Photograph via snooOG

A community to discuss frugal travelling, last-minute travel deals, cheap destinations, and cheap means of travel. Whether couchsurfing, camping, or staying in hostels, whether hitchhiking or staying on Airbnb, let's discuss and share the best budget travel ideas and deals!

r/Shoestring is a resource for those planning a trip on a shoestring budget. Whether you want to cheaply travel to a destination you already have in mind, or brainstorm your next frugal vacation, we hope this website will help you plan an affordable and amazing vacation.

Guidelines, Etiquette, and Rules.

  1. No advertising/spam/self promotion
  2. Be civil
  3. No content unrelated to shoestring budget travel

Related Travel Subreddits


3,861,502 Subscribers


Best european country for a budget?

Me and 3 friends are seasonal workers and plan on traveling for a few months between january-april, our budget is around $5000 each. We plan on staying in airbnb's and splitting the cost 4 ways and we plan on eating 90% at home and not really doing touristy stuff but just planning on acting like we are living in that country for a few months off of savings. What would be the best country to do this in? I am thinking eastern europe such as belarus or romania because its way cheaper but i know that it will be cold which i dont particularly mind and im just trying to experience the culture of living there.

01:01 UTC


Hey guys can anyone help me? I have a pair of Vintage( when things were ment to last) Black and Yellow K2s with the grinding plates and better wheels.

I’ve had these bad boys for years and only used them like 4 times and once in Chelsea pier’s. They are in great condition. I’ll add pics but I was wondering if you guys can tell me how much they are worth. I’ve gotten different offers but I figured Reddit can help me get an idea of what they are worth plz help and thank you so much for your time.

1 Comment
22:55 UTC


Is it possible to stay one week in a European country for 300 euros?

Hi! So I was wondering if anyone here knew if it’s possible for me to stay for around a week late february/early march (24th to 1st, around there) in Europe on only 300 euros. I was thinking somewhere like Budapest or something similar as it’s not really the best time of year for beaches or the like. The budget of 300 would have to include flight and accommodation, thinking about maybe a cheap AirBnB or apartment. I’m flying from Sweden:)

Now on another note, if this is possible then what would be the limit for 2 people, me and my gf, to travel together? Would 300 be enough for two people or would we have to double it?

We aren’t looking for anything specific, some restaurant, maybe a ver cheap museum and some nice drinks. The normal town experience :)

Thanks in advance!

21:47 UTC


solo travel recs :)

hey! i am 19 years old (female) from san diego and i was wondering if anyone had any solo travel recs for sometime in august… i could probably go for a week or two if that helps. i just want to go somewhere fun and safe! i love to eat, party, sightsee & most importantly beautiful beaches. thank you for any advice!!

21:52 UTC


Best way to get from San Francisco to Glasgow for school?

So I'm starting my master's degree in Glasgow in late September. I'm trying to figure out the best way to get there. A few things I'm considering: do I get a one-way ticket, or a round trip ticket and then just keep extending the return flight until I need to come back home at some point?

Is it better to try and fly to another part of Europe, then Glasgow? (To avoid the UK traveler tax)

Help me out reddit, trying to fly on a grad student budget 🙏

18:03 UTC


Anyone have experience with hostels in LA?

Hi, I want to get a hostel in LA for about a week. I am coming here from NYC, for work, and I decided to extend my stay for about a week. For today, my work put me in a hotel in Riverside/Perris, but today is my last day, so I need a hostel starting for tomorrow. So I've been researching online, and these seem to be the four most highly recommended hostels:

HI Los Angeles Santa Monica Hostel - https://www.hiusa.org/find-hostels/california/santa-monica-1436-2nd-street

$50 per day " great location near the beach, shopping nightlife and a couple blocks from the Expo train line." - someone on reddit

Orange Drive Hostel - https://orangedrivehostel.com/

$50 per day on the website, seems cheaper on Booking.com, 6 nights for $250

BananaBungalows - https://bananabungalows.com/ReserveHostels.html

Two locations, one in hollywood, one in west hollywood, $30 per day

The Rumi - https://therumi.thelosangeleshotels.com/ $45 per day, $280 for 6 days

Samesun Venich Beach Hostel - https://venicebeachcotel.com/backpackers-hostels/

price unknown

Does anyone have any recommendation, or know any way to get a discount?

