15 Tips for Economical and Cheap Traveling for Beginners

The thing that usually makes us hesitate to travel is a matter of cost or budget.

How come you can actually travel cheaply? How do you get cheap travel?

Here are 15 frugal and inexpensive traveling tips for beginners:

Without further ado, let’s get right into the part you’ve been waiting for.

1. Look for promo airplane tickets (most important frugal travel tips)

If you want to travel, the biggest cost that we usually have to spend is plane tickets.

Don’t worry, now there are many budget airlines with low prices and often give out promo tickets.

Several airlines around Asia are AirAsia, Scoot, Jetstar, and Cebu Pacific. If in Europe, you can check Easyjet or Ryanair.

I myself am a loyal Airasia customer. In addition to its wide coverage, Airasia also often has promos.

The cheapest deal I ever got was Jakarta – Surabaya then Surabaya – Bali for a total of only IDR 10,000!

Have also been from Kuala Lumpur – Phnom Penh, only IDR 150,000.

I also got cheap airline tickets because there was a promo from Cebu Pacific with the Jakarta – Manila – Coron – Cebu – Jakarta route, the total didn’t even reach IDR 1 million! Even though it flew 4 times!

Maybe you’ve tried buying promo tickets, but ticket prices are still expensive. Hunting for promo tickets has a trick too.

– Subscribe or subscribe to the airline’s newsletter

Usually on the airline’s website, there is an option to subscribe to the newsletter.

All you have to do is enter your e-mail address, so when they have a promo or other important information, it will be sent directly to your e-mail.

You can also follow their social media.

Now you know the importance of subscribing to the newsletter.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Nonanomad newsletter too to get important info, hehe.

– Hunt for tickets on promo days

Previously, make sure about when you want to fly and also where you are going. Usually I already plan ahead.

The downside of promo tickets is that you have to have flexible time.

Moreover, usually during holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s, the ticket prices will not be cheap.

After you subscribe, you will get information a few days before the sale starts.

Usually the website will be a bit slow, so patience is required. If you can’t get cheap tickets, try shifting the date until you get cheap ones.

Tickets will usually sell out the next day, unless they are still available, they can still be sought tomorrow, even though the chances of getting them are smaller.

Remember before hunting for tickets, make sure you have created an account on the airline’s website to make it easier for personal data.

Prepare passport data, as well as payment methods.

Foreign airlines usually only accept payments by credit card.

For Airasia Indonesia, you can go through KlikBCA, bank transfer (minimum IDR 1 million), and through Indomaret or Alfamaret.

The most important thing if you buy a budget airline, usually the price doesn’t include baggage.

So you can only bring bags that are brought into the aircraft cabin and cannot weigh more than 7 kg.

When buying a ticket, you can buy luggage too, but of course there is an additional fee. Make sure it’s not too heavy so you don’t get charged extra.

– Compare airline ticket prices through Skyscanner

To check ticket prices, you can use the Skyscanner website.

What I like about the Skyscanner website is the feature that can display ticket prices in a one-month calendar.

After checking on Skyscanner, I bought a ticket directly from the airline or Traveloka website.

The advantage of buying through Traveloka is that the payment is easier and suitable for us Indonesians.

– Join the Facebook traveling group for cheap airplane info

On Facebook there are many active travel groups, for example World Backpackers or International Backpackers.

You can look for information, ask questions and sometimes you can get information about promo tickets too.

– Get a free ticket using the Miles program from a credit card

If you personally use a credit card, or your company requires you to use a credit card, you can exchange your points for miles which can also be exchanged for free airplane tickets.

You can read this article to find out about credit cards and miles.

2. Looking for cheap lodging

The second frugal traveling tip, don’t be too picky when it comes to lodging.

You walk all day, just go to the inn at night. Then you’re also tired, so you must be sleeping soundly.

When traveling alone, I usually prefer to stay in hostels with dorm rooms because they are the cheapest.

Dorm rooms mean you have to share with other travelers. If both of you can find a budget hotel, or homestay.

To search for regular hostels through the website hostelworld.com or booking.com.

I personally prefer to use booking.com because I can search for a destination city and then have the option to sort from the lowest price.

I like to sort options that are cheap but the reviews are good too.

There are lots of cheap hostels or inns but the reviews are good. Look for those with at least a review rating of 8 and above.

You can also compare prices in other cheap hotel booking applications such as AirBNB, Traveloka, or Tiket.com.

3. Purchase tourist attraction tickets via Klook

I just found out recently that buying tourist attraction tickets via Klook is actually cheaper.

For example, when I visited the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.

The original ticket price to visit the two conservatories is SGD 28. However, if you buy through Klook, the price is only SGD 23!

It’s pretty good to save SGD 5 if you change it around IDR 50,000.

Buying tickets on Klook is also easy. The problem is you get an e-ticket so you don’t have to queue anymore to buy a ticket at the tourist attraction counter.

The available tourist attractions can be said to be complete, from within the country to abroad there are all of them.

4. Take part in a free open-trip (saving traveling tips even for free!)

I do this method often, especially when I’m in college.

In Indo, there are many open-trips to islands around Jakarta, as well as those far away, for example to Komodo Island, Raja Ampat, Derawan Island, etc.

