Budget Travel

Booking cheap flights

(Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights)

For a yearly subscription fee of $49, Scott and his team track flight prices and notify you when there are mega discounts flying out of your airport. It does require you to be a little flexible with your travel dates, but the savings are fantastic. (Use my affiliate link to sign up!)

This can get a little addicting, but what I love about Google Flights is how easy it is to plan your travel dates based on the price. Their calendar makes it so simple. You can also see if prices are low, standard or high, and when a good time to pull the trigger is.

SkyScanner checks the prices of every last airline, plus lists options out by best, cheapest and shortest. You can also sign up for their price alerts and get updated as the price on your flight rises or drops. They’ll even search nearby airports, which never hurts.

Finding cheap accommodations

Hostelworld is the major resource where just about every hostel under the sun is listed. I love hostels. They’re the answer to the cheap traveler’s prayers. They’re customizable (most offer everything from a bed in a 12 person dorm to a private room with an ensuite). They usually have free breakfast. And there’s almost always some cool event going on where you can meet fellow travelers.

If you really want to immerse yourself into whatever destination you’re about to visit, then Couchsurfing is about as real as it gets.

A local will offer you their couch (it’s not always a couch, but you get it) and in exchange, you both will get a cultural perspective. It’s such a neat service and will really show you the ins and outs of wherever it is you’re staying.

This is a great option for travel-addicted pet lovers. Members who pay the $119 annual fee can find pet owners needing someone to watch their furry friends while they’re away. You can stay in the home for free, and give a pet some scritches in the process.

There are also a couple of house sitting options for those unfortunate enough to be cursed with allergies *raises hand*.

Inexpensive transportation

Rome2Rio can find you multiple routes at a wide range of prices. Whether you want to take a train, ferry, airplane or more, they’re great for narrowing down the best option. (Plus, the price estimates tend to be pretty on-point.) 

BlaBlaCar is ideal if the price of an Uber made you weep. It’s an online carpooling service that’s designed to connect you with other passengers and drivers who are willing to split the cost of gas. Bonus: new travel friends on the way to your destination.

Are you like me and love nothing more than a good train ride from one destination to the next? Then Seat61 is for you! Mark Smith will tell you everything you need to know about the train route you have in mind. He even throws in the occassional ferry recommendation.

Best travel credit cards

If you’re new to the idea of travel hacking, give Money.com’s article a read through. They break down what to look for in a credit card and how to maximize its usage.

Finding a good credit card with killer rewards is an awesome way to earn points and save money on flights. NerdWallet frequently compiles the best of the best, so you can find and apply for the one that fits you best.

Study abroad advice
Solo travel ideas
tips from other bloggers

*Note: I don’t recommend Airbnb unless you can verify the host is a legitimate local, not a real estate company or scammer. Blogger Nomadic Matt has documented the problem brilliantly, saying that the hosting site, “has turned a blind eye to the fact that real estate companies, property managers, and other individuals can list as many properties as they want. These companies, tapping into tourists’ desire to have a home away from home, buy up properties in the city center, which then decreases the supply of rental properties for locals, increases rental prices, and forces residents out.”