Let’s be honest: traveling is expensive. Heck, life is expensive. Everywhere you turn it seems like you’re taking another dollar out of your pocket for something. For most of us, even though we want to treat ourselves or our family to a memorable vacation once in awhile, the phrase “spare no expense” is not applicable. There will be expenses spared. The question is, which ones, and how can we spare them without sacrificing too much quality? As with most things, it is best to turn to the experts for tips on how to keep costs down when traveling. We recommend you keep up with this list of the best 25 budget travel bloggers to follow this year so you’ll return from your next trip full of a lust for life, not financial regret.
A Little Adrift is a resource spot designed to answer nearly every question a traveler might have when planning their round the world trip. The site features in depth travel resources, a popular section on cost of living and budgeting for countries around the world, as well as beautiful photography and storytelling about each new place and culture. – Shannon, A Little Adrift @shannonrtw
Backpacking Matt is an adventure focused travel blog that provides advice and inspiration to those planning trips to New Zealand. Matt has lived and explored New Zealand for the last five years and blogs about his adventures paragliding and hiking in New Zealand’s mountains and experiencing life in the Land of the Long White Cloud. – Matt, Backpacking Matt @BackpackingMatt
Come visit backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk to find out all about saving and budgeting your money whilst on the road as a backpacker. Learn where to stay, how to get around, what to do and even how much certain trips/activities costs. Yes, I do full breakdowns where possible. If you like getting value for money and seeing your money stretch as far as it can, maybe I can help. – Neil, Backpacks and Bundbeds @packsandbunks
My mission with the BudgetTraveller is to inspire people to travel in style on a budget. With that in mind I created a guide to 50 design ‘luxury’ hostels across Europe ( which you can download from the blog for free ) where besides staying in a funky dorm or ensuite room, you can enjoy facilities like swimming pools, bar, onsite restaurant or even find a cinema. On the blog you can also discover a section on cheap eat guides across 20 cities at the moment plus lots of practical useful tips like 75 ways to save money travelling through Europe & a guide to money saving travel apps. – Kash, Budget Traveller @budgettraveller
Don’t Forget To Move is an inspiration to all wannabe travelers of the world, whether you’re a first timer or a backpacking veteran. Come read our stories, tricks and tips to find out how you can experience authentic travel on the cheap! – Jules & Christine, Don’t Forget to Move @dontforget2move
FlipNomad is a great resource for those who are thinking of traveling on a budget in Asia. There are lots of budget tips about various destinations that you will definitely find helpful. – FlipNomad @FlipNomad
“Dani Heinrich has been a digital nomad since April 2010 and is big believer in slow travel, and is of the opinion that ‘budget travel’ is not a dirty term but shows the ability to travel smart, making the most out of a small budget. Dani runs GlobetrotterGirls.com, a travel website sharing inspiring travel stories, hard-earned travel information and experience to help independent travelers plan their own adventures. With the motto ‘One Globe. No Regrets’, Dani has traveled through over 50 countries on four continents and has no plans to stop any time soon. You can also follow her adventures onInstagram, FacebookandTwitter.” –Globetrotter Girls@Glbetrottergrls
This website is the story of how we took a laptop, some determination and a fistful of cash, and turned it into a lifestyle… A way to travel the world indefinitely. From here we share our backpacking experiences, travel tips and ideas on location independence. – Aaron, HappyTime Blog@HappyTimeBlog
I love to show people that if you follow your dreams, success will come. Don’t subscribe to a life of third party expectations, do what makes you happy as often as possible. Onestep4ward.com is proof that it can work. – Johnny, One Step 4Ward @OneStep4Ward
Don’t let your finances stop you from living your travel dreams. OurOyster will show you how to navigate the world’s destinations on a budget – whether you are traveling solo, or have the kids in tow. – Jade, Our Oyster @our_oyster
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being out of the country with my son for 6 continuous years is that there is no difference between living, traveling and learning. We travel slowly, live as visiting locals in each country we’ve been to and immerse deeply into each culture. The world teaches us and there’s so much to learn. It’s like being in an immersive learning retreat with my son for 6 years!!! Now that’s living. Now that’s learning. Now that’s traveling! – Lainie (and Miro), Raising Miro @ilainie
