How to stay on budget whilst backpacking

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Backpacking is a dream come true and has to be my favourite experience to date. I love the freedom of travelling around new countries, meeting new people and trying new food. Experiences and memories are what life is all about and I would love to go backpacking again and embrace life once more.

If you're new to backpacking or looking for some money-saving tips, here is how to stay on a budget whilst backpacking

How to stay in budget whilst backpacking

Set an overall budget

Travelling can be pricey, depending on where you go, whether that's Asia, Europe, America or elsewhere. Due to the price difference of each place, you'll need to do your research about how much roughly it'll cost and create an overall budget for your backpacking. For example, I went backpacking in south and southeast Asia, across seven different countries for three months and spent £6k. A large chunk of that was the flights as I didn't go to landlock countries and had to therefore fly to each country. Although, if you can travel to places by public transport, it'll reduce your costs.

Have an everyday budget

It's easier to stick to a budget when you have one in place. Alongside an overall budget for the trip, it's useful to have an everyday budget. With that, you'll want to consider your location, average food prices, transportation and whatever activities you're planning. It's also important to know, your everyday budget may fluctuate. For example, if you're planning to spend one day on the beach and another sightseeing, the daily budget will differ. With that in mind, set a base average and increase depending on your plans.

Book pricey experiences in advance 

The most touristy activities will cost the most and with this in mind, book these in advance. This can go two ways depending on what the activity is and where you're travelling. For example, certain experiences may offer deals online, directly through tour providers such as Klook. Whilst other activities, you can book through locals and they'll give you a cheaper deal.

Eat locally 

Food is the heart of travelling and one of my favourite things to do when seeing a new location. To save money, avoid tourist trap restaurants and fancy places to eat, and instead eat locally. I often find the more local places to eat, the better. They know how to cook traditional food and don't change it to please tourists' tastes. The best thing to do is buy street food or ask locals about the best places to eat. If a restaurant is packed with locals, then you know it'll be cheaper and taste fab.

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol will be the biggest regular expense when you're backpacking if you choose to drink or go partying. Although, if you're travelling on a budget, try and avoid it as best you can as it can rack up your bills and cause you to spend more than needed.

Walk or use public transport

Part of travelling is getting around on an everyday basis and you want to consider this as part of your daily budget. To save money, walk as much as you can, especially if all the things you want to see and do are close together. For further out activities, utilise the public transportation system, including buses, trains and trams. In some cities and countries, public transport is cheap as chips.

Utilise cheaper accommodation

Just because you're having the time of your life backpacking, doesn't mean you need an expensive accommodation to match the mood of the trip. There are plenty of cheaper travel options from hostels, couch surfing, and camping to private rooms with shared bathrooms. Shop around for the best deals and find yourself a bargain. When I was travelling southeast Asia, I stayed in decent rooms as cheap as £7 a night.

Allow for a safety fund 

Not everything will go to plan and that means, activities can cost more, food can cost more or a day can go wrong and you may have to pay out a lump sum. Due to this, have a safety fund for each location, allowing the budget to spend more just in case. For example, for Sri Lanka, we put an extra £50 each aside in case on the trip with my partner.

Haggle the best you can 

Haggling is key for markets and if in Asia, tuk tuk rides. To save money, haggle down on every instance because often prices are increased for tourists and you pay a lot more than needed.

I hope you've enjoyed this post. Have you got any other tips?

Thank you for reading <3


  1. Love these tips, I recently came back from interrailing! I ended up spending more than was expected, mainly due to accomoddation falling through and buying the wrong transport tickets. Now that I have been to different countries, I will be better in the future though! x

  2. Thanks for sharing, these are great tips, I do think having the treats, should also be in your budget the odd glass of wine with a meal, is not always going to break the bank depending on your location, I would just allow extra for it :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures


Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful in anyway. I'd love to hear any feedback you may have.