Updated: Feb 25, 2020
When it comes to low cost travel, it is important to have an open mind and an adaptable schedule. The trips I have spent the least on, are the ones where I have had flexible dates, been open to location, and was willing to sleep in alternative places other than hotels.
When you're planning your next trip, flexible dates will give you many more low cost options on flights and hotels. Google flights is an excellent place to start your search by choosing the one way option with an open return date. Also, keep in mind seasons where less people travel, like early spring and fall. Cyber Monday is a great time took look for flights in advance and plan the rest of your trip later.
Open Mind on Location and Accommodations
When looking for accommodations:
Try AirBnB, Hostels, CouchSurfing, and friends who might be willing to let you crash for a night or two.
Think of shared spaces and try contacting smaller hotels and negotiating rates.
Try staying farther from the tourist areas and taking public transportation.
The important thing is to keep an open mind and be flexible and ready to adapt.
Have a car, or renting one?
You can save on accommodations by camping in your car. If you get a smaller size vehicle it might be more difficult, but try getting one, where the seats will fold down. This way, you're free to roam, and can also sleep wherever you'd like. Keep in mind parking. Some places don't allow overnight parking. If you're in the U.S., Costco, Sam's, and Wal-Mart let you.