-item-index-param="19" class="text-[#3399CC] ssm:hidden"> Details >

Cheap Volunteering Abroad

Are you excited about volunteering until you see the price tag? We hear you. Volunteering doesn’t only require an investment of your time, it can also cost a fair amount of money. Although the money is invested in the program to support their activities, not all volunteers are able to fund this cost. Luckily, there are organizations that have kept volunteering affordable. This allows eager volunteers who are on a budget to work their magic abroad and help out those in need. Help the local community or volunteer for a conservation program, there are several options for volunteers on a budget or who want to volunteer abroad for free.

At Volunteer World, we believe that volunteering should be accessible to everyone. Joining a volunteer organization can add up price-wise making it seem like volunteering is reserved for those who can afford it. Nothing is less true. There are a large number of organizations out there that will go easy on your wallet. Continue reading to find answers to 2 major questions: how to volunteer abroad for free and where to volunteer abroad for free. Join a meaningful cause and help local communities or the environment without breaking the bank.

🤑 How to Volunteer Overseas for Free

Volunteering abroad for free is possible. There are programs that don’t require fee. Take into account the location of your volunteer program, however, because travel costs are always separate. To keep the cost of your volunteer adventure low, it will be important to keep an eye on how you will organize your trip. Opt to volunteer close to home to keep travel expenses low or select destinations that are cheap to get to. If you’re excited about volunteering and don’t mind roughing it for a bit, you will definitely find free or very affordable volunteer projects to join and make a difference.

Keep in mind that certain programs that are free don’t include any accommodation. You will need to arrange this yourself which in some cases may turn out to be more expensive than paying the volunteer organization a low fee while they provide you with accommodation. Be sure you take into account the whole picture.

👍🏽 Pros and Cons of Free Volunteer Programs

At Volunteer World, we believe that everyone can find a volunteer project that they like. If you’re on a tight budget and are on the fench whether volunteering is for you, take a look at the pros and cons:

  • The opportunity to volunteer abroad and contribute to a meaningful cause by helping a community in need or preserving the environment.
  • You will be able to volunteer together with others who have similar values.
  • Volunteer projects that are budget friendly usually have the right priorities. There’s little chance there’s any corruption at play. They simply want you to dedicate your time to the program.
  • This is the ideal opportunity to meet and connect with other like-minded individuals and the locals.
  • You may not have access to all volunteer programs this way because not every program is as budget friendly.
  • Depending on the location of the program, the travel costs may make the volunteer experience a lot more pricey.

Depending on what you would like to do, get in touch with the organization and see whether they will accept you as a candidate. It’s a matter of connecting with the program and checking whether there is a match between the requirements of the organization and your skills. Organizations are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are eager to help out. Volunteer and teach English for free, join a free mission trip if you’re limited in time or volunteer abroad for free with animals.

By volunteering your time, effort, and skills, you are helping volunteer organizations reach their goals to support the community. With limited to no financial costs, you can make a meaningful difference in the world and enjoy the wonderful benefits volunteering brings with it.

There are more and more projects dedicated to improving the circumstances of those less fortunate and taking action to reverse the damage done to the environment. All these organizations need help. Check out affordable programs where you can make a difference without losing lots of money.

Will you be making a difference? Money is absolutely not a requirement to make a meaningful difference. The most important aspect of a volunteer program is the cultural interchange and social contact between the volunteer and the locals. You will carry this experience with you forever and it may be the start to many more volunteer initiatives to come. Give volunteering abroad, whether it’s free or on a budget, a try and see how it can change your life. It will be an experience no money can buy.

Is volunteering in developing countries condescending? Some claim that volunteering portrays a message that communities are unable to solve problems on their own. The goal of volunteer projects should always be to empower local communities and give them the support they need to take their future into their own hands. It’s important to join a reputable organization that understands the needs of the community and is dedicated to helping the community progress. Take a very good look at the different budget-friendly volunteer programs, read the reviews, ask questions and select a program that inspires you.

🤔 What Kind of Free Volunteer Programs are There?

There are several opportunities to volunteer abroad for free or a very affordable price. It essentially comes down to where you want to go and the type of project. High school students who want to volunteer abroad for free may take into account their passions or their future studies. College students can volunteer abroad for free and combine it with an internship. There are over 300 projects under 150 USD per week, in the following categories:

  • Animal conservation center or wildlife sanctuary
  • Agricultural or farm work
  • Cultural immersion programs
  • Environmental conservation
  • Humanitarian work
  • Community Service
  • Health care

There are several volunteer opportunities that won’t break the bank. Your passion and skills will determine where your international volunteer adventure will take you.

💡 Good to Know When Choosing a Free Volunteer Program

Because there are plenty of affordable and free programs to choose from, the most important aspect of choosing a great program is that you do enough research on the different volunteer organizations and try to answer the following questions:

  • What does the organization stand for?
  • What is their objective and how are they trying to achieve it?
  • How are the funds they receive spent?
  • How do you think you will contribute?
  • What do you think the effect of your volunteer work will be?

Legitimate Volunteer Organizations

Read about the organization and ask previous volunteers about their experience. There are wonderful organizations that are doing very responsible work which you can be part of. If you don’t have a lot to spend, take into account the travel costs and choose a program closer to home.

Child protection policy

Be especially careful when you volunteer for projects with children. Do your due diligence prior to signing up. There are projects out there that are doing more harm than good by taking advantage of the volunteer industry and exploiting local families. We have attempted to screen these organizations but you make the final call. Choose your program wisely and you will be in for an incredible experience and supporting a meaningful cause.

🌍 Best Places to Volunteer Abroad for Free

When you’re on a budget, it’s important to take into account what things will cost during your trip. In most cases, you’ll still need to pay for food at times and you may want to travel around.

Asia is probably your cheapest option when it comes to travel and accommodation. Africa is also a low budget destination although it may be a bit more expensive in travel expenses. This is your chance to explore some of the world’s most exotic destinations and contribute to conservation or humanitarian support. Volunteers who don’t want to travel too far can also apply for opportunities closer to home. European volunteers can lookout for opportunities to volunteer abroad for free in Europe. Take into account your health and level of physical fitness and choose a volunteer project where you can participate comfortably.

🎁 5 Benefits of Volunteering Abroad for free

Not many drawbacks come to mind when you think of volunteering overseas for free. It’s almost always associated with feelings of positivity. A volunteer project allows people to get out of their usual environment and open up to new experiences. If you’re conscious about not spending too much money, join one of the free or affordable volunteer programs abroad and support the local community. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits:

Valuable Learning Opportunities

Meet new people, new experiences, health improvements, 🚀 how do i volunteer abroad for free.

You’ve decided you want to volunteer abroad in a budget-friendly manner but you’re not quite sure where to start? First of all, have a look at the different programs under the free volunteering category. Pick a few that have caught your attention. Consider the travel costs that are required for your trip because this can get expensive when you’re keeping an eye on the budget.

Once you’ve done that, let’s take a look at the first 3 steps which will send you on your way to volunteering abroad:

  • Check whether there’s a match between you and the project by looking at their requirements.
  • Take a look at the location of the program and decide whether it would be a place you are excited to go to.
  • Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and schedules match up.

Once this is sorted, let’s take a look at the practical steps:

Insurance (Health & travel)

We recommend getting both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is even a requirement for all volunteer programs abroad. Get in touch with your program contact person to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.

Visa, Passport, and Documentation

Once you know your destination, take the following 3 steps before setting off on your life-changing adventure!

  • Look into the visa requirements for the country you will volunteer in
  • Make sure everyone has valid passports considering the requirements of the host country
  • Make sure you prepare the correct documents to fulfill the visa application

That’s it! You’re ready to volunteer abroad! Get ready for a life-changing international experience that will have an incredible impact on those in need as well as yourself. The world is waiting for volunteers with a heart in the right place. It’s priceless!



