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Tips for couples travelling on a budget

Tips for couples travelling on a budget

By Aquib Nawab

11 Jun, 2024

Travelling with your partner can be one of the most fulfilling things that you ever did, and will generate memories that are lasting.

Nonetheless, when travelling is mentioned, it often brings to mind high costs which can pause a big challenge.

But wait! By being resourceful and thinking outside the box, you two can explore amazing destinations without depleting your pockets.

Here’s an elaborate guide containing tips for budget-conscious couples while travelling.

Plan ahead and be flexible

Credit: Canva

1. Booking in advance

A golden rule of budget travel planning and booking ahead. Airlines, hotels sometimes even some attractions offer great discounts when booked well in advance. Make sure you mark your calendar as well as set alerts for fare drops on flights and accommodation. Websites like Glu will help you track prices and grab those deals when they are hot.

2. Be flexible

When you travel with limited financial resources, flexibility can be your greatest ally! In general, midweek flights are usually cheaper than weekend ones and travelling during the low season could save you a small fortune.

Instead of confining yourself to one place, keep it flexible. Visit beautiful hidden gems that have all the charm but without touristy price tags.

Choose affordable destinations

1. Follow your money where it buys more

There are some places that just offer more bang for your buck. In India, destinations like Rajasthan, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Goa offer great value for money, with affordable accommodations, diverse cultural attractions, and stunning landscapes.

2. Choose experiences instead of luxuries

Think about destinations that focus on experiences rather than luxury amenities. For example, consider visiting Uttarakhand in India. It offers beautiful natural landscapes, historic temples, and vibrant local culture, with plenty of affordable trekking, sightseeing, and spiritual experiences.

Affordable accommodation

1. Stay at hostels and cheap hotels

Hostels aren’t just for solo backpackers; many have private rooms that could serve as perfect couple getaways. They also provide an opportunity to save money by meeting fellow travellers along the way. The Hosteller is one of the options available.

Additionally there are budget hotels and guesthouses that offer decently priced comfortable stays.

Credit: The Hosteller, Bhandardara, Maharashtra

2. Consider other alternatives in accommodation

One can go house sitting, couchsurfing or home exchange. You can connect with homeowners looking for someone to care for their home (and often pets) while they’re away.

Couchsurfing provides free accommodations plus the opportunity to meet locals. Through home exchanges you can have a cosy stay without having to pay anything by swapping homes with someone in another country.

3. Experience nature’s hug

If you both love the outdoors, going camping can be a very romantic experience that will also not eat into your pockets much.

Camping in national parks and campsites is a relatively inexpensive form of staying outlandishly yet close enough together watching stars, hiking or even preparing food on campfire flames as a couple.

Camping(Credit: Canva)

Try public transport

It is almost always cheaper to use public transport than rideshares or taxis. Buses, trains and subways are not only economical but also give you the chance to see the city through the eyes of locals. In some cities, there are travel cards that allow unlimited rides for a certain period of time.

Credit: The Hosteller

1. Walk or cycle

Walking or cycling around town on your own is an excellent way to explore a place without any charges because it allows you to become part of its environment. Most towns have bike hire services which charge cheaply if not free.

2. Carpool or rideshare

For long distances consider car-sharing services such as carpools or ride shares. Applications like BlaBlaCar, Quick Ride and sRide can connect you to drivers who share your destination and thus, facilitate splitting fares and making new friends during rides.

Eat like a local

1. Street food and local markets

Every place has street food hidden just like Jaipur’s culinary treats in it. Eating at local markets or street stalls doesn’t only save cash but also makes one enjoy great cuisine from different cultures. Don’t be afraid of trying something different; oftentimes the most unpretentious stands serve the freshest food.

Local market(Credit: Canva)

2. Cook your own meals

If you are lucky enough to stay in accommodation with a kitchen, then take full advantage of it; this involves visiting local markets or grocery stores and preparing your own meals while staying there together with everyone else involved in dining out when compared against other options they may have chosen.

