There are a handful of things no one told me or I never would have thought of, that popped up throughout my first backpacking trip. Now, three backpacking trips deep, through many different parts of the world, I am here to share those random, why-did-no-one-ever-tell-me, why-did-I-not-think-of-that backpacking tips.
I compiled a list with help of some friends I have met a long my travels…new backpackers, seasoned backpackers, young and old, from all different countries around the world. Some people had suggestions to add to this list that I still hadn’t even thought of, some that may not have applied to me, or some that were obvious to me. There are so many tips that I decided to divide them up into different posts. In this post we will cover some topics around $$$, moneyyy.
Random Backpacking Tips Related to Money $฿€
Think about how much money you will REALLY spend
I have had a lot of people ask me how much money they should leave with but the answer for this question varies for everyone. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your budget:
1. Necessary Daily Expenses: These include (but are not limited to) food, shelter, laundry and
transportation. There are many ways to cut down on these costs (i.e. walking places
rather than using transportation, work for accommodation, etc.) but we’ll get into these
a little more later.
2. Unnecessary Daily/Weekly Expenses: This is really going to vary depending on
what you like to do. For example, if you’re a drinker, you’re gonna want money for
alcohol. If you’re shopper, you’re gonna want money for shopping. If you’re like me and
you like to try every vegan restaurant you can find, then you’re going to need money to
spend on eating out.
3. Activities, Excursions, Tours, Etc.: Do you want to do a lot of excursions? Or are
you more of a hang out on the beach and until you become a lobster, type of traveler?
Some people like do every activity that they can, and thats fine. I’m in the middle. I like
to do a few excursions and spend some of time relaxing in the sun, doing my own little
walking tours and exploring on my own.
4. Miscellaneous Expenses: Think about toiletries when they run out, SIM cards for
your phone, and maybe some of the things you thought of under the “Unnecessary
5. ICE: It’s always important to have some money set aside in case of an emergency. I
keep some money in my savings and also a little cash in case something happens to
my credit card (I also have a backpack credit card.)
6. Other Forms of Transportation: Planes, trains, buses, etc. Getting from destination
A to destination B (rather just getting around).
Tips For Saving Money
There are so many different ways you can save money along your travels. The more creative you get, the more money you save. One of my best travel mates seems to have this part of traveling figured out. Here’s a list of some tips of my own, mixed with some of hers!
1. On Accommodation: Work for accommodation, couch surfing, networking, etc.
Check out this post for more information.
2. On Transportation: Public transportation is cheaper that Uber (Uber like services)
and taxis. Walking doesn’t cost a thing and you can often find cool spots along your
route that you would miss in a car, bus, etc. When it comes to getting from Point A to
Point B, look into to all different options. A plane ticket might get you there faster, but it
also might cost you a lot more than a bus ride (overnight buses save you a night of
paying for accommodation too!). Check out Skyscanner to compare cheap flight prices
and look into bus and train transportation for the area you are in a well.
3. On Miscellaneous Expenses: I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to do the
souvenir thing (also keeps some weight off my back) and on my backpacking trip
around Europe I decided that I was not going to spend money on alcohol (This way may
not work for you, but hopefully think of some things you can go without.) Not shopping
and not spending money on alcohol every night saved me a lot of money. What can you
go without? Cut it out.
4. On Activities: Do you really need to pay for a tour? Or can you do it yourself?
Compare prices from multiple places before booking an activity. Look for FREE tours
and activities. Get a group of people together for a discount. There are endless
possibilities. You can even work for a tour company!
5. Record What You Spend: Yes, your bank account will keep track of how much
money you spend and how much you have left, but writing down everything you spend
makes you more aware of what you’re spending your money on. I began doing this and
noticed I was spending a lot less money, especially on bullsh*t that I didn’t need. Set a
budget for your week, and try not to go over that.
This may not be something that you’re interested in but there are different ways you can make money while traveling and might be something you want to think about. I’m not going to go into too much detail on this one, but here is a list of a few ways travelers can make money…
1. Work Visa: work basically anywhere in the country you’re visiting
2. Freelance Writing: write about your travels for a well-known website
3. Blogging: create your own website (This one has a lot of behind-the-scene work to
get done before you can begin making money.)
4. Sell Your Stuff: got some stuff in your backpack you don’t need? Sell it!
5. Sell Your Craft: painting, jewelry, etc.
A few other things to keep in mind:
- When staying at hostels they will usually ask you for a deposit. So have some cash on hand to pay this. You can also usually either buy or rent towels.
- Make sure your card works in the country you are traveling in! You don’t want to be stuck without any money!
- Save your change for laundry!