Tips to Save Money on Backpacking Trips
Many people dream of winding down, forgetting the stress of everyday life, and hopping on to the next bus to get to the airport. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have enough money to travel the world. If this sounds like you, keep reading our tips to save money as you travel.
Whether you are a part-time employee, a student, or an unpaid trainee, many people would like to travel despite their limited budget. In this article, we’ll tell you how to get around this obstacle and travel on a budget.
We have a lot of experience with backpacking, especially when it comes to saving money. After reading, you will be prepared to experience an incredible trip or vacation on a limited budget. Let’s get started!
Save Money before Your Trip
The process of planning for a trip on a budget starts before you leave. Our backpacking tips include some planning tips to save money ahead of time, finding the perfect season and destination, having good equipment, and planning your daily budget.
Saving may not be your favorite topic, but it’s worth it for a trip. If you already know when you want to travel, set a savings goal for each month leading up to your departure date. This could be something like 50 euros a month. To reach this savings goal, keep a close eye on your expenditures, and don’t waste money on unnecessary purchases. You can also save all of your change in a money box for later.
If you do this for a whole year, you could have a budget big enough to travel the world. Of course, it ultimately depends on your financial means. If you still need more money, get a temporary second job, like working in a café, to increase your travel fund.
Mind the season
Consider peak tourist seasons when travelling. Peak tourist seasons include the summer and the days around Christmas. There’s often an increase in travel costs during these time periods. Don’t travel during these peak times in order to save money. There are much better deals in April, May, or June. This is an easy way to save money when traveling.
Choose budget-friendly destinations
There are some beautiful countries you can travel to that are cheaper than others when it comes to backpacking! This includes countries like India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, or Indonesia. A journey to Central America is also a great choice when it comes to traveling on a budget.
However, it is important to note that international flight costs add up. If you find yourself in Europe, try exploring places by train! If you have an Interrail pass, you will not only save money on ticket prices, but you also lower your CO2 footprint. Wonderful destinations for these kinds of trips are Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Croatia.
There’s a lot to explore in these countries despite their low cost. All of them are cheap to travel to, yet they are characterized by their unique cultures, natural surroundings, and regional specialties. There is lots to do, and you won’t be bored!
Save money on equipment
To go backpacking you need a good backpack, a small sleeping bag, rain protection, and a fanny pack (or something similar). A good backpack costs roughly 100 to 200 euros. If you don’t have any of these items yet, ask your friends or family for help. They surely won’t mind lending you these items if you promise to take good care of and return them.
One other great option is to buy used equipment. Often, backpacks are sold that haven’t been used much at all and are still in great condition. Otherwise, check if there are any sales in your area that have cheap backpacking equipment. Don’t forget to compare offers!
Set a daily budget
Before you go on your trip, think about how much money you will need every day and set a limit for yourself. Factor in accommodations, transportation, meals, and activities. A rough outline of this in your planning will make it easier to keep track of your expenses later. You may want to write it down in a notebook.
Additionally, prioritize experiences and expenditures that are important to you on your backpacking trip. We always say, a unique experience creates memories for a lifetime! It is ultimately up to you what you consider worthwhile when travelling. It is important to have fun on your trip – even if that requires a few compromises.
Your daily expenses will differ depending on the country you are traveling to. Take a look at our examples: In India, it is possible to make it through a day with only 15 euros, but in Vietnam, you need to count on spending around 25 euros. In Spain, however, you will roughly spend 45 euros a day as a backpacker. Make sure to keep this in mind when planning your trip.
Save Money on Your Trip
Without a doubt, you can spend less money with a few tricks while you are backpacking. If you are up for it, you can even earn some money. We will stick with accommodations, meals, and transportation here, though. Read on for our money saving tips for your trip.
Carefully choose your accommodations
You don’t need to book a luxury five-star hotel with a pool in your room to make the most of your backpacking trip. Book a shared dorm at a hostel instead. They offer everything you need for your travels, such as a kitchen, a bed, and a shower. You’ll be gone exploring all day anyway, so a hostel will be convenient. It is also a great place to chat with other backpackers and make new travel friends.
Make sure you compare hostel prices as well. Keep an eye out for reviews and additional offers. Often, you can get a cheaper deal if you pay a little more upfront. Sometimes, hostels may charge additional fees for Wi-Fi or bedding. For this reason, it is wise to take a close look at the details before you book anything.
Another option is couch-surfing. This is often completely free! Consider that you will be sleeping in a stranger’s home, though. We suggest meeting this person in a busy location, like a town center or a café, and listening to your gut! If you think something is off about the person, don’t take them up on their offer. However, you might meet very pleasant and inspiring people as you save money on accommodations.
Think about where you eat
Don’t walk into tourist traps! In some countries, you have to pay more at restaurants in an area that’s popular with tourists. If you start looking a little further away from these places, you’ll notice that everything is cheaper.
Additionally, you can cook your own meals at your hostel if it has a kitchen. This will save you a lot of money, and it can be fun to cook with others. Just make sure you leave the kitchen in a clean condition. It is also smart to pack a lunch for the road. On planes or trains, meals and drinks are usually expensive.
There are also apps you can use to get food that would otherwise be thrown away. Bakeries or restaurants put together “surprise bags” which you can buy and enjoy for cheap.
Save money on transportation
You can save a lot of money on your backpacking adventure if you avoid transportation designed for tourists. The busses that locals use, for example, are usually a more affordable mode of transportation. These busses may not be air-conditioned, but they usually have open windows, so the heat shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Some providers offer great deals for long-distance bus trips. That way, you can get to your destination cheaply and quickly.
Another tip is to watch out for travel classes when travelling by bus, train, or plane. Choose to ride in a lower-class section and invest the remaining money in experiences. It is also important to mention that flying nowadays is cheaper than it has ever been, but it is still bad for the environment. We advise you think twice before booking a flight. There may be other reasonable and more environmentally friendly options!
If you dare, hitchhiking is also an option. But you really need to read up on your destination beforehand. In some regions, it is common to give strangers a ride, in others, it is not. Always prioritize your safety!
The best tip is to explore everything on foot. That will keep you fit and make for a great experience as you discover sights and events you otherwise wouldn’t have seen.
Wisely choose special experiences
You don’t always have to take expensive day trips. Feel free to plan some if you really want to see a specific sight, however, more affordable options do exist, too. For example, go on a self-guided tour and hike through the region, stroll along a river, or visit a public exhibition. Get information about what is happening in the area before you go on the trip. There may be events that are free for the public.
When in a big city, you can also take a free tour! They are very informative, and you can decide how much you want to tip your guide. In our experience, these city tours are totally worth it!
There are numerous ways to save money when backpacking. It’s even possible to make your trip more affordable before it starts. This involves planning your destination, dates, and daily budget carefully. To save money on equipment, ask around to borrow certain items or buy used ones.
To travel on a budget, we recommend staying at hostels and using non-touristy means of transportation. And, as we stated earlier, there are many other ways to use your money sparingly.
However, keep in mind that you will have to compromise a bit to have a reasonably priced trip. You won’t stay at the most beautiful hotels, sit in a comfy bus, or enjoy the greatest pools. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have fun! Cheap backpacking trips give you a chance to see the real side of the world. Through these trips, you will gain important life experience and get a realistic picture of locals and their culture.
Low-budget backpacking journeys are a great opportunity to satisfy your travel needs if you don’t have a lot of money. We hope we were able to help you with our tips to save money, so that you can start your own adventure soon.