Backpackers Budget Travel Tips



Stash your luggage at hotels: While you’re searching for a place to stay the night or your are exploring a town that you only have a few hours in, find a hotel to store your bags. Corporate hotels such as Marriotts typically don’t care whether you are actually staying in the hotel and won’t ask. Boutique hotels might be more stringent but try telling them your situation. Or tell them that you might stay there. You never know- maybe you will.
menu better
Avoid eating at restaurants with photographs of all the foods as well as restaurants with English menus (unless you are in an English speaking country of course.) These restaurants are catered towards tourists and will likely be more expensive and less authentic

Try Tap Water: People at home all told me not to drink the water in Colombia so when I first arrived, I bought a ton of water bottles. I drink a lot of water and this habit became wasteful so I decided to ask the locals if the water really was unsafe. They said that it was fine. I asked a few locals in each city to be safe but I didn’t have any problems drinking from the tap. In many countries, drinking from the tap isn’t the social norm but that doesn’t mean that the water is dirty. But be careful and make sure you ask some locals before drinking.

Don’t Buy a Cell Phone Package: This is obviously up to you but I find that I don’t need it. In many countries there is wifi in hostels, restaurants, hotels, shops, etc and with that you can use whatsapp to make calls, text, and do pretty much everything that a normal phone could do. If you’re worried about getting lost, you’ll have lots of options. The satellite on your phone doesn’t turn off so as long as you load your map when you arrive to your destination, it will be able to track you without wifi. There are always paper maps or you could just ask for directions.

Public Transportation: It costs less than a taxi, is often times safer, and you’ll get a better understanding of the city and its key locations

Couchsurf: It’s free and staying with a local gives you a better idea of the lifestyle and culture. Just be aware that some people use Couchsurfing like Tinder. This is unfortunate because there are tons of people with great intentions on the site. And I had so many great experiences both staying with people and hosting. It’s just something to be aware of.

Workaway: It’s a site were you can work anywhere in the world, usually in exchange for food and housing. It costs $30/ 2 years. I worked on a farm/ bed and breakfast in Italy for 2 weeks and had my own house and the family made great food. It was a great time!

Grocery Stores & Local Markets: You’ll save $ by avoiding eating at restaurants for every meal and you’ll learn a lot about the countries food culture. In Colombia, they had a whole pig with an apple in its mouth at the deli.

coffee backup.jpg

Don’t by coffee! You can get it for free: In many cities, there’s no need to buy coffee when it’s just sitting out at hotels. Get your caffeine fix without the extra cost. Also, check out Nespresso stores. They have a tasting bar. But these aren’t sample sized. They’ll make you a Cappuccino, espresso, or Americano with whichever pod you choose

souviners.jpgDon’t Buy Too Many Souvenirs: You’re going to have to lug them around and you can get many of those souvenirs at home anyway


Check Skyscanner for Flights: The site allows to to search the price of traveling to “everywhere” and you can search by a whole month. I went to Colombia because I searched US to “everywhere” within the month of October and found a flight to Cartagena for $50! Don’t forget to clear your cookies! After that, check other sites/apps like kayak and also go directly to the airlines site.

budget air

Budget Airlines: Sign up for e-mails to get the best budget airline deals. In the U.S. try Spirit or Frontier. In Europe try Easyjet and Ryan Air. They aren’t the most comfortable and be sure to pack light because they charge both for checked bags and carry ons. But lots of times the prices are incomparable to full service airlines.

MeinFernbus_Bus.jpgBuses Over Trains: This is a generalization but typically buses are much cheaper than trains. In Europe, the Meinfernbus from Vienna to Munich cost significantly less (about 18 Euro) than the Eurorail even with a rail package. Trains are nicer though so if you want to live in luxury, be organized and research train packages ahead of time.


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