For avid backpackers, the name of the game is soaking in as many experiences as possible while on a smart budget- because the longer your budget lasts, the longer you can keep traveling! Here are some tips for extending your backpacking experience by extending your money while traveling:
Research Beforehand So much time and money can be saved by just researching your options thoroughly before you head out. Try looking for travel discounts on airfares by watching different sites for a few weeks before buying; Kayak and Skyscanner offer some good deals. Check into travel passes such as Eurorail if you’ll be traveling by rail, and don’t forget about student discounts. You can also find great deals on Bookit for hotels and accomodations.
Try Couchsurfing If you’re open to meeting and staying with new people from around the globe, Couchsurfing is an awesome organization that connects like-minded travelers. Surfers search for a place to stay among a list of people offering to share their accommodation. It’s not just a free bed though; the idea behind Couchsurfing is to cultivate new friendships and enhance the travel experience! It is also a great way to save money on hostels though, so bring your host a small gift and enjoy the experience of seeing your destination from a local perspective!
Party at the Hostel While going out on the town is always fun, it can wreak major havoc on your budget. Plenty of hostels have a pretty buzzing social scene once the evening gets underway, so socializing and partying there can save you major cash.
Eat Like a Local One of the fastest ways to blow your cash backpacking (besides going out partying every night!) is eating out at the touristy restaurants. Cooking your own food at the hostel can save you money as well, but if you want to go out, look for places where the locals are eating. Sacrifice the nice English menus if you must, go out of your comfort zone and you’ll find great food out of the tourist hot spots at a fraction of the tourist price.
Pay Attention to Currency When you’re backpacking around between countries and changing currency often, it can be easy to lose track of just how much of what you’re carrying. Foreign exchange places often trick tourists with misplaced decimals, and proprietors may try to shortchange you if you’re not familiar with the currency. Just be prepared and pay attention when dealing with different money! ATM fees are an unavoidable charge, but do your research beforehand to minimize the damage on your budget.