Backpacking on a Budget? Here’s Some Tips To Save Money

Backpacking can be a life-changing experience. It doesn’t matter if you do it alone or with company. 

You will probably meet all kinds of people on the way and learn about different cultures in a very real and authentic way. 

Backpacking can also be a more demanding traveling style, especially if you are traveling on a budget. 

Here’s our humble guide to saving money for travelers with limited resources. 

Remember Your Budget When Planning

Research and Pre-Book

Planning could be your best friend when it comes to saving money. Research everything online, from flights to hotels and places to eat. 

You’ll find all the information you need on the internet, though it may take some time to do this research. Join groups and forums and learn from the people that are already there.

A Must-Have: Realistic Budget

Having a non-realistic budget will be the death of your adventure. We are serious; this could definitely ruin your plan in every possible way. Sit for a few hours and do the maths. 

Don’t speculate on cents, and be honest with yourself. It’s okay to cut off some activities or travel for less time if your budget is not enough. Choose quality over quantity here. 

Look for Free Activities

Every city has its share of free or low-cost attractions. Most big cities have free tours offered by locals and there are tons of activities to try. Nature places are also generally free and awesome choices for backpackers. 

Choose Accommodations Wisely

Hostels and Guesthouses

Hostels offer budget-friendly rates and the chance to meet other travelers. They are usually the favorite choice for people on a budget. Guesthouses are also great options, especially if you prefer more privacy.


Couchsurfing had its peak during the 2000 years and it is still popular nowadays. Some apps can connect you to people who are willing to receive you at their homes for free. 

Most backpackers are solo travelers; out of them, over 80% are women. Couchsurfing can be a bit scary, especially for them, but it is a money-smart choice.

This would also allow you to make friends if you are a sociable person, your hosts might want to show you around their city and you’ll get accommodation, plus expert guidance from a local. 

House Sitting

Consider house sitting as an alternative. Some websites connect you with homeowners looking for someone to take care of their property or pets while they’re away. 

It’s a win-win situation: free accommodation for you and peace of mind for them. 

You might need to answer some questions and plan this with time, but it is a great option. 

Eat Like a Local

Street Food and Local Markets

This may beest way to get to know the culture of the place and save money. Some places have really good street food, even though tourists might be suspicious at the beginning. 

Get rid of Prejuidge and try it all; you might miss some spectacular unknown flavors. Do not hesitate to ask for advice from the locals; they’ll for sure know the best places to eat. 

If You Can, Cook Yourself

If your accommodations have the possibility of a kitchen, take advantage of it. That’s absolutely the general number one tip for saving money all around the world. Of course, you’ll need to investigate local markets to know where to buy the best ingredients at reasonable prices. This can be a good way of saving money and eating healthy at the same time. 

Treat Yourself (With Prudence)

Treat yourself to a nice meal occasionally, but don’t go crazy. Look for executive menus or family restaurants, these places are usually cheaper and of good quality. 

Also, consider ordering from restaurants, maybe you want to try local food that’s expensive and can’t afford to sit in a restaurant. 

Takeaway or delivery services are the solutions for these cases. 

Smart Transportation

Public and Cheap Transport

Many big cities have free or really cheap transportation options. Sometimes it is a train, other is a bus, it might not always be the same. 

If you can adapt and be flexible, you’ll surely save money on transportation too. 

Walk or Bike

Of course, small towns are a different story than big cities and it could be harder to use public transport there. 

Anyway, you will probably be able to walk peacefully in these places. Whenever possible, walk or rent a bike. 

This is cheap, plus a nice way to get in touch with the places too. 

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Online Safety

Use a VPN

Protecting your data should be a priority; after all, you are in a foreign place when backpacking. 

Consider using a VPN like Surfshark when accessing the internet, especially on public Wi-Fi networks. VPNs encrypt people’s data, making it difficult for hackers to corrupt information. 

Secure Your Devices

Ensure that your devices are secure. Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. 

Keep your software and antivirus programs up-to-date to protect against the latest threats.

Backup Your Data

Regularly back up your important files to the cloud or an external hard drive. This ensures that even if your device is lost or stolen, you won’t lose important information. 

Many cloud and online platforms offer reliable and secure backup solutions.


Backpacking on a budget doesn’t mean missing out on amazing experiences. With a bit of planning, smart choices, and the right tools, you can smart-spend your money. 

It’s not a coincidence that backpacking is growing in popularity; it is an awesome experience.

Information is power, so try to be as informed as possible before starting your trip. You’ll thank yourself later after you finish your journey with ease of mind. 

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