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5 tips to travel on a shoestring budget

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We are seeing a lot of people travelling these days due to growing affluence. Friends, families and random strangers are posting picturesque snapshots of the places they’ve been to on Facebook and Instagram. Sure, travelling can be very exciting, but it does cost money to pack your bags and explore the world.

But money shouldn’t always get in the way of your travel plans. In fact, many travel enthusiasts these days hop from one country to another on a tight budget. And since they are already doing that, it only goes to show that you can follow their footsteps too.

So how exactly should you travel on a shoestring budget? Here are five expert tips:


  1. Plan ahead

    This is perhaps the cardinal rule in every travel escapade - planning. If you want to keep your expenses low, then it is an imperative that you draw out a strategy in which you can use the least amount of money for your needs when on the road.

    Planning should cover everything - from your airline tickets to your travel dates to the places where you will stay and the purchases you will make. You need not dine in a fancy restaurant or go shopping in high-end malls during your vacation especially when your overall goal is just to feel the vibe of your destination. Try the night bazaars or the local food stall where the food is freshly cooked in front of you. While you save hard, you should not fall sick along the way. Part of your plan should include having a travel insurance plan.

  2. Search for discounts

    When you have already planned ahead, then you have the leverage of finding discounts to save on your expenses. Some airlines offer discounted rates on their flights when you book tickets at least six months before your target travel dates. Discounts help reduce your intended cash outlay, and you are able to get the best deals simply by planning beforehand.

  3. Look for secondary destinations

    Secondary destinations can bring more colour to your budget travel. For example, if you are going to travel to Thailand, you may want opt to visit Chiang Mai instead of focusing on Phuket or Bangkok. This is because Chiang Mai is cheaper, the weather is cooler and the attractions are unique. Visit the elephant camp, trek the mountain and shop at the famous night bazaar. Stay at small motels, most of them are conveniently located with low cost meals easily available within walking distance.

    When searching for secondary destinations, you may want to look at two factors:

    • the transportation options to reach the place and;
    • the accessibility of the place to other areas worth visiting


    By knowing the routes and the transportation options, you will derive more value from your travel expenses. Not to mention more pictures of unique landscape that you can showcase on social media.

  4. Hotel vs. homestay vs. couch surfing

    Booking hotel stays at heavily discounted rates can be difficult, especially when you are thinking about travelling during peak season. If you have to travel during peak season, you really have to look for cheaper alternatives then. Homestays that offer bed and breakfast to backpackers is the usual first option. Increasingly, couch surfing in case you have friends who can accommodate you for a few nights during your stay, is gaining popularity.

    A homestay can be a great Plan B to a hotel since it is not only cheaper but also gives you a taste of how it is like to live as a local in the place you are visiting.

  5. Secure travel insurance

    Do not see travel insurance as an additional expense but think of it as an investment. It can save you on huge costs later on since you can use it during emergency situations. By being insured, you are saving the cost of a medical bill or a piece of baggage that has gone missing. Think of using the amount saved for an investment where you can make money to pay for your next vacation!


Don’t let unexpected problems stop you from enjoying your holiday getaway. Visit the Chubb Travel Insurance website for more details!


The benefit(s) payable under eligible certificate/policy/product is(are) protected by PIDM up to limits. Please refer to PIDM’s TIPS brochure or contact Chubb Insurance Malaysia Berhad or PIDM (visit


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