12 Wallet-Draining Vacation Costs That Expert Travelers Cut Years Ago

Posted: October 31, 2023 | Last updated: April 7, 2024

<p> When planning a vacation, it’s easy to focus on big-ticket items: the flights, hotels, experiences, and nights out to eat. </p><p>However, there are plenty of other travel costs that are a lot less obvious but can really add up. Even if you use one of the <a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-travel-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=1&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=best+travel+credit+cards&synd_backlink_position=1&synd_slug=top-travel-credit-cards">best travel credit cards</a>, these extra expenses can make future trips less feasible. </p><p>Expert travelers cut (or minimized) these expenses years ago — it's how they keep traveling. And you can on your next trip, too.</p><p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/top-travel-credit-cards?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=1&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=Compare+the+best+travel+credit+cards+for+nearly+free+travel&synd_backlink_position=2&synd_slug=top-travel-credit-cards">Compare the best travel credit cards for nearly free travel</a>   </p>

When planning a vacation, it’s easy to focus on big-ticket items: the flights, hotels, experiences, and nights out to eat. 

However, there are plenty of other travel costs that are a lot less obvious but can really add up. Even if you use one of the best travel credit cards , these extra expenses can make future trips less feasible. 

Expert travelers cut (or minimized) these expenses years ago — it's how they keep traveling. And you can on your next trip, too.

Compare the best travel credit cards for nearly free travel

<p> Part of the budgeting process should include transportation — not just to your destination but also to other excursions where you might need to take a cab, Uber, or Lyft.  </p> <p><a href="https://financebuzz.com/ways-to-travel-more?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=2&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=Savvy+travelers&synd_backlink_position=3&synd_slug=ways-to-travel-more">Savvy travelers</a> know that taking public transportation is likely the most affordable option when it’s available. To avoid exorbitant rideshare costs, familiarize yourself with your destination's public transit systems and chart your routes. </p><p>  <p class=""><a href="https://financebuzz.com/extra-newsletter-signup-testimonials-synd?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=2&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=Get+expert+advice+on+making+more+money+-+sent+straight+to+your+inbox.&synd_backlink_position=4&synd_slug=extra-newsletter-signup-testimonials-synd">Get expert advice on making more money - sent straight to your inbox.</a></p>  </p>

Taxi and rideshare costs

Part of the budgeting process should include transportation — not just to your destination but also to other excursions where you might need to take a cab, Uber, or Lyft.

Savvy travelers know that taking public transportation is likely the most affordable option when it’s available. To avoid exorbitant rideshare costs, familiarize yourself with your destination's public transit systems and chart your routes. 

Get expert advice on making more money - sent straight to your inbox.

<p> If you’re heading to a hot tourist destination, the price of food — including on-the-go drinks and snacks — is likely to be high. </p> <p> Savvy travelers save money by packing snacks or looking for cheap places off the beaten path. You might find some cheap grub just a short walk away from areas tourists frequent. </p>

Extra snacks and drinks

If you’re heading to a hot tourist destination, the price of food — including on-the-go drinks and snacks — is likely to be high.

Savvy travelers save money by packing snacks or looking for cheap places off the beaten path. You might find some cheap grub just a short walk away from areas tourists frequent.

<p> Enrolling in frequent-flyer programs is a great way to save money, but there are occasions when travelers still have to pay certain fees just to use their miles.  </p> <p> For example, you might be charged a “redemption fee.” Policies vary from airline to airline, so double-check before using miles to book.</p><p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/money-moves-after-40?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=4&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=10+brilliant+ways+to+build+wealth+after+40&synd_backlink_position=5&synd_slug=money-moves-after-40">10 brilliant ways to build wealth after 40</a>  </p>

Frequent-flyer booking fees

Enrolling in frequent-flyer programs is a great way to save money, but there are occasions when travelers still have to pay certain fees just to use their miles.

For example, you might be charged a “redemption fee.” Policies vary from airline to airline, so double-check before using miles to book.

10 brilliant ways to build wealth after 40

<p> Some hotels allow guests to park for free, but others charge a fee to leave their car in the lot. Check the hotel’s website beforehand to get an idea of what the daily parking fee is.  </p> <p> If you plan to drive to and leave your car at the airport, expect parking fees there too. Be sure to crunch the numbers; it might be less expensive to take a cab or public transit to and from the airport.  </p>

Hotel and airport parking fees

Some hotels allow guests to park for free, but others charge a fee to leave their car in the lot. Check the hotel’s website beforehand to get an idea of what the daily parking fee is.

If you plan to drive to and leave your car at the airport, expect parking fees there too. Be sure to crunch the numbers; it might be less expensive to take a cab or public transit to and from the airport.

<p> If you opt for an Airbnb over a hotel, have a firm understanding of additional fees that might be tacked on.  </p> <p> The benefit of hotels over Airbnb is that hotels tend to include cleaning services in the price of the room. Airbnb hosts often choose to charge additional cleaning fees, even if they ask guests to tidy up. </p><p class="">Luckily, Airbnb now includes all fees in the listed price. Choose your accommodations wisely.</p>

Airbnb cleaning fees

If you opt for an Airbnb over a hotel, have a firm understanding of additional fees that might be tacked on.

The benefit of hotels over Airbnb is that hotels tend to include cleaning services in the price of the room. Airbnb hosts often choose to charge additional cleaning fees, even if they ask guests to tidy up.

Luckily, Airbnb now includes all fees in the listed price. Choose your accommodations wisely.

<p> Many travelers jump at a bargain flight deal, only to find that they also owe carry-on or checked-bag fees. </p> <p> Make sure you’re clear on the carry-on, checked bag, and oversized luggage policy when you’re booking an airline ticket. These extra baggage fees can add up quickly.</p><p class="">To avoid the fees entirely, pack lightly and efficiently. Many accommodations will offer laundry services that, if they cost anything, are likely more affordable than airline fees.</p><p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/retire-early-quiz?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=7&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=Will+you+be+able+to+retire+early%3F+Take+this+quiz+to+find+out.&synd_backlink_position=6&synd_slug=retire-early-quiz">Will you be able to retire early? Take this quiz to find out.</a>  </p>

Checked or overweight baggage fees

Many travelers jump at a bargain flight deal, only to find that they also owe carry-on or checked-bag fees.

Make sure you’re clear on the carry-on, checked bag, and oversized luggage policy when you’re booking an airline ticket. These extra baggage fees can add up quickly.

To avoid the fees entirely, pack lightly and efficiently. Many accommodations will offer laundry services that, if they cost anything, are likely more affordable than airline fees.

Will you be able to retire early? Take this quiz to find out.

<p> Avoid converting currency at the airport at all costs. Airports and exchange counters in high-tourist areas tend to charge hefty fees when exchanging currency. </p> <p> Instead, see if you can exchange currency at your bank before heading out on vacation. It’s wise to add this task to your to-do list in the weeks before a big trip in case your bank needs to order the currency.  </p>

Currency exchange fees

Avoid converting currency at the airport at all costs. Airports and exchange counters in high-tourist areas tend to charge hefty fees when exchanging currency.

Instead, see if you can exchange currency at your bank before heading out on vacation. It’s wise to add this task to your to-do list in the weeks before a big trip in case your bank needs to order the currency.

<p> You may owe a fee if you withdraw money from an ATM that's not associated with your bank. Foreign transaction fees also can be common while traveling abroad.  </p> <p>If you're traveling for an extended period and run out of cash, make one large cash withdrawal to avoid repeated fees — both at the ATM and the checkout counter (if you're in another country).</p>

You may owe a fee if you withdraw money from an ATM that's not associated with your bank. Foreign transaction fees also can be common while traveling abroad.

If you're traveling for an extended period and run out of cash, make one large cash withdrawal to avoid repeated fees — both at the ATM and the checkout counter (if you're in another country).

<p> Check your cell phone provider’s rates for international travel. This is another money-waster that many travelers tend to overlook when planning a trip.  </p> <p> If the price is a bit hefty, purchase a prepaid global SIM card before traveling. Since the cards are prepaid, you know you won’t be going over budget.</p><p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/southwest-booking-secrets-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=10&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=9+nearly+secret+things+to+do+if+you+fly+Southwest&synd_backlink_position=7&synd_slug=southwest-booking-secrets-55mp">9 nearly secret things to do if you fly Southwest</a>  </p>

Cell phone fees

Check your cell phone provider’s rates for international travel. This is another money-waster that many travelers tend to overlook when planning a trip.

