Top 11 Travel Tips to Travel Cheap

Tricks to ensure your next trip doesn’t blow your budget.

Travelling… it can be relaxing, fun, life-changing and expensive. You may expect an international getaway to cost a pretty penny, but if not planned carefully in advance, even a short trip to a neighbouring province can be costly. Looking to go on holiday but strapped for cash? Check out this compiled list of tips to ensure your next trip doesn’t break the bank.

1. Compare rates for lodging

Whether you’re looking for a resort, hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast or vacation rental, go online to find deals because from insurance to accommodations, comparison sites are the best. Another way to save on accommodations? Stay with friends or family at your destination!

Travel aggregators like Expedia or TripAdvisor can find you the cheapest deal for whatever accommodations you seek. These sites are also good for finding package deals if you’re looking for flights and hotels or even car rentals.

  • If you’re not one to sweat the details, blind-bidding sites like Hotwire or Priceline will sometimes offer further discounts on typically pricey accommodations. The thought of not knowing what you’re booking until you book it may seem scary, but Hotwire has historically produced decent customer satisfaction and very rare horror stories. (Tip provided by @CoffeeWithJulie)
  • Accommodation-sharing sites that allow anyone to post their property for vacation rental like Airbnb, VRBO or FlipKey by TripAdvisor have become a popular and also inexpensive option.

2. Take advantage of loyalty programs and credit card rewards

Your credit card can help relieve you of some of the costs of jet-setting. Take full advantage of loyalty programs that offer cash back or travel points for everyday purchases. For those of you taking road trips, some cards also collect points that you can use towards gas. (Tip provided by @IBBtravel)

3. Travel during off season

Consider travelling during the off-season. If you don’t have school-aged children, September is a terrific month to explore Canada or the United States as airlines and accommodations usually lower their rates after Labour Day. (Tip provided by @IBBtravel)

4. Journey at night

Whether you’re taking a bus, train or plane, if the option is available, opt to travel at night. Rates are sometimes cheaper for night journeys and you avoid paying for accommodations for that night.

(Tip provided by @savvari)

5. Pack less, pay less

Stick to the necessities and travel light to save more. The more you pack, the more likely you’ll have to pay airline fees for overweight luggage or extra baggage. Another helpful tip: Travel-sized toiletries are light, but can be expensive if bought pre-filled. Buy empty travel-sized bottles from your local dollar store and fill them with lotions and soaps from home.

6. Pack travel insurance

Travel insurance isn’t just a recommendation, it’s a necessity. No matter how short your trip, or how close to home you'll be, if you get sick or injured while travelling, doctor fees and hospital bills can become outrageous. For a small price, travel insurance protects you from taking a huge financial hit.

7. Take a road trip

Road trips with friends or family are a great way to create memorable experiences and take up the sights. The total cost for fuel divided by the number of passengers will probably pale in comparison to the price for a plane ticket per person.

8. Explore by foot or bus

Taxi rides can be convenient, but can also be fairly expensive. Get a map, skip the bus tour and put on your best walking shoes and find your way around the area. Taking public transit and walking is a cheap and lovely way to squeeze in some exercise, explore, and experience the city like locals.

9. Keep snacks and drinks on-hand

The quick stops for water and snacks can add up and be time-consuming. If you have access to a fridge at your accommodation, find a local grocery store and stock up on water, juice and snacks to take with you while you’re out and about. You can also save a lot of money and time on a road trip by bringing your own cooler with items like sandwich meat, cheeses, fruits and drinks. (Tip provided by @savvari)

Compare and Save on Insurance Rates

Find the lowest insurance rate and start saving today

10. Save on roaming

No matter where you go, you’re inevitably going to feel the urge at some point to send a text, make a call, or post a beach selfie on Instagram. Stay connected hassle-free by researching roaming options for your cell phone plan. The one-time cost for a roaming package or local SIM card can save you hundreds in ridiculous pay-per-use charges. (Tip provided by @Brandon_Sousa)

11. Take a staycation

Lastly, if leaving your hometown is too far a stretch, discover the hidden gems that your own area has to offer. Try a new restaurant, discover a new conservation area, or take a short drive over to the next city over and see what fun new places you may find. (Tip provided by @IBBtravel) Follow our contributors by clicking the images on the right!

Latest Articles

Ontario’s Out-of-Country Emergency Medical Coverage Is Officially No More

As of January 1, 2020, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) no…

Ontario Auto Insurance Company Rate Tracker

Easily compare the rate fluctuations of Ontario's auto insurance companies with Kanetix's…

Here We Go Again: Ontario Car Insurance Rates Continue to Rise

When it comes time to renew your policy, chances are good you’ll…

Take the Quiz: Do You Know Your Rights as an Air Passenger?

Canada’s new Air Passenger Protection Regulations reinforce the adage, “time is money”.…