Travelers Talks: How To Get The Best Travel Experience On A Limited Budget?

The best travel experience means something different to everyone. For some, it can mean staying in 5 stars luxurious hotels or private apartments instead of camping in the woods. Fancy restaurants are too much for some and they will prefer local street food instead. For those who cannot stay in one place for a few weeks, jumping from place to place with just a backpack would be a better fit. Whatever it is, the chances are high that it will cost some money. And we all know well that money can be a big obstacle to overcome.

In this Travelers Talks episode, you’ll read what the best travel experience means for our fellow travelers, and what they are willing to sacrifice to get it. You’ll learn a few tips and pieces of advice on saving money while maintaining the best possible travel experience. At the end of the post, you’ll also find our take on that topic. Ready? Let’s dive in and discover great stories and advice on how to get the best travel experience on a limited budget.

Travelers Talks Ep6- How To Get The Best Travel Experience On A Limited Budget?
Happy Little Traveler Authors

Created by Sonia & Wojtek

One day, we packed our lives and slowly rushed into the unknown with smiles on our faces. We’re full-time digital nomads traveling in Europe who inspire to live, travel, and discover differently. Sunny coastal destinations are what we love most. We share travel guides, tips, and know-how to make planning your next trip a piece of cake. Real human experience and verified facts only!


This website uses affiliate links thanks to which we may earn a commission for purchases you made at no additional cost to you. If you like the content, consider using those links to support us. Thank you!


How to get the best travel experience on a limited budget? Travelers advise.

Some time ago on Twitter and Facebook, we asked our fellow travelers for advice, and here it’s what we got in return. 

Kristin from Global Travel Escapades

Kristin from Global Travel Escapades

YouTube | Instagram 

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how you travel and why like this. 

My name is Kristin, and I’m the founder and author of the travel blog Global Travel Escapades. When I graduated from university almost 2 years ago, I decided that I would put my post-graduation career plans on hold and do a gap year to travel the world and explore passions that I hadn’t gotten a chance to in university.

During this gap year, I managed to travel to nearly 14 different countries across the globe and realized that one of my passions is helping people travel. Thus, I started my travel blog about a year ago and haven’t looked back since.

In terms of my preferred style of traveling, I mostly budget travel, both out of necessity and by choice. For me, budget traveling allows me to see so many more places and experience way more cultures than I would be able to if I opted to stay in luxury hotels or eat at fancy restaurants. And at the end of the day, the opportunities budget traveling affords outweighs any of the downsides.

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

For me, the best travel experiences are those when you’re fully present at the moment. You aren’t worried about where you’re going next, mistakes from the past, or the external pressures of life, you’re simply focused on what’s happening around you in that exact moment and filled with pure joy.

In the past, some of my most incredible travel experiences have been at large sporting events across the world, where I’ve gotten to witness people I’ve loved and admired watching for years. Other times, the best travel experiences have been partaking in adrenaline-filled activities, like paragliding across the Swiss Alps!

In both cases, these amazing travel experiences have been core memories and made me realize how much I crave more of them. The elation that I feel in the moment is something that I never forget and is what motivates me to put myself in a position to have more of these experiences.

And as cliche as it sounds, I think what’s most important for me is living a life of no regrets. Could I spend my money more wisely? Absolutely. But, the happiness and joy I feel when I’m chasing after my dreams or crossing off items on my bucket list is more valuable than having a larger number in my bank account. For this reason, I am willing to forgo staying in 4 or 5-star hotels, eating expensive meals at the best restaurants, and traveling with excess comfort.

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

To maintain travel quality while also staying within my budget, I always start off by doing prior research. This helps me know what to expect, tourist traps to avoid, and generally just see if there’s anything I should know about — news, cultural differences, etc.

The second way I stay within budget is by staying in a hostel. I know budget traveling isn’t for everyone, but I find that this style of traveling opens you up to infinitely more connections. For example, when you stay in a hostel, you get to meet people from all over the world and share a space with them. More often than not, you’ll form a genuine connection with them that would be so much harder to do in a private hotel room.

Similarly, instead of eating at expensive tourist trap restaurants, I keep costs down by seeking out lesser-known food stalls. This allows me to not only save money but also interact with the locals and ask them about their experiences in the city or town.

Ultimately, I think there are several ways to maintain your desired level of travel quality without going outside of your budget. And just because budget traveling is associated with lower costs, it doesn’t mean sacrificing your needs or giving something up. Instead, it can mean giving yourself the opportunity for more connections and immersing yourself in the local culture!

Rich from I'm Outa Here

Rich from I’m Outa Here

Twitter | Instagram | TikTok

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this. 

After 37 years as an elementary teacher, principal, and curriculum consultant, deciding to retire from education was difficult. My infatuation with travel started when boarding a flight from Logan International to Charles de Gaulle Airport back in 1981 as part of a high school exchange trip. The moment I stepped off the plane in Paris, I was in love; in love with the city and all of French culture. My insatiable appetite for travel began and there was no looking back. Thirty-five countries and 6 continents later, I am still hungry for more. As an educator, one is often restricted to traveling during summers and winter/spring breaks (often peak times to travel) – no more. 

There is not one way I like to travel, whether trekking the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu with my older daughter, cruising along the fjords of Norway with my traveling partner, seeing Broadway musicals on Times Square with my best friend, joining a tour group in Costa Rica, or flying to Tokyo solo and sampling sashimi at the Tsukiji Market. 

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

Expect the unexpected. The best travel experiences often come spontaneously and many involve learning about other people. The best travel experience was with a conversation with an interesting, young Italian actor sitting next to me before The Glass Menagerie began in London’s West End. The best travel experience was on a fully occupied rugged Range Rover riding on a South African safari absorbing the beauty of “The Big Five.” The best travel experience was repelling down three cliff waterfalls canyoning in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The best travel experience was when a father-daughter bond formed through traveling; the kind of bond that cannot be attained any other way. 

These experiences are with me forever with minuscule sacrifice. The sacrifice may mean buying fewer things during the year and saving more for an experience. Many trips taken require saving credit card points/miles resulting in nearly free flights on economy seats and saving money for other travel expenses. 

The unexpected moments that teach me about others and myself define the best travel experiences. Most are not preplanned and often require an openness to stray off course occasionally. 

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

Over the years, I have found ways to find the best ways to travel without “breaking the bank.” Saving credit card points/miles is the best way to make travel happen within a middle-class budget. These points/miles have allowed me to visit my family and friends living too far to drive in addition to traveling internationally for fun. These points/miles are easily accrued beyond the welcome offer by making online purchases through airline shopping portals, using cards that provide multiple points per dollar, and using cards for all usual monthly bills. All cards should be paid off monthly as the interest paid would make this hobby expensive and not cost-effective. I share many `travel tricks’ on my travel blog: I’m Outa Here. 

Sometimes the cost of flights is so low, using points/miles is not worth it (save the points/miles for more costly flights). The use of Google Flights (which features a price tracker alert system that will email you when fares drop) and Skyscanner can help find low-cost flights. I just returned from Portugal; the roundtrip flight cost $400. I stayed at an Airbnb for $19/night. So this trip cost me less than $1000. 

Other small tips to travel within budget include: 1) Start a travel saving account where 5% of monthly income automatically is deposited. 2) Staying in hostels is a huge money saver and a great way to meet other travelers. 3) Research the destination and know what is a priority (museums, beaches, hiking, theater), then budget accordingly. 4) Generally, the further advanced plans can be made the lower the cost. 

Taylor from TAYTRUM TRAVELS

Taylor from TAYTRUM TRAVELS

Website | Instagram | Twitter 

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this. 

Hi! I’m Taylor. I’m 28 years old and I’ve been living in southern California for nearly 10 years. I’ve been a student all my life. I went straight from high school to undergrad to a master’s to a PhD program; where I am today. Because of this I really know what it means to travel on a budget. I primarily travel solo and with just a backpack. I find the freedom solo travel yields liberating and calming. Traveling with just a carry-on is not just a money saver, but a more relaxing, minimalist way to experience travel. I often opt for hostels to save money and meet people. I’ve met so many fun people this way that it has greatly enriched my experience. I usually travel for months at a time. Because I am a student, I usually spend my entire summers abroad, rather than paying rent in expensive southern California. It actually is cheaper to leave the country to travel than to stay in San Diego, Los Angeles, or Santa Barbara over the summer.

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

For me, the best travel experience means an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. It is usually something unexpected. You can’t plan for it. Sometimes it is something that you have to physically work for, such as the Salkantay Trek to reach Machu Picchu. Other times, it is something completely random like ending up at an underground rave in Budapest with people you just met. Personally, I feel like just getting out there is the most important thing. Some of my best travel experiences are not the ones that were planned for. My best experiences aren’t visiting the Vatican or cruising the Caribbean. I’m grateful and happy to have done those things, but they certainly aren’t my favorite travel memories. My best experiences are those I simply showed up for. A friend I met when I was already in Peru invited me to hike Salkantay. I said yes. The reception of my hostel in Budapest suggested I join a pub crawl. I said yes and ended up with memories of one of the best parties of my life. Even as a young woman traveling alone, you need to trust people to experience life. 

In order to achieve these experiences, I’ve sacrificed my time by working up to 3 part-time jobs at a time during the school year. The most important job that enabled me to travel was being a Resident Assistant, which afforded me free rent in San Diego for a combined total of 4 years. This is not a fun job. It essentially entails enforcing university policy on your neighbors. At the same time, you bond with your colleagues and you really can’t beat living rent-free. Because of this, I highly recommend being an RA for those who are in college. 

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

It took me a few years, but after a lot of experience, I have mastered my personal hostel booking needs. I have stayed in more than a dozen around the world and feel I have figured out exactly what I need to be happy with my travel experience. Staying in hostels has allowed me to travel so much. I visited more than 50 countries by the time I was 25 years old. I could not have done this without hostels. Some hostels cost less than $10 a night. At this point, I have figured out that I don’t need absolute privacy or silence to be most comfortable, but I personally do need to feel secure so ensuring that the hostel has personal lockers for my camera, laptop, and cash is important. A simple thing like a privacy curtain on my bunk bed also goes a long way. 

What matters more to me than a luxurious, “Instagram-worthy” hotel is simply visiting the place. For example, I spent a week in Fiji for less than $400. I met people, ate well, spent time on islands, partied a bit, explored local temples, shopped at local markets, but slept in a mixed-gender bunk bedroom with at least 10 other beds and showered in a shoddy indoor/outdoor bathroom. This last part is the not-so-glamorous part of the experience, but it is the part that made the rest possible. The important thing is I had an incredible time in Fiji, and it did not break the bank.

Sanika from ​​Saunter With Sanika

Sanika from ​​Saunter With Sanika

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this. 

Hey there, I’m Sanika – a traveler and blogger working to merge my love for exploring and writing. I grew up in a family that loved to travel, so finding new adventures has always felt so natural. Now in my early 20s, this pastime interest has turned into a passion project where I share my love for uncovering the diverse beauty of our world while figuring out how to make incredible experiences accessible. I love to tell stories through my travels and create connections with my audience so they can be inspired, but also because I want others to realize that magic is all around us. The greatest thing about how I travel is that I find paradise in the simple things just as much as I do in the more extravagant activities. 

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

My definition of ‘the best travel experience’ is that of an activity or event that happens spontaneously. I can be a very type-A individual when I travel because I always have a hundred different things I want to see and do, but as much as I love an itinerary, over the years, I have realized many of my best memories are of the moments that happened for no particular reason. From dancing around the streets of Faro and Barcelona to tipping a white-water raft in the Sagana River, Kenya – my best experiences are the ones I didn’t see coming. The simplicity of such moments encourages me to be more carefree, and I would sacrifice any schedule to have such beautiful adventures. 

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

Being in my early 20s, budget travel is incredibly important to me. I would much rather save up £1000 for three holidays than blow all that money on a hotel room, and I am a strong believer in the reality that being financially conscious does not limit your fun.

Be open-minded. There are so many ways in which we can save money while traveling. One of my greatest tips is to be open-minded to different destinations instead of having a strong hold on your bucket list. We all have places we would love to visit, but if they are not affordable, then there is nothing wrong with looking for alternatives. No one ever said swapping out the Maldives for Vanuatu or choosing Argentina over Brazil was a bad idea. Life is all about perspective, and finding the good is what’s important.

Travel off-season. Another travel hack I am a huge advocate for is traveling off-season. No matter what others may tell you, off-season or shoulder season is the perfect way to save money without sacrificing your travel needs. With that, you should also try being flexible with travel dates. While I understand not everyone has such luxuries, if possible, avoid traveling on weekends and choose the early morning and late-night fights over all else. 