If the price is a bit hefty, purchase a prepaid global SIM card before traveling. Since the cards are prepaid, you know you won’t be going over budget.

9 nearly secret things to do if you fly Southwest

<p> Airport shops are notoriously overpriced, no matter what you’re buying. Financially savvy travelers know to bring snacks to avoid eating in the airport if possible.  </p> <p>When you do need to buy food or drinks at the airport, keep things simple. Remember, items such as alcoholic drinks are especially costly.</p>

Eating and drinking at the airport

Airport shops are notoriously overpriced, no matter what you’re buying. Financially savvy travelers know to bring snacks to avoid eating in the airport if possible.

When you do need to buy food or drinks at the airport, keep things simple. Remember, items such as alcoholic drinks are especially costly.

<p> Many hotels offer free Wi-Fi, but travelers should never assume anything is included unless it is explicitly stated.  </p> <p> There may be an additional fee for Wi-Fi inside the hotel room, for example. If this is the case, local coffee shops or libraries could be solid free options.</p>

Many hotels offer free Wi-Fi, but travelers should never assume anything is included unless it is explicitly stated.

There may be an additional fee for Wi-Fi inside the hotel room, for example. If this is the case, local coffee shops or libraries could be solid free options.

<p> Some countries actually charge visitors a “departure fee” before they leave. These fees vary a great deal and may even change based on the airport you fly out of. </p> <p>This expense is unavoidable, but make sure to look into your destination’s traveler fees before booking. You don't want to get caught with too little funds at the end of your journey.</p><p class="">Of course, if you minimized the previous expenses, you shouldn't have to worry about coming up short.</p><p>  <a href="https://financebuzz.com/manage-money-retirement-with-500000?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=13&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=5+things+you+need+to+know+before+retiring+with+%24500%2C000&synd_backlink_position=8&synd_slug=manage-money-retirement-with-500000">5 things you need to know before retiring with $500,000</a>  </p>

Departure fees

Some countries actually charge visitors a “departure fee” before they leave. These fees vary a great deal and may even change based on the airport you fly out of.

This expense is unavoidable, but make sure to look into your destination’s traveler fees before booking. You don't want to get caught with too little funds at the end of your journey.

Of course, if you minimized the previous expenses, you shouldn't have to worry about coming up short.

5 things you need to know before retiring with $500,000

<p>To make the most of your travel budget, make sure you plan ahead, book hotels with the amenities you need, and watch for hidden airline and airport fees.</p> <p>Smart vacation planning involves considering the oft-forgotten costs of traveling. Doing this can help you <a href="https://financebuzz.com/clever-debt-payoff-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=14&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=stay+out+of+debt&synd_backlink_position=9&synd_slug=clever-debt-payoff-55mp">stay out of debt</a> as you enjoy your time away.</p><p>  <p class=""><b>More from FinanceBuzz:</b></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.financebuzz.com/shopper-hacks-Costco-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=14&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=6+genius+hacks+Costco+shoppers+should+know&synd_backlink_position=10&synd_slug=shopper-hacks-Costco-55mp">6 genius hacks Costco shoppers should know</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/recession-coming-55mp?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=14&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=9+things+you+must+do+before+the+next+recession.&synd_backlink_position=11&synd_slug=recession-coming-55mp">9 things you must do before the next recession.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/offer/bypass/637?source=%2Flatest%2Fmsn%2Fslideshow%2Ffeed%2F&aff_id=1006&aff_sub=msn&aff_sub2=&aff_sub3=&aff_sub4=feed&aff_sub5=%7Bimpressionid%7D&aff_click_id=&aff_unique1=%7Baff_unique1%7D&aff_unique2=&aff_unique3=&aff_unique4=&aff_unique5=%7Baff_unique5%7D&rendered_slug=/latest/msn/slideshow/feed/&contentblockid=2708&contentblockversionid=18929&ml_sort_id=&sorted_item_id=&widget_type=&cms_offer_id=637&keywords=&ai_listing_id=&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=14&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=Can+you+retire+early%3F+Take+this+quiz+and+find+out.&synd_backlink_position=12&synd_slug=offer/bypass/637">Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.</a></li> <li><a href="https://financebuzz.com/extra-newsletter-signup-testimonials-synd?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=feed&synd_slide=14&synd_postid=14224&synd_backlink_title=9+simple+ways+to+make+up+to+an+extra+%24200%2Fday&synd_backlink_position=13&synd_slug=extra-newsletter-signup-testimonials-synd">9 simple ways to make up to an extra $200/day</a></li> </ul>  </p>

Bottom line

To make the most of your travel budget, make sure you plan ahead, book hotels with the amenities you need, and watch for hidden airline and airport fees.

Smart vacation planning involves considering the oft-forgotten costs of traveling. Doing this can help you stay out of debt as you enjoy your time away.

More from FinanceBuzz:

  • 6 genius hacks Costco shoppers should know
  • 9 things you must do before the next recession.
  • Can you retire early? Take this quiz and find out.
  • 9 simple ways to make up to an extra $200/day

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Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Last Updated: November 27, 2023

A lone person standing on lush, green rice terraces in Southeast Asia on a bright sunny day

Backpackers have been traveling through Southeast Asia since the late 1960s and early 1970s, leaving a well-worn trail around the region.

Starting in beautiful Thailand, the trail makes its way to up-and-coming Laos, through Vietnam, and to the temples of Angkor Wat. It then winds back into Thailand, where people head south to party in the Thai islands before moving down to Malaysia and Singapore.

There are a few variations to the trail, but this is what it mostly covers.

I’ve been visiting this region since 2004 and spent years living in Thailand . I love backpacking Southeast Asia and have written extensively about it as I know it like the back of my hand.

It’s an especially great region for new travelers because it’s easy to travel around, it’s safe, and there are lots of other travelers you can meet. But it’s also perfect for veteran travelers too as there are tons of off-the-beaten-path destinations that the standard backpacker trail doesn’t cover.

In short, Southeast Asia has something for every traveler — and every budget.

This Southeast Asia travel guide will help you travel the region like a pro, ensuring you save money and make the most of your time in this fun, gorgeous, and lively corner of the world.

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Southeast Asia

Click Here for Country Guides

Top 5 things to see and do in southeast asia.

A lone person standing on lush, green rice terraces in Southeast Asia on a bright sunny day

1. Admire Angkor Wat

One of the greatest human creations in history, the Angkor Wat temple complex is best explored over the course of a few days. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site created by the Khmer Empire and absolutely enormous. Temples to visit include Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple which has 216 gigantic stone face carvings, and Ta Prohm. I spent three days here and that simply wasn’t enough. A one-day pass is $37 USD, while a 1-week pass is $72 USD. If you’re here for multiple days, be sure to hire a driver and see some of the more out of the way ruins away from the main temple complex (and the crowds).

2. Explore Bangkok

Bangkok is the hub of travel activity in Southeast Asia. You can get anywhere you want from here. Though I hated it at first, the more I’ve spent time here the more I love it. Bangkok is like an onion whose many layers need to be peeled back. Some things not to miss include the spectacular Bangkok Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Chatuchak Market and Asiatique, and a canal trip on the Chao Phraya River. This is a city for foodies and wild nightlife.

3. Relax on some tropical islands

No visit to Southeast Asia would be complete without a visit to at least one of the thousands of tropical islands in the region. My top five include the Perhentian Islands (Malaysia), Rabbit Island (Cambodia), Ko Lanta (Thailand), and Boracay (Philippines). Lombok Island (Indonesia) has a chill vibe with unspoiled, perfect “desert island” beaches. There’s so many islands to visit. Be sure to add at least one to your trip. The country guides will have more information for you.