Also any recommendations for things for me to do for the next 6 days? Considering I would mostly like to use public transport, and uber occasionally if I really need one.

16:07 UTC


Lost cell phone day before travel

What’s the best way to get a new inexpensive cell phone for an Italy trip. Buy one stateside, at a walk-in cellular shop (with an international SIM card??) Borrow a friend’s old phone and get a new SIM card?

1 Comment
12:27 UTC


Trying to get to Paris for the Olympics

I’m giving myself a major migraine here. I’m trying to find a cheap way to get to Paris from Toronto but at every single turn, it’s either too expensive or I can’t pay in monthly payments. Does anyone know the best way to get from Paris to Toronto at the moment?

23:15 UTC


Ryanair cabin baggage only 55x40x20 but mine is 56x35x25. Do they care?

I'm flying from Brazil to Europe with TAP and my baggage fits their policy, but Ryanair reduces the depth to 20cm.

By your experience, do they usually measure the baggage? And if so, will they care for so little? Because honestly, the majority of suitcases I've seen have at least 24cm depth...

By the way, I've purchased cabbin baggage and checked baggage. So there's been some "extras" added to the flight.

(This will be Rome to Catania and later Palermo to Dublin)

13:56 UTC


I'm traveling to Boston, but can't afford accommodation in the city. Which cities outside of Boston are viable?

I'm traveling to Boston next month, but can't afford accommodation in the city. I'd like to stay in a safe area, but also pay less than $100 a day. Does anyone have any recommendations? Ideally, I'd like to stay within 30-50 minutes by train ride from Boston. Thank you.

21:35 UTC


first backpacking trip in Italy

Hey everyone!

I'm about to graduate and am planning a solo backpacking trip through Italy—my first time traveling alone and backpacking! While I'm incredibly excited, I'm also looking for some advice to help make this journey unforgettable.

Avoiding Tourist Traps I've heard a lot about the crowds in places like the Amalfi Coast and Venice, and I'd love to avoid the heavily touristed spots. I want to experience Italy in a more authentic way, away from the bustling tourist areas.

Cities to Explore I'm particularly interested in visiting cities that offer rich cultural experiences, historical significance, and vibrant local life. Which cities would you recommend for a first-time visitor who's eager to soak in the true essence of Italy? I've heard great things about places like Bologna and Turin, but I'd love more suggestions.

Mountains and Beaches I adore both the mountains and the beach. What are some off-the-beaten-path mountain towns or coastal areas that offer stunning natural beauty without the overwhelming crowds? I've read that regions like the Dolomites and the lesser-known coastal areas can be spectacular.

Vineyards and Countryside Italy's vineyards are a must-see for me. I'm dreaming of walking through lush vineyards, tasting local wines, and enjoying the serene countryside. Which regions or specific vineyards would you recommend for a genuine experience?

Additional Tips Any other advice for a solo backpacking newbie? Tips on packing light, budget-friendly accommodations, local cuisines, and must-see hidden gems would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance for your insights! I can't wait to embark on this journey and explore the beauty and culture of Italy in a way that's both meaningful and memorable.

13:30 UTC


Just got a scholarship to attend a short course in Turin, Italy, looking for ideas of places to visit/add to this very hastily planned trip

As the title says, in a very sudden manner got offered a scholarship that includes a short stay in Turing, all expenses covered except for the plane ticket, I'm from South America and not in the greatest financial position I've been but the opportunity is too good to pass so I'll be buying the tickets, yet this is no small amount of money for me so I want to make as much of it as possible and was looking for suggestion, ideas to create an itinerary. I'm super into history specially classical history so any historical sites close to Turin that are not too expensive would be great. I literally just found out so haven't had time to dive into all opportunities and any tips are greatly appreciated.