Avoid cabs/taxis. An even simpler and more obvious thing you can do to stay within budget is to make use of public transport wherever possible and walk as much as you can. 

I believe we all have the capacity to travel within our means and still have the adventures of a lifetime if we remain cautious but also let ourselves breathe and live in the moment.

Catrina from 24 Hours Layover

Catrina from 24 Hours Layover

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this. 

I’m Catrina – a travel writer from the UK currently living in Australia. I quit my job to move abroad 8 years ago as I was tired of traveling just on my annual leave – I wanted to experience living abroad and traveling full-time! I lived in Italy for one year, in The Middle East for 4 years, Fiji for 3 months and Australia for over 3 years now! Living abroad exposes me to different cultures, different ways of life and enables me to travel a lot more than before! Living like a local, I also get to visit lots of lesser-known places in each country than the regular tourist would. 

I used to work as a Flight Attendant so I was traveling constantly, but now I work as a travel writer and travel slower to really appreciate places. I make money through my website to fund my travels, and I often house-sit to cut down on accommodation costs! I love having pets for a company but am not yet ready to have my own pet, so house sitting is perfect for me as I get to look after pets for a short period of time, have a base and nice home to enjoy in a new area (for free!), and then I can hit the road to explore somewhere new!

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

The best travel experience for me is any encounters with the local people, or seeing wildlife in its natural environment. For me, these moments are far more precious and rewarding, and they are the moments I cherish the most when traveling. Seeing kangaroos on the beach in Australia, getting to swim with manta rays, humpback whales, and sea lions in the ocean, getting to stay in homestays with village tribes, all these experiences are by far my favorite part about traveling as they are so authentic and can’t be experienced in many places.

I enjoy these travel experiences more as I feel you get a deeper understanding of a country and you are helping contribute to the local people and local businesses, plus you learn a lot! These unique experiences aren’t always cheap, but I always prioritize them and ensure I incorporate them into my travels at every available opportunity when I visit a new place. 

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

As mentioned before, house sitting is a great way to have good quality accommodation for free whilst traveling. Accommodation often takes out a big chunk of your travel money, so by cutting out accommodation costs where possible, frees up money for me to spend on more travel experiences! I stayed in hostels for many years whilst traveling, but now I just want my own space when I travel so house sitting suits my lifestyle perfectly. It also ensures I can travel on a budget whilst not compromising on the quality of travel.

It’s always good to have more money saved than you think you’ll need, so you can be spontaneous and not feel like you are watching the pennies all the time. Also, as I work as a travel writer and have hundreds of thousands of website viewers per month, I often work together with tourism companies so I can experience their activities in exchange for exposure on my website.

Sabrina from Shades of Summr

Sabrina from Shades of Summr

Website | Website 2 | Instagram 

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this. 

My name is Sabrina and I am a full-time Travel Blogger & Content Creator. My husband and I try to combine Slow Travel & Luxury Travel. We are trying to combine exploring the world mindfully, yet comfortably. We try to include many museums, local productions, and workshops in our travels to gain meaningful experiences. We aim to shop only for hand-crafted souvenirs from local production. For our hotel stays and transportation, we usually do choose luxury options or family-owned accommodations with a lot of character. We believe that travel should also be very relaxing and not stressful on the body. 

What’s your definition of ” the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

For me, the best travel experience is all about the small moments that touch my heart. It honestly can be anything, it does not have to be something big. What makes me happy is having a local tour guide showing us around a place and being proud and passionate about it. That gives me a lot of enthusiasm and happiness for the place. But it can also be a beautiful sunset or a view of the ocean, or maybe a scenic cafe. I believe in making the small moments really meaningful. I am willing to pay extra to have all these experiences, and I want everyone providing services to get a fair share. We always try to tip very handsomely in countries where we know people are not paid well enough. 

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

Joining a rewards program has saved us a lot of money while having amazing experiences. We chose which airline, hotel, or booking provider we travel with the most and we try to stick with them as much as possible. This earned us lots of free upgrades or even free stays. Our credit card provider has free travel insurance included in the annual fee, which saves a lot of money as well. We also try to travel off-season as much as possible to avoid crowds. Also, we opt for smaller villages instead of bigger cities and less touristic places in general. I always try to book accommodations with breakfast included. This fills me up until dinner, so we can spend a bigger amount on a nice dinner. 

