Traveling For Sports on a Budget? Read This First!

If money wasn’t a factor, I think it’s safe to say we’d all spend a lot more time traveling. Unfortunately, we’re often restricted by our budgets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing experience without breaking the bank!

Across our site, we’ve got so much helpful info to help you navigate traveling for sports on a budget. From guides to exploring cities on the cheap to booking budget accommodation, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy an incredible trip without draining your wallet (too much).

Why Travel on a Budget?

If you don’t set a strict budget at home, why should you travel on a budget? I think it’s important to set a budget for your trip (and try to stick to it) for a few different reasons…

It’s a Fun Challenge

First of all, and despite what you might think, traveling on a budget is actually fun! You can challenge yourself to find the best free activities, you get to explore new cities without a guide, and by staying away from tourist traps designed to take all your money, you get a real chance to live like a local.

You’ll Have More Money for Merch and Souvenirs

If you’re saving money on some parts of your trip, like accommodation, transport, and meals, you can then use that money on that new jersey you’ve been eyeing. After all, supporting your team doesn’t count as breaking your budget, right?

It Keeps Emergency Funds Available

With travel, there are always going to be a few unexpected expenses. I once got lost trying to navigate the New York subway system to get to the airport (don’t judge, this was pre-smartphones) and had to take an emergency cab ride so I didn’t miss my flight.

Traveling on a budget and being mindful of how much you’re spending means you’ll always have some funds tucked away for emergencies like this. And, if you don’t end up needing your emergency fund, you can put it towards your next trip!

Ok, but How Do You Travel on a Budget? Our Top 10 Tips

It’s easy to talk about traveling on a budget, but how do you save money while traveling? Here are my budget tips for traveling for sports – I follow these every time I’m getting ready for another adventure.

1. Set Your Budget First

Setting a budget is the very first thing I do when planning a trip. I don’t even let myself start thinking about the trip until I know I have that money ready to go. To come up with a budget, I do a bit of research and settle on an amount that’s realistic for the area I’m traveling to.

I take a quick look at flights and accommodation to come up with an idea of what I’ll need, then factor in event tickets, meals, and a general allowance per day for activities, transport, and other expenses.

2. Book Everything in Advance

The further ahead you can book things, the better. Whether it’s flights, accommodation, or tickets to a game, there’s only one direction prices go as the dates get closer, and it sure isn’t down.

3. Shop Around Before Booking

There’s almost a 100% chance that the first price you find isn’t going to be the cheapest. Take your time to shop around, whether you’re looking for flights or accommodation. Explore different websites where you can compare prices, like Expedia and Booking.com.

Check whether booking directly through the airline or hotel website will save you money, and compare prices across different booking websites. If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up with 1,000 tabs open at once, but you’ll likely also save some money.

4. Search For Free Events and Activities

A quick Google search can help you find a stack of free activities, wherever your destination. Lots of museums have designated monthly free days, while free parks or beaches are a great way to relax and soak up some sun.

5. Sightseeing? Find Travel Passes or Cards

Many cities offer passes for tourists that cover entry into the city’s top attractions and sights. If you’re planning on visiting a few of these, the passes can be great value. Just make sure the sights you’re most interested in are included, and check how long the pass is valid for.

6. Get Creative With Your Meals

Eating at restaurants is a great way to experience local flavors, but the cost also quickly adds up. If you are going to eat at a lot of restaurants, try to avoid ones in really touristy areas, as they tend to be more expensive and also have less of a local vibe.

I love trying new restaurants while I’m traveling, but I also love visiting supermarkets and seeing how the locals really live. I always pick up some breakfast supplies and snacks so I’m not spending too much money out and about. It’s a great way to discover new foods you can’t find at home!

7. Free Breakfasts Are Your Best Friend

Picking up breakfast supplies at the supermarket is one option, but if you’re staying somewhere that includes breakfast, even better! Start your day by taking full advantage of whatever’s on offer – it will power you up for a busy day of exploring your surroundings and cheering on your team.

8. Brave the Local Public Transit

Yes, Uber is convenient and operates pretty much everywhere these days, but it’s so expensive compared to public transport. If you’re traveling somewhere with a good, reliable public transit system, take the time to learn how it works. You’ll save an amazing amount of money.

9. Understand and Calculate Exchange Rates

If you’re traveling somewhere that uses a different currency to what you’re used to, it can be easy to ignore the price tags. Instead, take the time to calculate (it doesn’t have to be exact) what the actual cost is – it may cause you to think twice before making a purchase.

10. Book Accommodation Outside the City Center

In just about every city I’ve visited, the most expensive accommodation options are always in the middle of the city. You can save a lot of money if you book a hotel outside this area, but it doesn’t work for every city.

Make sure you’re still in a safe area, and close to public transit that operates late enough for you to get back at night. If you can find this in a quieter neighborhood out of the main city center, there’s a good chance you’ll save money and get to see the city from the perspective of a local.

Budget Tips When Traveling for Sports: FAQs

Got questions for how ot save money when traveling to a sporting event? We’ve got answers! Here’s some more advice for traveling for sports on a budget.

Is Travel Insurance Worth it?

Generally, it’s good to have travel insurance, but it’s also important to understand what it covers and shop around for travel insurance that works for you. Check that you can get reimbursed for canceled flights, and accommodation that you can’t make it to if your flight doesn’t go ahead.

How do I Avoid Ticket Scams and Scalpers?

With every big sporting event unfortunately comes ticket scams and scalpers. Scams are getting more and more advanced, so it’s important to stay alert when buying your tickets. You can avoid scalpers by booking your tickets early, and avoid scams by only booking tickets via official channels.

When is the Cheapest Time to Book Flights?

If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you’ll see that prices for flights fluctuate at different times and days. Generally, mid-week flights are cheaper than the weekends, and early morning or late night flights are cheaper than during the day.

What’s the Best Credit Card for Budget Travel?

Another great way to save money is to find a credit card that helps you out. If you travel regularly, look for a card with no international transaction fees and good rewards on travel-related purchases like flights and accommodation. Pay it off every month to avoid interest!

Sports Travel on a Budget: It Doesn’t Have to Be Boring!

When you’re setting up a budget for your next adventure, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to make huge sacrifices to stay within your budget. You’ll still enjoy incredible new experiences, make memories that you’ll have forever, and visit unique, beautiful parts of the world.

Traveling on a budget just means you’ll have more money to come home to, and you can start planning your next adventure sooner. So, do your best to stick to a budget and stay savvy when you’re planning and booking your trip. Future you will thank you!