Exploring on a Budget

Because in our eyes, the statement “travel is the only thing that makes you richer” rings true.

With Logan being in medical school and I being a teacher, we don’t have much wiggle room in our budget. But that doesn’t stop us, nor should it stop you, from having new amazing adventures. Here are some of our tips in order to be budget savvy while traveling the United States and other countries.


Open an airline credit card

I know, I know, credit cards are scary. But we adore my Southwest Credit Card because it gave me two round trip flights just for signing up and each year I receive 6,000 bonus points which is equal to a one-way flight! Let me break this down a little more… when Logan and I went to Florida and Jamaica for our honeymoon we had three flights costing around $150 each. So $150 x 3 flights x 2 people= $900. However, because I used my Southwest points, these flights were FREE.

Utilize TripAdvisor

Logan and I swear by TripAdvisor for advice on local restaurants, hotels, sightseeing suggestions, and so much more. TripAdvisor also will compare the prices of different hotels, flights, and vacation rentals while you are looking up the opinions of other travelers. If you’re looking for a “one-stop-shop” on travel ideas look no further!

Check out Kayak

For International flights we almost always use Kayak to book. Kayak compares the prices of other popular websites and gives you the best price on a flight even if it isn’t on their site. It also tells you whether to buy or to wait! I looked at our Japan flights for months and finally found the best way to get there in the most affordable way. Remember those Southwest points I was talking about? Well, I realized that I could book our flights from St. Louis to Los Angeles with my Southwest points, then book our flight from Los Angeles to our first destination in Japan on Kayak. This saved us roughly $400 for each ticket.

Visit Rome2Rio

This site quickly identifies route options to easily compare costs, time, and ease of access. Overall it’s an awesome way to plan quickly and easily!

Visit Skyscanner

Skyscanner opens the doors to the many possibilities of travel, including an open search capability. No weekend plans? Enter ‘Everywhere’ and see what your next destinations holds!

Airbnb and BedandBreakfast.com

Airbnb is a wonderful website that allows people from all over the world to “rent” their home as a vacation rental at various different price points. BedandBreakfast.com is another site that helps you find terrific B&B’s all over the globe for a low cost!

Membership discounts

If you do not have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership you should look into getting one. Logan and I have found that they are so much more than grocery shopping. Both of these wholesale clubs offer a variety of travel packages for an incredible price. We also have found that our AAA membership is much more than just road-side assistance, it has provided us with many discounts on airline tickets, car rentals, and restaurants.

Groupon and LivingSocial

These two sites often have getaways at a very reasonable cost and often have another discount on top of that already amazing deal! I would encourage you to check both of these sites out to look for hotel rooms in major cities, all-inclusive vacations, or to find a charming bed and breakfast.

Talk to locals

While we were in Jamaica we stayed at a Sandals resort. Although Sandals has many unique excursions, we found a place on TripAdvisor that we really wanted to visit called The Blue Hole. So, being the risk-takers we are, we decided to hire a private driver to pick us up on our resort and take us to this local hot spot. It was breathtakingly beautiful and a significant highlight of our honeymoon.

Check out this post if you’re looking for more websites to utilize for trip planning. Who knows- with patience, time, and preparation you might be able to afford to travel the world!

What are some of your tips to save money while traveling?







Add yours →

  1. These are such great tips! I use some of them but I need to look into the others! Thanks so much for sharing this info!


  2. We use a lot of the websites you mentioned for travel too! It’s amazing how much you can save. When it comes to budget travel, any little saving can make a huge difference!


  3. Rome2Rio is one of my favorite sites and I use it all the time. Thanks for the list – it is a good one. We occasionally need to step out of our comfort zone and do some things we normally wouldn’t be comfortable with, like opening a credit card just for the miles. It is so worth it. Nice post.


    • Thank you! I’m glad you agree. Rome2Rio is a favorite of ours and we use it often as well. Credit cards can be overwhelming for some but we always make sure we are only using a few to keep track of them!


  4. I love skyscanner & Rome2Rio! Skyscanner gets me lots of deals from time to time. I tend to bounce between Skyscanner, Google Flights, & Momondo to find the best flight deals!
    As for Rome2Rio, I can tell you how many times I have used this to figure out how to travel via train, bus other other means from point A to point B often saving me time & money!
    Great list!


    • Glad to see that others are using these sites as well! I’ve never used Momondo so I will definitely check that out, thank you for the tip! Rome2Rio is definitely a favorite of ours. 🙂


  5. “Travel is the only thing that makes you richer.” Such a true statement. You can have all the money in the world but if you aren’t happy then what do you really have? Travel, for me, is a way to open my mind to new experiences and cultures.


  6. Great tips! I have used some of them. The airline credit card is scary, though. You mentioned the benefits, but what are the down sides? If there are any :).


    • Cristina, glad these were helpful to you and also glad to hear that you are already using some of these! I really can’t think of many downsides other than the fact that some credit cards have an annual fee. However, sometimes you receive benefits in that regard too. For example, my Southwest Airlines credit card is $99/year but I also receive 6,000 credit card points on my card member anniversary each year so the cost is covered for and then some! 🙂


  7. Thanks for sharing these useful tips. I myself use Tripadvisor all the time for comparing hotel rates and bookings.


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