Amber from Amber Everywhere

Amber from Amber Everywhere

Website | Instagram | Facebook 

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this. 

My name is Amber and I’m originally from Colorado in the United States, but I moved to Ireland in 2020. I love politics, am a bit of a news junkie and a Swiftie, and have been traveling the world since I was in college. These days, I am a digital nomad working as a consultant, and I also have a travel blog. 

For me, travel is all about trying on different ways of being and learning as much as I can in the process. I love to spend my trips getting to know places, and in the process I like to find all of the ways – big and small – that the world fits together. I ask a lot of questions, read the plaques in museums, and try to be as respectful as I can while trying out new ways of living.

Even when travel gets tough, I try to remember that my few days in Paris are someone else’s trip of a lifetime. It’s an incredible privilege to get to travel and experience new cultures and places, so I try to be as respectful and gracious as possible. 

One of the best parts of travel are the little moments that remind you that the world is really small and welcoming, full of people who are doing their part to make it a better place. Any day that I’m reminded of those truths has been a great day traveling. 

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

I’d define the best travel experience as one where I got to see everything I wanted to see, had special and memorable interactions with the place, and felt as fully present as possible. Sometimes my best travel experience is sitting with strangers on the floor of a hostel talking about life, and other times it’s watching dolphins swim alongside a boat on a tour in Ireland. For me, context is everything, and I’m willing to sacrifice comfort if it means I get to feel fully present and alive on my trip. 

To me, budget travel is all about managing three things: time, convenience, and comfort. As a general rule, we want to save as much time as possible, opt for convenience, and stay comfortable, but all of these things come at a cost. Thus, I try to always consciously choose to cut back when budget traveling, and I make the decision based on where I’m going, my budget, and my fellow tripmates. 

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

I find that the best way to save money while traveling is to consciously choose what to give up on each trip. If I have a long time in one place, for instance, I’ll usually choose to walk more and save on transportation. For short trips, I’ll usually choose a cheaper and less comfortable accommodation so I can be right in the middle of the action. When I’m traveling in Ireland or the US, I’ll often spend a few nights camping ($0 for accommodation isn’t too shabby!). 

However, the easiest way to save money on a trip is to choose cheaper destinations. You can be as frugal as humanly possible, but Dublin will probably still feel like a more expensive trip than if you go to Naples. When you’re budgeting your trip, don’t just look for flights – get a sense of the price of hotels, restaurants you might actually want to try, and museum entrance fees. For this, Booking.com and Google Maps are your friends.

Bernadette from Live a Relaxed Life

Bernadette from Live a Relaxed Life

Website 

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this.

I am a freelance writer and love to travel, so I combined the two and started my blog, Live a Relaxed Life. It’s where I chronicle my solo travels and random things about life in New York City. 

I am a firm believer that women should go on at least one solo adventure a year, whether it is hiking a nearby trail or going abroad and visiting a foreign land. I often travel alone, even if it is cheaper to travel with other people since you can split the expenses. But I always want to get out of town, so I do a solo trip. 

When I’m not traveling, I can be found at home researching where to travel, taking care of my plants, and figuring out what to eat next.

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

So far, the “best travel experience” I have experienced has been in the outdoors and just marveling at the beauty of nature. Thinking about it now, I have always enjoyed walking outside and immersing myself in a city I’m visiting. I love going to museums and trying new food, but it doesn’t have the same effect on me! 

Over the past year, I visited places outside of major cities. It started with a trip through southern Peru and the Salt Flats in Bolivia, and there were times during that trip that I can genuinely describe as magical. Those places were so unique and different from what I am used to. The experiences were so surprising and took a prominent place in memories of my trips. 

The scenery was beautiful, but I had really bad altitude sickness for the first half of my trip. But I didn’t let the constant headaches or being short of breath stop me! I made myself walk slower and take it easy. It was worth it!

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

It is important to me to have a bed to sleep in and get a good night’s sleep. I’m not really into camping or staying at hostels. I also avoid going out at night, so the room has to be comfortable since I will spend a lot of time there. It isn’t just a place to sleep in for me! And I’m glad I’m at a place financially where I can afford to get a space for myself. But that doesn’t mean that I spend a lot on lodging; I have to find a nice place that is within my budget.