4. See Ha Long Bay

Sailing trips to this island-filled bay with stunning emerald waters, limestone formations, and marine life give you an appreciation for the natural beauty in Vietnam. Tours from Hanoi start at around $110 USD for two-day trips and increase from there. I love the colorful grottoes, hanging stalactites, and stalagmites of Surprise Cave (Sung Sot), Fairy Cave (Tien Ong), and Heaven Palace (Thien Cung). Make sure you go with a reputable company though as some of the cheaper boats are less than ideal. If you’d rather just visit for one day, day trips from Hanoi cost $55 USD.

5. Wander Kuala Lumpur

Other things to see and do in southeast asia, 1. go jungle trekking.

This region of the world is covered in amazing jungles with diverse wildlife, plentiful camping opportunities, and cool waterfalls. The best jungle treks are found in northern Thailand, Western Laos, and Malaysian Borneo (the latter are also the hardest and most intense). Some of my favorites include Danum Valley (Borneo) for its incredible wildlife; Ratanakiri (Cambodia) for its pristine wilderness and thousand-year-old trees; and Pu Luong Nature Reserve (Vietnam). Costs vary but jungle trekking generally costs $30-50 USD per day.

2. Attend the Full Moon Party

The biggest one-night party in the world welcomes up to 30,000 people with a party that stretches until dawn. Cover yourself in glow paint, grab a bucket of booze, and dance the night away with new friends on the island of Ko Phangan in Thailand. As the name would suggest, the party is on the night of the full moon. If you miss it, there’s always the half-moon party, quarter-moon party, and black-moon party. Really, every night is a party on Ko Phangan . Just avoid the flaming jump rope that occurs — I’ve seen people get burned badly!

3. Learn to dive

There are many great dive sites around the region for those interested in underwater exploration. You can learn to dive here at a fraction of what it would cost back home too. Some of the best places are Ko Tao (Thailand), Sipadan (Malaysia), as well as Gili Islands (Indonesia) and Coron, Palawan (The Philippines). A typical diving course is completed in three days. A PADI course typically runs $275 USD in Thailand, including three nights’ accommodation, though at smaller schools you can often negotiate down to $250 USD. Day trips for certified divers start at $165 USD. For information on Ko Tao, check out this blog post .

4. Eat street food in Singapore

Singapore is a foodie’s heaven. Try the hawker stalls of Singapore as well as Little India and Chinatown for some of the best and cheapest food in Asia. If you’re looking for a nice place to sit down and eat, eat at Singapore’s famed restaurants during lunch when restaurants offer discounts, making them a great deal. You’ll also find the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants here (Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice and Hawker Chan), offering world-class meals for just a couple of bucks!

5. Overload on temples

You can’t turn a corner without seeing a Buddhist temple in this part of the world. You’ll get temple overload at some point but visit as many as you can as each is unique to the country and region of the temple. There are so many places with high concentrations of ornate and beautiful temples. Check out Chiang Mai’s Wat Doi Suthep Temple and hike up the 300 steps to the golden Chedi that’s 600 years old!; Bagan’s Shwesandaw Pagoda from the 11th century with its stunning golden dome; Angkor Wat’s Ta Prohm is covered in iconic vines and enveloped in ancient jungle roots; Hue’s colorful Thien Mu Pagoda is perched atop a lush green embankment; Hoi An’s Quan Cong Temple with incredible Chinese architecture with hand-carved beauty and skill, and Luang Prabang’s Vat Xieng Thong with its golden, canopied roof. Most are free to enter, however, dress codes are enforced (you need to have your shoulders and legs covered).

6. Dive Sipadan

Located off Malaysian Borneo, Sipadan is one of the best dive sites in the world. If you have your dive certificate, make sure you venture out here. I absolutely love this area because it’s teeming with live turtles, diverse cave systems, sharks, dolphins, colorful coral, bright fish, and everything in between. Not a lot of people make it to this part of Malaysia, but it’s worth it to go the extra mile and make your way off the tourist trail a bit. Don’t miss Barracuda Point and The Drop-Off. Keep in mind that only 176 permits to dive at the island are issued each day, costing 140 MYR per person. The resorts on the neighboring islands each get a specific number of permits per day and require divers to stay with them for a few days. So you’ll need to stay at those resorts and dive into the surrounding areas before they can get you a Sipadan permit.

7. Fall in love with Bali

Bali is the most popular destination in Indonesia, and its famous Kuta beach is known for its wild parties and surfing ( though I think it’s overrated ). However, there is much more to Bali than just wild nights and sun-soaked days. If you’re a thrill seeker, hike up to the top of Mount Batur, an active volcano, for a breathtaking sunrise. Paragliding and white water rafting are also super popular here, as is surfing (it’s an affordable place to learn if you’ve never done it). There are also lots of hot springs to enjoy, the Ubud Monkey Forest (a popular temple and nature reserve home to hundreds of monkeys), and numerous places to scuba dive, including the Liberty wreck and Manta Point.

8. Take in Ho Chi Minh City

Frantic, chaotic, and crazy, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is the embodiment of the controlled chaos that rules Southeast Asia. You can’t quite figure out how this teeming mass of people and cars work together, but it does. Highlights here include touring the tunnels used by the Viet Cong in the 1960s, taking in the view from the Saigon Skydeck, eating your way through the street food scene, and seeing the city’s numerous temples.

9. Admire the sunrise over an Indonesian Volcano

One of the most popular tourist attractions on Java is Mount Bromo and its National Park. Don’t miss out on getting a photo of the smoldering Bromo volcano as it lies surrounded by the almost lunar landscape of the Sea of Sand. Get up early to catch one of the most memorable sunrises of your life. If you’re there in mid-August, you’ll be just in time to see Upacara Kasada, the traditional Hindu ritual of the Tenggerese, a Javanese tribe of the region.

10. Hike in Khao Sok National Park

Located in southern Thailand, Khao Sok National Park is constantly rated as one of the best parks in Thailand, with incredible trekking, camping, limestone karsts, cooling rivers, and a glistening lake. Visit for semi-challenging hikes, tons of wildlife, walking paths, and breathtaking sunsets. Park entrance costs around $6 USD while full-day guided tours are $95 USD. I highly recommend spending at least one night here to get the full experience.

11. Visit Kampot

Most people come to Kampot to enjoy the scenic riverside views, as well as the rolling hills that surround the city. Since you can explore easily enough on foot or by bicycle, Kampot is a great place to slow down and relax. There’s not much to do here but have lazy days by the river, chill, and eat (don’t miss the famous Rusty Keyhole for BBQ!). Don’t miss the pepper farms, as this region of Cambodia is filled with pepper farms where you can learn about the history of the spice, see how it is grown, and pick up what is considered some of the finest pepper in the world. Tours are usually free.

12. Take a cooking class

Food from this region is as varied as the countries themselves and learning how to cook a few dishes is a great souvenir of your time here. Even if you don’t plan to cook back home, you can still spend a day making and eating scrumptious food. Most big cities have cooking schools offering classes of 2-6 hours, often including a trip to the local market beforehand to select ingredients. I absolutely love cooking classes and urge you to take one at least once. They are a fun experience!

13. Take a food tour

If you’d rather eat instead of cook, taking a food tour is a fun way to gain insight into the region’s amazing noodle dishes, fresh seafood, sweets, and street food while learning about the history and culture behind the cuisine. Most major cities in Southeast Asia offer food tours. These include tours around local markets, street stalls, and tours to locally-owned restaurants and cafes where you can sample the local cuisine and connect with a local chef. If you’re nervous about street food, this is a great way to try some in a controlled setting. Tours usually last 2-4 hours and include multiple stops and several different dishes, with prices costing $40-75 USD per person.

14. Visit an elephant sanctuary

While riding an elephant is on many a Southeast Asia bucket list, once you know how much the animals suffer from abuse in order to provide these rides, you might think twice about taking one. An even better way to interact with elephants is to volunteer at or visit the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai in Thailand. It’s a phenomenal place, allowing you to give back to the community and these magnificent animals all at once. After coming here, you will understand why you should NEVER ride an elephant. A one-day visit costs $70 USD.

