The 5 Most Inexpensive Ways to Travel

Rethink Where You Sleep

vincentq / Flickr | and resorts are among the biggest expenses for travelers. With rates ranging from $50 to $300 a night or more for a bedroom, looking at alternative places to lay your head can help you save. When you start researching vacation destinations, don’t start with hotels and resorts. Consider renting an apartment or house to save money. You can find available rentals on sites like and Most of these homes rent by the week, and can save you considerably over the cost of a per-night hotel rental.

(Image via flickr)

‘Couch Surfing’

thedailyenglishshow / Flickr | you are traveling alone or with an adventurous partner, you might consider “couch surfing.” You can find cheap, maybe even free places to stay by arranging to sleep on someone’s couch or in their spare bedroom. provides a way to find people all over the world who are willing to accommodate travelers in their home and helps ensure the safety of travelers with a number of features -- but please use common sense when considering this resource.

If you have only ever stayed in hotels and resorts, or in vacation home rentals, maybe it is time to try your hand at camping! There are public campgrounds set up all over the country where you can spend time relaxing under the stars in a tent or sleep in your car for a few bucks a night.

(Image via flickr)

Travel with Friends and Family

travel tips 3Another way to decrease the cost of travel is to share a trip with friends and family. Find a house or condo large enough to accommodate your travel group and split the expenses of the home rental. A $1,500 weekly rental split among three or four travelers makes it much more affordable for everyone.

Renting an entire home also gives you access to a kitchen. Making some of your own meals rather than eating out three times a day will certainly save you a lot.

Staying in the same house as friends or family doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute of your vacation together, either. It just gives you an affordable place to sleep and unwind after a day at the beach or exploring the area.

(Image via flickr)

Look at All-Inclusive Options

travel tips 4You can often find great deals for all-inclusive resorts that charge one price for your room, your food, your beverages, and on-site activities. Many all-inclusive resorts are located in Mexico and the Caribbean -- which means active travelers can enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, surfing, hiking, or sailing on-site.

Less active travelers or people just looking to relax can simply find a comfortable spot on the beach. Just because you are staying at a resort doesn’t mean you are stuck there either. You can make your the resort your “home base” and then venture out on your own.

For about $220 per day average, you’ll have everything you need for your vacation -- which is quite the savings over paying for a hotel and meals separately. Watch for all-inclusive travel deals on and for even bigger savings.

(Image via flickr)

Go on a Cruise

travel tips 5Cruises are also a money-saving option over many types of travel, while not completely inclusive; their prices include the lodging, meals, and most entertainment on the ship. You will need to be careful with your drinks on a cruise ship, as most are not included and can easily rack up an expensive bill at the end of your cruise. However, there are also drink packages that will help you save, or you can choose from the list of free beverages (coffee, tea, and juice are generally included in the price of your cruise). Choose to sail out of a cruise port within driving distance from your home and you eliminate the need for airfare.

(Image via flickr)

  • Lauren

    Love to see traveling articles! Hostels are great options too. Dorm style rooms are the most affordable, but they usually have private rooms as well if you want your own space. They’re cheap and a great place to meet new like-minded people. Another perk is that they have a ton of lower cost activity/tourist options since they’re geared towards travelers on a budget.

  • Cruises are often not environmentally responsible options.

  • All-inclusive options are often not socially responsible … better to put your own package together from local people and firms, and buy local when you are there …

  • Nice article. Ample time spent in planning each and every day of your trip with backup options can save you from overspending. Backpackers are ready for adventure but not business people who travel on sidelines of business trips. Same is true for family trippers. Social media review sites, and maps based apps which crowd source can get you a lot of first hand information from fellow travelers.

  • MrChocoholic

    While cruising isn’t for everyone, the lines do offer various ways to save money off listed “brochure” rates. We Florida residents over 55 who have sailed on a line before get the best rates.

  • Bojorco

    This is by and large one of the most useless articles I’ve ever read.

  • David Lane

    I like your suggestion of using alternatives to hotels and resorts. We have used aparthotels in city center and have been amazed at the savings. The Torres de Alba suite hotel in Panama City Panama has wonderful accomodation including full kitchen and washer/dryer right in the apartment in desirable location. We also like the Trianon Residence in Recoleta Buenos Aires with very large units in the best location in the city. Look these places up on the web and on tripadvisor for more info. Great savings and homey feeling with hotel desk 24/7 and cabs right outside the front door.