It’s easy to get carried away when you’re planning a vacation. However, you don’t want to spend the next year paying for a single week of leisure time. Here’s how to ensure you get as much as possible out of your travel budget so you can rest easy, both during and after your trip.

1. Stay Close to Home

At first, a vacation close to home might not sound so exciting. In reality, many people who live and work in the same area rarely have the time and energy to explore the more entertaining aspects of their communities. It’s also a chance to cut the transportation portion of getting to a particular destination. What’s more, by staying close to home, you reduce travel time, which in turn can mean more time simply having fun.

If you’re having trouble thinking of your hometown in a new light, explore websites that help you find fun things to do. Chances are, you’ll add a whole new aspect to how you see your area and potentially enjoy your everyday life all the more.

2. Share the Fun

One of the best ways to stretch your travel funds is to plan a trip with friends. Not only do you get to share the costs, by sharing your experiences, but you also have that much more fun throughout your adventures. You can split a rental car, fuel costs, and even divvy up a vacation rental. This way, you can take things a step further: Buy groceries and put the kitchen to use for at least a few meals, cutting expenses all the more.

3. Raise the Roof

When was the last time you slept under the stars? When it comes to low-cost travel, one of the best solutions is foregoing a roof overhead entirely. The money you save on a hotel can easily cover your airfare, or you can rent a camper and drive to your destination. You can rent your gear as well, and then stay in one of the beautiful National or State Parks sprinkled throughout the country. Cooking can be simplified with easy recipes from Eureka! prepared from five ingredients or less. Just be sure to brush up on camping safety before you go.

4. Take to the Skies

Flying can be a hassle, and it can be expensive, but sometimes it’s a must to reach your destination of choice. If your trip requires becoming airborne, Nomadic Matt suggests being flexible in your dates and times to stretch your budget. Going during peak seasons or major events will drive the cost up. 


Similarly, if you’re flexible on where you land, you can save big time. For instance, instead of traveling to Louisville, KY, it might be less expensive to land in Cincinnati, OH, on a particular date, or vice versa. Also examine the various airports in the cities you’re considering since flying into some might be cheaper than others.

5. Save on International Travel

Speaking of flying, just because you’re traveling internationally doesn’t mean you can’t save. Research less touristy restaurants and activities that won’t cost you as much. Ask the locals for their opinion because they may be able to recommend some low-cost options. Use public transportation whenever possible instead of taking expensive cab rides. If you’re traveling in areas with limited Wi-Fi, be sure to avoid overage charges by signing up for a prepaid international plan so you’ll be able to stay in touch with friends and family and use your smartphone for any travel-related tasks. 


When it comes to planning a vacation, you want the experience to help you relax. If it destroys your budget, you’ll have more stress later, so put cost-saving strategies to work for you. Share the experience with friends, stay close to home, sleep under the stars, find low-cost flights – or enlist a combination of ideas. Switching things up from traditional vacation planning can amp up your fun, and cut down on costs.

Let’s put some of these great tips into practice and find our next travel destinaiton! Use the StaffTraveler app today to find the loads for your next adventure!

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Michelle Sandoval

Michelle is a flight attendant based out of LAX. She’s also a wife and mother with a family who loves to travel and explore the world together. She has lived in Southern California most of her life but also has called Bogota Colombia and Las Vegas home.