How To Travel On A Budget: 14 Tips and Hacks To Save Money

How to travel on a budget: We’re sharing how we can afford to travel!

When I was 23, I left my engineering career to become a digital nomad and pursue the life of travel. After reading that sentence, you’re probably thinking to yourself that I’m loaded. Truth is, I’m not. I’m not rich.

Then how do I afford to travel a few times a month? Aside from choosing the cheapest travel destinations, it’s all thanks to the tips and hacks I’m about to reveal to you.

So shall we get started? Here are some travel tips and hacks to traveling on a budget.

Book Piso Fares

When you’re traveling around the Philippines, keep your eyes open for piso fares. These happen several times a year. You can easily book flights for 2 persons for just P1,000 to P2,000+ round trip. That’s around $10 per person for a one-way trip!

I’ve booked all my flights during piso fare promos. But what are piso fares? These are sales where an airline offers super low fares with one peso base fares.

Take note that a base fare means that you’ll still have to pay tax, fuel charge, and a few more fees when booking. But these fares are super duper low compared to the regular fare rate.

This article has a more in-depth discussion about piso fares and how to book one.

Most often, Air Asia and Cebu Pacific are the ones offering piso fares. You just have to keep your eyes peeled for that next seat sale.

I’ve booked our Cebu trip last 2017 for one peso base fare and only paid P2,366.88 for two persons roundtrip (including seat selections)! How awesome is that?

Read Also: 8 Tips On How to Book Cheap Flights

Look out for rainy deals

Most of my travels revolve around the Philippines and we all know what the Philippines is like. You either get a dry or rainy season.

The peak season is often during the dry season so in order to increase sales, most hotels, resorts, tour agencies, restaurants, and a lot more establishments offer rainy day promos.

You’ll find most of these deals on the establishment’s Facebook Pages so go ahead and follow your favorite resorts, hotels, and restaurants.

Read Also: Where to Get Discounts For Your Travels (Plus Sales & Travel Deals)

Travel light

I can’t stress how important this is. If you’ve mastered the art of traveling light, you’ll be saving money on checked-in baggages and laundry. Plus, you are saving yourself from all the stress of having so many luggage.

Plus, traveling light will give you more freedom to explore a place and to be spontaneous. You can easily grab your backpack and go.

If you’re backpacking, you might find this backpacking essentials list useful.

Book cheap rooms


I love love love Airbnb. You’ll find here a lot of unique and interesting homes and accommodations. But that’s not all, you can also get discounts!

Here’s one. Sign up on Airbnb using this referral link and get up to P2,200 worth of travel credits that you can use for your next travel.


Aside from Airbnb, ZenRooms is my go-to hotel when it comes to budget rooms. Aside from their low price, you also get to choose from the best rooms in the city with the best views and pools.

Wander Era has partnered with ZenRooms to provide you with a 15% discount (no expiration date) when booking. Just place the code WANDERERA on the voucher code when booking to claim your discount!

Other booking platforms we use are and Agoda.

Cook your own food

Sure, traveling to another city or region will make you want to go out, eat and experience everything that the place has to offer. However, don’t make it a three-times-a-day kind of thing.

To save a lot of money, choose an accommodation with a kitchen (Airbnb has a lot of these) so you can cook your own food for breakfast and lunch then go taste the local food for dinner.

And don’t forget to ask the locals where to they eat. They’ll show you the best restaurants with affordable rates. Most restaurants that are popular with tourists often cost more.

Travel with a group

It’s no secret that traveling with more people helps decrease your overall spending. However, what can you do if you’re a solo traveler? Be friendly and ask the other tourists if you can ride the boat with them and split the bill. This way, you’ll avoid paying for the whole boat if you travel alone.

Do your research

Read a bit about the place you’re going to. Specifically, search for the common scams and tourist traps in the area. And if you want to go to that restaurant, first read the reviews online to know if it’s worth it or not.

Track your spending

It can be easy to keep spending when you’re traveling especially when you’re the YOLO type of person. But if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to write down each and every single thing you purchase to see where most of your money goes. If not, input it in an app that helps track your spending. We use TravelSpend and it’s pretty useful in keeping you from spending outside of your budget.

If you’ve spent most of your money on souvenirs, you can try to cut down on this the next time you go and travel. You can opt for cheaper souvenirs, too. Your friends back at home won’t mind.

Find your friends

By “friends”, I mean anyone you know in the city you’re traveling to. It doesn’t matter if he or she is your 5th cousin or a friend of your friend. Try to get in touch with them before your trip and see if they’ll let you crash in their place during your trip.

If they say yes, don’t forget to be respectful and polite. After all, they’re doing you a favor. You can also opt to pay for your stay. It won’t matter since it’s still much cheaper than booking a room at a hotel.

This is what my friend and I did back when we went to Hong Kong. We managed to save more than 50% of our accommodation.

Find free things to do

Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. You’ll find a lot of parks, museums, and beaches that don’t ask for entrance fees. Paid experiences aren’t always the best ones, too.

Pack a refillable bottle

Avoid buying a bottle of water when you have your very own eco-friendly refillable bottle. A lot of accommodations and restaurants offer free water so you can easily refill your water bottles here.

You’ll be saving a lot of money with a refillable water bottle. You won’t need to buy bottled waters. Plus, you’re also saving mother earth by reusing and avoiding plastics.

Get travel insurance

Nothing’s worse than traveling without travel insurance. In case something happens to you, you can avoid paying thousands of dollars in case of an emergency. You’re also protecting yourself from spending your savings and getting broke.

Read Also: Travel Insurance: Quick Do’s And Don’ts For Seniors

Make money while traveling

Being a digital nomad, I’ve been working while traveling. I get paid to write as a content writer. I’ve also tried becoming a virtual assistant and help manage someone else’s blog. There are a lot more!

Nowadays, making money isn’t just limited to working in a cubicle. You can work from anywhere as long as you have a laptop and a strong internet connection. There are a lot of jobs you can get online. This article lists several websites where you can get online jobs.

Read Also: How To Make Money Online To Fund Your Travels

Ride public transportation

In the Philippines, it’s cheaper to ride public transportation such as jeepneys, trains, or buses than renting a car. Taxis are also a bit expensive.

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