Ever wanted to go travelling on a budget and get good value from sound and hilarious advice? Then come to RexyEdventures and be inspired and read about all of his crazy adventures, heart-warming stories and great tips! – Ed, Rexy Edventures @rexyedventures
Rocky Travel Blog is about 10 years of solo travel adventures in Australia. Not only do I show you where to go and what to do in Australia, I also help you choose and plan your itinerary, save money on your trip, enjoy your adventure and ultimately feel confident when travelling alone around Australia. – Michela, Rocky Travel @RockyTravel
Money saving tips from a real budget traveler that will teach you how to save on all aspects of your vacations without having to sleep on a park bench or live on PB&J your whole trip. – Shereen Travels Cheap@shereentrvlschp
Solo Traveler is the blog for those who love, or those who long, to travel alone. Budget travel can be particularly challenging for solo travelers. Fortunately, Solo Traveler publishes a monthly Advisory of Deals which you can sign up for free. – Erin & Tracey & Janice, Solo Traveler @solotraveler, @soloandsocial
Frugal Wanderer is a unique website because of my passion for budget traveling, and my background in writing and social media. I understand how important it is to travel and see the world at every stage of your life – even when money is tight – and my hope is to share and discuss ideas within an online community. – Krystal, The Frugal Wanderder@frugalwanderer
“We do not claim to be an authority in budget travel. What makes us Poor Travelers is that we have so much to learn and we wish to learn them along the way. We make mistakes, lots of them. But here’s hoping you’ll learn from them.” – The Poor Traveler@ThePoorTraveler
From the author of The World’s Cheapest Destinations and A Better Life for Half the Price, this original budget travel blog (established early 2003) runs down the how and the where on international travel and living bargains. – Tim, Plan Your Escape @timleffel
TravelingMom.com is an online family travel magazine with a network of 60 writers–from TravelingMom with Babies to TravelingGrandmom–whose goal is to make all family travel easier. We offer tips and insider knowledge on traveling with babies, tots, tweens, teens and grandparents. Our most popular feature is Free in the 50 States., a map full of fun, free stuff to do in America. – Kim, Traveling Mom @TravelingMoms
The aim of my blog is to make your holidays better; more invigorating and more rewarding. I want to show you where you could go for your money, from cheapo beach weeks to bucket list adventures. I’m also partial to the odd awesome festival too. – Vicky, VickyFlipFlop Travels @VickyFlipFlop
World Travel Family are giving their kids an amazing education by showing them the world through non stop travel. Their first year, 13 countries, 4 continents, is in the bag at under $100 a day and they have no plans to stop. – World Travel Family @worldtravelfam
Hi, I’m Liz, and I got my first taste for traveling when I was 16 years old. On my own, 10 years and 40 something countries later, my wanderlust has only grown and the list of countries I want to visit longer. After living in Spain for the past few years and returning home for a stint, I then quit my job and moved to New Zealand. Follow my misadventures as I wander, eat, and photograph my way around the world. – Liz, Young Adventuress@YoungAdventures
We caught this bug 16 years ago, and have been travelling ever since. It’s our absolute passion to help others follow the same bliss. And we’ve been changing people’s lives to do that on this travel blog since 2010. If you’re looking for a place to further fuel your desire for travel and a little push to help you believe you can do it, you’re in the right place. – Caz and Craig, YTravel Blog@YTravelBlog
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Beach vacations at popular destinations can provide more of a headache than relaxation with price gauging, commercialized resorts, and over-crowding. Instead of visiting the hot spots, you should consider planning your next trip to one of these undiscovered and affordable beaches.
Block Island, Rhode Island
Every summer, travelers flock to New England islands Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Although summer is winding down, it is not too late to plan one last trip without breaking the bank. Block Island offers 17 miles of free public beaches just an hour ferry ride away from Newport with round trip tickets costing $25 less per person than ferries from Hyannis to Nantucket. Ferries also run from Fall River, New London, CT and Montauk, NY.
