There’s no cheaper (and faster way to build character) way to travel than to explore the world backpacking. Some people love the thrill of galavanting around the globe with all their possessions firmly strapped to their back – others, uh, not so much. We’ve rounded up some ways you can add a little glam to your backpacking adventure without breaking the bank.
It’s a backpacking right of passage to stay in a umm..ultra-cheap hostel. Hostels can be a great experience – meeting people from all around the world, bonding over a bowl of ramen, and living the stories you’ll tell your grandkids about one day. If you still want to get the backpacker experience, sans the six-people dorm, splurge a little and get a room to yourself. You will still have to share a bathroom (don’t forget your shower shoes!), but you won’t be kept up by the snoring American in the bunk below you, and you’ll be saving on a pricey hotel room. Alternatively, if you want that dorm experience, and the savings that come with sleeping a little rough, investing in noise-cancelling headphones and a blackout eye mask can help you get some slumber even if your roomies are in the midst of a party.
If you’re backpacking for a long haul, ensuring you’re still getting enough nutrients (and plenty of greens!) will help you stay healthy while you’re exploring the world. Opting to stay at a hostel, or accommodation, that provides you with a free breakfast is an easy way to stay fuelled for cheap! Make sure you step outside of the tourist zone and ask the locals their favourite places to dine. This is a win-win, you’ll save moolah on food, and also experience some off-the-beaten-path culture. Dining out for lunch tends to be a cheaper option than dinner, so if your heart is set on a fancy restaurant, go there in the arvo, and make a healthy dinner at your accommodation.
Look for free activities! If you’re staying at a hostel, check-in with staff who will be able to recommend some cheaper activities. If you’re in the mood for something a little more expensive (skydiving anybody?) accommodation staff may be able to help you source the best deals and rates. Doing your own self-guided walking tour will help you get a better understanding of your surroundings, and you can use that as a basis to plan what activities you may want to splurge on.
Museums usually do discounted days, and councils often put on free cultural events in larger cities – so, it pays to do your research and ask around. Immersing yourself in low-cost cultural experiences will help you avoid pricey tourist traps, and honestly, they’re more fun!
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