15. See The Killing Fields

A visit to Choeung Ek, also known as the Killing Fields, may not be the most cheerful way to spend an afternoon, but it makes for an educational and memorable experience. Over 3 million people were killed by Pol Pot’s regime, including countless women and children. I recommend getting a guide so you can really understand what you’re seeing as you explore the area. Also, this horrific tragedy took place less than 50 years ago and is still very present so please be respectful as a visitor.  The site is located 10 miles from Phnom Penh. Half-day guided tours start at $66 USD.

16. Swim with Whale Sharks in Donsol

If you’re in the Philippines, check out the Donsol Whale Shark Interactive Ecosystem Project because there are not many experiences quite as adrenaline-inducing as swimming with a whale shark for the first time in crystal waters. These incredible creatures are around 45 feet (14 meters) long and yet incredibly gentle and curious. I loved floating at the surface being able to look below and see them slowly swim below me. Get some people together and rent a boat for a half day, explore the area, and go ‘shark-seeing’ for a good cause.  

  For a ton more information, visit my country specific travel guides for more detailed information on each place:

  • Cambodia Travel Guide
  • Indonesia Travel Guide
  • Laos Travel Guide
  • Malaysia Travel Guide
  • Singapore Travel Guide
  • Thailand Travel Guide
  • Vietnam Travel Guide

Southeast Asia Travel Costs

A lone person standing on lush, green rice terraces in Southeast Asia on a bright sunny day

Accommodation – Accommodation in Southeast Asia is really cheap, making it the perfect place to travel if you are on a budget. Hostels are plentiful, as are budget guesthouses and hotels. It’s also very cheap to splash out here if you’re in need of some luxury.

Generally, you can find hostel dorm rooms for as little as $6-8 USD in Cambodia and $3-6 USD in Laos. In Thailand, 4-6-bed dorm rooms are $8-12 USD, while in Vietnam you can expect to pay $5-7 USD. In Indonesia, prices range between $5-10 USD for a 4-6-bed dorm room. Expect to pay at least $15-20 per night for a private room with air conditioning. Free Wi-Fi is standard in most hostels, free breakfast is common, and many hostels even have pools. In more remote areas, hot water isn’t common so make sure to check in advance if that’s an issue for you.

Simple guesthouses or bungalows throughout Southeast Asia generally cost $12-20 USD per night for a basic room with a fan (sometimes air conditioning) and hot water. If you want something nicer that includes a more comfortable bed and a TV, expect to pay $25-35 USD per night.

For backpackers, budgeting around $10 USD per night for accommodation is pretty safe no matter where you go in Southeast Asia. If you’re looking for a higher-end hotel room with more amenities, expect to pay $20-50 USD per night for a room. Anything over that is luxury territory.

Camping is available in certain areas, usually for just a few dollars per night for a basic tent plot without electricity. However, this is about the same price as hostels so it’s not really any cheaper.

Food – While each country’s cuisine varies, overall, Southeast Asian food is aromatic, spicy, and flavorful. Typical spices and herbs include garlic, basil, galangal, cilantro, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and fish sauce. No matter what region you’re in, you can expect to find a variety of curries, salads, soups, noodle dishes, and stir-fries.

Rice and noodles are central to Southeast Asian food, while the meat is usually pork, chicken, fish, or seafood, which is everywhere on the islands and coastal areas.

While traveling Southeast Asia, street food is the most popular food and cheapest option. On average, these meals cost $1-5 USD. You find these stalls throughout this region lining most streets and every market. They are ubiquitous in the region. In Singapore, street food (from “hawker stands” as they’re known there) costs around $4-5 USD for a meal. Even if you go into small local restaurants, the price doesn’t increase that much.

Food that costs $2 USD at a street stall generally only costs $4-6 USD at a local restaurant. If you went into a restaurant in Thailand, you’d pay around $3-4 USD for a pad Thai that would have cost $1-2 USD on the street.

In Cambodia, street food is around $1-2 USD, while restaurants charge around $3-5 USD for a dish like amok (a coconut milk dish) or luc lac (pepper gravy beef).

Western meals, including burgers, pizza, and sandwiches usually cost around $7-10 USD. But these generally aren’t that great. If you want something that actually tastes as it does back home, expect to spend at least $10-12 USD for your meal.

While cheap, alcohol can take a bite out of your budget if you’re not careful. Those $1-2 USD beers add up! Wine and cocktails are more expensive, generally around $3-5 USD. A cappuccino is typically around $2 USD. Bottled water is plentiful and costs less than $1 USD.

There’s a growing cutting-edge foodie scene in the region and, if you want to splurge, you can do so on some really good meals. Big cities like Bangkok, KL, and Singapore, all have world-class Michelin star restaurants as well some incredible fusion restaurants.

Since dining out is so cheap in the region, there’s no point in grocery shopping unless you’re looking to get some pre-made salads or fruits. Additionally, a general lack of kitchens in most hostels and hotels makes it difficult to cook even if you wanted to. If you do purchase your own groceries, expect to spend around $25 USD per week for basic groceries like local produce, rice, and some meat (while avoiding expensive imported items like cheese and wine).

Backpacking Southeast Asia Suggested Budgets

On a backpacker budget of $45 USD per day, you can stay in hostel dorms, eat out at local markets and street stalls, limit your drinking, do mostly free activities, minimize paid activities, and use public transportation to get around. You’re not going to be able to splash out but you’ll be able to live the typical backpacker experience without really stressing over expenses.

On a mid-range budget of $85 USD per day, you can stay in budget hotels or private hostel rooms, eat more restaurant meals, do more paid activities like cooking classes, take some taxis, and enjoy a few more drinks. You won’t live large, but you won’t be missing out either.

On an upscale budget of $150 USD or more per day, you can stay in nicer hotels with more amenities, eat out as much as you want, do more paid tours including private tours, hire a driver, fly between destinations, and basically do whatever you want. The sky is the limit with this kind of budget!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in USD.

Southeast Asia Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Backpacking Southeast Asia is cheap. There’s little opportunity to spend a lot of money since everything is already so inexpensive unless you intentionally are trying to splash out on fancy meals and high end hotels. The two reasons why most travelers end up overspending is that they eat a lot of Western food and drink way too much. If you want to save money while traveling in this part of the world, cut down on your drinking and skip the Western food. While country guides have more specific ways to save money, here are some general ways to save money in Southeast Asia:

  • Stay with a local – Accommodation is cheap in Southeast Asia but nothing’s cheaper than free! Use Couchsurfing to stay with locals who have extra beds and couches for free. You’ll also meet great people who can show you around and share their insider tips and advice.
  • Book tours and day trips as a group – You have more negotiation power when you’re with a group of people buying multiple spots or tickets. Traveling alone? Meet a friend at a hostel and see if they want to join the same tour as you. I’ve met some great friends over the years doing this and highly recommend it.
  • Don’t book in advance – Don’t book any tours or activities before you get to your destination. They’ll be much cheaper when you arrive as you’ll be able to negotiate a lower price as you’ll find companies are often offering the same tour and competing. Anything you see online is more expensive than you need to pay!
  • Eat on the street – The street food is the best food. The food is the best and cheapest you’ll find. It’s a great way to try new foods and get to chat with locals as well. This is where locals eat so if you want insight into local culture, good food, and savings, eat the street food. Look for where locals are eating to ensure that it’s safe to eat.
  • Bargain hard – Nothing is ever at face value here. Bargain with sellers as most of the time, the price they’ve quoted is way higher. There’s a haggling culture in the region so play the game and save some money. It’s important not to convert it in your head to your own currency because it will usually sound cheap even though you might still be getting ripped off. You’ll never get the local price, but you might come close!
  • Minimize your drinking – Drinks really add up. Even with cheap drinks, if you’re not aware, you’ll end up spending more money on beer than on food and accommodation. If you want to drink, head to the supermarkets, drink at the hostel, or check out the local happy hours.
  • Pack a water bottle – A water bottle with a purifier comes particularly in handy in Southeast Asia since you can’t usually drink the tap water. Save money and thousands of plastic bottles and get a bottle that can purify the tap water for you. My preferred bottle is LifeStraw as it has a built-in filter that ensures your water is always safe and clean.