Block Island offers everything your summer getaway needs. Rent bikes or mopeds for the day to visit 50+ specialty shops and galleries, dine where local seafood is served and enjoy BI’s natural beauty while fishing, hiking or kayaking. Free events include nature walks at the Nature Conservancy, bird watching with the Oceanview Foundation, and blues music every other Wednesday on the beach.
Go on a last minute getaway to Block Island’s affordable beaches today!
Fiji might often steal the attention of travelers looking for a Pacific island getaway, but the Cook Islands may be the solution to a more affordable tropical vacation. Since their first international airport opened in 1974, the Cook Islands learned from their commercialized neighboring countries by requiring that all land be family-owned and never sold. You will not find huge chains resorts or fast food in this Pacific paradise. These 15 remote islands offer a range of landscapes and activities with jungles, coral lagoons and uncongested beaches.
The Cook Islands have a wide variety of free or inexpensive activities. On Rarotonga, the largest island, Captain Tama’s Aqua Sportz Centre offers affordable kayak, wind surfing and snorkeling gear rentals. You can even rent a traditional canoe carved from wooden vaka to paddle around the Muri Lagoon for $20 NZD (~$12.75 USD) for an hour. If you are looking for a free and challenging adventure, hike to the Te Rua Manga (The Needle) seen in the picture above or if you prefer a leisurely stroll, make sure to visit the Punanga Nui market in Avarua on Saturday mornings. Here, you can taste the lush local fruits and for just $1 you can drink “nu” (a young coconut’s juice) which is great to cure stomach pains (and hangovers!)
Start planning your Pacific getaway today with rental properties starting at $65/night on FlipKey.com
Although Cabo San Lucas may be the best known Baja California Sur destination, just miles away lie more affordable beaches without the crowd. North of Cabo, Loreto offers stunning rock formations, deep blue seas, white sand and lush green vegetation. Besides beach relaxation and adventures, Loreto offers rich culture and history.
Loreto provides all the essential beach activities such as sailing, kayaking and hiking. Make sure you bring your fishing pole because Loreto is the perfect sport fishing destination with endless mahi mahi, wahoo and tuna in local waters. The islands near Loreto are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving where the Sea of Cortez is home to more than 800 species. Snorkeling gear rentals start at $8 per day with Dolphin Dive Baja. If you are looking to explore the past, visit Loreto’s historic downtown or find yourself in pre-historic caves just miles away in the Sierra la Giganta. You can awe at the aboriginal cave paintings and stunning cliffs (seen in the second picture above).
Instead of visiting the increasingly popular destination, Costa Rica, consider Panama for your next tropical dream vacation. Isla Bastimentos is just a 10 minute boat ride from Bocas Del Toro. Explore Bastimentos’s dramatic landscape with sea turtle nesting grounds in the north, coral reefs in the south, picturesque beaches in the west and lush mangroves in the east.
The Island’s extreme sports include surfing, zip lining and vertical rappelling at Red Frog Beach. With Senora Kony Gonzales tour company, you can visit a bat cave for just $12 USD (monkeys and sloths might be sited as well). On the highest hill of Bastimentos Island, a must visit is Up In the Hill organic farm where “good things come in trees.” Enjoy their 360° panoramic view, chocolates made from pure cocoa and shop their variety of affordable handcrafted products.
Isla Bastimentos’ breath-taking rain forests and stunning beaches are waiting for you!
Folly Beach, South Carolina
If you are looking for a South Carolina beach vacation, skip over-crowded Myrtle Beach and escape to Folly Island. Just 12 miles south of historic Charleston, locals call this haven the “Edge of America.” Folly Island provides an affordable vacation spot where you can experience the unique island town and enjoy their endless beaches.
Even a day trip to most popular beaches can be financially difficult with parking costing upwards of $40/day. At Folly Beach, nearby parking ranges $5-7/day and street parking is free (but limited). Folly Island offers a wide range of activities and events for all. Every Wednesday, Folly Beach farmers market features local produce and artisan vendors along with free live music. At the end of the day, grab some popcorn and enjoy a free movie on the beach (weather permitting). Other affordable activities include surfing lessons, fishing from the pier and renting bicycles to explore Folly Island’s 6 miles of beaches.
