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  • Allie Lancaster

Travelling on a Budget: Tips for Scoring Cheap Flights and Accommodation


Let's be real, traveling is awesome, but the costs can get seriously out of hand if you're not careful. Flights, hotels, food—it adds up fast. But don't let a tight budget stop you from seeing the world! I've got you covered with budget travel tips if you're in your 20s and looking for ways to travel without going broke. This guide is all about scoring cheap flights and budget-friendly accommodation. Get ready to pack your bags and explore without emptying your wallet.


Plane wing and view out an airplane window


1. Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates

When it comes to cheap flights, flexibility is key. You can snag some seriously sweet deals if you can travel during off-peak times or midweek. Use flight search engines like Skyscanner or Google Flights to find the cheapest days to fly. Pro tip: Set fare alerts to get notified when prices drop. If you can be a little spontaneous with your travel dates, you'll save a ton of cash.


2. Consider Alternative Airports

Major airports are convenient, but they can also be pricey. You might find cheaper flights if you're open to flying into or out of smaller airports. For example, if you're heading to New York, check out flights to Newark instead of JFK. It's usually less crowded and often cheaper. The same goes for other major cities—look for alternative airports that might offer better deals.


3. Use Budget Airlines

Budget airlines are your best friend when you're trying to save on flights. They might not have all the bells and whistles, but who needs fancy when you're trying to travel on a budget? Look for low-cost carriers like Ryanair, EasyJet, Spirit Airlines, or Southwest Airlines, depending on where you're travelling. Just be aware that budget airlines often charge extra for things like checked bags, so pack light to avoid additional fees.


4. Book in Advance (But Not Too Far)

Booking your flights and accommodation in advance can save you money, but there's a sweet spot. Generally, booking flights 2-3 months in advance is the best way to get good deals. For accommodation, it depends on the destination, but booking 1-2 months ahead is usually a safe bet. Keep an eye out for sales and special promotions—sometimes, airlines and hotels offer discounts for early bookings.


5. Stay in Hostels or Budget Hotels

Forget about fancy hotels with room service and infinity pools. If you're travelling on a budget, hostels and budget hotels are where it's at. Hostels are great for meeting other travellers, and you can often find dorm beds for super cheap. Check out Hostelworld or Booking.com for the best deals. Budget hotels and guesthouses are good alternatives if you're not into the hostel scene. Look for places with free breakfast or kitchen facilities to save even more.


Hostel beds

6. Use Airbnb for Unique Stays

Airbnb is a game-changer when it comes to budget-friendly accommodation. You can find everything from private rooms to entire apartments, often for less than the cost of a hotel. Plus, staying in an Airbnb gives you a more local experience, which is awesome if you want to immerse yourself in the culture. Just make sure to read reviews and check the cancellation policy before booking.


7. Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs aren't just for business travellers. If you stick with one airline or hotel chain, you can earn points and rewards. Sign up for loyalty programs with airlines, hotels, and even car rental companies to start earning points on your travels. These points can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades, or discounts on accommodation. It's a smart way to save money over the long haul.


8. Use Travel Apps for Deals and Discounts

Travel apps are a budget traveller's best friend. There are tons of apps that can help you find cheap flights and accommodation, as well as discounts on activities and transportation. Here are a few must-have apps:

  • Skyscanner for finding cheap flights

  • Hopper for tracking flight prices

  • HotelTonight for last-minute accommodation deals

  • Airbnb for unique stays

  • Rome2rio for comparing transportation options


9. Travel with Friends to Split Costs

Travelling solo is awesome, but if you want to save money, consider travelling with friends. When you travel with a group, you can split the cost of accommodation, transportation, and even food. Plus, it's a lot more fun when you've got friends to share the experience with. Just make sure you're all on the same page when it comes to budget and travel style.


10. Embrace the Budget Travel Mindset

Finally, you need to embrace the budget travel mindset to travel on a budget. This means being open to new experiences, stepping outside your comfort zone, and finding joy in the simple things. Whether it's cooking your own meals, taking public transportation, or exploring on foot, there are tons of ways to save money while travelling. Remember, the goal is to explore and create amazing memories, not spend much money.


With these tips, you're ready to score cheap flights and accommodation for your next adventure. Travelling on a budget doesn't mean missing out—it means getting creative, being flexible, and enjoying the journey. So, pack your bags, grab your travel apps, and get ready to explore the world without breaking the bank!


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