Category Archives: Budget Travel

How to Save Money When Backpacking

Backpacking by definition doesn’t only mean someone who travels around with a huge backpack strapped on their back. Backpacking can also mean someone who wants to save money on their travels. Even if you’re still a student or well into your middle-aged years, saving money during your travels will make perfect sense. You don’t want to travel around, enjoying the first few weeks then struggle with money in the last few weeks. You won’t be able to enjoy your trip, and you might even be forced to go home prematurely. No matter where you travel, here are a few tips on how to save money.

Less is More

Don’t bring too many things when packing your bags. This will slow you down, making movement difficult and you might miss out on sights along the way. Imagine lugging around your heavy carrier or bag around while trying to catch that train or using public transportation. You’ll have to mind your belongings all the time, taking your focus away from your travel. In addition, you’ll also save on airfare fees since you won’t pay for excess weight charges or checked-in bags.

A good method is to pack only 2 or 3 items per clothing type. This means that you don’t have to bring 6 pairs of jeans or 10 t-shirts for your trip. If you’re expecting to travel for a long time, then finding a laundry shop is mandatory. For underwear though, make sure that you pack good enough for a whole week.

Consider Secondhand

A lot of people don’t like the idea of buying used items. However for backpacking, there are a lot of good quality items which the owner doesn’t use anymore. In your case also, you won’t be backpacking all your life so you won’t need that expensive gear for just a yearly trip. As long as the item’s condition is good and it’s something that you can rely on during your travels, then it’s a good buy. If you travel with expensive equipment, you’ll already be wasting money even before your trip.

Don’t Bring Valuables

During your travels, there’s no need for you to bring that expensive graduation ring or necklace handed down in your family. Again, one of the basic principles in backpacking or traveling is to bring only the basics. Your focus is on traveling or seeing new sights and experiencing new things, not flaunting your riches around. In the event when your bag is lost or your valuables are swiped, you won’t lose expensive and valuable things. When you pack your things, keep in mind if an item is replaceable or not. You’ll be able to cut down on your items and on your luggage weight.

Check-in at Hostels

Hostels are a backpacker’s best friend. These places provide a place to stay for the night without breaking your budget. After all, you’ll only be staying for a few nights so you don’t really need an expensive suite or hotel-room like amenities. Plus, staying in a hostel is a good way to meet fellow backpackers whom you can swap stories and traveling tips with.

For more savings, you can choose a hostel with a shared kitchen. This will give you the option to prepare your own meals, avoiding the need for restaurants and expensive food shops. Of course, you can always eat out, but it shouldn’t be on a daily basis when you’re trying to save money. If you indeed find one, just make sure to clean up after yourself – you’re not the only one who will use the kitchen and you’re not at home.

Purchase Alcohol in Stores

For popular tourist destinations, alcohol can be very expensive. This is because bars and clubs live off tourists and everything they serve is on a “tourist price”. You can instead buy your alcohol and snacks in a convenience store. They will be at a reasonable price and you’ll still be able to enjoy getting tipsy if that’s your thing. For locations, you can drink in your hostel if it’s allowed and some places also allow public drinking so you can check on that.

Take a Walk

If you want to see the sights and sounds of a new place, the best method for this is to take a walk instead of using public transportation just to go to tourist spots. You’ll be able to experience the local scenery without spending too much. In fact, some of the best spots in a local area is only accessible by foot. Plus, you might also meet interesting locals along the way who can point you to a good place only locals know. Just make sure that they can be trusted and you should keep your wits about you when you take evening walks all by yourself.

Mix Credit and Cash

One of the most reliable places you can story your money is in the bank. You can bring credit cards with you, making sure that you can use your card internationally without any additional charges. A lot of banks offer this feature and you can even create another account just for traveling purposes. This way you can control and limit your spending if you need to. Spending cash can be too easy and you might not realize your total expenses.

However one problem with this method is that some places might not accept credit cards. This is why you should also keep a small amount of money with you at all times. This will serve as an emergency fund of sorts when you need it. For example, when you need to take a taxi in the middle of the night, you have to solely rely on your cash for this.

Choose Local Delicacies

The temptation to buy in an area’s classiest restaurant can be very overwhelming for the traveler. Since you’re only going to travel in that place once, you would think that you should try their best foods. However an area’s best food isn’t always in a restaurant. Small food shops or even stalls are a good place to try authentic local food at a reasonable price. Some street foods are even very cheap yet still healthy.

Be Cautious with Scammers

Even in the most cosmopolitan area, there are still pickpockets and scammers. They prey on tourists for a living. No matter how hard you try to blend in, there will always be a way to sniff you out. It can be when you ask for directions, how you dress, or when you’re carrying that huge backpack. It’s best to research about your destination first so that you’ll know if they’re telling the truth or trying to mislead you. You also need to be familiar about the actual price in an area so you know your budget and if they are overcharging you.

Backpacking is a very great adventure and it’s not that expensive if you know what to do. There are many more ways on how to save your money when backpacking. The items listed here are basic guidelines and something that simply requires your common sense when you travel.