For your next Big Island vacation, consider the region of Puna in the east, rather than the more popular Kona region in the west. The Puna District provides an opportunity for a wild Hawaiian vacation. Puna is a diverse alternative destination with jagged black coastlines, funky boardwalk towns and incredible state parks.
If you are looking for free nature excursions, visit Puna’s geothermal pools heated by volcanic energy such as Pohoiko Hot Springs, or go to the source by venturing to Lava Tree State park where lava molds of tree trunks are preserved from when lava swept through the forest in 1790 (seen in the second picture above). Puna’s tropical rain forests offer untouched nature with vibrant orchids, wild ginger and giant monkeypod trees. When you need a break from the wild, make sure to check out the town of Pahoa which offers eclectic shopping, eateries and the Makuu Farmers market for roasted macadamia nuts, fresh papayas and rambutan (red prickley fruit with a sweet grape-like berry inside).
Travel off the beaten track to Puna District for a more affordable Hawaiian vacation!
It makes a lot of sense – traveling during non-peak season will allow you to avoid crowds, save a lot of money, and still enjoy most of the top attractions offered by popular destinations. We dug deep into our website data to showcase just how much you can save by visiting a few weeks before summertime peak in a handful of the most desirable destinations on planet Earth. Use our handy graphic to plan out your next trip and vacation rental stay in the coming months – your wallet will thank you.
Visit our Spring 2014 Shoulder Season Destinations:
The period between high and low travel seasons—also known as the “shoulder seasons” is a great time for travelers to save money and beat the crowds. What’s more, “the shoulder seasons also provide an opportunity for travelers to have access to high-end luxury accommodations they might not ever have been able to afford normally during peak season,” says FlipKey’s resident Travel Expert Jen Gold.
Here are FlipKey’s top shoulder-season destinations to visit this fall:
Save up to 41% in the first state ever! (It was established in 1787.). The high season has rates of $402 per night and the shoulder season is just $236. Check out Rehobeth Beach, the “Nation’s Summer Capital,” where there will little crowds, beautiful weather, and endless fun.
You can save up to 33% in the northwestern part of the Sunshine State. Rates average $286 during the tourist season and just $209 in the shoulder season. Looking to relax on the beach, shop ‘til you drop, or hit up the fantastic nightlife? Time to book a trip here.
Enjoy hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches, local barbecue, and the freshest seafood around. With rates at $209 during the shoulder season compared to $286 during the busy season, travelers can save up to 27%!
Save up to 26% on a fall trip to the Garden State’s shore. During the busy season, rates average $327 per night, but the shoulder season has rates for only $241. Walk down the boardwalk for the best entertainment, shopping, and restaurants in the area.
Bay Head, NJ
Have you decided where you are going for Columbus Day Weekend yet? We’d like to point out that it falls right during the shoulder seasons for these locations. You can enjoy a weekend getaway at a fabulous discount!
With just over a month to go before Mother’s Day, it’s time to think about showing your mom how much you love her. Flowers, scented candles, and gift baskets may make a utilitarian top 10 list of Mother’s Day gifts, but your mother doesn’t want you to order a token of your appreciation from Amazon… She wants to see you and spend time with you. Remember those family vacations you used to go on when you were a kid? Your parents actually loved dragging you to beautiful places to relax as a family. This year, it’s time to turn the tables and let your mom know you were paying attention back then. Take her on a vacation for a couple of days this May and you’ll definitely be Mom’s favorite. Best of all, many properties offer special deals for the special day, so with the money you save, Dad can come too.
This comfortable home in the Poconos is the perfect place to hang out with the family. Located on Lake Wallenpaupack, the Chalet is close to water activities, hiking, horseback riding and local shopping. The home sleeps 10, so you can bring the whole family.
A paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, this Port Mansfield home is perfectly situated for fishing and bird watching. If your mom likes to go after the catch of the day, then she will love the proximity to “the big ones: Sailfish, Marlin, Tarpon, Ling, Mackerel and Snapper.” If she’s not an angler, then she’ll love the mild weather, outdoor pool, and BBQ area for family meals.
For families in the Northeast, an escape to New Hampshire’s White Mountains is just the ticket for Mother’s Day. Bethlehem is the type of quiet New England town that combines nature, nostalgia, and a bit of funkiness in one place. Enjoy amazing views, access to golf and hiking, and a fun Main Street with quality restaurants and shops.
If you haven’t given your Mom a Mother’s Day gift in years, then you can make up for lost time with a trip to Hawaii. A trip to Maui is a vacation in paradise, and this condo at the Royal Mauian Resort has everything you need to make Mom happy. Walk a short way to the beach or the pool, or head up to the roofdeck to take in the views of Mt. Haleakala and the neighboring islands.
Take advantage of a condo stocked with all the necessary toys for a fun day at the beach. Linda’s resort comes with kayaks, cruiser bikes, beach chairs, and a great location on Manasota Key. Both the beach and the town are within walking distance of the condo, which features a fully equipped kitchen and excellent outdoor areas for relaxing, dining, and enjoying one another’s company.
Last year, the average American man spent $169 dollars on Valentine’s Day, while women spent an average of about $86. For couples who buy one another gifts, that could be a total of $255. That’s a ton of champagne and chocolate.
Here at FlipKey, we believe that a romantic getaway trumps a fancy box of candy any day. On Valentine’s Day in particular, spending quality time with the one you love is a meaningful way to celebrate the weekend without breaking the bank. In fact, we found that the average cost of one night in a vacation rental for two this Valentine’s Day is just $143, which leaves $112 for more traditional gifts…
…Or airfare. The most popular Valentine’s Day spots do require some travel to reach. This year, we found that the top destinations on February 14 are in Florida and Hawaii, with Miami Beach taking the #1 spot. For most people, these destinations are a flight away.
With airfare, a romantic getaway might get you to the high end of your V-Day budget, but have no fear: Here are our suggestions for ways to save while keeping the romance alive:
Champagne Instead of a bottle of Dom Perignon Rose ($360) or the classic Veuve Clicquout Champagne ($49.99), try a bottle of Prosecco instead. This tasty bubbly runs a mere $11.99, but uncork that bottle and you’ll be ready for festivities.
Flowers You could order your special someone three-dozen roses ($219 from Teleflora), or you could say a simple, “I love you” with an even dozen ($44.99 from 1800flowers). Pro tip: have them delivered directly to your vacation rental for a Valentine’s surprise.
Chocolate Chocolates run the gamut, from Hershey’s Kisses ($14.59 for 56 oz.) to Petits Richart ($850 for a “vault”). While we all love kisses, we recommend sweetening up your sweetheart with Godiva’s signature gift box ($70). That is, unless you’re celebrating in Hawaii, in which case you can get away with a box of chocolate covered Macadamia nuts ($10.49 for 14 oz.).
Dinner Skip the unavoidable long waits, limited menus, and crowded restaurants on the most popular “date night” of the year and stay in for a romantic meal. You can prepare your favorite dishes in your vacation rental’s kitchen, and you’ll get to enjoy your bottle of bubbly in peace—without paying a premium.
When it comes down to it, we’ll admit it: traveling may be more expensive than making a reservation at a nice restaurant and ordering a few gifts. But at the end of the day, a trip makes it a Valentine’s Day to remember, and those memories are priceless.
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is hard to avoid during early February. For a few weeks during the coldest part of winter, pink hearts, chocolates and romantic comedies are all but impossible to escape. For those who want to break the mold and avoid overpriced Valentine’s Day dinners, standard-issue gifts of flowers and jewelry, or (alternatively) feeling alone for 24 hours, here’s a simple solution: take a trip. Restaurants and hotels aren’t the only ones offering Valentine’s Day specials. Many vacation rentals also offer great deals during this celebration of romance. Whether you travel as a couple or fly solo, nothing answers Valentine’s Day’s call like complimentary champagne, a good deal and a great view. Here are our picks for a long-weekend escape to either stay away from the Valentine’s Day propaganda, or actually enjoy some one-on-one time with someone you love…
1. A Bottle of Bubbly in Bertraghboy Bay This spacious holiday home in Roundstone, Ireland, has everything you need for a peaceful retreat. It’s the perfect size for couples or a small group of friends. Enjoy a complimentary bottle of bubbly when you book a stay for Valentine’s Day.
