When you are backpacking around the world, we know that every penny counts. Never before have you cared so much about spending so little. Travel, it inflame one’s mind and changes your very being for the rest of your life. It also however turns you into the greatest cheapskate penny pincher to ever exist.
When we traveled India for instance, we found ourselves countless times argueing over a few measly rupees. That which in our own countries, would not even buy is a bag of sweets. Here however, on our adventure, those few little rupees suddenly took on a whole new value. Backpacking, the Modern Day Christmas Carol. A thousand scrooge’s wandering the earth.
Do not get us wrong though, we completely understand and agree with this sentiment. You have saved for a full year for this trip. Some people even longer. Chucking away money at every opportunity is a sure fire way to head home early. Scrimp, save, cut back. Do anything you can to extend your adventure. As long as you do not forget the most important rule of all: have fun! Never lose site of this or you will truly regret it. There is a difference between saving and missing out on everything. You are traveling to make memories that will stay with you forever. Keep this in mind and make an adventure!
Also, If you have always wanted to travel but just do not know where to begin. Do not worry, have a read of this article and it will answer all of your questions. Want to travel? Here is how to plan your trip
Our Ten Backpacker Tips
So here they are. Our ten backpacker tips, to travel the world on the cheap.
You might think that this is a strange rule on a list of how to backpack cheaply but trust us, this is critical for journey. Remember that you have to be comfortable. Your pack is going to be on your back for a good amount of your trip. You will also be walking a lot and a heavy pack is a killer. You must also remember airport baggage fees. If your bag is over the limit, the price can soon skyrocket. Try to leave all of your valuables at home, forgot the jewelry and anything that you hold truly dear. If you lose them, it could spoil your whole trip. If you must take a laptop, take a slim version or a notebook. Otherwise a smartphone will do just fine.
Do Your Research
Although backpacking should be a spontaneous journey of countless opportunities, it does not hurt to do some research beforehand. No only will it build your knowledge of the country. It will also keep away those pre holiday blues. Learn as much as you can. Build a flexible journey plan, learn about the prices and also the scams. This will be beneficial in the long run.
Use Travel Resources
Don’t know what travel resources are? Do not worry, they are the apps and websites that you can use to make sure that you are always getting the best deal. Whether it is accommodation, flights, trains or anything else, there is always an app or website to help guide the way. Momondo is a great flight comparison website that we use, it is similar to skyscanner. Hostelworld is a great site for finding not only hostels but guest houses and hotels also. We have an article on this very subject: The Secrets Of Budget Travel, The Websites And Apps That You Need To Be Using! Have a read and learn how you can save hundreds!
Stay In Hostels
Hostels are a great way to save money and also meet people just like yourself who have decided to travel the world. You will find hostels in most cities across the world for just a fraction of the price of a hotel. Private rooms are available but if saving money is your goal, then book a dorm room. A dorm room is a room with anywhere from 3 to 16 beds. Try to stay away from the 16 bed dorms. Although dorms are a great place to meet fellow travelers, 16 unwashed backpackers can be a little overpowering for your nose.
Eat Where The Locals Eat
This is one of the great backpacker tips that many people overlook. Yes, it is incredible to visit restaurants on the beach and eat your meals with the sand between your toes. It is also an unbelievable view eating on the top floor of a skytower or pigging out on seafood at beautiful restaurants. When you are traveling in Southeast Asia, these places seem mind bogglingly cheap to somebody from Europe or the US. And that is because they are. Just remember, that if you do this every night your budget will take a hit. Eat at these places by all means, enjoy their beautiful food but always keep an eye on where the locals eat. The locals will always go where the best food is for the lowest price.
Don’t Drink Every Day (or at least try not to)
This is one of the backpacker tips that will be good for not only your wallet but also your liver. Although this sounds straightforward enough, You are not an alcoholic. You are thinking that this will be simple. Wrong! When you are traveling around the likes of say, Australia or Thailand. Alcohol is everywhere. Not only is it everywhere, it is dirt cheap. Because it is so cheap you soon find yourself drinking every day. All travelers drink. Even those that don’t drink at home, when they are in holiday mode surrounded by adventurers, the lure is irresistible. And by no means is this a bad thing. Well, except on your wallet. Alcohol is most people’s number one expense when traveling. Try to limit it to a couple of beers a night and you will be fine.
Don’t Buy Tat
By Tat we mean trinkets, souvenirs. The rubbish that is sold at every tourist destination on the planet. Yes we have bought this stuff in the past and we will also in the future. If you can get a good price and you have enough room in your pack, buy a few trinkets to remember your trip by or to give as gifts. Just do not go overboard or you will soon find yourself throwing lots of the stuff you bought in the bin.
Wash Your Own Clothes
Until our first major backpacking trip, we had never hand washed our own clothes. I am sure we are not alone in this. When you are traveling, especially in asia. You will find that many of the guest houses and hostels offer laundry services. For a fixed price they will wash and dry your clothes for you. This will normally cost you around five dollars a time. Sometimes even more. If you buy some detergent from a local shop, you can wash your own clothes in your shower for a fraction of the price. Buy a length of rope also and use it as a makeshift washing line to dry your clothes on. For somebody who has never traveled this may sound a little crazy but trust us, you will not be the only one.
Find A Travel Buddy
When you travel alone you pay the whole price for every expenditure that you have. If you have a person to travel with, you will share most costs. Where once you paid for the taxi, the room, the tip for your meal, these are now all shared. Also you will have somebody to share your memories with which always enhances a trip. We have met people traveling who have become lifelong friends. A hostel is a great place to meet fellow travelers. There are always people looking for others to travel with.
So finally the number the number one on our list of backpacker tips.
When you arrive in a new city or exploring one that you are already in, it is always tempting to take a taxi. Taxis are everywhere at every hour and a tourist is their number one target. You will always pay more than a local and in some countries, such as India, you may not always end up where you wanted to. Many times we have been taken on detours to see the “best place” to buy Kashmir. Or the cheapest place to buy Saffron, a spice more expensive than gold.
We have two rules. Carrying a backpack, 3 kilometer limit. No backpack, anything under 10k we walk. If you also use these rules you will save a lot of time and hassle.
Always Go For The Cheapest Deal
We will chuck in a bonus for our list of backpacker tips, for good measure. Always hunt around for the best deal. Often hotel or guesthouse owners will try to get the best deal out of you. Look around and tell them that you are looking around. They want you to stay in their rooms and nobody elses. If they know that you can find a better deal down the street, they will give you that deal. It may take a bit more walking but your wallet will thank you for it.
So there you go, our ten backpacker tips to travel the world on the cheap. We hope that they serve you well.
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