I have a cousin that can probably receive in Granada so maybe I'll go in that direction, no idea if going from northern Italy to the south of Spain is cheaper by plane or by train/bus, any pointers in this regard are massively appreciated. Is there like a megathread about how to visit Europe and don't go bankrupt?

02:09 UTC


Family of 5 overseas beach trip in the fall

We are a family of 5 (12 y.o., 9 y.o., 5 y.o.) who love to travel. We would love to visit a beach somewhere to just chill and not break the bank. The kids love playing in the sand, so not a rocky beach. We would fly out of Atlanta and can travel most any time. We love history and wildlife and exploring on our own.

Edit to add: we flew to Spain last year with all the children and they all did wonderfully! First flight was 3 hours, then a 12 hour flight, then a 2.5 hour flight and both layovers were fairly short

17:18 UTC


Thrown into an under construction room at an old hotel. I asked for a refund and was refunded half, but it was a cheap hotel ($100) anyway.

I booked a cheap hotel twice on the way and the return to a national park. I let the receptionist know I'd be a late arrival on my first night.

The receptionist (young kid) had a hard time pulling up my information, but they told me where the key would be. I found the key, unlocked the room, and went in. The room wasn't terrible, but it looked off. They used plastic covering on the sink; there was only concrete flooring. It looked dusty. Someone left a ladder by the door. There was no heat in the winter.

It was midnight, so I accepted it.

On my way back, I stayed at the same place again. My new room had heat, no plastic covering on the sink, and carpet. I actually bought a space heater for my second stay. I told the receptionist that I was previously given a room on the third floor with no heat, and he told me that the third floor wasn't ready for guests yet.

I asked for a refund. He agreed to half.

Would you just accept the half or try to negotiate for a full refund?

I'm a person that accepts the wrong restaurant order and doesn't voice complaints on orders. I worked in customer service and remembered how much it sucked. I'm trying to learn how to negotiate for myself and what's fair.

16:32 UTC


Budget Beach Breaks from Glasgow or Edinburgh?

Hello! My partner and I (41yo) have recently found a wee bit of financial stability and have been enjoying very much a couple of trips to Croatia. We just came back yesterday and I've got the Grey Sky Blues already.

I need something to look forward to... he's veggie, I really love trying local food and luckily I love scouring menus and (roughly) planning our days. We loved kayaking near Trogir this year and I even managed for the first time in my life - despite being brought up on the coast - to swim in the sea because it was so clear and calm. Historic buildings, temperatures in mid 20s, a wee balcony, are all things we appreciate.

We're not interested in bars really, and generally like to wander, I tend to pin point a few options then we vibe it. Also no kids.

All this being said, our knowledge of destinations is really poor lol! Where would you recommend that's accessible from Glasgow, and at a push Edinburgh airport, isn't mobbed, doesn't have egg and chips on the menu (iykyk), has an attraction/landmark/museum or two, beach with shallow water and is generally chill, just somewhere to have a wander in the sun in September or October for 3/4 nights before we officially descend into darkness?

We don't have any trouble with the booking element, but unsure of destinations that are equivalent to what we found in Dubrovnik and Trogir/Split. Basically seaside towns. Sorry if this is vague, we're really new to this holiday thing. Appreciate your advice. If anyone wants recommendations for Trogir just ask... I'll probably do a write up and link it here at some point. Hvala!

edit: minor word choices

08:14 UTC


How to find the best ticket deals to Tokyo

I’m brand new to this subreddit but I figured this would be the place to ask.

My partner and I have never been abroad before and have never been on a real trip. We are going to Japan in September-Octoberish of next year since we figured it’d be ultimately less expensive than during the spring. They’re paying for the hotel and I’ll be paying for the flights. Looking to spend about 8-10 days.

I have zero experience when it comes to finding out how to get the most affordable tickets to travel. How far out should I buy them? Is there special days where flights are cheaper? Since I actually live in Albuquerque, would it be better to buy round trip tickets from there or flight out to LAX first and then board our Tokyo flights? Again, I have no knowledge of this at all lol

23:39 UTC


Cheapest way to fly from around ATL to TOKYO?

