Want to save money while backpacking? This is the ultimate guide by Louis from The Northernboy blog who is going to help to save you $1000’s on your backpacking budget with his guest post on Pip and the City. In this post, I am going to explain how to budget and use the secret money-saving travel tips for backpackers. You will get the top tips on how to save money while backpacking around Southeast Asia that will save you a lot of money on your next big trip. What can you do with all this extra saved money?
You can visit more countries and do the best things around the world that you have always dreamed of. Even if you just follow one of these tips for travelling, you are guaranteed to save a few dollars. The travel tips provided are all used by myself and have saved me plenty of travel funds that let me do more amazing things in the amazing places I visit. You will see how saving a dollar here and there will start to add up to provide you with more opportunity to see the places you want, do the things you have always dreamed of and work your way through that bucket-list.
Okay let’s get started on these top travel tips to see how to budget and save money.
How to budget and save money on finding the most discounted rooms for backpackers
I have not yet paid more than $12 a night for a private double bedroom and most of the time only pay $7 for accommodation in Southeast Asia. How? Through the amazing services of Booking.com, this really is a top tool for backpackers and the best way how to budget save money on places to stay. You can find cheap rooms, see the ratings (which is key to a good room) and compare prices.
Book cheap places to stay that INCLUDE breakfast (big money savers)
This is one of my favourite ways of saving money while travelling. Having breakfast provided by your accommodation is one of the best ways to budget while travelling. It is quite common for a lot of places to stay in Southeast Asia to provide you with a breakfast each morning for each night stay. And most of the time the breakfasts are tasty and there is enough to keep you fuelled till dinner which is why this is a top travel tip.
Okay so, if you save on average $3 a day on breakfast (this is an average it may vary a dollar or two) and let’s say for example you do a 3-month trip.
This is potentially going to save you $252! WOW big savings on your budget travelling. You could be spending more time backpacking Southeast Asia, or it could be a shorter visit to Thailand, either way, you are going to save money.
Try to get accommodation that provides free drinking water
This can potentially be a big money saver and I have definitely saved a fair amount of cash using this travel money saving method. Some Southeast Asian accommodation offer free water to their guests. If they do it will be a water dispenser that you can help yourself too. Believe me, you can save a lot of money using this secret travel tip. You can save from $1 – $4 per day depending on how much water you drink. I try and stick to drinking at least 2 litres a day back home in England and the weather in Southeast Asia is a lot hotter, therefore we should be really drinking more. I know some of you backpackers drink a lot of alcohol, but guys you are going to need water either way and using this will keep cash in your pocket. Nevertheless, aim to find out if you place to stay offers free water and take advantage of this money saving tip while travelling.
Need ideas for backpacking items? Check out my guide to Backpacking essential item list for Asia.
Get snacks and drinks before your boarding your boat, plane or bus
Don’t be that backpacker that turns up to a 16-hour boat ride from Laos to Thailand, without pre-buying any snacks or drinks. Then, has to spend a fortune on the boat buying food. Why? Because you can expect to pay three times the value of what you would pay in a local shop and this is not good for the backpacking budget. For example, the number one backpacker’s essential “oreo biscuits” are $0.70 in a shop. And on a boat, you can expect to pay anything around $2. Obviously, as backpackers we’re going to constantly be moving around between destinations, therefore using this method will start to rack up the savings.
How to budget by Buying coffee sachets from a shop or market
This is for all us coffee lovers out there. I am so glad I chose to opt for making my own coffees using the sachets I bought from a local market and this works wonders on my backpacking budget. You can pick up a box of 20 coffee sachets in Southeast Asia for a $1, whereas you can expect to pay anything from a dollar upwards for a coffee in Southeast Asia coffee shop. So, do the maths on that one 20 coffees for a dollar or 1 coffee for a dollar? That’s right, buy your own coffee from that shops or markets, this also goes for tea lovers, buy it in bulk.
In addition, Southeast Asia has caught onto the western world boom in coffee shops. Everywhere you look there are quirky-wooden-architecture-styled coffee shops and they know backpackers love a good coffee, therefore you can expect to pay more for this favoured drink of ours. Don’t get me wrong though, every now and again you have got to try one of the large creamy lattes from one of the Southeast Asian coffee shops.
Save money on your travel by paying less for taxi services
Taxis are not massively expensive in Southeast Asia. But, the prices are average, cheap and cheapest. The cheapest should be the backpackers only and found by using one of the wicked taxi apps available. For example, you may have used an Uber app? Well, they have them in some Southeast Asia countries. My favourite was the Grab app. I had a mega service with the Grab app every time and it’s so cheap. Therefore, you will save on your backpacking budget every single time using one of the great taxi service apps. These taxi apps also show you the price you will pay for the journey before even accepting to take the taxi ride. Therefore, you can price you taxi journeys without handing out a single dime! This will give you a clear light on how much you will have to pay and if it’s the right price for your travel budget.
Bartering skills level up and aim for in between 40% to 60% of the asking price
This is a sure way formula to save you money every time you buy something from a market, buy a day trip, travel rides and any other local expense. I get bartering is not for everybody and I know it can be a pain in the arse. However, those that do dare to barter will be rewarded BIG travel savings and have plenty of money left for budgeting while travelling.
What actually is bartering? It’s how you approach the buying of a local good for what you intend on buying it for. But you should know what you price you intend on bartering for and stick to this. For example, you visit a night market in Bangkok and you see a unique Thai gift, which you will then ask how much is this? The worker will then reply $10 (we will use this currency as an example) and from here I use a joke starter, I call it and say $2 but I know I won’t get it for this, but he/she now knows there is no way I am paying the asking price of $10.
So what now? You will make a $3 offer out of your backpacking budget, then he/she will drop the price to $8. Then, you will say I’m travelling on a budget, therefore I need it cheaper and offer $4. From here you can make it pretty clear it’s your final offer and they will also make it clear if they are not willing to drop the price to backpacking budgeting offer.
However, 9 times out of 10 the price will either be accepted or dropped in between the 40/60% range. As a result, you will have saved around $5 on this one sale and that’s just for buying a gift from the night market in Bangkok. Now if you try this formula for everything you buy (obviously restaurants probably won’t work), how much will you save for your travel budget? $50 a week? $150 a month? $1000 over the year?
How to budget and save a fortune conclusion
This post has been created by Louis aka Thenorthernboy, his travel tips can be found at http://thenorthernboy.com/
These money-saving tips on how to budget are being used every single day by Louis in Asia to have more money for travel experiences, food and accommodation.