Let’s face it – if you are planning a backpacking holiday there is probably one major positive and one major negative to your adventure:
- The great thing is the freedom of the open road and your ability to follow it wherever it may lead;
- Rather less attractive, of course, is the money you might need to spend getting from one place to another, eating and generally looking after yourself – the average backpacker, of course, is likely to be travelling on a very tight budget.
So, here are a few tips designed to help your money go further on your next backpacking adventure:
Channels of communication
- It costs nothing to let someone – your family or a friend – know just where you are going so that you have a ready channel of communication in any emergency;
- Travel insurance is also designed to help cope with those emergencies too – and if you choose purpose designed backpackers insurance, from a specialist provider, such as Bengo Travel, you are likely to find essential cover even for those travelling on a tight budget;
- If you are going to be travelling through Europe, don’t forget your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – it helps to get you publicly provided health treatment, but do not rely on it as an alternative to proper travel insurance;
Theft and scams
- If you are backpacking on a budget, one of the last things you want is to fall prey to a pickpocket or other scam artist – watch out for them;
Let the train take the strain
- In most parts of the world – especially Europe and Asia – it is possible to buy rail cards which give you significantly discounted travel by train for a given period of time;
- When deciding where to stay, remember to choose a hotel or hostel that has a kitchen or other basic cooking facilities – cooking your own meals is going to be cheaper than hotel food and you might make new friends whilst watching your rice boil;
- Backpackers like to let their hair down every once in a while and alcohol might help – a tip suggested by Student Universe, however, is to buy at least some of your alcohol from a nearby supermarket, rather than pay the invariably inflated prices at city centre bars or other prime spots for tourists;
- Backpackers tend to stand out in the crowd and, impecunious as you might feel, are easy pickings for taxi drivers, who think nothing of ripping you off for a special “tourist” rate, especially in places where it is not required to display the fare – the simple solution, therefore, is to avoid taxis in favour of your own legs (as long as you are in a safe area of course and during daylight hours), and your personal fitness is likely to thank you for it.
By keeping in mind a few of these tips and suggestions you might get the best of both worlds – the freedom to explore the world that lies at your feet, but without it costing an arm and a leg. All in all, therefore, something of a backpacker’s dream.