How to travel on a budget

Unless you’re rolling in money, if you’re backpacking for an extended period of time you’re going to have to do it on a budget.

That’s not to say that you should be nickel and diming everything because that’s a horrible way to travel.   Instead, it means is to spend your money wisely so it lasts longer and you get more bang for your buck.

Here’s a few tips on how to travel on a budget.



The biggest thing that will affect your travel budget is your decision on where to travel.

Regions like Southeast Asia and Central America are huge draws for backpackers because the cost of living is so cheap in those countries.

For the amount of money you would spend in a month in a place like London you could easily spend 3 or more months traveling through Southeast Asia.


Pretrip expenses

Travel gear
It’s good to be excited about your upcoming trip but don’t go crazy buying a bunch of travel gear.   Most of the stuff that you think you’ll need will end up lying at the bottom of your bag untouched.   Put together a proper pack list and only buy what you need.
The flight to your destination is a major expense which means when you book your flight it also has the potential to be your biggest savings.   Study up and do some research on how to find cheap flights and you could save hundreds of dollars.
Travel insurance
Don’t get into the false thinking that you don’t need travel insurance.   While you might think it’s wasted money, you’ll be glad you have it when and if something bad happens.   Don’t cheap out here!   Read our comprehensive guide Travel Insurance 101 to find out everything you need to know about travel insurance.



This should come as a no-brainer but if you’re traveling on a budget you’ll be staying in hostels.   Treat yourself to a private room every once and awhile but for the most part you should be staying in dorm rooms.

You can also offset this cost if you get a job at a hostel.   In exchange for working a few hours a day alot of hostels will give you free room and board.

Related Articles
Hostel etiquette: 9 unwritten rules
10 types of travelers you’ll meet at every hostel
10 reasons you should stay in a hostel



While it’s true you can eat cheap while traveling by eating street food or sitting down at buffets it still adds up after awhile.

Almost all hostels have a communal kitchen everyone can use so why not go to the local market, pick up some groceries and make a great hostel meal yourself?   Save even more money and have some fun with it by getting some other people in on it and split the costs.

Getting from A to B


When you’re going from city to city or country to country there are a few ways to get there.

Instead of taking an expensive flight or train ride, take a look at the cost of traveling by bus.   Often times these fares are just a fraction of the cost and some bus lines even offer luxury buses complete with food and wifi.

When you’re traveling locally use public transit.   Avoid taxis when you can as not only are they expensive but they’ll sometimes try to rip you off.



Like I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to miss out on all the attractions because you’re traveling on a budget.   Sure, the adventures you go on or do might cost you a pretty penny sometimes but you’ll also regret it later on if you don’t take those opportunities.

Having said that, you don’t need to go crazy and break the bank every day.

There are all sorts of things you can do on the cheap or even for free.   Go on a free walking tour, visit a museum or take a day trip to a nearby village and explore what it has to offer.

Have any tips for traveling on a budget?   Share them below…

budget travel, travel tips
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