Money Saving Tips For Backpackers


If you are going away backpacking you will learn quickly how important it is to keep an eye on spending and make the most of your money. This guide provides some useful tips to make sure you make the most of your trip away.


Hotel fees quickly chip away at small travel budgets. Booking hotels in advance removes the spontaneity normally associated with backpacking. Booking rooms along the way offers better discounts. Joining a couch surfing network provides connections to hosts offering a free sofa for the night.


Establishments that cater to tourist crowds tend to be overpriced and crowded. Talk with locals to discover where they like to eat. Small, intimate eateries offering inexpensive, authentic cuisine give a warm welcome to visitors even if they do not speak the language well. Grabbing essentials at a local supermarket also keeps food costs down while traveling.

Getting Around

Traveling for cheap does not mean perpetual walking. Inexpensive rail passes take passengers through multiple countries. Travel passes make public transportation a real bargain. Many are available for online purchase, allowing customers to obtain them before a trip. Renting or purchasing a vehicle may be cost-effective during longer trips. Departing hostel guests often have dependable vehicles they wish to sell for cheap.


Mobile phones are great in a pinch, but charges start to add up. Using email, instant messages and Skype to contact friends and loved ones saves a great deal of money. Internet service is commonly available in cafes and libraries.


Student cards are a commonly overlooked source of discounts. Student travel association (STA) or student identification (ID) cards provide free or discounted admission to a number of popular attractions. Tourism cards, offered through tourist information centers, provide discounted admission for non-student travelers.

Go Against the Flow

Traveling during non-peak seasons is the key to cheap adventures. Accommodations are limited and extremely expensive during peak travel times. Peak seasons vary by country, so it is important to research before departing. Heading to lesser-known locales eliminates the inflation commonly associated with highly frequented destinations.

Be Creative

Money becomes less of an issue when people know how to use their natural talents. Playing instruments for donations equals dinner or gas money. Native English speakers are always in demand for private tutoring. Performing artists find their talents highly appreciated at a local nightspot. Thinking outside the box is a backpacker’s greatest asset.

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is invaluable. A simple injury equals hundreds of dollars in medical expenses not covered by traditional health insurance. Backpackers trekking through remote areas discover too late that a medical evacuation (medivac) is the only way to receive proper medical care. Car accidents on foreign soil can be an expensive, prolonged nightmare. Lost passports are an unmitigated disaster. Travel insurance assists with life’s unexpected, and costly, mishaps.

A little creativity and a lot of flexibility saves backpackers a great deal of money. Cost cutting measures allow travelers to focus on their once in a lifetime experience.

About The Author

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at Frugal Wiz. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.

1 Comment

  1. Oliver

    Travel insurance is definitely important. Once I got hurt while backpacking in the United States (CT) and I am Canadian. Well, lets just say, since I didn’t have medical insurance (travel insurance), I ended up with nearly a $15,000 medical bill. Aside from that, it’s important to pack your own food and water beforehand rather than going to restaurants. How can a true frugal person do that? 😉


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