One of the major obstacles you will experience in your plan to explore the world is trying to put together enough money for your trip. Most people travel with a plan to limit their budget but end up exploding their wallets due to a lot of unnecessary and unexpected expenses, causing a dent in their budget for the coming months. Fortunately, there are ways for you to learn how to travel on a budget.
Backpacking is an efficient way to travel at a low-cost. Backpacking entices you to abandon using taxi or car transfer rentals for cheaper costs by taking public transportation to the desired destination. The form of traveling also indulges you in trying hostels and bed spaces instead of inexpensive lodgings like hotels and apartments.
Backpacking differs from the conventional way of traveling in a way that urges you to get to know the locals and their culture, as well as seeing sights that are not as popular as known tourist destinations in the place you are visiting. Instead of a handful of bags, backpackers often have a huge backpack to accompany them on their trip.
How Budget Determines Your Backpacking Adventure
If you are a backpacker, then you know that the duration of your adventure is limited to how long you can stretch your money. Backpacking on a budget requires discipline and patience with controlling spending, which may be difficult for beginners. However, backpacking helps put you in places that are unheard of and in front of colorful people with exciting stories. The journey for backpackers is an exciting and mysterious adventure that can open different paths for you to enjoy.
Most backpackers already know about the benefits of low-cost traveling, which is why there are some backpacking tips for you to loosely follow if you want to go on the same adventure. Here are several backpacking guidelines that can help you transition into a backpacker.
Find Free Lodging
The most basic necessity for people taking a vacation is securing accommodation. However, lodging is one of the most costly expenses while traveling. There is no escape in paying for hotel rooms and nightly essentials when you are going on the road for a long time. While hotels offer the most comfortable places for you to rest, there are cheaper options for you to try when going backpacking.
Hostel dorms and bed spaces are the average backpacker’s first options as they both offer lower prices compared to hotels. The cheaper lodging also allows backpackers to meet other travelers and learn about their adventures. If hostel dorms are too cramped for your taste, then you may invest in a tent.
Most backpackers tend to go on wilderness trips at some point of their journey, which is why they resort to camping. A tent also saves you from cramped hostel dorms and allows you to continue your adventure even while taking a break. If you are looking for a quick nap after a long journey on the road, you can buy a camping hammock. The hammock is also comfortable to set up and to pack up.
While camping possesses the potential to be an exciting way to go backpacking, you can also try Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is a trending option for backpackers in terms of accommodation. It allows you to make friends with the locals and stay in their house for free. Couchsurfing works best in countries that do not get a lot of tourists like Pakistan, Iran, and Venezuela.
Get Free Transport
Backpacking urges you to take transport as it offers lower prices compared to taxis and private car rentals. However, your backpacking journey will get you on the road frequently, which means that you will spend most of your money on commute. If you want to stretch your adventure, you can try hitchhiking.
Hitchhiking, however, has a notorious reputation due to Hollywood thriller movies and conspiracy theories presumably made by bus companies. In reality, bus crashes and train accidents hurt more people than hitchhiking. People who pick up backpackers on the road are often curious about foreigners with no intentions to hurt anyone.
To get started with hitchhiking, you need to create a paper sign that states your destination. The symbol allows you to flag down drivers that can take you to where you want to go or at least nearby. If you happen to find a ride, you need to start a friendly conversation with your hosts. You may also offer to pay for tolls and gas in exchange for the free trip. If hitchhiking is impossible, long-distance tours using trains and buses are your only option.
Try the Local Food Scene
As a tourist, you should try the local food in the place you are visiting. If you put your focus on the tourist-oriented restaurants or the international food chains, you will miss out on the food scene that would help you learn more about the culture and the people. Try to find food wagons and fruit stalls on the street to satisfy your hunger and save some money for other parts of your trip.
If you can cook your meals by yourself, you may also save a lot of money. Prepared meals from convenience stores like noodles and canned goods also come in handy, especially when you are behind schedule. You may still grab a bite from restaurants and cafes, but you should not adopt it as a habit.
Try Your Best to Barter Prices
The best way to save money for backpackers is to learn how to haggle prices. Negotiating prices for meals, accommodation, rides, and souvenirs is possible all around the world. With consistent haggling, you may find that you would be saving seven times more than what you pay on the first price. However, most vendors have experience with hagglers and are coming up with ways to combat how customers try to lower costs. It is essential for you to remain friendly and humorous when trying to haggle so that you will have a higher chance of securing a discount.
