Since I've been working in tourism sector. I've listed some good backpacking tips if you are on a budget. Just because you are on a budget doesn't mean you can't have a fun backpacking trip. It does mean being smart , finding ways to cut cost , and having a little extra left over at the end of your trip. With these tips below you will be having a great trip in no time and worry free with your money.
1. Pack light
The key to backpacking is ‘less is more’. Stick to this rule and you will be all set. Sometimes people love to go overboard and bring six sweaters and ten pairs of jeans. Well guess what , this is not the way to effectively backpack a place. If you are being carried down by too much stuff then you will miss out some great opportunities like seeing more things and catching that last minute train. You also can save money with airlines for not paying extra for overweight luggage.
2. Leave valuables at home
There is really no need to bring your favorite ring you got for graduation or those earrings Dad gave you for your birthday. When backpacking the idea is to only have the basics on hand. Keep this in mind; only have things on you that you don’t mind too much to replace. Not to say it isn’t a bummer to have to get new clothing if your bag gets swiped, but it is a whole lot easier than something you will really miss not having.
3. Let someone know
Often people make the mistake of taking off on a trip and not telling family or friends. Even if you don’t want Mom and Dad breathing down your back, it’s a really good idea to let someone back home have a general idea of where you are going and how long you will be gone. Also have a way of getting in touch with you. The last thing you want is for some emergency on your end or at home and having no means of communication.
4. Get a hostel with a kitchen
When you are booking a hostel check to see if they have a communal kitchen or complimentary breakfast. Often there is a kitchen available for use with some utensils and cooking items. Making a couple meals at your hostel will save you and your friends a lot of money in the long run.
5. Buy a train pass
If you know you will be backpacking in one area, such as Northern Europe, Southern Europe, or Asia, then you can pre-purchase a train pass that allows you to travel within certain countries for a set amount of time. This elevates the stress of waiting in long lines at train stations. Plus you will end up saving money because you bought in bulk. Just be sure to.
6. Be careful of pickpockets and scam artists
Many countries, even the most cosmopolitan, have some form of pickpockets or scam artists. These people are trained to feed on tourists. They know right away that you are not a local and that they can take advantage of you. The best way to save money when backpacking is to keep your money close to you. The fastest way to lose money when traveling is having it stolen.
7. Bring your own snacks
Bringing some energy bars or granola bars with you during the day can help fight off hunger cravings in between meals. Snacks during the day can easily add up to just as much money as a meal. With bars in hand you won’t be spending your money on unnecessary snacks and can save it for other things.
8. Walk instead of taking a cab
It may feel easier to hop a cab and head to a destination. But don’t do it! Between the mileage cost, tipping, and of course the added secret tourist fee (many cab drivers charge tourists more than locals because they don’t disclose rates) you are looking at a hefty bill. Walking a little extra is good for your body and then environment not to mention your wallet. If something is really out of walking range then take a bus or metro. They tend to run less than $2 in most cities around the world.