Where to Stay in Southeast Asia

I’ve been traveling Southeast Asia since 2005 and have stayed in hundreds of places. Here are some of my favorite places to stay in Southeast Asia:

  • The Siem Reap Pub Hostel (Siem Reap)
  • Onederz Siem Reap (Siem Reap)
  • Mad Monkey Siem Reap (Siem Reap)
  • Onederz Sihanoukville (Sihanoukville)
  • Monkey Republic (Sihanoukville)
  • Onederz Phnom Penh (Phnom Penh)
  • Sla Boutique Hostel (Phnom Penh)
  • The Magic Sponge (Kampot)
  • Indigo House Hotel (Luang Prabang)
  • Sa Sa Lao (Luang Prabang)
  • Sanga Hostel (Pakse)
  • Nana Backpackers Hostel (Vang Vieng)
  • Dream Home Hostel (Vientiane)
  • Traveller Bunker Hostel (Cameron Highlands)
  • De’Native Guest House (Cameron Highlands)
  • Kitez Hotel & Bunks (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Sunshine Bedz Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel (Penang)
  • Mad Monkey Hostel (Bangkok)
  • D&D Inn (Bangkok)
  • Kodchasri B&B (Chiang Mai)
  • The Royal Guest House (Chiang Mai)
  • Green Leaf (Khao Yai)
  • Lonely Beach Resort (Ko Chang)
  • The Sanctuary (Koh Phangan)
  • Na-Tub Hostel (Koh Phangan)
  • Pineapple Guesthouse (Phuket)
  • Dream Lodge
  • The Pod Capsule Hostel
  • The Scarlet
  • Under the Coconut Tree Guesthouse (Hoi An)
  • Fuse Beachside (Hoi An)
  • Pretty Backpackers House (Da Lat)
  • Hanoi Old Quarter Hostel (Hanoi)
  • Luxury Backpackers Hostel (Hanoi)
  • The Hideout (HCMC)
  • City Backpackers Hostel (HCMC)

How to Get Around Southeast Asia

A lone person standing on lush, green rice terraces in Southeast Asia on a bright sunny day

Public transportation – Public transportation costs from a few pennies to a few dollars, with Singapore and Malaysia offering the most comprehensive public transportation systems. In Thailand, local buses cost around $0.25 USD per trip, while the Metro and Skytrain in Bangkok cost $0.50-1.50 USD per trip. In Cambodia, a bus ticket in Phnom Penh costs just $0.40 USD per ride.

Major cities generally have subway systems but mostly you’ll be using the bus or shared taxis to get around.

Tuk-tuks (small, shared taxis with no meter) are available around much of the region and require a bit of haggling. They usually have 3-6 seats and generally cost more than public transportation but are faster. To find a reputable driver, ask your accommodation as they usually know someone. Tuk-tuk drivers can often be hired for the day for a discounted rate (this is what a lot of people do to visit the Killing Fields and Angkor Wat in Cambodia, for example).

Taxi – Taxis in the region are generally safe, though it’s not uncommon to have to haggle. Scams to rip you off aren’t uncommon either, so always ask your accommodation to call you a taxi whenever possible so you know you’ll get a reputable company.

In Singapore and Indonesia, taxi drivers do put on the meter. In Bangkok, you can get taxi drivers to use the meter, but if you’re hailing one in a tourist area, he might try to avoid using it. In Vietnam, the meter is sometimes rigged, but if you can get a reputable company like Mai Linh, you won’t have any problems.

Ridesharing – Grab, DiDi, and Gojek are Asia’s answer to Uber. They work the same way: you hire a driver to take you somewhere via the app, and you can pay via the app or in cash. It’s often more affordable than a regular taxi, though drivers are a bit unreliable as the practice is not as widespread here as in other parts of the world.

Just keep in mind that some drivers are driving motorcycles so be sure to double check what kind of vehicle is picking you up if you don’t want to ride on the back of one.

Bus – The easiest and cheapest way to travel around Southeast Asia is by bus. The backpacker trail is so worn that there is a very well-established tourist bus system to take you anywhere. Buses costs vary between $5-25 USD for a 5-6 hour journey. Overnight buses cost $20-35 USD depending on distance (they often have reclining seats so you can get a decent sleep).

You can check ticket prices and book tickets for all the different bus companies across Southeast Asia at 12go.asia.

Train – Train service is limited in the region and not something to really consider when you travel Southeast Asia. You can take a train up and down the coast of Vietnam and there’s some limited scenic rails in Malaysia. Thailand is the only country that has an extensive train system that lets you travel all its regions (and onward to Singapore) from Bangkok.

The train prices in Southeast Asia are determined by distance and class. Night trains with sleeper cars are more expensive than day trains. The night train to Chiang Mai from Bangkok takes twelve hours and costs $27 USD for a sleeper seat. However, that same train during the day is $8-9 USD. In Vietnam, trains run up and down the coast and cost $60 USD from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

Flying – The cost of flying around Southeast Asia has come down in recent years due to the rise of low-cost airlines. Scoot, Jetstar, and AirAsia are the biggest. Nok Air has a lot of flights within Thailand , and VietJet Air is popular in Vietnam . Lion Air serves Indonesia , but its safety record is really spotty and I personally would not fly them. If you book early, you can save on fares, as most of the airlines offer deeply discounted fare sales all the time, especially Air Asia.

Just make sure that the airport these budget airlines fly into isn’t too far out of your way (transportation from the secondary airport sometimes negates the savings from using the budget airline itself).

Also, keep in mind that you usually must pay to check your baggage on these cheap flights. If you wait to pay for your luggage at the gate, you end up paying almost double. Travel carry-on only to avoid this added cost.

All in all, I only recommend flying if you are pressed for time or find a super cheap deal. Otherwise, stick to the bus.

Hitchhiking – Hitchhiking in Southeast Asia is safe, though popularity of the practice varies by country (it’s more common in Malaysia, but not so much in Cambodia). Dress respectably, smile while making eye contact with drivers, and use a cardboard sign to tell people where you’re headed. Be prepared for long bouts of no pick-ups, especially if you’re traveling through more rural areas. Pack plenty of water and food. Also, make sure the people picking you up understand you’re hitchhiking and not flagging down a taxi.

Hitchwiki is a great resource for hitchhiking tips.

Car rental I don’t recommend renting a car in Southeast Asia. Rental cars are expensive ($40 USD per day or more) and the roads here are in poor shape. I would never drive around the region.

When to Go to Southeast Asia

The best time of year to visit Southeast Asia is from November to April when temperatures are milder (though temperatures vary drastically by region). It may be mild in Thailand in January and hot in Malaysia but in Northern Vietnam, it’s cold! Also, one of the biggest mistakes people make is not taking into account the rainy season. In some cases it won’t make a big difference but definitely does if it’s a beach trip.

In Indonesia, the best time to visit is April to October. Temperatures average 24-30ºC (75-86ºF), and the weather is mostly dry. July to September is the peak holiday season and when you can expect to pay the highest rates. December to February is the rainy season.

In Malaysia, January-March and June-September are the best time to visit, as these months have the lowest average rainfall. It is still hot and humid during this time though. The rainy season is from October to December. Singapore’s climate/weather is much like Malaysia’s.

In Vietnam, the weather varies by region. In Central Vietnam (including Hoi An and Nha Trang), January-May is the best time to visit because it is dry and the temperatures average 21-30°C (70-86°F). June to August is also a decent time to visit. If you want to stick around Hanoi, March to April is great, or October to December (for mildest temperatures). The rainy season is May-September.

Thailand has three seasons: hot, hotter, and hottest. It’s always warm, though the weather is nicest between November and February (which is also peak tourist season). Bangkok is “coolest” and driest during this time (but still averaging a hot 29°C/85°F each day). April and May are the hottest months, and the rainy season is June-October. The gulf islands get pretty rainy from August to December.

The dry season in Cambodia is from November-May and the cool season is from November-February (and when most people visit). Temperatures during this time are still high, but humidity is lower. Laos has the same cool season as Cambodia, with the dry season running from November-April.

In the Philippines, it’s mostly warm all year long with an average daily high of 26°C (80°F). There are rainy and dry seasons and temperatures are hot and dry from March-May and cooler December-February. The best time to visit is between January-April when it’s less humid. Monsoon Season is July-October.

