5 Useful tips for backpacker on a budget

We tend to speak about backpacking across countries in such a fond, nostalgic way. I am one of those people as I have gotten a bit older my trips are more financed and luxurious. But when I first started out I was a backpacker with limited funds and a desire to see everything possible. It made for some interesting life lessons and a decided blindness for the negative aspects of those travels.

One thing I did learn was how to get the most out of the money I had. While there are a lot of tips I could give, most of them are centred around specific locations and won’t work everywhere. These are basic money saving ideas that you should always use, no matter where you go.

1. Book hostels with free breakfasts, WIFI and rec rooms

I always tried to save up as much as possible so that when I could afford it I was able to get a good one for a couple of nights. Which meant hostels 99% of the trip, and a hotel in a cheap city. The best way to get the most out of a hostel is to find one with a lot of free stuff. Breakfast is a biggie because you want to save as much on food as you can, which is arguably going to be the biggest cost for longer trips.

Free WIFI will save you from having to pay for internet cafes or buy coffee/meals to use the connection in businesses. Rec rooms will give you both something to do when you’re bored and don’t want to spend cash, and also a great place to meet other travelers and the locals they pick up. Another quick tip: when you eat breakfast at a hostel, eat as much as you can; and if they let you take a couple of things with you, like packaged foods. This might save you a second meal or snack later.

2. Use a prepaid travel debit card

Bank fees are going to kill you when you are abroad. Which is why a lot of people will use cash or traveler’s checks during their trips, but this is also a serious risk. Especially for a backpacker who, if they lose their money, are pretty much stranded. A prepaid debit card made specifically for

A prepaid debit card made specifically for traveler’s is great, because it not only gives you a specific amount you can spend and so ensures you’re more careful with your money, but it is reloadable and many will have smaller, flat fees for use so you don’t have to have a specific percentage tacked off every time you spend money or withdraw at an ATM from multiple sources. Just be sure to compare multiple cards before you apply for one, and get the best rate possible for your area and where you are planning to go.

3. Take advantage of local’s knowledge

Reading this article isn’t going to be nearly as helpful or informative as speaking to both locals and other travellers. They will be able to tell you about cheap places to shop and eat, things to see, places to pick up a bit of extra cash. Areas to stay away from, ways to avoid being taken advantage of as a tourist and more. If I could name any resource that is the best for the average

If I could name any resource that is the best for the average traveller, it is definitely the people you will meet in every city you visit. If you have a question don’t consult a travel guide, just as someone who lives there. Also, be sure to ask fellow travellers about where they have been and what you should know if you are going somewhere they have visited.

4. Research free things to do

Every city has plenty of things you can do for free. Museums, galleries, markets, outdoor festivals and publicly sponsored events, historical sites, and just walking around. Before you go to any area research what is free, what the weather will be, what is closed or open during what months, and also look into what’s cheap.

Sometimes it will be worth spending a bit of money for an incredible or memorable experience. Start thinking of your spending habits not as giving money away, but as getting the best value for your buck. Being too stingy with your budget will make you miss out on incredible things. I know I skipped a few meals in order to pay for experiences I would never trade.

Sometimes it will be worth spending a bit of money for an incredible or memorable experience. Start thinking of your spending habits not as giving money away, but as getting the best value for your buck. Being too stingy with your budget will make you miss out on incredible things. I know I skipped a few meals in order to pay for experiences I would never trade.

Start thinking of your spending habits not as giving money away, but as getting the best value for your buck. Being too stingy with your budget will make you miss out on incredible things. I know I skipped a few meals in order to pay for experiences I would never trade.

5. Stick with cheaper travel destinations

It doesn’t take much to find places that are a lot cheaper to travel to. Sure, you will have to avoid the major cities you have always heard about. But you could always go to those places for day trips and stick to the outskirts for the majority of the trip.

You will find those areas are less touristy and more genuine, as well. Prague, Budapest, Warsaw and Lisbon are all affordable places to check out in Europe, for example. If you want to go to more expensive cities then space it at the end of your trip when you are going to be heading home to make sure you don’t spend too much and ruin the rest of your destinations. Also, make them short stays.

Prague, Budapest, Warsaw and Lisbon are all affordable places to check out in Europe, for example. If you want to go to more expensive cities then space it at the end of your trip when you are going to be heading home to make sure you don’t spend too much and ruin the rest of your destinations. Also, make them short stays.

Most affordable backpacking destinations:

  • Nepal: Head to Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu valley
  • Thailand: Food and hotels will cost about $20 a day (Spicythai is named one of the cheapest hotels for backpackers in the Thailand)!
  • Ukraine: Karpaty is one of the cheapest and most beautiful destinations in the world (Lviv is a good destination to start here)

Do you have tips for backpackers on a budget? Let us know your best ones in the comments.

  •   Annie Wallace is the travel blogger and traveling freelancer! She loves that she can work and travel at the same time!

Author: Staff Reporter

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