10 Money Tips for Your Backpacking Trip

Ten things you can do before you travel to make the most out of your money.

Prepare to have more fun for longer.

1. Plan a realistic budget for the amount of time you'll be away. A budget will help you save more money that could be better spent on activities and treats for yourself.

2. Since the bulk of your expenses will go towards travel tickets, food and accommodation, it pays to research how much things will cost at your destination cities. In some instances, hostels and other shared accommodation will charge a cheaper rate if you book or pay in advance.

3. Visit cheap countries! Countries in South East Asia will generally cost you less than cities in Europe, which means you can spend more time getting to really know a place. Bearing this in mind, you could end up with a more varied and interesting itinerary and a richer travelling experience.

4. Beware of hidden or unplanned expenses such as international phone calls and internet access. Will it be cheaper to bring your mobile phone with you, or would it better to invest in a prepaid international phone card? Now would be the time to find out which option best suits you. You can also consider an option of PC to phone calls, which is also cheaper.

5. Student discounts and other such concessions will make a difference to your budget. Bring your concession cards along and make sure to ask for a discount before you hand over your money.

6. If you're travelling on the cheap, make time to get in touch with relatives and friends in the area for the use of their couch. You save yourself accommodation costs, not to mention possibly getting a free meal or two out of the bargain.

7. Do you have a safety net in case you run out of money? Find out about the availability of seasonal work before you leave home. Seasonal work such as fruit picking is useful for earning quick cash-some farms even provide food and accommodation. Picking Jobs is a good resource, listing jobs from anywhere between Australia and South Africa.

8. While it's not advisable to rely on credit cards, they could prove useful in case of an emergency. Arranging to obtain your credit card and traveller's cheques with your bank before travelling might save you a lot of hassle in the future.

9. Send out information to your family and friends on how they can get money to you if you happen to need it. From bank wire transfer to using an agency such as Western Union, which one will best suit you?

10. Having travel insurance is absolutely crucial. A good policy covers you for the duration of your trip to all your destinations, work abroad, any sports and activities you might do including winter sports, your medical expenses, repatriation, travel and accommodation if you fall ill, reimbursement for lost, damaged or stolen items, personal liability, and legal expenses.

Don't let poor planning spoil your adventure. Plan now, so you can have fun later.


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