Backpacking is an experience like none other you’ll have in your life. If you want to experience it, the great news is that you don’t need a ton of money. Why, you ask? Well the whole idea of backpacking is to experience traveling as authentically as possible, which is impossible to do if you’re staying in high-flying resorts, isn’t it?! The real “secret” is that traveling on a budget is the most authentic and fulfilling way to fly. So follow these tips and you’ll be set for some incredible adventures:
Make Smart Preparations
It’s great to travel spontaneously, but before you go you must consciously take care of some basic preparations. Look into the visas you will need on your travels, and whether you can get them there or should arrange them before you leave. Be aware of the time you are allowed to stay in each country, and don’t violate it. Purchase a travel insurance plan to cover any emergencies that might come up. You don’t want an unexpected situation to drain your finances when you’re traveling, so backpacking insurance is the perfect way to cover your bases.
One of the best ways to save money on your backpacking trip is by booking flights and accommodations as early as possible. You can score some serious deals on flights by booking in advance, and by checking many different sources for the best deal. Book cheap hostels on Hostelworld and make sure to do it advance because the cheapest places fill up early on for the weekends. Or try Couchsurfing, an organization where you post a request for accommodation and locals will host you in exchange for a friendly connection! A great way to meet locals and have unexpected great times.
Strike a balance between going out for local food and saving money by cooking your own food. This is where hostels come in handy, because cooking in the communal kitchen doubles as a money-saver and a great way to meet new friends. Stock up on staples at the grocery store, like pasta and fruit, and cook some group meals. Grocery store picnics are another way to save money on lunch and enjoy a great meal outdoors.
Try a Workshare Program
WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a work-exchange program on organic farms. You can do all kinds of work from picking grapes on vineyards to taking care of animals and learning about growing and harvesting organic foods. Or check out Workaway, a similar program connecting prospective volunteers with opportunities to work for accommodation. They offer even more areas for you to volunteer, like working in a hostel or taking care of children.