With a gap year on your hand or any other free time that you have taken out to find out more about yourself, a backpacking trip is the best option where you bring together all your finances and set out on a trip to explore the yet unknown regions of the world. However, there are a few things that must be kept in mind before going on this amazing journey.
You need to play it smart by cutting corners and watching your wallet in order to ensure that you have a maximum amount of fun on your world adventure.
Here are my five personal tips for cheaper & better travel for backpackers.
Table of contents
1. Pack light
A backpacking trip is like an adventure that you don’t know where it will begin or end. It won’t be a regular trip that you are going on.
You are always traveling, which is why in order to make sure that you are always at ease and comfortable, pack as lightly as you can and only with the essential items.
When you are on the road, you probably won’t need as many items as you think you will need.
Personally, I made the mistake over a dozen times to take way too much stuff with me on my backpacking journeys.
Here are a few examples of the essential items that you will need on your backpacking trip:
- Underwear and socks
- Basic t-shirts and shorts
- A plastic map with plane tickets and other documents
- A bag for all of your electronics
- flipflops and easy shoes
- Swimming gear and towels
Don’t take too many items of the same kind with you. Keep it simple.
And, keep in mind that you’ll always have the option to buy whatever is necessary when you are on the road.
On my 3-week backpacking trip to India, I only brought a 22liter backpack with a few essential items and a pair of flip-flops.
Try to pack a few snacks and at least one large bottle of water when you are on the road. You’ll have the joy of this later by remaining hydrated and energized in between meals.
You’re on this amazing adventure as a backpacker, and you’re having the time of your life.
Don’t miss out the things that you can explore while walking. Keep in mind that you will probably miss them out if you always use a cab or a car.
When you walk, you will have time to take a picture of the scenery now and then. And, you’ll be able to stop for a refreshment on the road or just to chill out whenever you want.
Apart from enjoying the different areas, you will also be able to save money on fare costs and tipping the driver. Cab drivers also often take longer routes in order to overcharge you, hence, avoid taking a cab and try a bus instead, or better yet, just walk!
Warning: At nightfall, think wisely about the fact if you should walk around alone outside or not. Think responsible.
Some neighborhoods can be dangerous. Wild dogs or robbers can make your backpacking experience a nightmare. Better to take a cab in the evening or during the night. Better to be safe than sorry.
3. Stay in pleasant hostels
Staying in a nice hostel for a while is much better and a lot of cheaper when compared to staying in a high-class hotel.
Hostels are increasingly sprouting over the world as the backpacking trend is increasing to meet those demands.
Hostels are also the place to be to meet other people, whether they are backpackers like you or the local people. Most of these hostels often are located in areas where also local people live. That’s why hostels are way more culture-friendly than fancy hotels or resorts where you as a traveler will be completely isolated from the local environment.
Meeting local people has a lot of benefits:
- You can find out everything you want about the area
- And, it’s nice to see the comparisons and differences between different cultures.
- You might as well learn to speak a little bit of the local languages. Like I learned a few words of Sinhala on my journey in Sri Lanka.
4. Always be aware and think ahead
Pickpockets and snatchers are present everywhere in whichever country you are traveling to or where you live.
Robbers like this, most of the time, are quite clever and they can spot your tourist look from anywhere.
That’s why it is imperative that you remain careful of these pickpockets, especially when you are on a low budget and need to save up money for your backpacking journey.
Be aware and think ahead. Don’t be naive and always take good care of your items and money.
5. Travel in a group from time to time
While solo traveling all the time might appear more appealing, it is better if you travel in a group now and then.
Even if you start off traveling alone, you eventually will meet people on the road.
You will probably meet them in a hostel and stay a while with them. Just because it’s nice to have some company on the road when you are backpacking.
Traveling in a group can provide numerous benefits as each person can take up a task he/she is specialized in. One person can be good at the splitting of group expenses (there’s also an app for that), while someone else might be a very clever navigator.
A group of travel companions can help you to carry out your duties quickly and in a better way. This can also be another good way to save up on your finances as many places have group discounts and you can split in together for the expenses of a cab now and then.
Once you have this list jotted down, you don’t need to worry. With everything planned out, you can get ready for your backpacking experience of a lifetime!