How to Save Money on Backpacking

man backpacking in the forest

Whether you’re new to backpacking or an experienced backpacker, there’s one thing to remember about backpacking. What is that? You make the rules. First, you have to make a list and do the important things such as pick the country you want to visit and have money left over for your next adventure.

No matter whether you’re on a budget or wealthy, you’re trying to save money for your future, house, or just so that you can have a little extra spending money to buy something great for this year’s Christmas gift exchange. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an incredible, exciting backpacking trip. The first thing you must do is balance finding ways to save money and plan an adventurous backpacking trip. Here are 10 tips to plan a backpacking trip, have a trip of a lifetime and save money in the process.

Planning Your Backpacking Trip

In the planning stages of your backpacking trip, you narrow down the country you want to visit and the time of year you want to go. Once you know these things, it’s important to do the following:

1. Do Research to Avoid Tourist Traps

You can do this during your trip by watching where the locals eat. However, it’s best to do some online research about tourist traps. These are places that just want your money. Make list about free walking tours, parks to visit and attractions that have great deals such as discount days.

2. Find a Backpacking Group to Join

A solo backpacking trip is such a freeing experience. You are one with the earth and can just do what you want. However, traveling with a backpacking group can save you a lot of money because you’re sharing various duties. If you’re a good cook, you may choose that duty. If you want to enjoy the backpacking trip, but hate planning the tiny details, let someone else in the group do it. Yes, sometimes a backpacking group complicates things because you may have to compromise, but don’t let that scare you from saving money. Remember, you can always spend some time solo backpacking, then meet back with your group later.

3. Book a Hostel with a Kitchen

You can camp while backpacking, you may not want to spend all your time in the outdoors. Many backpackers don’t know this, but there are hundreds of hostels across the globe for backpackers. The best backpacker-friendly hostels offer a communal kitchen and free breakfast. Making food on the trip will save a lot of money.

4. Take Snacks on Your Trip

Speaking of food, take snacks with you. Snacks seem like too much to carry around on a backpacking trip, but it’s worth it. Between meals and rest, snacks keep your energy levels high. It’s better to buy them before the trip than when they are experience. Many of the cheapest countries you visit will increase the price on snacks.

5. Invest in a Train Pass

In many countries, you can pre-purchase train passes. This means you can travel all over the country without worry about the cost. Train-hopping is always a great way to sightsee during your backpacking trip.

6. Pack Light

Backpacking requires packing light. Leave the stuff you don’t need behind and that is too valuable to take with you like your watch. Taking sentimental stuff is troublesome because it could get lost. Remember to only pack things that you can replace if lost. This will save money on any additional luggage fees when flying.

During Your Trip

When you are having fun on your trip, remember these tips:

7. Camp Out at Least Once

Camping is one of the best parts of backpacking. There are plenty of comfortable campgrounds around the country that won’t drain your wallet. So, you may want to take a tent along with you.

8. Walk Where You Want to Go

Cabs are convenient. However, they are also super expensive because of tipping the driver and the mileage costs. Unfortunately, some drivers will take the scenic route to increase your fare. So if you can, walk or take public transit where you want to go.

9. Watch Out for Pickpockets

Pickpockets and scam artists are everywhere. They can spot a tourist a mile away. Thus, keep your money safe by wearing clothing with hidden pockets.

10. Visit a Liquor Store

This tip sounds odd, and it is. Local businesses make a lot of money off tourists. These businesses include nightclubs and bars. Tourists are often overcharged at these places. If you drink, it’s better to do it by buying liquor at the store. Also, check public restrictions before your trip. You may want to avoid drinking at all and make friends at the hostel or campground.


When you want to backpack and save money, focus on these 10 tips to help you. You’ll have money in your pocket and a great time backpacking.