Travel Hacks: How to Backpack Longer Today
Travel hacks are really not some secret thing that you have to be apart of an elite club to know. Travel hacks are simply noted learned lessons that you apply to your next move.
After a prolonged Asia travel experience, I’ve gained some invaluable global travel experience. Here are some tips, tricks, and resources I’ve gathered throughout my shoestring budget trips.
Daily Travel Questions that I will answer
- “How do you travel so much?”
- “What’s your budget like?”
- “How much money do you have saved?”
- “Wait, are you still traveling?”
- “I wish I could do what you’re doing.”
There’s no real secret sauce to my formula besides the factor of what I really want & need. Also I typically go to cheaper destinations that give me a favorable exchange value but these tips are universal.
Use some of them or all of them and I can guarantee your trip will be 10x memorable & economical.
Accommodation Travel Tips
Traveling tends to get really expensive when you break the bank on fancy hotels or luxury rentals. What has always amazed me is the fact that someone will pay $100/night for a place they will only spend 6 hours of the day in. Here is how I keep my costs down for shelter
- Couchsurfing by far, has offered me the best experiences and saved me the most money. The platform is worth its weight in gold because it’s ability to give you a place to stay as well as enrich your experience with a local of the area.
- Enriched experiences
- Local advice
I’m shocked to see how many people don’t know about this site but those who are in the know, know it’s gold. This site will enrich I’m your experience in every corner of the world. Not only is it used just as accommodation but meet ups, idea exchange & rideshares.
- Workaway – For a $30 membership, Work away gives you access to volunteer opportunities all over the world. Some examples include:
- Hostel work
- English teaching
- Surf instructor
Hostels are shared dorms that can range anywhere from 4 to however much space a room has. Hostels are a budget travelers paradise providing WiFi, kitchens, other travelers & depending on where you book. They all vary in price and comfort but most are incredible deals that will not only save you loads of money, but connect you with people from around the world.
Book a hostel stay with Hostelworld.com
Food Money Saving Tips
One of the quickest ways to put a dent in your wallet is by eating out frequently. How do I combat this? Cook your own food! For me, I LOVE sampling the local cuisine wherever I go, but it doesn’t have to be for EVERY meal.
- Cook your own meals – Many hostels (as mentioned earlier) have kitchens and are made for YOU to save money by cooking
- Fast – restrict the amount of food you eat by implementing this popular health craze
- Street Food – Street food tends to be incredibly delicious, economical and SAFE! Don’t be afraid of what’s being sold on the streets.
Points & Miles
Welcome to the world of award travel. Travel hacking 101. Get a credit card that will reward you with points specifically for purchases you make. I’m a user of Chase and have loved my Chase Sapphire as well as the Southwest Airlines Rewards Card.
- Step 1) Get a credit card that let’s you earn points.
- Step 2) Swipe that card & earn those points
- Step 3) Use those points for flights & accommodation & is whatever your card allows
- Step 4) Travel longer
Transportation Money Saving Ideas
Transportation is one of the priciest things to deal with at the beginning or end of your trip. Aside from arriving to your country, transportation for me is ordinarily something I can spend the least amount of money on. Here are some ways to save
- Walk more – Walking not only gives you the best view of the city but exercise. It also keeps more money in your pockets. A favorite tool of mine to track where I’ve gone or how much I’ve walked is Strava.
- Local Transport – Do you really need to rent a motorbike in every city you go? No. It’s overkill. Learned that the hard way in Puerto Rico. :/ Anyways, find the local bus, train or other transit and learn the routes of where you are.
- Hitchhike – Yes, hitchhike. Ever since hitchhiking across the states twice, it’s clear that hitching does indeed work. Yes it does depend on where you are but give it a go & see where you can go.
Safety While Traveling
Anywhere you are in the world some type of danger is present. Obviously in some areas things can be a bit more troubling than others. Here are some ways to keep yourself and your belongings safe:
- Travel in Groups – It’s probably not a good idea to travel solo at night as a female in a sketchy area of Colombia. Is it a good idea to do so in those conditions as a group? Probably not but traveling in groups, especially at night is always a much safer alternative.
- Be aware of your neighborhoods and city – This one will surprise you more than others. It’s incredibly easy when your are adventurous to venture down the wrong path from time to time. Always ask locals of areas to avoid at all costs.
- Locks – Bring a lock. You never know what less fortunate person wants to steal your shiny belongings.
- Dress Conservatively and moderately – No need to flaunt your expensive jewelry and accessories. Keep them away.
- Cameras/Phones – Put them in bags or around your neck and concealed when not using them.
I remember someone asked me after my 6 month trip in South America, Where is the safest places to travel in South America? Anywhere you stay out of danger. Danger can happen at any time, anywhere!
Picking a destination is just as important as how you spend your money. Yes you can get by in a lot of countries by utilizing the tips above, but starting or being in a country where you have cheaper expenses, your days will be easier on the wallet.
Looking for cheap places to travel in Asia? I highly recommend considering the following countries for cheap travel options: