Making Your Dream Vacation a Reality: Budget Travel Tips for 2023

Jason Dookeran
8 min readMar 7, 2023
Sights like these are worth seeing in person

Everyone has a dream vacation, but making budget travel happen can be a challenge. Vacations are a time to relax, unwind, and get some exploring done. Depending on the type of tourist you are, you’ll aim at one or more of the different types of entertainment options at your destination. But how do you ensure that you always have the money you need to enjoy your destination to the fullest? Let’s look at how to do budget travel right in this article.

Setting a Budget for Your Dream Vacation

Put aside the money you think you’ll need and a little bit more

Setting a realistic budget is the first step to making your dream vacation a reality. Before you start researching destinations or booking flights, consider how much money you’re willing to spend on your vacation. Consider the cost of flights, accommodation, activities, food, and other expenses such as insurance or visas. Once you have a budget, you can start researching destinations that fit your budget.

There are plenty of ways to make your money go further, such as using travel rewards programs, taking advantage of flight sales, and using public transportation. Sites like Skyscanner can let you set up flight alerts, so you can get the lowest cost of a ticket to your destination. It’s also important to factor in any additional costs, such as souvenirs or unexpected expenses. also offers you a great selection of budget travel options. You want to avoid being caught off-guard with an unexpected expense, so it’s a good idea to set aside some extra money for unforeseen costs. You can also make use of budgeting apps or websites to help you keep track of your spending. Watching your spending doesn’t mean cheaping out on things. You can still have an awesome vacation without crucifying your bank account.

Researching Your Ideal Destination

Beaches are the thing for me

Once you have a budget, it’s time to start researching your ideal destination. Consider what you want from your vacation. Are you looking for a relaxing beach getaway, an adventurous backpacking trip, or a cultural exploration? Do you want to visit cities or rural villages?

One way to start your research is to look for travel blogs and websites dedicated to your desired destination. These can give you an idea of what to expect and help you narrow down your list of potential destinations. You can also look for online travel forums and read about other travelers’ experiences. Another great way to research your destination is to follow social media accounts dedicated to the area. This can give you an idea of what activities are available, what kind of food you can expect, and the general atmosphere of the destination. Start by researching flights and accommodation options and comparing prices. You can find great deals if you’re flexible with your dates and willing to book in advance.

Finding Affordable Accommodation Options

I could wake up to a view like this every day

Once you’ve decided on your destination, it’s time to start looking for accommodation options. Accommodation is much more affordable in this day and age with hostels and Airbnbs to help you out. It’s essential to do your research and find the best deal for your budget and requirements. If you check out Airbnb’s site itself, you can limit the search to what you’re budgeting. Airbnb can also be a great option, as you can usually find a private room or apartment for a fraction of the cost of a hotel. This all depends on the locale and the time of the year or course. Some Airbnbs can be more pricey than hotels. Examine both options to be sure.

Hostels are often an excellent option for budget travelers, offering dormitory-style rooms and shared facilities. Another option is to look for vacation rentals or home exchanges. If you want to see what hostels are in your destination area, check out Hostelworld. Many websites offer vacation rentals at discounted rates, and home exchanges can be a great way to find a place to stay for free. Finally, camping is a great way to save money on accommodation. Many campsites offer discounts for long-term stays, and you can often find great deals at national parks and other outdoor destinations.

Transportation Tips for Budget Travel

Getting to new places on your visit doesn’t have to be boring

Once you’ve found a place to stay, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll get around your destination. Transportation can be a significant expense, so it pays to do your research and find the best options for your budget.

Public transportation is often the cheapest option if you’re traveling within a city or region. Buses and trains can be a great way to get around and save money. If traveling between cities, consider taking a night train or bus to save money on accommodation. Consider renting a car if you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to explore a larger region. In some locales, car rental is the ONLY way to get around. You can often find great deals on car rentals, especially if you book in advance. Just make sure to factor in the cost of gas and tolls. Don’t forget to look for discounts. Many cities offer discounts on public transportation for visitors, and you may be able to find deals on car rentals or flights if you book in advance.

