How to manage your backpacking budget

Planning the financial aspects of your backpacking trip and figuring out how much money you are going to need is an important part of any backpacker’s experience. By crunching some numbers, you will have a better idea about how much money you need to save up to make your trip possible.

Your travel budget should be considered long before you leave. Knowing approximately how much money you will need gives you an idea about how much you will need to save. You must set a goal well in advance so that it can be reached by the time of your departure. Planning ahead for your budget isn’t very difficult. Consider the following expenses:

  • Airline ticket
  • Visas and other documents
  • Transportation in and around the country (countries)
  • Accommodations
  • Food
  • Sight-seeing and museums
  • Incidental expenses

Planning your budgetTo figure out how much money you will need, you must first consider where it is you are traveling to. Much of the world is quite inexpensive, but there are places that will drain your wallet faster than others. London, anywhere in Scandinavia, and Japan are some of the most expensive places to travel in. On the flip side, you can live and travel in parts of the Philippines for a couple of dollars a day.
Next, break down your expenses into initial costs and daily costs. Initial costs include your airline ticket, your backpack, passport, guidebook, hostel card and all other equipment purchased before you leave. Already have some of this stuff? Can you borrow any of it from friends? If so, you’re already saving money.
The next thing to consider is how many days you will be away. Obviously, the longer your trip, the more money you will need. Now you can figure out roughly how much you will spend on the following each day: accommodations, food, transportation and sight-seeing.

Travel Budget Variables
Except for sight-seeing and museums, many expenses are unavoidable. The difference is how much you spend on each.

  • Airline ticket prices vary so much from day to day that you have to be constantly watching for deals and bargains as they come up.
  • Transportation costs will depend on where you’re going. How you get around can either save you money. Remember, taking taxis in cities on a regular basis will lighten your wallet very quickly.
  • Your choice of accommodations leaves room for financial flexibility. Hostels are obviously your best bet and are actually quite affordable.
  • Deciding on where you eat and what you eat will change your food budget considerably. Buying your food at supermarkets and making it yourself will be cheaper than eating at tourist-type restaurants all the time.
  • Your official documents shouldn’t set you back by too much. Your passport should be ordered and paid for well in advance of your departure. Money for visas and exit/entry fees will vary depending on how many countries you are going in and out of.

Finally, don’t forget your backpacker travel insurance!
You can purchase great value backpackers insurance direct at 24/7 travel insurance.For a 2-month trip in Europe, will cost you just £13.52* – a small price to pay to really enjoy your backpacking adventure all the more!
*Premium £13.52 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual aged under 36 taking out a Standard Backpacker 24/7 travel insurance policy for 2 months in Europe. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (December 2009) and are subject to change.