Traveling is an exciting way to experience new things and learn about different cultures, but it’s often thought of as a luxury. While exploring the world isn’t exactly cheap, there are plenty of ways to make it affordable for you.

And who better to ask than travel bloggers on how to vacation on a budget? Take it from the pro travelers below.

Plan as much as possible
You can’t stick to a budget if your whole trip is spontaneous. Holly Habeck says she is able to stick to a budget by planning as much as she can in advance. She explained, “Using apps like Hopper helps with negotiating the most financially feasible times to travel, and from there it just comes down to building out an itinerary and estimating costs before actually embarking on a trip.”

Set a budget
Be sure to actually set your budget instead of just thinking up a random number in your mind. Katie Zweber of Two Wandering Soles says, “We set a budget for each trip and record all of our spending — every purchase, big and small. That way we know how much we’ve spent in relation to our budget and can adjust what we buy accordingly. We like the app Trail Wallet to track our spending.”

Avoid fancy restaurants
If you want one elaborate meal, that’s fine, but overall, try to keep things simple and cheap. Domenic Savaglio of Citizen of Travel says, “I research a few cheap eats before going to any city. Eating out can be expensive. I find that if I keep my food budget at a reasonable level, I don’t tend to overspend.”

Opt for free or cheap attractions
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on big tours. In fact, you can usually find free activities that are even better. Becca and Dan of Half Half Travel explains, “We do research and minimize attractions with entrance fees or cover charges.”

Travel during the off-season
If you’re able to, don’t go somewhere during the busiest time, as it will be more expensive. Shawna Newman of Active Weekender shares, “I stay on budget by doing my travel in the off-season.” It’s also less crowded.

Take advantage of apps to save on flights
You can get much better airfare if you just do a little digging. Nadia from Couple Travel The World says, “We use tools like comparison sites like Skyscanner to find the best price. We also use a flight price watch to be alerted of secret flight deals or error fares.”

Don’t buy unnecessary items
Souvenirs can be nice, but do you really need them? Nadeen White of The Sophisticated Life advises, “Skip buying souvenirs as a way to save. Your pictures and videos will go a long way!”

Live like a local
Making food can be a fun experience. Carmen Varner says, “Head to the local grocery store to pick up some basics like vegetables, bread, eggs, coffee, or small snacks to alleviate your daily food spending.”

Don’t stay in a hotel
Remember, pricey hotels aren’t your only lodging option. Kelly Hunter of GenPink advises thinking outside the box, like looking at hostels or Airbnbs. She said, “If you like staying in the heart of the action, try StayAlfred, which puts you in fantastic apartments in the city’s coolest neighborhoods.”

xx, The FabFitFun Team