Saving Money on Sightseeing and Activities

Some of the best attractions you can visit are free

Once you’ve gotten to your destination, it’s time to start exploring. Sightseeing and activities can be a massive expense, so it pays to research and find deals that you can take advantage of.

One way to save money on sightseeing is to look for free or discounted activities. Many cities offer free walking tours or discounted museum admissions. You can also look for discounts on popular attractions like theme parks or historic sites. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly way to explore, consider getting off the beaten path. Look for lesser-known attractions or explore the city on foot. You can also look for outdoor activities, such as hiking or cycling, which can be a great way to explore and save money. Finally, remember to take advantage of discounts. Many cities offer discounts for students or seniors, so make sure to ask if you qualify. You can also look for discounts or packages that include multiple activities.

Tips for Eating and Shopping on a Budget

Never underestimate how good street food is

Eating and shopping are a major part of any vacation but can also be a major expense. There are plenty of ways to save money on food and shopping without sacrificing quality.

When it comes to eating, look for restaurants and cafes that offer discounts or set menus. Many cities have excellent street food options, and you can often find cheap and delicious meals at local markets. To save money on shopping, consider visiting flea markets or thrift stores. You can often find great deals on souvenirs, clothes, and other items. You can also look for discounts or sales at local shops and stores. Ask for discounts, as many places will offer if you ask. Don’t be afraid to haggle a bit. Many restaurants and shops offer discounts for visitors, so ask if you qualify. In some locales, you get tax waivers for goods purchased there that you may want to take home with you. You can also look for coupons or vouchers that can save you money. Make a list of people you REALLY need to get souvenirs for as well. Then pick up a few bulk souvenirs (shot glasses, magnets, etc.) for those you might run into.

Staying Connected While Traveling

Avoid the “No Signal” problem. Get a sim card.

Staying connected while traveling is essential but can also be another added expense. Fortunately, many ways exist to stay connected without breaking the bank.

One way to save money is to buy a local SIM card. This can be a great way to access data and make calls at a fraction of the cost. Just make sure to research the best deals before you buy. If you only need a little data, consider using free WiFi hotspots. Many cities offer free WiFi in public areas, and you can often find free WiFi in cafes and restaurants. Just make sure to use a VPN for extra security. Finally, you can look for discounts on roaming fees. Some mobile providers offer discounted roaming fees for travelers, so ask if you qualify. Several providers may also offer roaming SIMs for your phone. Talk to your mobile provider to find out if you can get one.

Insurance and Other Travel Necessities

No one knows what could happen on a trip. Be prepared.

Insurance and other travel necessities may be expensive but essential for a safe and enjoyable trip. Before you start planning your trip, research the best deals on travel insurance and other necessary items.

Research different insurance providers and compare prices to find the best deal. Ensure the policy covers all the activities you plan to do and any medical needs you may have. Remember to research visas and any other travel documents you may need. Many countries require entry visas, and you may need to apply well in advance. Finally, remember to research the best deals on items such as travel adapters or money belts. Many websites offer discounts on these items, so make sure to shop around before you buy.

Get Ready to Make Your Dream Vacation a Reality in 2023

In 2023, catch flights, not feelings.

Vacations don’t need to cost a million dollars for you to enjoy them. Sometimes, the simplest things work out well for you. And I don’t mean sacrificing quality just to travel. You have a lot of options when it comes to planning a trip. What are you waiting for? Take a bite of one of the options I offered above and plan a great budget experience for yourself.

Hi, I’m Jason, and I’m a freelance copywriter, travel enthusiast, and world wanderer. I write about a lot of things, especially my hobbies like travel, AI, personal finance, tabletop RPGs, and other things like that. If you’re interested in any (or all!) of those things, feel free to follow me on Medium and subscribe to my auto-mailer so you’ll be updated every time I publish something. Until next time, remember, you don’t have to settle for less if you’re deciding to travel on a budget.



Jason Dookeran

Freelance author, ghostwriter, and crypto/blockchain enthusiast. I write about personal finance, emerging technology and freelancing