Create a Social Network
People have struggled with backpacking if they do not have a wider reach required when traveling. If you are trying to save money from the accommodation, a relative in the country you are visiting may be helpful. When you make friends along the road or know a friend in the country, you can try to meet up with them and try your best to convince them to let you stay at their house for a short time. You may also try to group up with fellow backpackers.
Befriending fellow travelers give you a way to save money by listening to their experience. They can also be helpful when you plan your next backpacking trip to their native country as they may offer you a free place to stay or expert tips on your adventure. When you create a network, you will find that that exploring will become more comfortable.
However, the best way to save money through your connections is by convincing a close friend to go backpacking with you. With a travel buddy, you will only have to worry about half the original prices. You can get a hostel room together and pay for half the price each. Taxi fares will cost less, and you can share meals with your travel buddy. If you are struggling to find a fellow backpacker from your group of friends, you may also try to find one online.
Backpackers often go to online forums to find a way to collaborate with fellow travelers for a trip. You will find lots of exciting people who want to visit the places you are planning to check out. In the middle of your journey, you may also look for backpackers that are heading to the same places as you.
Networking is a great way to remove the worries of having to pay for your trip all by yourself. Your connections will also help you haggle prices, secure free accommodation and transport, and save money. When you start your backpacking journey, it is essential for you to create friendships and establish connections to help you on your next trip.
Try to Find Work
Many backpackers quit their jobs to look for a new life on the road. However, they may struggle with their journey once their pockets are empty. Getting a travel job can help them get back on their feet and continue pushing their dream to explore the world.
You can find jobs in lots of places around the world, but one of the most prominent positions for backpackers is serving at a bar. Backpackers on a budget will get to stretch their money for their trip and meet interesting people while working as a bartender. Another option for budget backpackers is working at the hostel.
Most travelers work for hostels in exchange for a free room or food, which is essential in budget-friendly trips. There are other jobs you can pick up during your backpacking trip that can you can get by asking friendly locals:
- Farm work
- Construction projects
- Freelance writing
- Kitchen duties
- Cleaning services
- Blogging or video blogging
- Affiliate Marketing
- Selling digital products
- Website designing
- Social media management
Begin a Digital Nomad Lifestyle
It is also helpful for backpackers to go on a budget backpacking trip by becoming a digital nomad. Digital nomads use telecommunication technology to earn for a living. They can easily find workspaces in coffee shops, libraries, vehicles, and restaurants if they have a deadline to meet. Being a digital nomad is a lifestyle for many backpackers because it is easy to sustain while traveling. It is also helpful for travelers to visit all the places they want to see because becoming a digital nomad does not tie them down to one office.
The reliability of the internet makes it easier for people to start their online careers and maintain the lifestyle of a backpacker. While it is not a scheme to get rich quick, you will find that every penny you earn online will be helpful in your travel goals. Online selling businesses are also good options for you to try when you are already in the middle of your adventure.
However, it is essential for you to experience life on the road before deciding that you will pursue a career as a digital nomad. If you feel that you are fit for the backpacking life, you will find that getting online jobs is more comfortable to keep you moving from one place to another.
There are people in our world who believe that the way to a happy life involves a permanent home, a steady career, and a secure future. However, some people find backpacking as a way of life. Backpackers leave behind their lives at home to experience what the world has to offer. You may start as a traveler who still wants to go back home when you want, but backpacking can open your eyes to the beauty of moving from one place to another that it may change your mind.
The backpacking tips may help you start your journey, but it is up to you to maintain it. You must know how valuable your money is during your trip as it can be the deciding factor for you to see if you are suitable for backpacking. The adventurous lifestyle will teach you a lot of valuable lessons. If you can travel around the world for just $10 a day, you can conquer anything. If you can muster the courage to engage in a conversation with strangers on foreign land, you will gain confidence and friends. If you can find ways to maintain a digital nomad lifestyle, you have the necessary knowledge of survival.
The start of your backpacking adventures begins when you decide to step out of your comfort zone and risk engaging in a life of uncertainty that is fueled by curiosity. Fellow backpackers will help you along the way. An exciting adventure waits for you when you fill your backpack with the items you need and the budget you set for your trip.