I will contact the trip operator and negotiate with them.

“If I get 10 participants to take part in this trip, can I get +1 or not?”

This means that if you get 10 people you can join the trip for free.

Try it, they usually want it anyway. In this way, I often get free trips.

But for your plane ticket or transportation to the meeting point, you still have to pay for it yourself. The only thing free is the trip package.

Make sure to choose a trip organizer that is trusted and does provide appropriate facilities.

In the past, I took part in a trip and invited some friends to join, but the service was disappointing.

So really find out first or check the trip organizer’s review.

5. Use couchsurfing.com

Furthermore, for those who don’t know, couchsurfing is a site that facilitates travelers from all over the country.

On this website there is a forum to ask questions, a forum to meet, and events.

In addition, you can find a place to live for free here. So there is the term “host” which is a person who provides a place to live in his house for free.

“Surfer” isn’t a surfer, but it means a guest looking for a free place to stay.

Creating an account on this website is free. You need to fill in personal data, such as your hobbies, or an introduction about you.

So when you send a request to the hosts, they can see your profile and decide whether to host you or not.

Make sure to use an original profile photo, and to be safe, look for hosts who have references from other people too.

The most ideal is to stay 2-3 days. If it’s more than that, maybe fewer people want to host you, you can still try it.

If you want to make new friends you can also become a host.

In your profile you can also write down the location of your house, what your house is like, whether guests will sleep in their own room or sofa or share a room with you.

6. Stay free by volunteering

Well, these are also my favorite tips to reduce the budget. Because besides being able to stay for free, you will also get a different experience.

You can work voluntarily through the volunteer program and exchange it for free lodging or food.

Check the helpx.net or workaway.info websites.

To join this membership you have to pay a registration fee on this website.

For the helpx.net website the price is USD 26 for 2 years, for workaway the price is USD 44 for 1 year.

Once you become a member, you can access volunteering offers around the world.

The work ranges from gardening to being a hostel receptionist, web-designer, etc.

The host will post vacancies with certain criteria, for example working 4 hours a day-5 days a week-minimum stay of 2 weeks, for a free stay.

The work that you have to do will also be explained by the host.

If you are interested, you can contact the host and introduce yourself.

An example from my experience, I once volunteered at a hostel in Taiwan for a week, my job was just cleaning rooms and laundry.

Was also a volunteer at a hostel which coincided with Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

If I can get off, I can explore Kuala Lumpur.

I have also volunteered several times in gardens in Bali and Chengdu, taking care of dogs, removing weeds. I think volunteering is more fun, because the experience is different from traveling normally.

7. Go during low season

Prices in some places can be very different, for example in China the price of entrance tickets and accommodation during high season is much more expensive than low season.

8. Plan your trip

Although sometimes I prefer to travel without a definite plan, but I realize that I must spend more money too.

So if you have a plan, where are you going, how do you do it, usually it will be more economical too.

Be diligent in reading other travel blogger blogs.

9. Determine your daily budget

You have to determine how much you want to spend a day.

For example, if you want to travel to Vietnam for 5 days.

Your budget is IDR 1 million outside the plane. So per day you can only spend IDR 200,000.

Look for cheap hostels around IDR 60,000 a night. Continue to eat too, don’t be expensive.

Try to stick to your budget.

10. Use public transportation or walk

Usually, if you are in a fairly developed country, you can use Google Maps to know the way.

If you want to be more extreme, you can try “hitchhiking” or nebeng in Indonesian.

I personally don’t like hitchhiking often and don’t really like it, although I did hitchhike in Cameron Highlands.

The problem is that I have to be very flexible and I am a person who is also wary of having to wait by the side of the road.

Some countries are safe for hitchhiking, but if you’re in a less safe country, if you don’t have to, don’t hitchhiking.

11. Now I rarely exchange money via money exchange

Usually just bring an ATM card, until the airport withdraws money using a local ATM.

But if you want to be careful, bring cash that has been previously exchanged, or bring dollars.

Usually I withdraw using a BCA debit card, the rate is also sometimes not much different.

12. When it comes to food, I’m also not picky

I prefer street food.

In expensive countries like Japan, you can buy food from 7-11 convenience stores, it’s cheaper.

Once you buy drinking water, also buy a big bottle.

Sometimes I bring my own lunch box too.

The problem is that several places give very large portions, so I usually put it in the lunch box for the next meal, or I can ask for it to be wrapped.

13. If you have a student card, you can bring it

So, from my experience while studying in China, if you visit tourist attractions there and you have a student card, you can get a half price discount as a student.

14. Look for tourist attractions that don’t pay, aka free entry tickets, is one of the frugal traveling tips

Sometimes there are also free tours of certain tourist spots. You can find out in advance.

15. Don’t be itching to buy things that aren’t important

Sometimes when you see cute things, you want to buy them.

If your budget is enough, that’s okay.

I rarely buy souvenirs for other people, because I travel a lot.

When buying goods, try to haggle, sometimes they know we are tourists, so we like to raise prices.

Don’t buy too much and then you’ll have excess baggage later.

Conclusion and Closing

Okay, I think that’s about 15 frugal traveling tips that I can share.

If you have questions, you can ask me directly.

If this article is useful, please share it with your friends.

Scroll to Top