Two women enjoying view in Thailand after budget tours hike

Budget Travel - Best Tours & Trips

Traveling on a budget can have its downsides, such as dingy hostels, long journeys on uncomfortable buses, and hours of searching for the best price. But don't overlook the upsides to budget travel. Eating at street stalls, staying with local families, and traveling overland can provide a far more authentic experience than that of a luxury traveler. Not to mention that traveling on the cheap will allow you to travel for longer. So swap that fancy restaurant for a local cafe, that luxury hotel for a tent, and that private taxi for a shared jeep, and find out what new experiences lie in store (and how much you can save).

View All Budget Travel Trips  
X
Unlock Member Savings

In order to see Stride Select deals you must sign in. We’ve negotiated with many of the world’s best travel companies to save you money! Get the best experiences, save up to $700 per person, and be a hero to your travel companions!

or
or
Provide email and Password

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Already a member?

With FREE membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
See member program details

Top Budget Travel Experiences and Attractions


Top Budget Travel Experiences

view more

Top Budget Travel Attractions

view more

Budget Travel Trip Reviews


3,645
Budget Travel Tour Reviews - Summary
99% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 3,708 Great 676 Average 72 Disappointing 12 Terrible 28
Value
4.8 Guide
4.8 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
4.8 Meals
4.8

R

Recommends

Outstanding private group tour November 2018

5.0

China & Yangtze River Cruise with Hong Kong

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We were a group of 34 seniors departing from JFK on 12 Oct 2017. The itinerary was the same as the standard 17-day tour and it was well-paced for our group. Mark Ma was our Tour Director, and he was very helpful, friendly and made sure that everyone was safe and enjoying the trip. My group has been on several guided international tours, and this was one of the best. smarTours helped us set up the tour, get our visas and got us first-class hotels throughout the trip. I recommend that you consider them for your travel group. Ms. Suzanne Anderson at their NYC office was specially helpful. Thanks to everyone at smarTours for this excellent experience. Read more

Operator SmarTours

M

Recommends

18 Amazing Days in China November 2018

5.0

China & Yangtze River Cruise with Hong Kong

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Julian and I are still talking and telling everyone we meet about the surprisingly wonderful trip we recently took. Our guide, Mr. Li Bo, Oscar, was our mother, father, savior, historian, bathroom locator and best friend throughout the entire trip. He seemed to have a second sense and was there when we needed him, either for a pharmacy, help with our luggage or credit cards and the ATM's. The local guides, especially Allie, in Shanghai were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The hotels and Yangtze River rooms were excellent. All the shows, parks and extras and river cruises were wonderful. The food was pretty good but the hot pots and dim sum that we had when we ventured out on our own was sensational. It's an amazing country with beautiful and unusual sites. I look forward to more trips with SmarTours and I can only hope that they are as great as this trip was for us. Thank you Oscar. Read more

Operator SmarTours

C

Recommends

Surpassed all my expectations November 2018

5.0

Majestic India

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
"On September 30, we returned from our Indus nine day India Trip which we booked thru Groupon. I must tell you that it surpassed all my expectations and was indeed the trip of a lifetime. Every detail was perfect. We were met promptly at the airport and taken to our hotel Picadilly (which must have the best food in India) by our guide Shelindra / Shalindra ...........who we soon discovered was a well educated, knowledgeable, organized, caring and very competent young man. With him we felt entirely safe at all all times. Moreover he was always ready to answer our questions whether historical, religious or cultural. I wish to record my firm commendation of this guide . Unfortunately I do not know the last name. The hotels were all very clean, comfortable and beautiful, the dinners and breakfasts excellent , the bus clean and cool with a very good driver and assistant who kept us well supplied with water. The tour itself was highly interesting and varied. There was something for everyone. We took part in the optional tours as well and enjoyed every experience. The rickshaw ride in Delhi, the Sikh soup kitchen , Mother Teresa's orphanage, the Taj Mahal and the elephant village stand out. It was also a lovely experience to stay for one night in the Raj of Bharatpur's palace! Even our flights with Etihad Airlines were excellent. I must admit that when we initially booked we were not sure about Indus Travels as we read some negative reviews but seriously nothing was missing in this tour. Congratulations on this very fine Indus tour and
sincere thanks.
Namaste,"
Read more

