You have decided to travel the world. You bought the best backpack that money can buy, you made sure that your hiking boots were comfortable, and you have stocked up on freeze dried snacks. Buying a business class ticket instead of flying economy probably sent your budget into a tailspin, but not to worry as there are plenty of things that you can do that will let you enjoy your trip without maxing out your credit card.
Avoid Expensive Hotels
Hostels have gotten a bad rap over the years, but there are actually some great places where you can spend the night that are not full of cockroaches. Before you get on the plane do your research. Find out which hostels cater to backpackers. It is a great way to meet fellow travelers, and you may even get your own room. When all else fails, you can always barter hostel cleaning for your accommodation.
You’ve Got To Eat
If you have run out of your freeze dried snacks, you do not have to eat fast food. Opt for the local street vendors, or better yet ask the locals. They can point you in the right direction when it comes to saving money on cuisine. Street vendors prepare local delicacies that will not cost you an arm and a leg. Another great way to save on food is to prepare your own. Head to the village markets and stock up on fruit and vegetables.
Exploring the sites is one of the reasons that you took your trip in the first place, but the last thing that you want to do is spend the rest of your cash on guided tours with a bunch of people that you have never met before. Regardless of your destination, there are plenty of walking tours that will not cost you a cent. Quite often you will find galleries and museums that are free to the public, and don’t forget, the beach is always free.
Getting From A to B
You can’t always walk everywhere, and if you need to travel to the next city, you should consider ride-sharing. You can go online before you leave and find rides from locals who will know exactly where to go. Another option is to take the train or bus. Most public transports systems offer backpackers discounted rates. Avoid taking a cab at all costs. Taxi drivers can spot a tourist a mile off and the last thing that you want to do is end up with a 100 dollar bill from a long taxi ride.
Don’t Forget To Haggle
Most backpackers travel to areas where the locals like to sell their wares to the tourists, and if you are planning on buying souvenirs do not be afraid to haggle over the price. Try and stay out of the touristy areas and spend your shopping time at the local markets and street stalls. Vendors expect this and will almost often be disappointed if you don’t haggle on the price. Pay what you think the item is worth, not the original asking price.
These tips are our suggestions for how to backpack on a budget, make sure to leave any suggestions that you have in the comments.
Josh is an avid outdoorsman who loves hiking and works with OutdoorPros.com which sells everything from knives to camping gear