Top 10 Budget Travel Tips for the Backpacking Student

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6) Want to try the local fare? Street food is the way to go

sausage germany photo

Photo by adactio

However, if you do want to eat out and try the local fare, go with the street food. It’ll be cheaper than going to a restaurant and the food is probably pretty authentic and it’s delicious.

7) Book a bus tour

bus tour photo

Photo by bobchin1941

Although the idea of gallivanting around on your own, booking hostels as you go, not knowing what city you’ll be in next, etc. is romantic, the reality of it is pretty stressful. There are some great touring companies (personally, I have experience with Busabout) that offer great tours for young people. They take care of all the details for you at a great price. Also, you get a lot more for your money as they take you to places that you probably wouldn’t, and in some cases couldn’t, have found on your own.

8) If your hostel has free breakfast, don’t be shy- sneak some away with some snacks

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breakfast hostel photo

Photo by Rolling Okie

Go ahead, stuff a bagel and some boiled eggs in your pocket; you won’t have to buy lunch that day. Ridding yourself of shame is necessary if you’re broke and traveling.

9) Create a realistic budget

budget photo
Be sure to include things like admissions to a few museums and some nights out at the bar in your budget. You’ll end up doing these things anyway and if you don’t budget for it you won’t be able to track what you’re spending and you’ll probably do some things that were a little outside your price range. Budgeting for entertainment allows you to look forward to the experiences and helps you determine what you realistically can and can’t afford.

10) Don’t assume that skipping out on airfare will be cheaper that taking a series of trains/ buses

It’s easy to assume that planes are the most expensive way to travel. However, in places like Europe and Asia, where it’s common for students to backpack on a very low budget, there are countless economy airlines that will often get you from point A to point B more cheaply than a series of buses and trains. As long as you follow the strict baggage guidelines, you can keep your airfare budget pretty low.

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Written by: Laney Lenox

Laney recently graduated from college with a degree in Peace Studies and is working as a freelance writer, specializing in travel. She is moving to Galway, Ireland in January where she will be working for a literary review. Someday, she hopes to use her passion for writing in the field of conflict resolution.


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