Operator Indus Travels

C

Recommends

Surprisingly charming and delightful! October 2018

5.0

11 Day Classic Poland 2018 Itinerary

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
I recently returned from the 11 day Classic Poland trip which I took with my cousin. We were pleasantly surprised with just how whimsical and charming much of Poland is. Our guide, Jolanta Postrzygacz, was fabulous. She consistently went the extra mile to make everyone happy including offering "treats" representative of Poland during longer coach rides. While the hotels weren't super deluxe, they were pretty comfortable and most of the included meals were wonderful. The tours were very informative and enjoyable. It was an excellent trip and I highly recommend it! Read more

Operator Gate 1

M

Recommends

I certainly had the best time of my life. October 2018

5.0

Summer Course Korea

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
During my summer break of 2018, I followed the youth program in Korea, Seoul. I certainly had the best time of my life those two weeks. The program was organized perfectly, my homestay family was amazing and the activities we had were super interesting and fun. But most of all, I made new friends, with the same ambitions, from all over the world and we had such a great time together! The GoGoHanguk staff was amazing aswell! They offered help and guidance, whenever we needed! I would totally recommend this to everyone who is interested in Korean culture. I definitely had the time of my life! Read more

Operator Studytrip.com

Budget Travel Tours and Travel Guide


Budget Travel Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Traveling on a budget can have its downsides, such as dingy hostels, long journeys on uncomfortable buses, and hours of searching for the best price. But don't overlook the upsides to budget travel. Eating at street stalls, staying with local families, and traveling overland can provide a far more authentic experience than that of a luxury traveler. Not to mention that traveling on the cheap will allow you to travel for longer. So swap that fancy restaurant for a local cafe, that luxury hotel for a tent, and that private taxi for a shared jeep, and find out what new experiences lie in store (and how much you can save).

Accommodation

When traveling on a budget, your accommodation will likely consist of hostels, tents, home stays, and basic guesthouses or hotels. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Hostels can be wonderfully social places, with lively common areas and lots of like-minded travelers. Small, locally run guesthouses and hotels can have a charm and warmth to them that is unheard of in large hotel chains. Camping tours can be a great way to experience nature, and provides the thrill of roughing it in the wilderness. And home stays offer a insight into local life unlike any other. Shop around to see what suits you, and be sure to ask about discounted rates.

Transport

Transportation on a budget will likely involve local buses, shared vehicles, and trains, with flights often being out of the question. Again, this is not always a bad thing. Traveling overland offers views and local experiences that are missed out on by those in the air. Yes, there may be horrible experiences of being bounced around on unpaved roads, going stir-crazy on 20 hour bus journeys, or being squashed into the back of a shared jeep, but sometimes these experiences are the ones you'll remember most fondly!

Overnight transportation can be a blessing or a curse. If it's comfortable, it can be a handy way to save money on accommodation while sleeping away the distance between destinations. Uncomfortable overnight journeys, however, can really test your limits. The comfort varies from region to region.

South America has overnight buses with seats comfier than any bed, while Europe has trains with individual cabins to rival some hotels. Parts of Asia and Africa, however, have overnight buses that can be downright painful (as well as incredibly cheap accommodation, making overnight transportation not worthwhile anyway).

Wherever you are, when booking tickets, have a look at the price differences between classes- sometimes air conditioning or a reclining seat are worth the extra dollar or two.

Food and Drink

When dining abroad on a budget, you'll have to forgo snooty restaurants with pristine tablecloths and imported drinks. Instead, you'll be forced to dine on fresh, local food, drink local beer with plenty of cheap refills, and chat to local people at roadside stalls or in cosy diners. Actually sounds quite appealing, doesn't it?