For more information on when to go to places, visit the specific country guides.

How to Stay Safe in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is an incredibly safe place to backpack and travel — even if you’re traveling solo and even as a solo female traveler. Violent crime is super, duper rare. Petty theft (including bag snatching) is the most common type of crime in Southeast Asia, especially around popular tourist landmarks. Always keep your valuables out of reach on public transportation and in crowds just to be safe. Never leave your valuables unattended while at the beach and always keep a hold of your purse/bag when out and about as bag snatching is common.

That said, outside touristy areas, theft is really rare. Heck, it’s pretty rare in touristy areas too! But a little vigilance goes a long way and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

There are some common scams around that you’ll want to be aware of, such as the motorbike scam. This involves a bike rental company trying to charge you for damage to the bike that you didn’t cause. To avoid this, always take photos of your rental before you leave so you can protect yourself from baseless claims.

Another common scam involves a tuk-tuk driver taking you somewhere you didn’t want to go in hopes you’ll buy something from the shop/restaurant he dropped you off at (he gets a commission if you do). Simply refuse to buy anything and demand to go back to where you were — or find another driver.

For other common travel scams, read this post about major travel scams to avoid in the region .

Solo female travelers should feel safe here, though it’s generally a good idea to avoid walking around alone at night just to be safe. It’s always a good idea to carry some extra cash to get home in a taxi if you need to. Additionally, always keep an eye on your drink at the bar and never accept drinks from strangers. Be sensible when it comes to dating while traveling and meeting people in public places. As I’m not a woman, please check out some solo female travel blogs to get the best insight.

Overall, the people who get in trouble here tend to be involved with drugs or sex tourism. Avoid those two things and you should be fine. Keep in mind that it’s not always obvious how old someone is or if they’re a sex worker so be mindful when getting involved in romantic interactions. Also, penalties for drug use in this region are stiff so even if you’re here to party, skip the drugs.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they’ll know where you are.

For more in-depth coverage of how to stay safe in Southeast Asia, check out this post that answers some frequently asked questions and concerns.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Southeast Asia Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Agoda – Other than Hostelworld, Agoda is the best hotel accommodation site for Asia.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.

Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to Thailand!

Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to Thailand!

My detailed 350+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guidebooks and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel around Thailand. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on and off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.

Southeast Asia Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Southeast Asia travel and continue planning your trip:

The 4 Best Hostels in Singapore

The 4 Best Hostels in Singapore

The 6 Best Hostels in Bali

The 6 Best Hostels in Bali

The 22 Best Things to Do in Bangkok

The 22 Best Things to Do in Bangkok

5 LGBTQ Travel Tips for Asia

5 LGBTQ Travel Tips for Asia

Is Southeast Asia Safe for Travelers?

Is Southeast Asia Safe for Travelers?

Backpacking Cambodia: 3 Suggested Itineraries for Your Trip

Backpacking Cambodia: 3 Suggested Itineraries for Your Trip

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JetBlue adds new flights, deluxe seats from Phoenix. Here's where you can fly

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Some transcontinental flights from Phoenix are about to get more comfortable.

JetBlue Airways announced Wednesday that Mint, its premium seating option, will be offered in Phoenix for the first time.

It comes as JetBlue is expanding its seasonal service out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, increasing the frequency of flights to New York City and Boston and reintroducing a route to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

JetBlue Mint boasts an assortment of luxury amenities aimed at making flights more comfortable, including lie-flat seats.

In a statement, JetBlue President Marty St. George said adding new flights and introducing Mint service in Phoenix "represents our commitment to providing a truly exceptional travel experience."

"At JetBlue, we recognize the growing demand for premium travel options in the Valley of the Sun and are delighted to meet this need by showing Phoenix even more of what we offer," St. George said.

In other air travel news, Sky Harbor Airport is developing a new terminal to accommodate future growth, and a startup airline from JetBlue's founder announced a new route out of Phoenix . If you're looking for an airfare deal, here's where you can fly for $100 round trip in May .

Here's what to know about JetBlue Mint and new flights from Phoenix.

Where can you fly on JetBlue from Phoenix?

JetBlue will expand two seasonal routes from once daily to twice daily and reintroduce a seasonal route is returning for 2024-25:

  • New York City via John F. Kennedy International Airport, twice daily starting Oct. 27.
  • Boston , twice daily starting Oct. 27.
  • Fort Lauderdale , once daily starting Oct. 25.

JetBlue's Mint experience will be available for all these routes. The added seasonal flights will operate through March 29, 2024.

What does Mint on JetBlue get you?

JetBlue Mint offers lie-flat seats that can convert into beds, complemented by adaptive foam cushions, comforters and pillows from bedding company Tuft & Needle.

JetBlue offers a mix of Mint seats and Mint suites. The suites include doors for added privacy, direct aisle access, an extra seat and space to work, lounge and entertain.

How much do JetBlue Mint seats cost?

JetBlue Mint fares vary by the date and route.

For a Nov. 14-18 itinerary from Phoenix, The Arizona Republic found Mint seats from $494 one way to Boston, from $535 one way to New York and $732 one way to Fort Lauderdale.

Is JetBlue Mint the same as first class?

While the price and features for JetBlue Mint are comparable to other airlines' first class and business class seats, JetBlue calls it a "premium travel experience," not first class.

Is JetBlue Mint class worth it?

When comparing JetBlue Mint to first-class tickets on similar routes with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, JetBlue tends to have more affordable fares for its premium offerings.

The Phoenix-New York route with JetBlue costs $1,066 round trip in Mint class on Nov. 14-18. That's slightly cheaper than the lowest-priced first-class nonstop ticket with Delta for the same dates, which came to $1,117, and almost $400 less than the $1,445 it would cost to fly first class with American on a similar itinerary. (Delta and American, like JetBlue, also fly nonstop between Phoenix and JFK Airport.)

Industry and customer reviews of JetBlue Mint highlight the convenience. Mint passengers get their own check-in line. Other perks include two free checked bags. JetBlue bag fees are $35-$40 for the first bag and $50-$60 for the second bag.

Are JetBlue Mint seats bigger?

Lie-flat seats on JetBlue Mint are 6 feet, 8 inches long, the longest of any domestic carrier in the U.S., according to JetBlue.

Is JetBlue Mint always lie-flat?

All JetBlue Mint seats are lie-flat, according to JetBlue .

Are drinks free on JetBlue Mint?

JetBlue Mint includes free drinks and in-flight meals that rotate seasonally and vary by region. The drink menu features beer, wine, liquor and cocktails.

A food menu for eastbound and southbound flights included pan-roasted chicken with artichokes, cavatelli with eggplant rosso sauce, marinated feta and parmesan cheese, and flat iron steak with roasted fennel.

Michael Salerno is an award-winning journalist who’s covered travel and tourism since 2014. His work as The Arizona Republic’s consumer travel reporter aims to help readers navigate the stresses of traveling and get the best value for their money on their vacations. He can be reached at   [email protected] . Follow him on X, formerly Twitter:   @salerno_phx .

Support local journalism.   Subscribe to  azcentral.com  today.

Nude cruise to set sail from Florida next year: Here are the starting costs, itinerary

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The "Big Nude Boat" cruise, which allows passengers to bare all − yes, even at the buffet − is set to sail from Florida next year.

The "11-day adventure" to the Caribbean is set for the first two weeks of February on the Norwegian Pearl, according to the Bare Necessities Tour & Travel website.

"Bare Necessities’ newest nude cruise is a private island double-dip with a brand new travel partner!" the company wrote on its website.

The trip which embarks from Miami, includes "an exclusive visit to an idyllic private island" in The Bahamas as well a another exclusive stop on the way back to the Port of Miami.

"Two opportunities to enjoy a new slice of Bare-adise, coupled with a beautiful selection of Eastern Caribbean island stops, will make this a can’t miss Big Nude Boat experience," the travel company posted.

