­‏The Ultimate Guide to Travel Overseas on a Tight Budget

I’m sure we would all love to take a lengthy break from our everyday routines every once in a while, and jet off to a dreamy vacation. So you jump on your computer and search far and wide for the most inexpensive flight you can find, but your search only leaves you disappointed when all you can find is high-priced flights that you can’t afford. Travel is one of the most rewarding, and memorable experiences out there and just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to travel. Below I put together  the ultimate guide to taking on overseas travel when you are on a budget. 

 Save Money

Consider planning your trip ahead of time, in order to save up before your trip. The best time to start planning is 6-12 months in advance. After you have decided where you would like to vacation overseas, start to set aside travel funds in a separate savings account through your bank or a trusted online service. Saving can be hard, especially if you keep having to touch the money you have saved, by setting up a separate savings account you will be more likely to avoid accidentally spending your vacation money. 

Travel in the Off-season

Most destinations are more popular to visit at certain times of the year. So if you can travel in the off season you can avoid tourist crowds, and save a little money because tickets are typically a lot cheaper.

Take Advantage of Free Activities

Every city has a ton of free activities that you can enjoy while you are visiting. You can search for them in advance on TripAdvisor to see what activities will commence when you are visiting.  Public parks, food festivals, or free concerts it is best to take advantage of these free activities so you don’t have to spend extra money on entertainment.


Whenever you book a flight to a new place, finding a place to stay while there can be the costliest detail of the entire trip. A high number of people book a hotel when they travel to a different place. Wasting a considerable amount of money on just a mediocre hotel. Airbnb is a website where you are able to rent out someone else’s loft, house, or flat. You are able to stay for as long as you want to for a low price. There are a variety of prices, of course the more upscale houses are a lot pricier. There are plenty of low-cost homes that are just as nice. The raving reviews on most homes will prove this.

Airbnb is extremely easy to use. I played around with it when I first discovered it. I found a place in Greece, yes Greece for only $40 a night. This wasn’t just any home either, this was an attractive home with a stunning view of Puros Island. I even found different homes in France in the $30-$40 range with marvelous views.  Click here to get a $45 Travel Credit!

Decide On a Budget

Deciding on a reasonable budget, is the first most important step when it comes to planning a trip overseas. Important questions to ask yourself; how much you can afford to spend overall? What will be you’re largest cost? Where can you save money? Once you have a good budget number in mind, take away whatever is going to be your grandest costs. For example, your flight, hotel, and emergency expenses. Don’t skimp out when it comes to emergency expenses you never know when something might come (missed flights, health scare) up while away on vacation overseas.

Whatever you have left will be spent on smaller cost, such as food, transportation, drinks and activities, entertainment, and souvenirs. The best way to figure out how much you have to spend each day is to divide the remaining amount (after subtracting largest cost) by the number of days you’ll be traveling.

What to Pack?

Essential Guide to Packing Like a Minimalist Traveler

Many airlines, and railways limit you to one carry on, and if your suitcase is over the size requirement. You often have to pay extremly high fees, so you want to try to pack light.

Go to Clothing Pieces + Clothing Essentials

We all have those clothing pieces that we always wear, because we know without a doubt they look good on us. The go-to pieces you always take with you on a vacation. Pack those pieces and whatever essentials you have in your closet. Make sure to check the weather before you jet off so you know what to encounter. If you are going somewhere warm you can bring multiple shirts, and one or two pair of your favorite shorts instead of shorts for every shirt. Think fewer, but better articles of clothing. What better clothes to explore the world in, then your favorite pieces?

Don’t be afraid to repeat outfits, to make a little more room. You should be able to wear most articles of clothing more than once unless they get extremely dirty. You can also roll your close to make room in your suitcase.

Limit Your Toiletries and Electronics

When it comes to makeup and toiletries it can be all too easy to fill your bag to the brim with stuff you are hardly going to use. All you really need is one powder, one liquid foundation, one mascara, and one eyebrow pencil. Bring anything else it will most likely just sit in your travel suitcase. Another great tip is to bring mini products like this mini blow dryer from ghd.

If you are going on vacation, consider taking only your camera and phone. Download your entertainment and your work on one device so that only one device and plug is needed.