Activities and Interests

Here's where travel costs can really spiral out of control. A visit to a safari park, for example, can be a camping trip with basic amenities or a private tour with luxury hotels, with thousands of dollars in the difference. Look at the cheapest trips available, but make sure to find one that suits your needs. It's not worth saving money if you end up missing out on memorable experiences, or on a tour you don't enjoy. The cheapest is not always the best value.

Working, Volunteering, and Studying

Working, volunteering, or studying abroad can be a great way to experience life in another country while keeping costs to a minimum. Even if you aren't earning much (or anything at all), you may be able to work in exchange for accommodation and meals. Also, staying in one place rather than moving around can keep costs down, as well as allowing you to really experience a destination in depth.

The availability of paid work varies greatly from region to region, as does the amount of pay, so if you are planning to work abroad, pick your destination wisely. Teaching English is often a good job opportunity in Asia, Central America, and South America, especially if you have a qualification such as a TEFL certificate.

Getting a work visa may be difficult in some countries, however in places such as Australia, it is common for visitors to stay for a year on a working visa and find a job. If you cannot find paid work, you may be able to work in exchange for accommodation. In South America, for example, it is common for hostel guests to work in exchange for a free bed. Make sure these kinds of deals are worth it though- you may find yourself working for several hours in exchange for saving just a few dollars.

Volunteering is another excellent way of living for less abroad, not to mention doing some good while traveling. Do your research when finding a volunteering opportunity, as some organizations charge substantial amounts for finding placements, while others do so for free, and others, such as the Peace Corps, even pay volunteers. Some placements will provide food and accommodation, and some of the most rewarding placements can be in destinations where costs are minimal.

Studying abroad may not provide any money or free accommodation, but it still allows you to do something worthwhile in one destination, rather than spending all your travel fund moving from place to place. Substantial discounts are also often available when booking accommodation for a longer period. And it's a great opportunity to follow a passion, whether it's learning to tango in Buenos Aires, learning to cook in Italy, or learning to speak Mandarin in Beijing.

Budget Destinations by Region

Of course, the easiest way to keeps costs down when traveling is to choose a cheap destination.

Asia: Asia is budget traveler heaven. Countries such as India, Nepal, China, and most of Southeast Asia allow you to live on a budget of as little as $10 a day, while offering incredible sights and unforgettable experiences.

Africa: Many less-visited African countries can be very budget-friendly, though travel and sleeping conditions may be tough if you really insist on the cheapest option. Even more touristy countries such as Kenya and South Africa are very affordable, particularly if you choose your trips and safaris wisely.

South and Central America: This gigantic region comes with a vast range in prices. Argentina, for example, is one of the cheaper countries, while just next door, Chile is one of the most expensive. One major cost is getting around the massive landmass- those long bus journeys through Patagonia, and short haul flights over the Amazon do not come cheap. So plan your route well.

North America: North America doesn't come cheap. If you're trying to keep costs down, the easiest way is to avoid trying to cover vast distances, and focus on smaller areas. Though if you're determined to see as much as possible, try renting a car, or better yet, a camper van. These rentals can be surprisingly cheap (be warned, however, that insurance is not included in the initial price, and can bump up the overall cost significantly).

Europe: Even a short visit to London, Paris or Rome comes with a price tag that would shock some luxury travelers. But Europe is not out of the question for budget travelers. Inter-railing (traveling by train on a multi-stop ticket), road tripping, and camping are all popular means of affordable travel. And don't forget that a trip to Central or Eastern Europe costs a fraction of the price of a visit to its western counterpart.

Australia and New Zealand: It's difficult, though not impossible, to visit Australia and New Zealand without having a large budget or a local job. Not only are they two very expensive countries, but they are located in their own far flung corner of the globe, and therefore costly for most travelers to reach. If you're determined to visit here on a budget, try camping or couch surfing for free accommodation, or look for hostels where you can cook your own meals. Also, keep in mind that air fare prices are significantly lower outside of the peak summer season (December to February).

Related Trips & Tours


Top Budget Travel Travel Companies


All Budget tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Budget Travel trips.

3,486 trips from 85 tour companies with 3,645 reviews

More Budget Travel Guided Tours

View All Budget Travel Trips
×
×
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
×
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 16 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!