It could be enjoyable moments and largely reduce excessive spending on eating out by doing picnics instead sometimes at scenic areas.

Self cooking(Credit: Canva)

3. Look for Meal Deals

Many restaurants offer lunch specials or early bird dinners at reduced prices compared with those offered at dinner time proper. Be on the lookout for such deals so that you can plan accordingly on what should be your main meal of the day. Restaurants with deals can be found using TheFork app.

Free and low-cost activities

A good playground is often found in nature and it’s free! Go hiking, visit parks, or just chill at a beach. Many destinations attract tourists with beautiful natural attractions without taking any money from their pockets. National parks are just one of those places that you can go for couples looking forward to exploring and spending time together.

1. Go on free walking tours

Many cities have locals’ led walking tours which are absolutely free but usually require tipping. They offer an amazing opportunity to learn about the history and culture of a place from someone who actually lives there. Besides, they may give recommendations on where to eat, drink, and hangout otherwise.

Couple walking(Credit: Canva)

2. Museums and cultural sites

Research museums and cultural sites in your area that offer free admission during specific days or time slots. Some museums may operate on a pay-what-you-can basis or have certain days when entrance is free. Find out beforehand when these opportunities exist and plan your visit around them.

Smart use of technology

1. Budget travel apps

There are numerous apps designed specifically for budget travellers. They can help you find the cheapest way to reach your destination while ensuring that you get the best exchange rates among other things like accommodation.

2. Keep track of your budget

You can use budgeting applications like Trail Wallet or Splitwise so as not to lose sight of your expenses throughout your travel journey. This will allow you to control your expenditure by showing where exactly all the cost has gone thus having proper records of everything.

Mind the mementos

1. Buy local souvenirs

Instead of paying for expensive souvenirs or knicks-knacks, one should consider locally made products that are often cheaper and more meaningful than those available in tourist shops.
Going to local market places and purchasing hand crafted items or unique things that can remind you about your trip without making you bankrupt is a good idea.

2. Remember the experience

The most valuable souvenirs are often intangible; they can only be felt in mind. Take many photos, keep travel diaries or buy some small, inexpensive souvenirs such as postcards, tickets, stubs and pressed flowers.

Travel insurance

Although it may seem like an unnecessary expense, keeping travel insurance could save you a lot of cash during emergency times. Try to find cheap packages that cover essential services including medical emergencies, trip cancellations and lost belongings among others from websites like World Nomads which offer flexible and low cost insurance plans.

Connect with other travellers

1. Join travel communities

Online travel communities on such platforms as Facebook, Reddit or Couchsurfing present opportunities for travellers to gain useful tips from one another especially through discussing challenges faced during their trips. They will help you find hidden gems, budget alternatives and even people to move along with you.

Credit: The Hosteller, Parvati Valley, Kasol

2. Share Expenses

If meeting fellow backpackers having similar travelling interests, think of sharing expenses for accommodation, transportation or activities they engage in together as this helps them cut down on costs significantly due to group discounts and shared bills.

Earn While You Travel

1. Work exchange programs

Work Exchange Programs Websites link travellers with hosts who offer free boarding facilities as well as meals after working a couple of hours each day at no cost whatsoever. This is an amazing way of stretching your travels while soaking up into local societies.

2. Freelancing or remote work

Consider online freelancing as an alternative if your job description allows you to. Most of the destinations have co-working spaces where you can do your tasks and network with other digital nomads. In a way, such a move helps in offsetting travel costs while giving you extra time on the road.

Credit: The Hosteller, Parvati Valley, Kasol


Travel can be enjoyed on a budget without compromising adventure or luxury.

There are ways that you and your spouse could travel the world at a cheap price if you would plan appropriately, make smart moves, and show a sense of adventure. This means every moment from pre-booking the air tickets to enjoying street cuisines will be within reach yet amazing since it’s free.

The trip is an opportunity for you to undertake life-changing activities together, to seize every second and create memories which will stay with you forever. Have a safe journey!

What to do now?

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