Budget travel is a fantastic way to travel, as your financial restrictions force you to be more creative. There are some things that you can safely save on, and other things you simply cannot travel without. I thought it would be fun to make a list of my top tips for safe & fun budget travel, so that you can start planning your next adventure today.

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1) Stay in Hostels, Even in Private Rooms
Many people who have never stayed in hostels have bad perceptions of them. The truth is, there’s a whole market emerging for people who want all the fun of a hostel, facilities etc, but want to be a little more comfortable. Quite often I’ll stay in a hostel, but take a private room. That way I save money compared to a hotel, but still get to meet a range of people. Having a kitchen while you travel is a great way to save money and most hostels have them.

2) Travel in the Shoulder Seasons
Ever visited a main tourist attraction in Europe in the middle of summer? It’s not exactly fun, if you like space to breathe and enough room to move so that you can take a photo. Traveling in the winter is obviously the cheapest way to see many places, but if you’re like me and not a fan of the cold, traveling either side of summer can be a great way to save money. Hotels are cheaper, attractions often have discounts and there are a lot less tourists, meaning you can have the attractions to yourself – almost!

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3) Eat Street Food
Almost everywhere I’ve been has some kind of street food culture. Obviously some places really excel in this department, such as Bangkok and Berlin. Even New York is famous for its hotdogs and pizza on the street. Street food is much cheaper than eating in a restaurant and a good way to feel like a bit of a local.

4) Don’t Skimp on Insurance
Surprised that my first thing on the list is about insurance? Well you shouldn’t be. I’ve heard way too many horror stories about travellers who skimp on travel insurance and wind up in a hospital somewhere, their parents having to pay the bills. Some parents have even had to sell their homes in order to afford their children’s medical bills. Nothing about that sounds like a budget trip. I think it’s imperative that you get travel insurance, no matter if you’re trying to stick to a budget. You simply cannot afford not to. There are many budget travel insurance cover options out there, including Cover-More, so take the time to find the best one for you.

5. Be Smart About Money
When you’re overseas for any length of time, chances all you’ll be spending a lot and most often in a foreign currency. Of course we all save so that we can enjoy our holidays, but you can keep saving even while you’re spending. Being smart about how you access your money can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the long run. I suggest putting the majority of your expenses on your credit card if you can, especially if you incur points from using your credit card and are able to pay it off quickly. For the rest, consider looking into a great currency exchange that offers you great rates.

There are lots of ways to save money when you travel – and one thing you simply cannot be cheap with, and that’s your health. Find a balance between being a budget traveller, and a smart traveller, and you’ll have a fun trip that’s easy on the wallet.

This post was made possible by Cover-More.