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The Backpacker’s Budget: Useful Hacks for Travelling Cheaply

Read these budget-friendly tips about how to backpack across the world, without spending it as well!
Many of us fantasise about the idea of leaving the country for a stint of travelling to discover new places and explore different cultures, but a very small few of us actually make it a reality. The idea of taking time out to travel is many times shot down due to high expenses, but backpacking on a limited budget is possible, and we’re going to show you how.
 

1. Invest in a campervan

 
For backpackers, one of the costliest parts of travelling is the accommodation. Having to find somewhere safe and secure to stay at night can eat into your budget like nobody’s business and although in some countries, clean, comfortable hostels can be as little as €10 per night, this still adds up, particularly if you’re on the road for a while. If you’re planning a long road trip, it might be worth purchasing a campervan. It’s important to make sure that the van has passed a road safety test and is equipped for long hours on the road, so don’t bypass these essentials for the sake of a cheap purchase, but if it is in good condition, it’s the perfect way to get around. As well as ensuring your camper van is fit to drive for an extended period of time, it’s also worth purchasing excess insurance to avoid unexpected costs cutting into your budget, in the event of a possible accident. Applying for excess insurance cover will make sure that any excess payments required from your insurance policy, in the event of an accident, are covered for you. A campervan will save you accommodation and travel costs, plus, it makes for a great adventure!
 

2. Eat local

 
Thailand floating market (Damnoen Saduak Floating Market) : Location 
Experiencing the local culture is what travelling is all about and rather than heading to restaurants where food can often be expensive for what it is, why not indulge in some of the local street food offerings? Usually a better quality and taste, you can get a lot more for your money when you eat what the locals do, particularly in places like Thailand and Vietnam, where there is street food aplenty. Look out for a stall that is busy with local people, and enjoy the exotic, homemade flavours of your destination.
 

3. Haggle, then haggle some more

 
Visiting a busy, bustling marketplace, packed full of local produce, is an exciting experience. Even more so if you can grab a few bargains along the way! Whether you’re haggling for food, souvenirs, jewellery or had your eye on a bag, the market is a fantastic way to pick up essentials at super-low prices. As a tourist, you’re likely to experience higher prices, with local market traders hoping you’ll pay above the odds. Be savvy with your purchases and if you think you’re being charged a little too much for something, then ask for lower. The chances are, they want to make the sale too, so will at least meet you somewhere in the middle.

you can get a lot more for your money when you eat what the locals do, particularly in places like Thailand and Vietnam, where there is street food aplenty. Look out for a stall that is busy with local people, and enjoy the exotic, homemade flavours of your destination.

 

4. Pack light

 
If you decide not to go down the campervan route and are backpacking in the literal sense of the word, then packing light is essential. Pack lightweight clothing and leave any jewellery at home – it could potentially be misplaced anyway. A small towel and a couple of pairs of comfortable footwear are also usually sufficient, depending on where you’re travelling. Whilst it might seem like you’re not taking enough, when you’re travelling with everything on your back, you’ll be grateful you left things at home. Don’t forget, you can take advantage of the (usually) cheap laundrettes you’ll come across along the way – a simple internet search will help you to find your nearest one.
 

5. Watch your pockets

 
If you’re looking to visit some famous sites then crowds of tourists, also wanting to see the same, can be expected. No matter how beautiful a building or breath-taking a view, if it’s a popular attraction, then pickpockets may be rife. As long as you have your wits about you and have all of your valuables (phone, passport and money) in a safe place, then you should be ok. As well as your backpack, it’s worth purchasing a smaller bag than can sit at the front of your body, which can be home to valuable items that you can keep a closer eye on. Although a further expense, purchasing travel insurance is definitely recommended, just in case anything of value does get stolen whilst you are on your travels.
 
 
 
 

Find out more about PSA's Excess Insurance

 
 
 
 
 
 

Find out more about PSA's Excess Insurance

 
 
Additional Reading
Top Tips for Surviving a Long Car Journey 08 August 2019
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