Whether it’s the height of summer or the middle of winter, hiking is an outdoor activity that can be enjoyed all year round. Backpacking your way around new countries is a great way to see the world – and whether you’re hiking alone or taking a gap year with friends, it’s always sensible to set a realistic budget.
In today’s post, we’re bringing you 5 of our top tips for backpacking on a budget – so you can get excited about planning your next adventure and prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime…!
1. Get friendly with the locals
Immersing yourself in the local culture and getting to know those living in the town or village where you’re staying will bring a number of benefits. Firstly, you’ll be able to benefit from their knowledge of the area and discover all of the best places to visit during your trip that you may not have known without the help from locals. Secondly, they might be able to point you towards some work to help you fund your trip. Whether it’s manual labour on a local farm or a couple of hours here and there working on a market stall, you’ll be glad of the extra money to help you on the next stage of your trip – so make an effort to make friends. We’ve written before about the importance of learning while abroad – classes, especially language classes, offer another great opportunity to help you meet locals.
2. Find shared accommodation
Finding a place to stay is one of the most challenging parts of travelling, and it’s a good idea to research accommodation options ahead of your trip. Whether you’re exploring Africa or backpacking your way around Europe, you might find that it’s cheaper to rent a villa with friends than to stay in hostels or B&Bs. Sharing with friends or people you meet on your travels means you can split the cost of groceries, as well as the cost of accommodation – so you can set more money aside for the next leg of your journey.
3. Keep your valuables with you
One of the most expensive aspects of backpacking is having items or money get lost or be stolen. No one wants that for themselves! Whether you’re staying in a hostel or camping out in the hills, resist the temptation to leave your most valuable items unattended. It’s likely that you’ll meet a number of new people on your travels, but, unfortunately, not everyone is to be trusted. When it comes to your passport, money and any other essential items, it’s safer to keep them with you at all times. The inconvenience of constantly carrying items with you will be far less stressful than trying to locate a new passport in a strange country.
4. Look out for tourist scams
As a stranger in a new country, you’re at risk of falling for tourist traps – and these come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s locals offering discounts on accommodation or street sellers trying to get you to buy something from their stall, it pays to maintain a healthy sense of scepticism. Even if you consider yourself to be fairly street savvy, scammers can target you in a number of ways – and you might not realise what’s happening until it’s too late. If in doubt, remember this: if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is!
5. Where possible, walk
When travelling around different countries, you’ll find that transport costs can vary dramatically. Some locals can spot tourists a mile off, and will take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the area – charging you excessive amounts of money to get around. If you can, book any transport in advance but, where possible, try to explore on foot. This way, you’ll avoid maxing out your budget, and you’ll be guaranteed to uncover far more than you would if you were viewing the area from a car, bus or train.
So, whether you’re travelling solo or taking a trip with friends, armed with these top tips for backpacking on a budget, you can set about planning your next adventure. What are you waiting for?