2. A Week of Romance and Warmth Get cozy by the fire, or uncork a bottle of champagne in the hot tub. This Sevierville rental offers a 3-night package complete with bubbles, or book six nights and get the seventh for free.
4. Champagne and Roses in Kentucky Enjoy a quietly luxurious retreat in the heart of Kentucky’s equestrian region. It may be early for mint juleps and derby hats, but the champagne and roses should help make the weekend memorable.
5. Hartland Haven This peaceful one-room cottage in Devon offers a relaxing retreat with incredible ocean views and an on-site spa. One reviewer hints that you may even be welcomed with a bottle of bubbly to help you settle in.
As you start to plan your family vacations for the summer, consider one of the most popular destinations in New England: Cape Cod. “The Cape” is not only the easternmost point of Massachusetts, but it is also the perfect spot for a family-friendly getaway. This week’s deals will allow you to spend your afternoons riding bikes down the Cape Cod Rail trail or sunning on the beach near your summer home. Top it all off with an afternoon BBQ and a sunset walk on nearby dunes, and you have the recipe for a memorable summer vacation.
Tucked away at the end of a street this home is close to the beach, restaurants, and Cape Cod Rail Trail. Spend those long summer nights on the back patio in the spacious backyard grilling with your family.
This charming summer home is on 150 feet of private beach on Long pond in East Harwich. Enjoy the Master bedroom’s panoramic view of Long Pond or stroll down to the breezy shore to relax in the hammock.
This cottage is perfect for some sweet and salty fun for the whole family. Take your kids swimming at the beach or fishing for large mouth bass, before they play on the swing set as you prepare an evening campfire.
While the Olympic Games will be held in London this summer there is something to be said for visiting the birthplace of the games. With over 200 inhabited islands offering countless panoramic ocean views from various mountains, Greece continues to be a must see part of the world. Whether you are enjoying a meal of cheese, olives, and fresh fish or basking in the sun next to your pool, this week’s deals will have you feeling like a Greek Goddess.
Only a few steps from St. Sofia church, one of Thessaloniki’s landmarks, this apartment sits in a perfect location close to shops, restaurants, and public transportation. Wander to one of the nearby bakeries for a warm pastry as an afternoon treat.
Just a few minutes outside of Athens, Greece this impressive villa sits private and secure on a small hill giving captivating panoramic sea views. Enjoy a cup of tea in the colorful garden or swim in the private pool for your peace of mind.
Stay in this home full of flowers, trees, and grass in a small village near Platanias. Take a short walk to the beach or a nearby tavern for an afternoon adventure or stay at home relaxing in the pool or comfortable veranda with your family.
Situated on the top of a hill between Kalo Livadi and Ag. Anna beaches this apartment is close enough to the city for desired excitement but far enough away from the hussle and bussle to enjoy the scenic views from the terraced area.
Once riddled with fishing villages, the France’s Mediterranean Cote d’ Azur is now home to fantastic open-air restaurants, outdoor markets, and beautiful beaches. Walk down the cobblestone pathways to your new French abode and relax in coastal serenity. This week’s deals will sweep you off your feet and have you exploring a foreign city with ease, let’s just hope you remember some of your High School French!
This newly refurbished apartment sits in the historic centre of Frejus on the Cote D’Azur. Overlooking the charming cathedral square it is close to a variety of open air restaurants and only a mile from the beach.
Less than a 10 minute walk away from the train station and beach this spacious two bedroom apartment is perfect for a family wanting to see it all. Whether you are relaxing on the balcony or exploring the city, this rental has it all.
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