If you’ve finally embarked on the trip of a lifetime whether it’s a trip around the world or just backpacking for a few weeks in a specific country, your actual spending budget may be different than the original budget you had in mind pre-departure. If you’re getting tight on cash there are some easy ways to save money and make money while on the road.
If you haven’t already discovered the convenience and cost friendly accommodations of hostels you should start now. There are many websites that provide reviews, rates, and lists of hostels available around the world. Depending on the country you’re in hostels can range anywhere from $5 to $50 a night. Price depends on if you’re in a private room or dorm style room as well as if you’re in South America or Prague. Many hostels offer free breakfast, free wifi or computer area, movie room, and more.
Stay for free
Many hostels work out deals with their guests. If you work a few shifts at their desk or bar they’ll give you free accommodations during your stay. This not only helps your wallet by saving on accommodations but it allows you to meet other travelers to connect with. Sometimes you can get free accommodations simply by suggesting or offering a service to the hostel owners. A friend of mine offered to take pictures of a hostel for the hostel’s website, another offered to help the hostel owner paint other rooms. In return they were able to save money by staying for free.
Freelance travel writing
We know that backpacking around the world is about meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and getting out of the hectic pace of life in the U.S. If you’re running low on cash it doesn’t hurt to find your nearest internet caf© and find travel websites or magazines to pitch to about your travel experiences.
The Lost Girls, a travel website inspired by the book about three girls traveling around the world, offers advice and lists of places currently paying for travel writing, including their own.
When my uncle visited India he was surprised to find a Dominos Pizza when the same chain had been closed down in his hometown years ago in Michigan. While it’s easy to gravitate to American chain food locations you’re better off eating with the locals as it’s cheaper and usually tastes better. Eating locally allows you to get a real feel for the culture and the locals will respect you more for supporting their businesses. Besides, did you really come all the way around the world to eat the same greasy food you can eat back in the States?
One of the greatest aspects about backpacking and staying at hostels is meeting other travelers. If you’re a social butterfly and are open to making new friendships on the road it may help you cut costs later in your trip. Once you start talking with someone or even a group of people about where you’re headed, they may be on the same path as you. Sharing transportation costs and group activities like safaris and mountain hikes where the more people in a group, the cheaper the price, will allow you to cut additional costs.