Budget Travel

How To Visit Expensive Destinations On A Budget

18 April, 2022

I’ve visited multiple destinations that are considered expensive. The ones that come to mind are Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zurich, London and Paris.

As a budget traveller, you don’t have to be put off by visiting a destination because it’s expensive. You just need to be smarter with your money.

Here are my best tips for visiting expensive destinations on a budget!

Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights

Get off to a good start by bagging some cheap flights. Skyscanner enables you to look at flight prices over the whole month so you can pick the cheapest dates.

Another helpful resource is the hopper app. This will tell you when the best time to book your flights will be. Flight prices fluctuate and there are certain days when it’s better to book than others.

I also recently found out that you should go on incognito mode when searching for flights, so consider this as well.

Pack minimally

Save on baggage costs by only taking carry-on luggage. The chances are that taking extra outfit options isn’t worth the extra money it’s going to cost. Plus, it’ll just add more weight that you have to carry/drag around.

Often, the baggage costs double the overall cost of your flight so avoiding them makes a big difference.

Stay in hostels/other cheap accommodation

Hostels are a great way of saving money while travelling. However, I know they’re not for everyone. If you’re not keen on hostels, there are other options such as cheap hotels or things like Couchsurfing.

When I’m booking accommodation for anywhere, regardless of how expensive it is, I’ll usually go on Booking.com and filter the results by price from low to high. If all I’m looking for is a bed to sleep in, in a good location, I don’t want to spend more than I have to. Sometimes, one of the first results that come up will be rated 9+, so the cost doesn’t always compromise the quality.

You could easily half the cost of your accommodation just by following this process. By filtering the results by price straight away, you won’t be tempted by the more expensive options that automatically get recommended first!

Make your own food

Food will often be one of your biggest expenses when travelling. To keep costs down, avoid eating at restaurants all the time as it’s not sustainable when visiting somewhere expensive.

Many hostels and other accommodations will have a kitchen or at least a microwave and kettle so that you can eat hot food without having to go to a restaurant.

Some of my favourite essentials to take are microwave pasta, instant noodles, cereal bars and biscuits. I buy some of these at home and take them with me rather than buying them at the more expensive destination. Then, if the local supermarkets have good options while I’m away I’ll pick up some additional, more substantial items.

Also, take some coffee and/or teas to drink. Don’t get into the habit of buying coffee every day! It’s unnecessary, especially when it’s 6 euros a go.

Walk everywhere

After all, it’s free!

Walking from place to place while travelling has some additional perks. You get to see more of the city and you never know what you might come across. Plus, of course, it’s good for you!

If you only have a few days in a large city, travelling by foot may be difficult. In that case, make sure you stick to public transport rather than getting taxis, and think carefully about which ticket type you need. For example, do you need a multi-day pass (if available) or do you just need to use transport on one particular day?

Try and plan your itinerary so that you visit things that are close together, rather than going back and forth all the time. This will reduce your need for using transport if you don’t have an unlimited ticket. And if you’re walking everywhere, it’ll save your legs!

Make the most of free activities

Even the priciest of destinations will have free things to do. Some of the most common free attractions are free walking tours (though often tip-based), museums/galleries, parks and gardens.

Some paid attractions are also free on certain days. For example, the Louvre in Paris is free on Friday evenings for those under 26f, on the first Saturday of each month between 6 pm and 9.45 pm and all day on Bastille Day (14th July). Though, as you can imagine, places will usually be busier during the times that they’re free.

Take time to research some free activities at your destination before you go.

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how to visit expensive cities on a budget


Nottingham, England

Hi, welcome to Travel With Holly! I'm a twenty-something-year-old, environmentally-conscious travel lover, trying to see as much of the world as I can while sharing my experiences with you. Whether you're here for some informative travel tips or just some inspiration, I hope you enjoy browsing this blog! If you’d like to follow along with me then make sure you subscribe.