Tips To Travel On A Budget: Cheap Travel Hacks

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So you want some tips to travel on a budget? Well, most people think traveling on a budget means using public transport or staying in cheap accommodation. Well, kind of, but to travel on a budget for us means cutting down on costs that most people don’t even think of! Especially if it’s a long vacation.

Budget travel for couples can actually end up being an experience of a lifetime if you plan your trip wisely and go for it with a positive mindset. Remember, every penny counts. We did a six-month driving tour from Bangalore to Himachal, Kashmir and Ladakh, and all of these budget travel hacks have been tested on that long-winding trip.

5 Tips To Travel On A Budget: Travel Hacks

Our own extensive travels have taught us much. We have found our own money-saving ways through permutation and combination. Now, we can gladly say we know how to travel on a budget. We’ve put together some tips and tricks for the benefit of budget travel for couples who want to explore the world without burning a hole in their pockets.

Watertight budget travel means you must learn to strike the balance between being smart and penny-wise. Follow these tips to travel on a budget to become a pro yourself:

1.    Carry home-made snacks and fruits

travel on a budget
Choose budget restaurants or pack homemade food to cut down on expenses

Once you hit the road, usually it is the journey that requires some effort and can easily take a toll on your body and tire you out. Whether you are on a road trip or on a flight, what you eat during your travel matters a lot.

Quite often, we find ourselves gorging on chips, chocolates, samosas, bread omelette as our favourite travel snacks. As a cheaper and healthier alternative, we suggest you carry home-made food that doesn’t require refrigeration and can last a long time.

For our road trip, we carried lots of home-made cakes, biscuits, Mathis, and nimkis. You can pick up bread and veggies on the way and make your own veg sandwiches and salads whenever you get hungry. If not possible, choose budget restaurants or street food to cut down on your expenses.

Related Reading: Five Reasons Why You Should Travel With You Partner

2. Carry your own water

This was one travel hack that did save us tons of moolah. Over 90 days, at 5 bottles a day our water expense would be INR 9,000.  But we were able to cut this down to around INR 200 because we carried our own water.

You probably wouldn’t even factor in this cost while planning a trip. But a vacation on a budget means you need to cut down wherever possible!

When we started from Delhi, we had around 10 bottles with us, which were then refilled in the hotels we stayed. Most hotels provide packaged water free of cost every day and have RO’s installed in their kitchen. Try to fill up before you check out of your hotel, so you don’t end up buying mineral water on your way.

3. Check prices before you eat

Budget travel for couples
See the menu before ordering food

Scan the menu and prices beforehand, so you know what you are getting yourself into. Just because the place you are stepping into looks like a normal highway dhaba, doesn’t mean the food is going to be cheap.

In a couple of destinations, especially Kashmir we ordered food without checking the prices. We assumed the rates would be at par with other places and got a shock of our lives when the bill arrived. But if you want to budget your trip properly, you can’t mindlessly pick your eating spots.

Most of these restaurants also sell beverages and packed water above the MRP. Therefore, you should definitely inquire about the prices before you consume the items.

4.    BYOB – Bring your own booze

This one is not for the teetotalers. But if you do enjoy a good drink from time to time, this tip is absolutely essential if you wish to travel on a budget. I remembered that in Spiti when we experienced heavy snowfall, we really wanted to sit indoors and enjoy a drink. A trip to the local bar in Kaza cost us INR 1,200 for a bottle of Romanov vodka that would otherwise have cost us INR 500-600.

Even in Nubra valley, the same bottle cost us INR 1,000. We did not carry our drinks with us from Delhi and hence had to pay a lot of premium! If there is no problem with carrying alcohol across state lines, then you can follow this travel tip to save as well.

5. Carry noodles / make your own tea

When you stay in hotels, you might not always get the food you like or maybe it is just too expensive or you aren’t that hungry to order a full meal. For situations like these, we carry some instant noodles like Wai Wai or Maggi that can be easily prepared with an electric kettle in the hotel room.

This year when we were in Nepal, we stayed in this Kathmandu locality where there weren’t any good restaurants close by, so we bought instant noodles and had them for dinner. This helped us save tons of money on our 1-month Nepal trip.

Having teas – an expense so small that it nearly goes unnoticed. Tea is considered a must-have especially in winter and the rains. The innocent-looking, small cup of tea now, costs INR 10-20 and we often gulp down 3-5 cups in a day. For 2 of us that INR 100 a day, which adds up to INR 9,000 for the entire road trip.

What we figured out is that if we carry a big flask we could get it filled while at our hotels, where breakfast is mostly included in the price. Alternatively, we also carried tea bags, milk powder, sugar, utensils from home. All we had to do was arrange for some hot water to go along with it.

If you’re planning an overnight trip you should definitely try this travel hack. If it works well, you can adopt it as a practice for all future travels and make some unexpected saves.

Vacation on a budget

All in all, all the tips to travel on a budget mentioned above involve being smart and using your money wisely. Vacation on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean you are being stingy, instead, you’re being efficient and intelligent.

Luxurious resorts and fancy restaurants are fun, yes, but the charm of traveling on a budget is a whole other experience. It will bring you closer to your partner and you will definitely share many intimate moments. To conclude, budget travel for couples is a big yes!
PS – We saved around INR 40,000 using the travel tips we have mentioned above. Therefore, they are definitely tried and tested! Stay tuned for more updates and follow our travels at


1. How much should I budget for travel?

Cut down on all unnecessary expenses on food, water, commute, alcohol, etc. Be smart on saving money without compromising on any fun.

2. What is the cheapest and safest country to visit?

Some of the cheapest countries to travel include Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Nepal, and Thailand.

3. How much does it cost to travel the world on a budget?

INR 15,00,000 is the baseline cost. Make sure you’re using your money wisely on travel to get the best experiences on a budget!

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