Backpacker: How to Save Money and Travel More

My preparations, mistakes, & experiences have taught me how to find the best travel deals, book a flight in less than 5 minutes, & how to make my dollar go further while abroad.

I’ve been reading blog posts, following expert travelers, and doing it on my own since December 2012.

Now it’s my turn to pass on the knowledge.

Backpacker: How to Save Money and Travel More… Booking Flights

  • Browse in an incognito tab.
    • This hides cookies so that the airlines don’t know how often you’ve searched for the flight… The more you’ve searched, the more interested you are, and the more likely they are to jack up the price.
      • How To Search open an Incognito Tab:
        • Option #1
          • Find the three dots in the upper right hand side of your internet tab.
          • Click the three dots & then click “new incognito window.”
          • Still in the incognito window, go to your favorite flight search engine.
        • Option #2
          • Hold down the buttons “Control” “Shift” and “n” on your keyboard and a new incognito window will automatically appear.
          • Still in the incognito window, go to your favorite flight search engine.
  • Always compare flights on different search engines.
    • My favorites are: Google Flights & Skyscanner.
    • Book your ticket through the actual airline’s website & not through a search engine.
      • Example: Purchase the flight through Delta, United, etc., instead of Flight Search Engines.
  • Fly from a large airport instead of your local city airport.
    • Don’t utilize a small airport for convenience.
    • Example: I’m from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green Bay has a small airport with a few gates. Rather than flying from Green Bay, I should have taken a Greyhound to Chicago and flown out of Chicago-O’Hare. This hack would have saved me tons of money.
  • Consider flying on a budget airline.
    • Know their policies inside out (baggage sizes, when to purchase baggage etc.) & you’ll save a ton of $$.
    • You can fly from Minneapolis to Denver for $45 one way almost anytime of the year with Frontier airlines!
    • Every country/region has budget airlines. Examples of budget airlines are Spirit, Frontier, Ryan Air, WOW Airlines, etc.
  • Error Fair.
    • Have you ever heard of airlines accidentally selling tickets for an unreasonably low price for only a few hours? Secret Flying is a company that will notify you as soon as they find an Error Fair.
    • You need to book these F A S T. Don’t think, just book. You then have 24 hours to think about the flight & whether you want to cancel it.
    • Brock and I attempted to purchase a flight from Boston to Santiago, Chile for a low price of $200. Sadly, we missed it after taking several hours to plan the trip.
    • Click here for their Facebook page (it’s where they announce the Error Fairs.)

Flying from Green Bay, Wisconsin in 2012… Check out that tiny plane. I could have saved over $400 by flying from O’Hare!

Backpacker: How to Save Money and Travel More… Airport Tips

  • Don’t check a bag, fly carry-on only.
    • That will save you around $50-100 right there.
  • Bring a water bottle to fill up after security.
    • There’s another $5-10 that you get to spend elsewhere.
  • Pack a meal before you go to the airport.
    • Click here to read the small list of foods that are restricted by size on an airplane.
    • Do you hear that? It’s an extra $5-15 in your tripfund.
  • Book accommodations that provide free transportation to/from the airport.
    • Our taxi cab from the airport to our hostel cost us around $40 USD. Imagine if we had booked an Airbnb with a free pick up!

This photo was taken on our way to the Galapagos in 2015. The Galapagos is not a cheap destination, which meant we needed to stretch our money for a long as we could.

Backpacker: How to Save Money and Travel More… Consider Alternative Modes of Transportation:

  • Greyhound buses for domestic travel here in the U.S.A.
    • I’ve been riding Greyhound bus’ for years & they continue to step up their game every year. They now offer free WiFi and charging outlets on their bus’.
  • The U.S. also has a train system called Amtrak.
  • If you have the time, go on an All American Road Trip!
    • Gas prices are still somewhat low making it much more affordable to get in the car and  G O.

In 2013, my sorority sisters & I drove 21 hours from Wisconsin to Florida for Spring Break.

Backpacker: How to Save Money and Travel More… Travel Credit Cards:

  • It’s free travel money for stuff that you already buy! Pay for your groceries, gas, utility bill, cellphone, & everything else on your card. After several months if you spend a certain amount of money, you get a nice BONUS. Your bonus is usually enough for an airplane ticket or a really nice hotel room.
  • Click here to compare credit cards and apply for your perfect card!
  • Remember, if you don’t have the money don’t buy it.
    It’s pointless to earn a bonus if you’ll later get charged crazy high interest after not paying off your credit card bill. Brock utilizes credit cards for his business. Since December 2014, we have booked over 20 free or severely discounted flights.


    Because Brock utilizes credit cards for his business, combined, Brock and I have booked over 20 free or severely discounted flights since graduating college in late 2014.

Backpacker: How to Save Money and Travel More…Time of Year Matters:

  • It’s tempting to travel on holidays because you get more time off of work. I get it. But that travel demand means you will pay more for flights, accommodations, & activities.
    • U.S.A. holidays that break the bank. Avoid traveling during these holidays: Christmas, New Years, Spring Break, Easter Weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, & Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Instead, consider taking more time off of work around times of the year that are slow. Use this article to determine the low season for destinations.

Brock & I scored a great deal on tickets to Iceland because we flew right after the holidays in January.

Backpacker: How to Save Money and Travel More… Bonus Tips:


And there it is,

My 17 Tips to Travel More for Less $.

I hope that you find your goal of traveling more attainable. There are many ways to travel for less, go take advantage of them!

If you felt that this post was helpful in obtaining your goal of travel, please sign up for my email list.

What is one tip that you could implement during your next trip? Are there any tips in this article that you’d like me to dive in deeper?? Did I forget to include any important travel extraordinaire tips???

Comments, questions, feedback are always appreciated. Let me know below!

The Exploring Yogini