17 budgeting tips for traveling millennials

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t get the most out of your international experience. You just have to be a little savvier and get creative. If you’re wondering how to save money traveling, or at least how not to run out of money traveling, check out the following budgeting tips.


1. Eat at local “hole in the wall” places

Better food. Better prices. A more authentic experience. How can you go wrong?


2. Look for deals on budget lodging like hostels and Airbnb

Paying for a place to stay makes up for a big bulk of travel expenses. If you can stay somewhere for cheap, you can really slash down the cost of traveling.


3. Avoid overpriced touristy areas

Tourist spots are a little bubble abroad where everything costs more and everyone speaks English. Be adventurous and venture out to areas that are a bit more local. It will save you money and offer a more authentic look at the country.


4. Free public events offer good alternatives to expensive concerts and restaurants

Check online or ask around to see if there are any free cultural events going on. That’s likely where the locals will be and it will be a free and fun event so you don’t have to pay anything.


5. Spend a day at the park

Parks are a fantastic place to relax and people watch. They’re also completely free!


how to save money traveling


6. Take pictures, not postcards

Snap photos and enjoy your experience rather than purchasing your memories. Avoid gift shops and use your travel time for adventure.


7. Look for flight deals

If you’re able to be flexible, you can really find some extra cheap airfare that will save you a considerable amount on your whole trip.


8. Have a travel buddy

Traveling with another person cuts costs and makes the entire process more fun. This doesn’t have to be a friend back home – it could be someone you meet at a hostel or at your internship program.


9. Do your research

Know what you want to see and do beforehand and check prices. If you plan ahead, you should be able to save some money by finding better value restaurants, going to museums on free days and prioritizing what is worth spending money on and what’s a waste.


10. Round up when budgeting for a future trip

Assume everything will cost more – because it probably will. Travelers generally underestimate their costs so it’s good to plan accordingly.


11. Be flexible

If you’re able to be a little flexible, you may end up finding some inexpensive places to stay or a cheap excursion on the fly. If you don’t have every day planned exactly, you can take advantage of opportunities for some thrifty adventures. Be spontaneous!


12. Stay with friends if you can

If you have friends or friends of friends abroad, why not reach out to see if you can crash on their sofa in exchange for a little gift from back home or a home-cooked meal?


how to save money traveling


13. Don’t eat just because you’re hungry

When you’re hungry you’re more eager to say “yes” to a restaurant even though the prices are high. Grab a small, inexpensive snack to tide you over – like crackers or an apple, and then shop around a bit more for a more affordable spot to dine.


14. Don’t underestimate the value of a good picnic

You can save a lot of money by preparing a picnic and finding a good spot at a park or plaza to enjoy a lunch or dinner. It’s a great way to be outside, enjoy the scenery the city offers and keep expenses down.


15. Opt for the bus over the train

In Europe, trains can get you there faster, but if you’re short on money and have a little extra time, it may be worth it to travel via bus.


16. Try flea markets if you’re looking to shop

Not only are flea markets a better deal, but you can haggle oftentimes to bring the prices even lower.


17. Share your room

If you can split your Airbnb room, for example, between four people, why not squeeze together and save some cash?


Now that you know how to save money traveling, apply now for your international internship program!


Sources: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111595511, https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money/thrifty-50-tips

Photo 1. based on Exchange, by Jason Devaun, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 2. based on Untitled, by Izabela Pawlicka, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 3. based on takeoff, by Joseph De Palma, CC-by-2.0


The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

To learn how to apply to our internship programs, click here.


Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
Subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Comment