November 15, 2019
International travel is a lifelong dream for many of us. We have a deeply held desire to see the world, experience new cultures, and glimpse some of the most gloriously beautiful sights with our own eyes. Travel comes with a price tag that can intimidate many from pursuing this dream — but there are plenty of hacks you can use for a cheap backpacking trip that is affordable and realistic.
You may even find that these creative ideas make the trip more fun. Follow these seven tips and let us know if you have other frugal advice you’d suggest.
1. Bring Your Accommodations Along With You
One of the biggest travel expenses is accommodations. When you are backpacking, though, you can bring your accommodations with you. Invest in a lightweight tarp or tent, or a camping hammock. Beyond freeing up your hostel or hotel budget, having your own means of shelter will give you the power to venture where you want to go.
2. Couchsurf for Free
If you’re backpacking in the city and aren’t able to set up your own shelter for the night, join a Couchsurfing website and see if you can score a free place to stay. This connects hosts with travelers who don’t have the budget for paid lodging.
3. Cook Your Own Meals
Another big travel expense is eating out at restaurants. Save your fancy dining for a special celebratory treat, and instead, stock up on food at the grocery store and cook for yourself.
The best way to do this is to invest in a lightweight backpacking stove. These can pack compactly in your backpack, taking up minimal space and affording you the opportunity to eat comfortably on your own terms. You’ll spend a fraction of the cost you would on dining out.
4. Backpack With a Friend
Frugality and friendship can go hand in hand. Adding a friend to your backpacking excursion can halve the cost of transportation, camping sites, groceries, and much more. Pair up with a travel companion who has the same vision for a global adventure as you do, and make some lasting memories together.
5. Pack Fewer but Higher-Quality Things
Instead of filling your backpack with a long list of mediocre-quality items, invest in high quality and long-lasting multipurpose gear. Not only will this save precious space in your backpack and decrease the weight you’re carrying around, but it will also save you the hassle of buying and replacing things that are more likely to break. Quality gear will have a longer shelf life for future trips and, if you purchase multipurpose gear, you’ll have to buy fewer items in the first place.
6. Always Carry Your Own Water Bottle
No more buying single-use plastic water bottles at every stop. No more unnecessary wastage for the environment. Always bring along a sturdy water bottle, refill it as needed, and be a friend to both your budget and the planet.
7. Make the Most of Long Layovers
If your backpacking trip includes a flight abroad, you’ve probably already been advised to book during off-peak seasons. However, have you considered being strategic with your layovers? Even just 24 hours between flights can provide the opportunity to experience an off-the-wall destination without needing a special trip just to get you there. Stockpile everything you need in your backpack, and leave the airport for a mini adventure en route.
Begin Your Backpacking Trip With Gear From Dutchware
Dutchware has all the supplies you need for the backpacking trip of a lifetime. Browse our gear for a selection of durable, quality equipment from camping stoves to hammocks, tents, tarps, and more. Get started with your backpacking preparation today!