Though finding affordable options through websites and apps has become easier, it just takes a lot of time. And I invest my time in looking for a place to stay and getting a good deal. It usually starts with checking the rates for an area and then looking at the cheaper options and if I find them OK. Planning a trip takes a month or two, especially for one abroad. I also read the reviews of the listings to make sure that the place is quiet and clean.

Cecilia and Scott from Lovicarious

Cecilia & Scott from Lovicarious

Website | Instagram | Facebook 

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this. 

We are Cecilia and Scott of the adventure travel blog Lovicarious. We travel the world together with our 2 kids exploring both off-the-beaten-path locations like Matera in Italy or Cordes sur Ciel in France, as well as bucket-list destinations like Zanzibar and London. Adventure is what inspires us – the opportunity to experience something new, exciting, and perhaps out of our comfort zones. It is our hope that others not only live vicariously through our love for travel and human connection but that they are inspired to go out and discover their own great adventures.

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

Our “best travel experience” involves meaningful interactions with others and with the world around us. Travel broadens our perspectives when we immerse ourselves in a new environment or when we connect with others who have different life stories. You will likely find us opting for unique accommodations, dining at “hole in the wall” food stalls, and riding in local methods of transportation. Although these activities are typically less comfortable and unfamiliar, it is in that unfamiliarity that we learn, grow, and create memories.

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs?

Obtaining meaningful interactions with others might mean giving up the familiarity and predictability of a “big name” hotel and instead opting for a hostel, home-stay, or eco-stay. These kinds of accommodations are typically more affordable, and they are also more intimate providing opportunities to meet other travelers and local hosts. Some of our best travel experiences revolve around those spontaneous moments that come from genuine interactions with others.  

While in France, our home-stay host introduced us to a Parisian Chef who then invited us to his home for what was undoubtedly a deliciously memorable meal. While in Costa Rica, we discovered an off-the-beaten-path hike on a dormant volcano as a result of a conversation with another guest at our eco-stay. These adventures are not publicized paid tours, they are simply authentic experiences that result from meaningful engagement with others.

Other ways to increase your interaction with others is by choosing to walk, and when necessary taking public transportation. Both are helpful for saving money, but they also increase opportunities for meeting others and discovering new adventures. 

Stephanie from History Fangirl

Stephanie from History Fangirl

History Fangirl | Oklahoma Wonders | Sofia Adventures

Write a few words about yourself – who you are, what you do, how do you travel and why like this. 

My name is Stephanie Craig. I am a travel writer who focuses on cultural travel. I run three travel websites. One is global in nature, one is about the Balkans, where I lived for four years. The final blog is about the state of Oklahoma, where I grew up and moved back to a few years ago. I have traveled in all kinds of ways and at various budget levels. I’ve been an extended digital nomad traveling solo, gone on months-long family road trips, traveled as part of a couple, and even on large multi-generational trips. 

I prefer to travel with a mid-range budget, opting for small luxuries mixed with cheaper options. While I love a good budget motel, I’ve outgrown the ability to enjoy traveling in hostel dorms just to save a buck or two. And while I adore luxury travel, I prefer to keep things in the mid-range budget so that I can afford to travel for much longer. 

What’s your definition of “the best travel experience”? What does it mean to you? What’s important for you and what are you willing to do and sacrifice to achieve it? 

The best travel experiences are a combination of interest and luck. You can’t plan them. Even with a meticulous travel itinerary, the best travel experiences require a little serendipity. Often it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time. 

This could be in the form of being somewhere alone that’s typically crowded, like seeing the Grand Canyon solo. You could arrive in a city in Spain unaware that a festival is about to take place and get completely swept up in the crowd. A dog could join you on your Icelandic beach picnic, or you might see a herd of sheep crossing in front of a church just as you come around the curve. 

To have these kinds of experiences, you have to plan your trip and then, once you are there, let go a little. Be flexible. Follow your intuition. Look for the magic and the unexpected instead of simply trying to check items off a to-do list.

What ways did you find to maintain the best travel quality and stay within a budget? What are your tricks and tips on saving money without sacrificing your travel needs? 

