Backpacking can be an extremely fun way to travel, and many people are drawn to it because of its inexpensive nature. But costs can quickly creep up if you aren’t careful. Keep your next backpacking experience as budget-friendly as possible with these simple tips.
Many people are drawn to the idea of throwing caution to the wind and travelling through a country based on whatever moves them on a particular day. Though this is certainly a liberating way to vacation, it is not the best method if you’re trying to save money. Not doing your research can quickly lead to spending far more on travel and accommodation than you can afford. So, even though it may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for the most part, having a travel itinerary is the way to go.
A great resourch when getting started is kayak.com. All you have to do is input your destination and the website will search the web and track down the best deals on flights, accommodations and more. You can even set it to alert you every day or week as to whether the prices have gone up or down, so that you can strike at the absolute best moment.
The library is also a great source of information when it comes to figuring out where you want to go. Rather than forking out hundreds of dollars on travel books, pay your local library a visit and take notes on those sites you want to visit most. Travel books are not only great for figuring out where you want to go, they are also amazing in terms of helping you find the best deals on local sights and attractions. Many books will list which museums have student discounts or weekly free days so you can make your viewings as budget-friendly as possible.
You should also never be afraid to ask around. Simply telling co-workers or acquaintances that you plan on seeing such-and-such a place could send them into a flurry of tales on their experiences there. Those around you could very well be fountains of knowledge just ready to advise you, completely free of charge.
Accommodation night after night can quickly begin to add up financially. Once you’ve settled on where you’re going, start asking around to see if you happen to have any friends or family in the area. For all you know, you may have a third cousin in the south of France who just happens to owe your aunt, whom you’ve babysat for many times, a favour. You might be able to get a few nights of free accommodation just by getting the word out. And, as an added bonus, staying with locals can really help you get a sense of the culture and community of a place.
Even if you know absolutely no one in the area, don’t be afraid to make friends with other tourists you come across in your travels. It’s always fun getting to know new and interesting people — and multiple heads are better than one. Your new companions might have heard of a group discount at a local museum or have a spare train ticket they’re looking to give away. Naturally, you should always be cautious and make smart decisions when meeting people for the first time. But certainly don’t feel as though you have to stick to travelling all by yourself the whole way.
Just as walking can save you money at home, it can save you a whole ton of cash when you’re backpacking. There will, of course, be times where your pack is simply too heavy, but whenever possible try to rely on natural transportation. This also has the added benefit of letting you really soak in the essence of a city and feel the vibe firsthand. You certainly didn’t choose packpacking because you’re a lazy individual — so make use of your fitness and see places on foot.
When it comes down to it, backpacking is budget-friendly in nature, and with these simple tips you can make you journey as inexpensive as possible!