Tips for Couples Traveling on a Tight Budget

couples traveling on a budgetIf you are a couple living on a tight budget is it still possible to travel and enjoy yourself? You bet it is!

One of the keys to being able to travel on a tight budget is to do a lot of pre-planning so that you ensure that you get the most value for your money.

I’m the travel planner in our house and here are some of the things that I do when my husband and I travel but need to be very conscience of our travel budget.


The Internet has made it so much easier to do quite a bit of research when you are planning a trip and are looking for ways to save as much money as possible.

As well a local travel agent can sometimes get you even better deals with hotels and transportation.

What I try to do is to find the location, hotel and flights I want online and then speak to a travel agent to see if they can come up with a better price.

Consider an All-Inclusive Vacation

While an all-inclusive resort such as Club Med may sound a bit pricey upfront, you will normally save quite a bit of money overall because pretty much everything you need is included in one price. As well you typically pay for everything upfront so once you are on your vacation you can relax knowing that the only additional costs you may encounter would be if you buy souvenirs.

I chose an all-inclusive for a trip to Cuba and took along a $100 US for spending money.

I came home with $95 US because as I said, everything was pre-paid. Oh, and by the way, to tip the people that clean your hotel room in Cuba you don’t leave cash.

You leave them things like shampoo, toiletries, baby clothes, and so on, because those items are quite expensive for them to buy on their own.

Consider a Bed and Breakfast

If an all-inclusive doesn’t fit into your vacation plans then consider staying at bed and breakfasts instead of hotels.

Again you can find bed and breakfasts listed online and view their accommodations as well as how much they charge and what they include.

A room at a bed and breakfast can be quite comfortable and very affordable.

And many times their breakfasts are delicious. Some locations include dinner as well.

Low Season

If you are flexible as to what time of year you can get away for a vacation then always consider travelling during low season instead of high season.

Why? Because airlines and hotels typically offer lower rates when fewer people travel, which in turn will make it much easier for you as a couple to travel on a budget.

Depending on where you are going, some of the best times to travel are in the fall, and close to, but not during the Christmas season. In the fall most people are busy at work and may not be able to get away, or they may have kids that have just returned to school and they don’t want to pull them out for a vacation.

And again just prior to Christmas is a great time to travel because most people are too busy planning for the holidays or spending money on Christmas gifts, and travel is the last thing on their minds.

Estimate Daily Costs and Create Your Travel Budget

Estimating your daily costs is important. For example, many years ago I planned a trip to the UK for 10 days.

Because we planned to tour around the UK instead of staying at the same place every night, I created a daily budget which included how much we could spend on a hotel room or B&B, a car rental, and food each day.

Then I added in the cost of the flight and a buffer for small purchases.

Before we left I had a very good idea of how much the trip was going to cost and how much cash we needed to set aside to be able to travel.

Exchange Rates

When you create your travel budget always remember to factor in the exchange rates if you are leaving the country.

Create a Travel Fund

Once you have done all of your research and have created your travel budget you can work hard on saving money to pay for your trip.

Look at your household budget and look for ways to allocate a portion of money each month towards your travel fund.

As well, look around your home and see if there are any items that you no longer need and sell them online or at a garage sale. You can also add more money to your travel fund if you find a side hustle that allows you to offer your expert skills in exchange for money.

One of the benefits that couples find when they plan their travel based on a budget is that they can travel more often.

By being flexible with your travel plans and watching online for low cost travel deals, you will still be able to enjoy your trip even if you are on a budget.


    • MultimillionaireRoad

      MultimillionaireRoad 06/20/2012 9:21 a.m. #

      The package holiday idea is a great one. My cousins just gone to a 4 star hotel with half board for a week in Marakesh, with flights included (from the UK) for £330!!!! That's incredible. He's only taking a couple of hundred extra for activities and food.

    • Money Beagle

      Money Beagle 06/20/2012 11 a.m. #

      We go up north to a place in Michigan that we love and is a tourist destination all summer. Our anniversary is right after Labor Day, so we'll go then. The weather is usually pretty nice, we go during the week so the rates drop even more and we almost have the place to ourselves. It's awesome!

    • Anthony Thompson

      Anthony Thompson 06/20/2012 12:21 p.m. #

      You mapped everything out beautifully, Sicorra. These travel tips are just in time for Summer. You make a great point with your low season suggestion. It's often better to travel during those times rather than during the busy season.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/20/2012 2:55 p.m. #

      @MultimillionaireRoad - That Marakesh deal does sound awesome! Travel deals to anywhere from the UK seem to be low in price. I remember people finding airfare from the UK to Dublin for one pound, plus taxes. A real steal!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/20/2012 2:57 p.m. #

      @Money Beagle - Right after labor day is a great idea because most kids are back in school so things are quieter and less expensive. Michigan is a beautiful place to travel too.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 06/20/2012 2:59 p.m. #

      @Anthony - Thank you! Low season is great for people with flexible schedules such as couples without children.

    • Michelle

      Michelle 06/20/2012 7:07 p.m. #

      Going the all-inclusive route is definitely the best deal! Food and drinks can be so expensive, so we've found these to be the most bang for your buck. Also, the resorts that do those deals are usually really romantic as they're tailored to couples. When we went to Mexico for our honeymoon, we were congratulated and celebrated everywhere by all the staff. It was really nice. They would give us special little gifts, too.

    • Jai Catalano

      Jai Catalano 06/21/2012 2:50 p.m. #

      We always travel when it's off season. The exchange rate is always in our favor but to what level depends on the way things swing.

    • Katie

      Katie 06/21/2012 5:04 p.m. #

      I had never considered an all inclusive trip. I just assumed that they were more pricey. But it would be awesome to know that everything was already paid for instead of worrying how much money you would be spending while on vacation.

      Planning is so important. I didn't do any planning on the last mini vacation we took and it definitely showed.

    • femmefrugality

      femmefrugality 06/22/2012 9 p.m. #

      I'd love to go to the Bahamas, and I think when I do I'll be purchasing an all-inclusive package. It sounds too great. That's really interesting about tipping in Cuba...

      I've found bed and breakfasts to be about 50/50 when it comes to being cheaper. It all really depends on the area, I guess. I'm a huge low-season traveler!

    • Hank

      Hank 06/24/2012 11:13 a.m. #

      These are some really great tips. My wife and I have a savings account dedicated to vacations that helps us save money. Like most banks nowadays, ours lets us change the name of the account and give it a nickname. It really helps in our savings efforts and not raiding it when you see the name "Disney World" or something else great on it instead of simply "Savings Account".

    • Sean @ One Smart Dollar

      Sean @ One Smart Dollar 06/25/2012 1:21 p.m. #

      We have gone to a few all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. They cost a little bit more but everything is fixed so you don't need to worry about spending more than you should. We just don't like feeling secluded. We like to get our and explore where we are at.

    • CanadianBudgetBinder

      CanadianBudgetBinder 06/27/2012 3:59 a.m. #

      We plan to head to Uk next year so we are in the process of looking at cost of flights. I can tell you that they are much higher than when I landed in Canada 5 years ago. Although we have somewhere to stay when we get there we definitely need to budget this trip as the exchange rate alone can eat up our fund in no time. Great tips Sicorra

    • Steve

      Steve 07/01/2012 9:39 a.m. #

      All-inclusive seems to be getting more popular, even in the less luxurious resorts. There are big benefits to knowing your food and drinks are taken care of when you get to your resort.

    • Money Bulldog

      Money Bulldog 07/16/2012 3:43 p.m. #

      Traveling out of season is a great money saver! Not sure how i'll get on when the kids are in school though as our flexibility will go out of the window!

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