The majority of backpackers have to be careful with their money when traveling the world. It’s amazing how fast your funds can run low when you’re feeding yourself, paying out for accommodation and traveling via car, bus, boat, and plane almost every day. It’s important to set a budget and watch what you spend your money on, or you’ll be making awkward phone calls home, or worse, find yourself having to cut your travel plans short due to lack of funds.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at four ways that backpackers can save money while traveling. It’s easier than you might think, and you won’t have to miss out on anything:
Talk to the Locals
It doesn’t matter how many Lonely Planet articles you read, and how many times your best friend has visited before, nobody knows the place you’re visiting better than the locals. If you’re smart, you’ll pick their brains for their top tips on where to go, where to eat and drink, and where to get the best photos for Instagram. There’s a good chance they’ll be pointing you in directions you’ve never even considered, and if you do what the locals do (and eat where they eat), you’re likely to save money, too.
Put Your Money Together
One of the best ways to save money is to put your finances together and purchase trips, accommodation, and food as a collective, rather than an individual. Many tour companies will offer discounts to groups of four or more, so shop around and see if you can take advantage of any special offers that come in pairs and groups. It will reduce the risk of one or more of you running out of money while the others head off and enjoy themselves, which can cause friction in your group.
Seek Out the Best Deals Online
Whether you’re looking for tickets to events, booking tours, accommodation or flights, you should always check online to see if there are any special offers and discounts available if you buy them from the web. If this is the case, always read the small print, account for any possible charges (especially tax if you’re in the US) and make sure you purchase from reputable websites. For example, if you’re buying gig tickets, head to ticketsales.com rather than a site that looks terrible and even your internet security warns you not to head to it.
Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates
Flexibility as a traveler can be an extremely beneficial way of saving money, as it means that you can amend/cancel flights, tours, and accommodation at the drop of a hat in return for better deals. For example, if you have a flight booked for a Friday and it costs $300, but then a flight becomes available for Thursday at $250, you could save yourself a nights accommodation and $50 if you have the flexibility to change your travel plans and do something different. If you are pretty rigid in your plans, make sure you do plenty of research first, and always check the cancellation policies just in case you do see an opportunity to change your plans.