Why cruises are popular with swingers: 'What happens on the ship ... stays on the ship'

A cruise to nowhere: Royal Caribbean sailing canceled after guests boarded

Big Nude Boat cruise sailing dates and destinations:

The ship departs from the Port of Miami on Feb. 3 and returns to the same port on Feb. 14.

The itinerary includes stops at the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia.

How much does the Big Nude Boat cruise cost?

Rates for an inside cabin start at $2,000 per person.

They stretch as high as $33,155 for the top room on the ship: a Haven three-bedroom garden villa.

Laws of the land (and sea)

Guests are encouraged to park their bare behinds on towels provided on board in areas including the pool deck and the buffet area, according to the website.

"Passengers can easily follow our rule on nudist etiquette by always placing a towel down before sitting," it reads. "Remember to pack a swimsuit; not all excursions are clothing optional."

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X @nataliealund.

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  1. 15 Ways to Travel the World for Free (or Even Get Paid)

    All you have to do is get there. There are endless ways to volunteer abroad for free travel and rewarding experiences in a new culture. Spend an hour researching options online, and you can't help but be inspired by the possibilities to give back while seeing the world. 6. Organize Your Own Volunteer Trip.

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  8. How to travel for free: the secret that no one tells you

    Basically, you pay one fee of $49 USD which gives you access to all the hosts for a full year. To put that into perspective, $50 USD is likely A LOT less than you pay for one night of food and accommodation in most countries. And then you can spend 12 months with free accomodation and food wherever you want!

  9. 10 Ways to Travel the World For Free in 2023 (with Map)

    Save cash for future travel by Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is a global network of travelers and gracious hosts opening their homes (and often hearts) at zero cost. That's right—it's 100% free, and often an awesome social experience. How: For social butterflies who embrace unpredictability, Couchsurfing is a one-of-a-kind way to make ...

  10. Free Travel Budget Calculator: Can You Afford Your Trip?

    Enter Your Expenses - Now that you know how much each item will likely cost, enter these figures into our Travel Budget Calculator below, including your total budget, number of travellers, number of days and your estimate for flights, transport, tours, food and miscellaneous items. Click Calculate - This will give you 4 totals below the ...

  11. Your road trip calculator

    Estimates are based on an analysis of current and historical minimum roundtrip flight prices for one traveler and average car rental prices in the past 31 days. Actual prices may vary. Always check current prices and routes before booking. See Methodology.

  12. How to Make a Travel Budget in 2023 [Free Template]

    Websites to Help Research Travel Costs; The Best Apps for Travel Budgets and Expense Tracking ; Saving for Your Vacation ; ... (~$10) to allow stays of up to 90 days visa-free. Travel To South Africa — You must have a valid U.S. passport, but do not need a visa for stays of 30 days or less.

  13. Travelmath trip calculator

    What is Travelmath? Travelmath is an online trip calculator that helps you find answers quickly. If you're planning a trip, you can measure things like travel distance and travel time.To keep your budget under control, use the travel cost tools. You can also browse information on flights including the distance and flight time. Or use the section on driving to compare the distance by car, or ...

  14. Wanderlog: best free travel itinerary & road trip planner app

    Use Wanderlog to share your itinerary with tripmates, friends, and families and collaborate in real time, so everyone stays in the loop. Plan your road trip or vacation with the best itinerary and trip planner. Wanderlog travel planner allows you to create itineraries with friends, mark routes, and optimize maps — on web or mobile app.

  15. Free Travel Budget Calculator: Set A Trip Budget & Stick With It

    Free Travel Budget Calculator (With Instructions) Now let's go over the vacation cost calculator itself and how to use it. Step 1. Enter your intentended budget. Start by entering your intended trip budget at the top - as in, the total budget you plan to spend - and then your expenses in the following rows.

  16. Travel Cost Calculator

    Trip pricing calculator. Travelmath provides an online cost calculator to help you determine the cost of driving between cities. You can use this data to figure out a budget for a road trip. The driving calculation is based on the average fuel efficiency of your vehicle, and you can change the gas mileage in mpg or L/100 km to match your exact ...

  17. Travel Budget Calculator Or Vacation Budget Planner

    The Travel Budget Calculator streamlines the planning process, providing instant insights into your projected expenses. With a few clicks, you can fine-tune your budget and allocate resources efficiently, ensuring a hassle-free travel experience. Financial Transparency: Transparency is key to effective budgeting, and the Travel Budget ...

  18. The 12 Best Budgeting and Travel Expense Apps to Download

    TripMate. Users love TripMate for its simplicity and easy-to-use features, plus it's all free. This travel expense tracker app lets you create a trip and then add and remove users as needed. You ...

  19. Cheap Flights, Airline Tickets & Airfare Deals

    Save money on airfare by searching for cheap flight tickets on KAYAK. KAYAK searches for flight deals on hundreds of airline tickets sites to help you find the cheapest flights. Whether you are looking for a last minute flight or a cheap plane ticket for a later date, you can find the best deals faster at KAYAK. New York Flights.

  20. FREE: Travel Budget Planner, Guide and Calculator

    The Cheap: Dorms, hostels, guesthouses, Homestay with Airbnb The Cheapest: Couchsurfing, Housesitting (take care of peoples pets and stay in their homes for free) Top Tip: Read more about the 3 "Cheapest" options, linked above. Budget Info: Every country has differing prices.From $5 double rooms in SE Asia to paying $40+ for a dorm bed in a major western city.

  21. Travel Budget Worksheet

    The worksheet is set up to let you enter a quantity and unit cost for each item. For example, for lodging you can enter the number of nights you will be staying and the cost per night. If you will be driving rather than flying, you can enter the total miles and the cost per mile. Remember to include both fuel and wear as part of the cost (see ...

  22. How to Get Cheap Last-Minute Flights, According to the Experts

    That's because airlines' automated fare systems are configured to treat later bookings as last-minute business traveler flights and price them accordingly (high, in other words). Case in point ...

  23. Volunteer Abroad for Free

    Cheap or even free volunteer opportunities can make an impact as big as any other program and is a great option for volunteers willing to go back to basics. Volunteering abroad gives you the chance to meet locals while you work for affordable or even free projects. South America. Cheap and even free volunteering programs are everywhere.

  24. 15 Top Free Travel Magazines & Travel Guides

    Outside Magazine. Best Free Travel Magazines & Guides by Mail. 1. Bold Travel Magazine. 2. 101 World's Greatest Cities - First Edition. 3. Travel + Leisure USA Magazine. 4. Official Hawaii Visitors Free Guide.

  25. 12 Wallet-Draining Vacation Costs That Expert Travelers Cut Years Ago

    The benefit of hotels over Airbnb is that hotels tend to include cleaning services in the price of the room. Airbnb hosts often choose to charge additional cleaning fees, even if they ask guests ...

  26. Southeast Asia Budget Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    In Thailand, 4-6-bed dorm rooms are $8-12 USD, while in Vietnam you can expect to pay $5-7 USD. In Indonesia, prices range between $5-10 USD for a 4-6-bed dorm room. Expect to pay at least $15-20 per night for a private room with air conditioning. Free Wi-Fi is standard in most hostels, free breakfast is common, and many hostels even have pools.

  27. RV Insurance: Get a Free Quote Online

    Build the best RV insurance policy for you and start a quote now. Or, call 1-855-347-3939. Get a quote and buy an RV insurance policy online from Progressive. We can protect your motorhome or travel trailer, whether you're a recreational RVer or full-time occupant.

  28. JetBlue Mint expands to Phoenix. Here's where you can fly

    The Phoenix-New York route with JetBlue costs $1,066 round trip in Mint class on Nov. 14-18. That's slightly cheaper than the lowest-priced first-class nonstop ticket with Delta for the same dates ...

  29. Big Nude Boat cruise set for February 2025

    How much does the Big Nude Boat cruise cost? Rates for an inside cabin start at $2,000 per person. They stretch as high as $33,155 for the top room on the ship: a Haven three-bedroom garden villa.

  30. Compare Mortgage Rates and Loans

    Simply enter your home location, property value and loan amount to compare the best rates. For a more advanced search, you can filter your results by loan type for 30 year fixed, 15 year fixed and ...