To travel with your budget in mind, decide how much you’re willing to spend on a hotel, activity, or transportation. Then look for the most bougie version you can find in that price range. Check other travelers’ reviews to ensure you’re still getting a good quality experience for the money.

Skip upgrades, but don’t skip the experience altogether. This could look like planning a DIY day trip instead of going on a guided tour or pairing a guided tour day with a day of free and cheap activities.  

Knowing what you want to do ahead of time will allow you to find the best prices for these activities and help you decide which activities truly fall outside of the budget.

Then once you’re on the trip, stick to your budget within reason. Don’t ruin each day by being too stingy, but pay attention so you don’t accidentally go overboard. When you do go outside of your budget, do it with intention.

Happy Little Traveler | Travelers Talks

Our advice on how to get the best travel experience on a limited budget

Hello again, we’re happy that you’re still reading! We know, we know, so much information to be absorbed already from this post. We promise to keep our answer short and sweet. 

So how do we travel? We are slow travelers and full-time digital nomads since August 2021. If you want to learn more about our traveling journey look around this blog or take a look at the “Retrospective On The First Year Of Living As Digital Slowmads” and “What Is Slow Travel?” posts. 

After many years of fast traveling, we fell in love with the opposite – slow traveling. Currently, the best travel experience for us means staying in one place for a longer period of time without rushing. It allows us to better understand local culture and daily lifestyle, immerse into a place, and experience it to its fullest on our terms. It also means having time to visit popular spots, but also discovering those less popular. We love freedom and the work-life balance that comes with it.  

So how do we do that without breaking the bank? What are our tricks? This might come as surprise but in our case, 2 months of slow traveling costs us, more or less, as… 8 days all-inclusive holiday. Due to the fact that we stay for a few weeks in one apartment, we take advantage of various monthly/weekly discounts. We mainly travel during the low season and skip summer destinations, thanks to what prices are way, way lower.

How to get the best travel experience on a limited budget? – Summing up 

You made it to the end, congrats and hurray! We hope you found the above advice and stories helpful. The best travel experience means different things for each traveler, and each of us finds different ways and makes sacrifices to maintain it. What the best travel experience means to you, and what do you do to maintain it and yet still stay within a limited budget? Share it in the comments below, it would be awesome! Happy traveling!


Pin & share:
Travelers Talks: How To Get The Best Travel Experience On A Limited Budget?

Home » Travelers Talks: How To Get The Best Travel Experience On A Limited Budget?

Your Travel Resources Handy In One Place 🗺️

🏨 Accommodations

For a short stay check out Booking or Agoda. Staying longer? Take a look at the offers at Airbnb.

🎫 Book tours

Are you up for taking part in epic guided tours? Book ones you like using GetYourGuide or Viator.

🚗 Rent a car

To find great rental car deals check out Rental Cars and get ready for your car trip!

✈️ Book a flight

For the hottest deals check out WayAway or Skyscanner.

🚆 Get train tickets

Love traveling by train in Europe? Book your tickets on Trainline.

🧳 Travel insurance

Enjoy peace of mind during traveling and don't leave your country without good travel insurance. SafetyWing or World Nomads are the best in class. 

🛡️ VPN

To stay safely connected while traveling, don’t forget about a good VPN. We recommend Surfshark or NordVPN.

🌐 Mobile internet

To stay online always and have roaming bills in check use Airalo - the world’s first eSIM store with digital data packs for over 200 countries/regions!

💰Travel finances

Get your travel finances smart and straight with Wise or Revolut.

2 thoughts on “Travelers Talks: How To Get The Best Travel Experience On A Limited Budget?”

  1. Love, love, love your series and getting to know more travel writers and their takes on travel. This time the general consensus seems to be that the best travel moments are the unexpected and random happenings out there on the road. I can relate to that and agree. I don’t travel on a limited budget, so my experience is a bit different here and counting staying in a nice hotel as definitely a factor for a unique travel experience.

    Carolin | Solo Travel Story

  2. I Amber saying one of her best travel experiences was seeing everything they wanted to see. Too often people say the cliche “it’s the moment I didn’t expect.” I don’t even disagree with that sentiment, but there’s something to be said for plans that come to fruition. Also, agree 100% on credit card perks and like Rich said – pay your statements off each month to make it worthwhile!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top