I am around the Charolotte, ATLANTA region of USA and would like to fly to Tokyo. Looking for the cheapest flight there. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

18:21 UTC


One month itinerary in Japan Updated

Hey everyone,

I'm planning a trip to Japan and would love some input on my itinerary. Here's the plan:

Tokyo (3 nights: August 14-17)

Nagano (2 nights: August 17-19)

Takayama (2 nights: August 19-21)

Kanazawa (2 nights: August 21-23)

Kyoto (2 nights: August 23-25)

Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage (5 nights: August 25-30)

Osaka (3 nights: August 30-September 2)

Hiroshima (3 nights: September 2-5)

Osaka (2 nights: September 5-7)

Nikko (2 nights: September 7-9)

Tokyo (3 nights: September 9-12)

I'm particularly interested in hearing your thoughts on Takayama and Kanazawa. Is spending 2 nights in each location sufficient to explore the surrounding areas, or would it be better to focus on just one of them staying an additional night and add one additional night elsewhere? Any advice on must-see attractions or hidden gems in these regions would also be greatly appreciated!

Looking forward to your insights.

17:54 UTC


Cheap countries to travel west from India before going to USA?

Hey everyone, I recently spent the last few months in India, but need to return back to the US late next month

I was wondering where are some cheap countries I can book a flight to and travel through to get my moneys worth and enjoy some nice sights?

So I earn $500/mo. With 1k in savings.

I was thinking of going to Lebanon and egypt, but I might drop that plan since I don’t see it being affordable (Lebanon per se). I’m not sure if Egypt would be good - I heard you get ripped off often haha

I thought maybe I’d country hop in Europe for 2 weeks? But I don’t know what countries to hit. I’m interested in Portugal, Italy, maybe Albania?

Any ideas for what a good itinerary could be?

11:39 UTC


NYC to Taiwan OR Viet Nam Flight Help

Trying to book a round trip ticket under $700, ideally under $600. I know this is ambitious, but I have seen $550 round trip before from NYC to Taipei. Looking to book late December to January. Wondering if anyone knows of resources to find cheap flights, and when is best to look. I have been using Skyscanner and Kayak primarily and haven’t seen anything less than $770 lately.

07:22 UTC


Can I have a backpack and a crossbody purse on a Spirit flight?

This is my first time flying Spirit, and I have a weekend trip planned. I know the policy states only one personal item, but I always bring my small purse and my backpack onto other flights as two separate personal items. I never get a hard time for this, but do you think Spirit will be strict, and charge me if I do this? Or is this something other people get away with?
Either way, I can make do if I HAVE to put my purse in my backpack; it's just all space is viable.

Also, I'll be flying out of CMH if that makes any difference with the staff.

02:22 UTC


Flights to Japan for March 2025 | Is driving out of the country for Zipair worth?

My girlfriend and I are saving up some money to travel as college students to Japan as our spring breaks align. It will be a one week advent during March, and we are currently deciding on which airlines to travel with.

Zipair I see is a popular budget airline owned by JAL, however, the nearest airport that supports Zipair is based in Vancouver Canada (I am from Seattle Washington). Is it worth to drive or be dropped off at that airport for Zipair, or should we bite the bullet and go with other mainstream airlines (JAL, Korean Air).

Our prefered airport would be Haneda. Zipair only goes to Narita however.

Edit: Ultimately I can take a flight from Sea-tac to Vancouver (round trip) and avoid any car fiasco for about $180-$200, yet that puts strain on our already short travel time with a connecting flight and risk of luggage issues.

I’m not too worried about Narita -> Haneda as there is a train line we can take for cheap.

06:35 UTC


Old dusty van (w/ mattress). I have 4 days in the "French Riviera." Tips?

