How To Travel The World Without Breaking The Bank

Johnna Hawyard headshot
Johnna Hayward
February 28, 2019

I’m sure we can all agree that it’s extremely exciting to travel abroad!  We start to think of every landmark, city, country etc. that we just have to see before running out of time.

All of this seems pretty straightforward until you take a closer look at your bank how can you possibly travel everywhere that your heart desires without spending a ridiculous amount of money?


My Three Main Tips:

  1. Budget

  2. Plan in Advance

  3. Save Money




There are really two different options for budgeting your money. First, you could be like me and make a ridiculous Excel spreadsheet that keeps track of every penny you’ve spent during your time abroad. I honestly would not recommend this approach.

Instead, choose the more laid back option! As soon as you arrive to your international destination take a look at your bank account. How much money do you have to spend? How much money do you want to be left with at the end of your abroad experience?

Weekly Budget: Once you have a total amount to work with start breaking it down. What amount of money are you comfortable spending each week? Including food, shopping, nights out, etc. What does this add up to for your entire trip?

Travel Budget: Next, take the total weekly amount you just found and subtract that from the total amount you’re starting with. That will leave you with your travel budget! This is the amount of money you have left to spend on weekend trips, spring break, etc.

Again, I wouldn’t recommend getting too specific with the dollar amount. A rough estimate per week is more than enough. It will help to make sure that you’re still able to go on that final trip before the semester ends!



Plan in Advance

Like I said, we’re all definitely going to travel somewhere new during our time abroad. So plan your trip as early as you can! This is super important and will save you a lot of money in the long run.

As most of us know, plane tickets, hotels, Airbnbs, hostels, etc. all just continue to get more and more expensive as your desired travel date gets closer. So talk to your closest friends and get that trip planned ASAP!



Save Money

This is hopefully common sense to most people but definitely don’t just throw money around while you’re traveling! There are countless ways to save up your funds for the more important stuff.


  • Limit the number of times you eat out per week (based on your budget).

  • When you do go to a restaurant, eat local! Touristy places are always more expensive.

  • If you’re doing a homestay, eat at home! Don’t waste the money that you already spent.

  • Go grocery shopping! You will waste a lot of money if you eat out for every meal.



  • I know we’re all happy about how cheap Zara is but you don’t need that €30 shirt.

  • You only brought 1-2 suitcases with you and everything needs to fit on the way home!

  • Try to only shop when you’re in a new place/city and buying souvenirs.


Late Night Activities

  • Don’t forget about this!

  • Your evening and weekend activities definitely start to add up after a while. 



Until next time!


Johnna Hawyard headshot

Johnna Hayward

<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin-top:.4pt; margin-right:14.7pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin-left:5.5pt"><span style="line-height:103%">Hiya! My name is Johnna (pronounced John-na). I am from Peekskill, NY (about 45 minutes north of Manhattan) and I will be graduating from Penn State in December! I’m a marketing major with strong passions related to sports and nonprofit efforts. In my free time I take weekly yoga classes and enjoy capturing Penn State’s beautiful campus through my iPhone camera lens. Lastly, traveling is a huge passion of mine and I am thrilled for the experience that I am about to embark on in Barcelona!</span></p>

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