Other Small Things to Pack:
  • Ear Plugs and Eye Mask
  • Phrasebook
  • Multi-Country Adaptor

Essential Things You Must DO


Venture out at night

Venturing out at night, can be pretty terrifying. Come night time a city begins to transform, and the vibes are different. If you are not a bar or club person. Check out some live music, or a nice restaurant. It doesn’t need to be every night, try to go out at least one night to get to experience the culture in full.  Don’t worry too much about planning out your night get dressed up, and just see where the night takes you.

Walk or Take Public Transport

Rent a bike or scooter, catch the local bus, or rent a bike. You will do more sight-seeing, and experience the culture in full.

Study Up on the Culture, Language, and Customs

Before you take your next adventure, study up on the culture and language. There’s no way you will learn an entire language over night, but learn some key phrases so you’re not completely lost. Even if you don’t actually speak the language where you’re going download google translate, and learn some key phrases like  “thank you,” and “dinner was very good.” Before you travel, learn about local customs and etiquette. Did you know tipping in Japan can be construed as an insult? This obviously only applies if you are going somewhere international. Although it’s always nice to read about other states you’re visiting, and their history.

Develop a Safe Plan

As much as a thrill traveling is, it can be risky in some circumstances. Develop a safe plan if things happen to go wrong, if you happen to get hurt. Make sure to have a safe fund as well to hold you over you over if things get tricky or go south. I learned my lesson about having a safe fund, when I slipped on a slippery rock by the beach in Tijuana. I had to get money wired to me to visit a clinic, I had to be in pain for a while though.  If you have a medical condition or any allergies, learn about how you can make your needs clear to avoid any major accidents. It is better to be prepared when it comes to your health while you’re on vacation.

Be Spontaneous

Jump off a cliff, try a new dessert, spend an afternoon walking around the city, head out by yourself, take a surf lesson, throw away your map, and do something unexpected. Get outside your comfort zone, and do something that makes you fearful, and panicky. You will learn new things about yourself, and have a great story to tell your friends. It can be enticing to stay in your safe zone, but it is even more fun to get out of your resort and explore. Your safety should always be your number one priority. Try to challenge yourself to get out of your resort and ask the locals about “secret locations”.  The beauty of traveling is you don’t have to stress about time, you usually have nowhere important to be so you can just truly enjoy yourself.  Leave room in your budget for spontaneous decisions!

Leave Time Open for Eating, and Relaxing

Don’t plan your trip down to the last hour, or you may not be able to actually vacation. So leave some time to just lounge in your hotel, or order room service in bed.

Visit Multiple Cities

Make the most of your trip by visiting more then one country. If you are staying for only for a couple of days this may not work, but for a longer trip you could visit two or three countries. The best way to do this is usually by Train: check out TrainTraveling to find inexpensive train rides. Taking a train between countries is typically really inexpensive, and cost less than $100 round trip.

What are your best tips for travel overseas?

Where is your favorite place to visit? 

  • Joanie,
    I enjoyed reading your post. I travel a lot and was so happy you mentioned about a safe fund. If overseas, you’d be surprised how expensive visiting a doctor can be! And I loved your photos!

  • Dionna Chambers

    I am traveling to Europe next month and cannot wait! Thank you for the inspiring blog post. My favorite is your quote by Vivienne Westwood. So excited and cannot wait to get out of my city for a bit!

  • Noelia Canales Cole

    This is great advice.

  • Trisha Rawlings

    These are great tips! Figuring out what to pack has been one of the hardest things for me over the years, but after a lot of work travel, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it. I usually try to get samples of shampoo, conditioner, bodywash online in the months leading up to the trip so I have miniature size toiletries that are perfect for travel, they’re free, and I don’t have to tote them home with me after my trip!

  • I’ve caught the travel bug big time! Thanks for the advice! I would ideally like to travel to Germany and England after I graduate.

  • See Nic Wander

    Great advice! Traveling in the off season is definitely a great way to get the most for your money. I always try to travel with thank you cards. Every time I travel I meet someone wonderful who helps me immensely, and it is nice to be able to give them something in return! It has also come in handy for returning room keys at hostels, leaving tips, etc.

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