Top Money Saving Tips for Backpackers
Planning a gap year or backpacking adventure can become expensive, so it is important that you settle on a realistic budget and get all your money matters organised before you depart.
Here are our top tips to save travellers money;
- Before you leave, shop around! You need to be a savvy consumer, use the internet, high street or travel agents to shop around for the best value flights, accommodation, currency exchange rates, travel insurance, gear and essentials. You might save a lot of money, or you may only save pennies, but every little helps and it quickly adds up to a decent saving.
- Make sure you have a decent amount of spending money; you should split this between pre-paid cards or travellers cheques and cash. Do not carry tons of cash around with you, what will you do if all your money is stolen or lost? Pre-paid cards, on the other hand, can be immediately cancelled if lost. Also be careful how often you withdraw money abroad, as this can generate massive charges.
- Look at exchange rates before you leave. It is easy to go to another country and have no idea whether something is cheap or expensive, but if you understand the value compared to the pound you are more likely to be a smart spender abroad.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle, if you don’t ask you don’t get! Some companies are willing to give you small discounts, but only if you ask, there is always something they can do to give you a better price – the worst they can do is say no!
- Research sales, discount codes and see if there are any discount cards you can invest in, for example international student cards or rail cards will get you discounts worldwide.
- Research and plan a realistic budget; if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, then you need to visit less expensive countries. Places like Ibiza are always going to be a lot more expensive than a country like Thailand.
- Watch your spending abroad. In some countries, like Thailand, the British pound stretches a very long way, so you may be tempted to splurge on luxuries, but just remember that the bills will soon mount up.
- You can save money by shopping at markets and supermarkets and cooking your own food, instead of going out. Try not to splurge on luxuries; if you can live without something then it is not necessary. Save your money for the things you really want to do, for example day trips, activities and the occasional night out.
- Travelling in groups rather than individually may get you more discounts, look out for group discounts and split all bills.
- Make sure you have all the correct paperwork and that you have invested in quality travel insurance. Without the correct paper work (i.e. valid passport, visa etc.) you may be refused entry to the country. Travel insurance will protect you against massive bills if you need medical treatment abroad, or if your vital possessions or travel documents become lost or damaged. By being organised and making sure you have the correct paper work in place before you travel, you might save yourself a small fortune.