These 13 tips will save you money on travel.


You want to travel but are looking for ways to save money. Even if inflation and high gas prices are putting a strain on your wallet, you can still afford to go on your next vacation.

Here are 13 ways to save money on your next travel adventure.

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1. Embrace the cost savings of fall travel

Autumn is an excellent time to cash in on lower travel costs. Fewer travelers and less demand make fall a cheaper time to travel.

“Traveling in the fall is actually my favorite time to travel. The summer crowds have diminished, so you aren’t shoulder to shoulder with other tourists, and prices are generally lower for both flights and accommodation,” says Matt Kepnes, author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day and the website Nomadic Matt.

Autumn and October, in particular, is a beautiful time of year for travel; the changing seasons and cool temps make it a great time for a scenic outdoor journey.

“October often has some of the best weather in places all over the world,” says Sarah Stocking, destinations editor for Lonely Planet. “Less crowds and incredible weather, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

2. Head outdoors for travel savings

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Autumn is a great time to travel with lower costs on hotels and airfare.

Outdoor activities are fun and affordable when traveling in autumn. There’ll also be fewer crowds vying for equipment rentals and fewer crowds on the river, lake, road, or trails.

“Get outside,” Stocking says.”Hiking, kayaking, cycling, any of these great outdoor activities are all great in the fall and don’t cost much beyond equipment rental.”

If you prefer something less strenuous, check out the outdoor markets and street food stalls and get a taste of local produce and cuisine. Not sure if there is a market nearby? Check with a local tourist information center for information but many markets occur on Saturday mornings and run into the afternoons.

“Fall is harvest season, and farmer’s markets are overflowing. Plus, it’s a great way to get into some local culture,” Stocking says.

Look for free, outdoor entertainment. You may not have to pay a thing to listen to a local band in the town square. Keep your eyes and ears open to local entertainment. Look for signs in the town square, the town’s visitor center and do a quick search online. You also can ask a local. They know their town better than any one.

“So many towns and cities have free concerts in the parks and squares, lots of free outdoor movie nights and open-mic nights,” Stocking says.

3. Check out city websites for travel deals

Cities are looking to drum up tourism in the autumn months. So check for deals and specials before you go. Choose your destination, the dates you would like to stay and look for accommodation and travel deals. You may find quite a bargain.

“San Diego does a kid-friendly October with tons of deals for families and other cities also take advantage of fewer tourists to offer discounts and free days to all kinds of attractions,” Stocking says.

4. Be flexible with travel plans

A commercial airplane soaring through the sky.

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Flexibility with your travel dates and destinations will help you save on travel costs.

If you have your heart set on traveling to a specific place, it could be tougher to land a reasonable price. But if you loosen up your travel plans and go where the deals are, you’ll save money.

“For the best deals, be flexible with your travel dates and, ideally, your destination,” Kepnes says.”The more flexibility you have, the easier it will be to build your plans around finding deals instead of trying to find deals that fit your rigid plans.”

5. Choose affordable locations for travel

Some locations are less expensive for travelers. Choosing one of these locations for an upcoming trip is a great way to save money.

“When it comes to balancing affordability and safety, you can’t beat Southeast Asia. Thailand, in particular, is very cheap and very safe and has something for everyone,” Kepnes says. “And, while Europe is commonly considered a more expensive destination, countries like Portugal, Greece, Romania, and Albania make visiting Europe very affordable without having to compromise on quality or safety.”

6. Sign up for travel deals websites

Not sure how to find the best travel deals? Let a website do it for you. Airfarewatchdog and Cheapflights are among travel sites offering deals on airfare.

Kepnes prefers Scott’s Cheap Flights. “To save on airfare, you should sign up for deal websites like Scott’s Cheap Flights,” Kepnes says.”They comb the internet for the best flight deals so you don’t have to. I’ve saved hundreds on flights thanks to the deals they’ve found.”

7. Use an app to save on gas

A person fueling up their car at a gas station.

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Nowadays, every opportunity to save on gas is important.

Any way to save money on gas is much appreciated. Kepnes recommends Gas Buddy, an app that finds the cheapest gas prices near you.

“If you’re going on a longer road trip, sign up for the monthly program; it costs $9.99 but will save you up to 40 cents a gallon, ” Kepnes says. ”It pays for itself very quickly.”

Getting a gas credit card is another way to save money at the pump. You can earn cash back or earn rewards points. These days every little bit helps.

8. Get a travel credit card

With a travel credit card, you can earn free trips, free accommodations through your credit card spending, and free annual travel credits.

“You can earn free flights and free hotel stays with just your normal, everyday spending, allowing you to drastically cut the cost of your next trip,” Kepnes says.

With the best travel rewards cards, you get plenty of additional perks such as travel accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and coverage if your suitcase arrives damaged or is lost. All will protect you if something goes wrong with your trip.

9. Avoid foreign transaction fees

Are you heading overseas? Pack a credit card without foreign transaction fees, which can be as high as 3%. Otherwise, you’ll be paying as much as 3% more for each item you charge on your overseas adventure.

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And don’t forget to pack a backup card or two.

“It’s always good to have a few credit card options while you’re abroad just in case one stops working or gets lost or stolen,” Kepnes says.

10. Stay at hostels

A hostel bedroom with many bunk beds.

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Staying at hostels is a good way to save money, especially if you’re a light packer and stay out all day.

Want to lower your travel accommodation costs? Stay at budget-friendly hostels.

“You can save a lot of money by choosing to stay in a dorm in a cool hostel over a pricey private hotel room,” says Matt Kiefer, founder of Hostelgeeks. “Most hostels come with a fully equipped kitchen, which means you can cook your own meals. That alone will save you lots of money while traveling, especially in western countries like France and Spain.”

While staying at the hostel, you may learn about some fun, affordable activities you can do.

“Hostels are well-known for organizing more budget-friendly travel activities and even tours,” Kiefer says. “This can be a canal cruise in Amsterdam for half the regular price or a free walking tour around Paris.”

To get the price of a hostel stay even lower, visit a hostel price comparison website like You may be able to knock 10% to 20% per night off your stay.

“It’s super easy to use, and within a few clicks, you know which booking platform offers the cheapest hostel price,” Kiefer says.

11. Be creative with travel points

A little savings on travel beats no savings on travel, so don’t be afraid to cash in points before a full travel reward is earned.

“Our latest and greatest tip for how to save money on travel is to use your stored away credit card and airline points creatively to get (discounts) on travel even if your points don’t cover the entire cost of the flight,” say Becca Siegel and Dan Gold owners and travel bloggers at Half Half Travel.

Siegel and Gold used this strategy for their travels in 2022.

“For example, this year so far, we used a collection of Wells Fargo, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, United Airlines, and American Airlines miles to get free flights or hotel stays,” Siegel says. “But it doesn’t mean that we specifically had enough points on any single platform to cover the entire cost of the journey.”

So mix and match your travel rewards on your next trip. You could trim your travel costs by a nice amount even without a full reward.

12. Sign up for airline email alerts

Got a favorite airline? Sign up for email alerts, and you could score major cost savings on airline ticket prices.

“The best way to score super cheap airline tickets is to take advantage of flash sales that are only advertised via email alerts,” says Gennifer Rose, who writes a travel and lifestyle blog at “When you receive the sale alert email, open it immediately and search the flight options for your home city and desired destination. The best ticket prices sell out very quickly. I have scored $30 tickets from SFO to NYC during a JetBlue Halloween flash sale.”

13. Shop smart on travel accessories

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.


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