As the title states, I'm fortunate that an old family friend is letting me take their old van out for a long weekend while I'm there. Not a ton of money, but enough for the basics and a bit of cheap fun. I already have a general plan, but I'd like to know people tips. Favorite stops? Hidden gems? Anything goes! Free/cheap is best. Thanks in advance

15:03 UTC


Any tips for staying at a hostel in Europe for the first time?

Never really considered a hostel as an option before, I was planning on a private hotel but money became an issue and it’s too late to refund the plane ticket so I’m looking into other options and don’t really know what I’m getting into. Is there anything I should be aware of before I book a stay at a hostel? Any immediate potential problems to look out for that you wouldn’t find at a normal hotel?

08:36 UTC


Can anyone recommend any free travel budgeting apps?

Not TravelSpend as you need to pay for extra content.

13:10 UTC


Belize slightly off track?

I really need some time off, and found a flight to Belize that I can do on points for 8 days. I've been to Belize twice, I loved it but, but worried that it has gotten way more built up and way more expensive. Id really appreciate some new ideas. I'd like to go back to Caye Caulker for 2-3 days to dive again, but need to find an inexpensive guesthouse (regrettably I can't sleep properly in hostel dorms). Ive been to San Ignacio and ATM and Tikal, And I've been south to Placencia, Dangriga, Hopkins (all way to Livingstone /Guatemala which ...I LOVED). Maybe north? Is there any place that would feel a bit off the beaten track?

05:30 UTC


Is this a good plan for me?

I was planning to fly into Guatemala City around July 3 and fly back to the US around August 13. I want to travel around Guatemala and if I get bored then I'll go to Honduras, El Salvador, or Nicaragua.

I want to make sure Guatemala would be a good fit for me though. I want to spend as much of the trip as possible in Spanish because I want to have a chance to speak Spanish irl (I have an intermediate level). I'm also not sure what I could do besides go to touristy places where people will be more likely to speak English.

Is Guatemala city safe enough to fly there even if I don't stay there very long? Is public transportation good enough to get around the country without a car? Thanks!

18:32 UTC


Why does SkyScanner trick you into thinking there are cheaper flights??

I'm looking for flights from London to New York. I see a flight I like and it says "2 deals from £440".

I click select, and am provided with two options: booking with Delta for £600, or "Air India" for £440. Why on earth is Air India on here? No surprise, when you click through to the "deal", it doesn't exist.

Why do they bait you like this??

14:09 UTC


Wedding is LA in October. Hoping to make a vacation out of it.

My husband and I will be traveling to Los Angeles for a friend’s wedding in October. We want to tack on a little vacation afterwards.

Maybe a trip up to wine country. Maybe drive to Vegas. Not sure.

I’d love some suggestions or ideas for somewhat affordable getaways in that area.


23:21 UTC


Oasis Hostel Puerto Vallarta, Mexico- Review

Oasis hostel- Review

I got a private room here, because I was planning on leaving my stuff and going to go check out my rental. It was very cheap, but very friendly! The bed was clean, the AC and fan worked and I had my own shower and toilet. What made this one night stay AMAZING was the fact that it was the night of the owners 70th birthday party. There was free food and drinks, I drank rum, tequila and beer🤣🤦🏻‍♂️ They hired two musicians to play nostalgic and romantic songs and some corridos. They were straight up professionals and had incredible voices. The best part of the night- all the owners elderly friends invited me to sit with them and I learned so many things about PVR and Mexico. They were all singing along, dancing and having a BLAST. After the musicians finished the family and friends started singing karaoke. I made it through a few songs but then I drunkenly called it quits. I HIGHLY recommend this hostel if you are a backpacker or budget traveler or if you simply need a safe cheap private room for a night or two in a great location with great views from the rooftop and terraces.

The owner, his family and all his friends were some of the loveliest ppl I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in my life! The staff was amazing too! Plus, right across the street there is an incredible bbq chicken place that also has amazing burgers. Before the party I got half a chicken and a mini burger patty sampler. I was playing American songs on their YouTube boombox, they asked me to, and drinking caguamas with the boys🤣🍻 Wonderful fist night ever in PVR experience. This town SLAPS HARD!

08:01 UTC

Back To Top