How Can Sustainable Travel Be Budget Friendly?

I don’t know about you, but when I first started researching “ecotourism” and “sustainable travel” I fully expected these more responsible travel options to also be more expensive. 
As my husband and I were planning our year abroad I thought, “We can’t afford to travel green. We really have to stretch our money and make it last.” 
How wrong I was. 
Once on the road, we even started making more sustainable choices because they were cheaper. Like staying longer places and not hopping from city to city as much. You can get a great deal on many AirBnB’s when you book a week or longer and at the same time, you lessen your impact on the environment by not taking as many flights, buses, or trains. 

airbnb discount
Here are some ways that sustainable travel can not only be budget friendly but also may even save you money in the long run. 

Stay Longer

As we discovered, when we booked longer places we saved money on accommodations. We also made a point to cook more, as we always had a kitchen. 
• Less transportation used =  less oil gas, fossil fuels 
• Cooking in meant less waste out 

Stay Outside of the Tourist Areas

Staying outside of main touristy areas is not only cheaper, but you will also help alleviate the pressure felt on these over-populated places that attract so many tourists.  

Eat Local

Stay away from chains, especially if you can find them at home! Come on, you KNOW what a Hard Rock Cafe offers. Eating at locally owned restaurants will not only give you a cheaper meal, and probably a better meal,  but you will be directly supporting the local economy and not foreign investors or owners. Read reviews on sites like Trip Advisor and Google to see what others are saying about their experiences. 
After all, food is such an important part of any place you visit. Don't miss the opportunity try something different and unique. 

Hire Local Tour Guides

Airbnb is starting to offer Experiences. These can be anything from taking a cooking class from someone in their living room to a customized photo tour from a photographer of their hometown.  You can book Experiences right along with your accommodation. 
There are also sites like Tours By Locals where tour guides can sign up to lead tours through their hometowns. 

Choose a Green Hotel

If you aren’t going the apartment lending option, like Airbnb, do some research on hotels. You may find one that is not only cheaper but also adheres to green standards. Sites like Kind Traveler, Green GlobeTripAdvisor can help you find hotels who are meeting environmental standards such as using less water, energy efficiency, and electric car charging stations. 
What other ways can you save money while traveling sustainably? 
Tell us below!


  • After 10 years of traveling to Turkey we actually save money eating in or at local family restaurants. It is so easy and really makes a difference as to how you experience the country. Try it, I’m sure you will feel the same. ❤️??

    Sally Tyson
  • What a great tips! I like the most: eat local and hire local guides. I do that most of the time. Thanks for sharing!

  • Totally agree with this post! Also with the food point, not eating meat or reducing how much meat you eat is good for the planet and saves loads of money.

  • Great post! Another way we save money and travel sustainably is by filtering our own water and taking our water bottles everywhere. Saves buying water and saves a lot of plastic bottles.

  • I think there are so many ways we can travel greener that really don’t cost more. I always think of simply buying food at the local markets as one way that I’ve always traveled greener. Great post, Danielle. Can’t wait for more!

    Lynne Nieman

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