Backpacking For Cheapskates: How To Travel On A Shoestring Budget

The whole point of backpacking is to allow travelers to see and experience more of a place, while keeping costs down to a bare minimum. It’s more than just an alternative mode of travel; it’s a lifestyle.

But while some people can readily adapt to backpack travel, others may find the whole low cost thing a bit discomforting. They would often spend way more money than what is necessary, thus throwing the real essence of backpacking out the window.

Going on a budget trip does not mean putting up with shady hotel rooms and crappy meals. For the backpackers out there who have trouble sticking to their travel budget, the tips below should make your every penny count for that dream trip.

Invest in a High Quality Backpack

Nothing is worse than owning a bad backpack: your belongings could easily get drenched in a thunderstorm, your clothes could spill out at the most inopportune moments or you could get sore from having ill-fitted straps digging into your shoulders all day.

When it comes to backpacks, bigger does not always mean better. Make sure what you choose is proportional to your size; the thing here is that the weight should be balanced evenly on your back so that you won’t experience backaches when you lug your backpack around for the duration of your trips. Most sports/camping supply stores will allow you to try on their backpacks with weights so you can see if it’s a comfortable fit for you before purchasing.

A good backpack is one that can withstand the rough-and-tumble of backpacking trips. It should be water-resistant, multi-compartmented, have a sturdy internal frame and padded shoulder straps. But don’t go for those that are priced over $250 – these are unnecessarily expensive. There are decent backpacks that will only cost you anywhere from $100 to $200.

Travel Off-season

This is a no-brainer. The rule of supply and demand is always at work when it comes to airfare and transportation costs. The summer season can be a great time to travel, but it’s also the most expensive compared to other seasons throughout the year. If you must travel during a lean season, book flights early to save yourself from the skyrocketing prices later on. Also, you might want to travel during weekdays, when flights are priced cheaper.

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