As you read this, I am in Austin on the last day of SXSW. I’m on the second business related trip I’ve ever taken, and it’s only my third time on a plane in the last 10 years.

Travel can be very expensive. But if you plan ahead and anticipate expenses, there are corners you can cut to ease up on the budget without impacting the fun.

Budget Travel Tips

Airline Travel

  • Bring your own snacks. You can bring food through security, so make sure you bring plenty of snacks. The last time I flew, a bag of potato chips cost $3. I passed.
  • Bring an empty water bottle. When you get through security, fill it at a drinking fountain.
  • Make sure you are aware of all expenses before using a service. Know the rates on pay phones, wifi connections, etc. Some airports have free wifi. Others charge way too much.


  • If you can avoid eating out, do so. Bring a crockpot or hot plate and cook in your hotel room. Better yet, choose accommodations with a kitchen, so you can really cook!
  • Eat your biggest meal at lunch. Often lunch and dinner menus are similar, but dinner is more expensive. Eat a big lunch and have sandwiches for dinner.
  • Look for kids eat free options. That can save a bunch!
  • See if you can find travel publications in front of grocery stores or fast food restaurants. They’re free and often include restaurant coupons.
  • Take advantage of any free food options your hotel provides. Many provide free breakfast, and some hotels provide free snacks from 4-7 p.m.


  • Look into an entertainment book, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time at a destination. This time of year, you can get a great deal on one.
  • Call and inquire about special deals. You never know what’s out there, if you don’t ask.
  • Do free things, like hiking or playing on the beach. Have a picnic lunch at a park.
  • Focus on building relationships with those you are with, rather than on activities. In the end, that’s what matters.

I can’t wait to get back and tell you all about how I saved money (or not) on my trip to Austin! Do you have any money saving travel ideas? I’ll be reading the comments from Austin, so I’d love to hear them!