• A Wild Lass

Visit Galveston On A Shoestring Budget

Are you looking to get away to someplace warm? Don’t have much of a budget? Traveling to Galveston can be a great trip that checks all those boxes, if you do it right.


We just got back from a visit to Texas, so this post is full of firsthand info and tips. Take a look below for all the ways you can save money when you head south this fall.


Photo Copyright A Wild Lass

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.


Book When There Are Deals


If you want to save money, subscribe to different airline email lists or conglomerates, like Expedia and Kayak. They will email you when they are running deals. You’ll be able to find cheaper flights this way. Be sure you check the cancelation policies and blackout dates so you’re not traveling during hurricane season or during a big event that can make accommodations and other prices go up.


Please note that booking when there’s a deal means you have to rearrange your schedule based on the available cheaper flights, rather than searching your preferred date and then booking whatever flight is available. This doesn’t always work if you have constraints at work about what days you can take off, etc.


Don’t Upgrade


No matter how tempting it is to spend just $30 to get to choose your seat or move to first class, that can actually kill your budget. $30 a seat may be nearly what you paid for the ticket in the first place, doubling your budget. If you truly want to save on your trip, make sure you forego the upgrades and keep to your original plan.


Side note: if you somehow score a free upgrade, we wholeheartedly recommend taking it. Traveling in style for basically nothing is always worth it!


Make Some Meals Yourself


When you’re traveling, you don’t have to eat every meal at a restaurant. There are easy ways to save money, especially in the mornings at breakfast.


Eggs are cheap, and you can find them at most gas stations, convenience stores, or dollar stores. If you stay at an AirBnb you can cook yourself eggs in the morning to help cut costs. There’s also a coffee pot at most AirBnbs usually, saving yourself the Starbucks run. Granola bars or oatmeal chewy bars are great for snacks on the run or to add to your breakfast.


Walk More Places


Use your feet for transportation and save money on taxis, buses, and rental cars. This means you have to plan ahead and choose a place to stay that is within walking distance of most of the activities you want to do on your trip.


It’s important that you also stay safe. Scope out neighborhoods in the daytime if you know you may want to walk through there at night. You can check online for crime stats and neighborhood ratings like this.


Prepare before you walk everywhere. You’ll be expending more energy, so you may want to stock up on snacks for when you get hungry. It will also take you longer to get places, so plan accordingly.


If you plan to shop for snacks or other necessities on the way back, then you won’t have to carry items for the entire walk, only the return trip.


Switch Apps


You can’t always walk everywhere. If you’re going somewhere at night when it’s not safe to walk, you’ll have to take an Uber. Sometimes the place you want to go is too far away to walk. When you need to hire a ride, remember to switch apps to get better deals.


Check both Uber and Lyft. At different times of day, one or the other may be cheaper. It’s also often a cheaper ride if you’re okay with waiting 10-15 minutes. If you haven’t used one of the apps in awhile, they may give you a deal for using it again, like 10% off for the next 5 days or similar.


People


One of the best parts of traveling on a budget is that you get to interact with all kinds of people. On our trip, we met a Scottish woman at a bar, but at first she told us she was from San Antonio! We learned that she had moved to Texas from Scotland ten years prior, and was visiting Galveston from her current home in Houston to celebrate her friend’s 50th birthday.


Another time we met a guy who had started his journey at the Arctic Circle when it was dark in December, and simply headed south. It was now September and he had made it all the way down to Galveston.


Later we found out our bartender is also from our home state of Indiana. She told us about her business struggles during the pandemic and what her goals were now that she had relocated to Galveston.


Authentic Food When Traveling On a Shoestring


Besides the obvious advantage of saving money, traveling on a budget gives you other benefits you wouldn’t necessarily get if you were opting for luxury accommodations or tours.

My favorite advantage is that it lets you try local cuisine. Sure, a resort may say that they’re serving a local dish, but you can bet their chef has dressed it up and it’s not like you’d find in a local home kitchen.


For example, we walked to a local donut shop for breakfast the first morning, and we discovered a Texan pastry called a kolache. While other places in the US have these, true authentic kolaches are mostly found in Texas.


Photo Copyright A Wild Lass

If you’re ever in Galveston, we recommend the Donut Palace. They have several locations. While they’re small, they’re very clean and the staff is friendly. Be sure you get extra donuts for later (breakfast the next day, if you can make them last that long, or a midnight snack).


Another place we loved was Taquilo’s, on Postoffice near the water. The atmosphere is fun, and the food is delicious. Protip: Go in and sit at the bar to order. Eat chips and salsa while deciding. When they come to take your order, order your food to go (tacos make good leftovers). They’ll give you more chips and salsa to go, which you can save for later.


Experiencing New Places No Matter Your Budget


When you don’t have a ton of money, you can still travel and see the world. Having adventures isn’t about how much you can spend on a trip, but the experiences you have and the people you meet.


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For more articles on travel, check out these other posts from A Wild Lass or click here for a list of all our travel articles:


How to Save Money on Vacation

6 Best Wineries and Breweries Near Davis, CA

Best Travel Hacks for 4 and 5 Year Olds

How to Find Cheap Airport Parking for Your Next Trip



*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.


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