Cheap Travel Ideas

Traveling is always on everyone’s bucket list. Traveling to another country to experience their culture and tradition easily appeals to everyone. However as people soon realize, it’s not for everyone after all. There are a lot of costs to consider and some of the choice destinations might not be so budget-friendly. If you want to travel, but you don’t want to spend a lot for just a single trip, here are some of alternative travel ideas you can do instead. These will help you save money while still providing you with new and enjoyable experiences.

Travel Locally

It’s very exciting to think about traveling to foreign, exotic countries. However, many people don’t even know what their own city has to offer. Instead of being drawn towards another country, first consider if you’ve exhausted the travel options near you. You won’t have to pay a lot in terms of transportation, and since you’re considered a local, you can even find good deals.

If you’re already familiar with your own city and traveled to neighboring regions, then it’s time to set your sights to domestic locations. Depending on your location, you might need to travel by boat, by plane, or by car. However, this is still cheaper compared to international flights. Again, since you speak the same language and you’re a bit familiar with the culture, you can enjoy the place without depleting your bank account. Remember that even though it’s in the same country, each region will always have something interesting to offer whether it’s a tourist spot or local delicacy.

Be a Volunteer

Volunteering is a way for you to give back to the community while still enjoying yourself. You’ll be able to travel to different places and you can experience firsthand about another culture. Some organizations even provide free board and lodging, so you’ll only need to pay for your plane ticket and food (and souvenirs if you want). There won’t be many opportunities for you to spend lavishly since you’ll be busy from morning until afternoon. Plus, you’ll also be able to socialize with your fellow volunteers, so you can experience a country with a fellow traveler and you can also learn about their culture.

Go Camping

Camping is a very great way for you to experience nature and everything it has to offer (good or bad). It’s a very inexpensive way to do it too; all you need is just your own provisions and a tent. You’ll skip the expensive restaurants since your food bill is your groceries. There might be an admission fee for some parks, but it usually costs below $20.

Even if you’re not an outdoor person, there’s still a way for you to enjoy the great outdoors. A lot of parks offer cabins which you can rent for a cheap price. You’ll be able to use amenities like hot water, a comfortable bed, and a private toilet.

Last-Minute Cruises

Cruises are a great way to visit multiple destinations and be comfortable in traveling. However it definitely costs a lot, sometimes even more than package tours. To exploit a loophole regarding prices, you can try to book cruises a few days or a week before it starts. At this time, a lot of cruise lines offer huge discounts just to fill their passenger list. If you bargain well, you might even get some freebies or free upgrades as the cruise line tries to win you over. In short, you’ll pay for almost half the price and enjoy free bonuses if you time your booking right.

Consider Alternatives

Some countries can be very expensive during certain seasons. For example, a plane ticket to Europe can cost almost $1000. It’s a steep price to pay for a vacation and you won’t have much money left for accommodation or food. Instead, you can go there in opposite seasons. In the given example, a ticket to Europe during winter (their off-peak season) will be at half-price. It might not be what you want to see, but it’s still a good deal considering the place and the price.

Another way to save money regarding your travel destinations is to think of other options that are similar to your intended place. For example, instead of traveling to Italy, you can opt for Greece instead. The second country might have a similar culture so you’ll still enjoy yourself. If you really want, you can just travel by land to your intended destination. This will be cheaper compared to booking a flight and staying in a hotel there for a long time.

Be an Exchange Student

For students, there are a lot of opportunities to travel and study abroad. One option is through your school’s exchange program. A lot of schools are now offering this option and even pay for your accommodation. Some programs even pay for your vaccinations, visa and fare. Though this only lasts for 3 weeks, it’s already a reasonable time for you to experience another country’s culture, language, and food.

Teach English in a Camp

For native English speakers, it’s easy to take advantage of teaching English in many countries. There are English camps that last for a month to 6 months. In this scenario, the school will take care of your accommodation, visa, and sometimes the plane fare. In addition, you’ll also get paid while you do this job. As long as you have a passport from a native English speaking country, they will be interested in you. It’s a good way to experience another country while getting paid for your troubles.

Join Competitions

Although this isn’t for everyone, this is still a viable option. There are a lot of competitions that are held abroad which you might qualify for. If you do qualify, then your plane ticket and accommodation will be taken care of by the competition’s sponsors. Even if it’s not going to be held internationally, you can still earn money and use it to fund for your travels so it’s definitely an option worth looking into.

Farm Work

Another option for the able-bodied traveler is to work in farms. There are a lot of farms in other countries, and there is always a demand for farm hands. You can use this to travel to another country, learn about their culture, and earn money as well. A lot of organizations provide opportunities for work like this though some might require a small fee to register to their network. However in exchange, your accommodation and food will be provided by the farm.

Timing is everything for you to travel cheaply. From last-minute bookings, to booking in off-seasons, there are a lot of cheap travel ideas out there. Even if you’re a student or already a professional, there are still options for you to take advantage of. As long as you meet the necessary criteria for some options, you can travel and you can even earn money while doing so.