If you’re about to head out on a backpacking trip but are a little concerned about the whole budgeting part of the experience, hear this: you’re not alone! In fact, part of the whole experience of backpacking is spending less money to have a more authentic time connecting with local people and seeing things off the beaten tourist track. So save your pennies and immerse in the local culture, and follow these tips to save yourself some cash while traveling:
You can save lots in the long run by taking care of a few basics before heading out. Research and prepare for any visas you’re going to need, from your home country. It’s a lot easier to deal with the embassy in your home language and you’ll often get a better deal. Purchase travel insurance to cover the costs of any losses along the way of your travels. And invest in some discount luggage that will save you money while still providing the quality you need to backpack all over the world.
One of the best ways to can save money on your trip is by booking flights and accommodations as early as possible. Check different sources for the best deal, and above all just try to book as early as you can make plans. Tuesday night at midnight is the cheapest time to buy an air ticket. Check out Hostelworld and other hostel sites to find cheap places to stay that will double as places to meet friends and fellow travelers.
Buying ingredients at a local market and cooking up meals in your hostel can be just as fun as eating out, and save you tons of money! You’ll also be likely to make friends this way. Communal kitchens in hostels are often the social hotspot anyway and you’ll bond over creating a meal together. When you do go out to eat, find places where locals are eating and they’re not charging super tourist prices.
There are tons of opportunities to volunteer some of your skills in exchange for food and accommodation. It’s a great experience and bound to make you some lasting connections. Try WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) for a work-exchange program on organic farms. Or check out Workaway, a similar program connecting volunteers with opportunities to do all kinds of work from childcare, IT help and even working at a hostel.