Travel Budget Plan | Daily Expenses Abroad
Let’s start with the daily expenses you can expect on a backpacking trip! Of course, you’ll be spending money every day – it’s the first step in your budget travel planner. I’ll be providing real-life examples to give you a rough idea of what you can expect.
Make sure you have a clear travel budget plan and don’t forget to do research on low budget accommodation options in your travel destinations!
Accommodation can take quite a fair bit of your travel budget out there. So, here are two options to consider.
Couchsurfing – an online App where you can literally stay on a local person coach, or if you’re really lucky, a spare bed for free. You can make new friends and get a feel of what it’s like to live like a local, at no cost. Full disclosure here: Couchsurfing used to be very popular about 5-10 years ago. I used to love Couchsurfing. Nowadays, it’s less popular, but still, a lot of people are using it.
Hostelworld / Booking.com – Before arriving at your new location it is best to search for the best hostels that meet your budget. By using online sites you can easily get a rough idea of the average hostel rate per night and to make sure you’re securing the best deal.
To travel around as cheaply as possible, conduct research in the location you are visiting, many countries now have cheap online taxi Apps such as Uber, Grab (Asia) or GOJek (Indonesia). However public transport options like buses, trams, and trains are by far the cheapest.
In Asia, you can eat out every night and stay within your low travel budget thanks to the incredible street food options and night markets buzzing with backpackers and locals and serving hot, tasty and exotic food! However, in Australia, you are best to dine in and make use your accommodations kitchen and cook in. In Europe and the U.S you can find a wide variety of cheap restaurants, however dining in again will allow you to stick to your travel budget.
Plan what you want to see and do beforehand to make sure you are making the most of the cheaper activities the destination has to offer. Once arrived at your destination, ask other travelers or speak with the hostel staff to get an idea on the cheapest way to organize activities. Usually, the cheapest way to experience an activity is to organize it yourself and team up with fellow backpackers to venture out and enjoy the activity in a group to share the costs and benefit from group rates.
Of course, if you want to know what to expect in terms of pricing, you can always check on Getyourguide and book some activities in advance!
Travel Budget Plan | Getting Ready
Transportation Between Countries
Once you have started backpacking, you can use Skyscanner to research and find the cheapest flight to reach your next destination.
- Travel off-season – Avoid traveling in the high seasons or during dates that collide with school holidays.
- Book in advance or days before – Book far in advance as possible, cheap deals appear once before skyrocketing higher in price. If you are last minute, you can also snag a low price by booking two or three days before when airlines lower prices to fill up last few seats, perfect for those last minute trips.
- Private search - When ready to book a flight, use a private browsing tab, incognito browsing clears your cookie history which would usually hike up the price of your overly searched flight. I personally tried this before and had no luck with the incognito searching, but who knows, you might end up finding a great deal!
- Multi-stop flight – Multiple stop flights may be long, but they can end up being much cheaper than flying directly.
- Read more tips here.
Visa requirements will differ depending on your own nationality, your different travel destinations and the length of time you want to stay. The easiest and most reliable way to understand which type of visa you will need, if any, is by visiting the embassy website of every place you plan to visit. They will have a clear and definitive price of the visa, all the requirements and different application options, all according to your citizenship.
Make sure to do all this research and include visa prices when planning your travel budget, be clued up before you arrive at your destination to avoid being faced with any unwanted high visa fees! You can also check out iVisa to find the right requirements for you!
It may be tempting to choose the cheapest travel insurance on offer, but this is somewhere I really insist on investing a few more dollars in! Search through a comparison website and find out what the travel insurance payout is. Make sure you carefully read your policy and compare; an extra $20 travel insurance can end up covering you way more than the cheapest budget option and may even save your life.
Also, make sure it covers you for your most prized possessions, if you have expensive camera gear, find an add-on in your policy to increase technology coverage. Remember to always carry around the number of your insurance and all the policy details, just in case anything happens during your travels to save you forking out more money than needed.
Travel Gear & Essentials
When packing for your budget travel adventures, you have to carefully choose travel essentials, which will save you money on the road and simplify your backpacker life. You can check my favorite travel essentials or this Southeast Asia packing list.
- Universal travel plug – A good quality universal adaptor will last years and used anywhere in the world.
- Unlocked phone – This will save you from being overcharged by overseas fees, simply buy a cheap local SIM in each country you visit.
- Wide eye camera lens – Can’t fork out on expensive camera gear? Stick to your travel budget and use a wide eye portable lens for our camera to capture the best of your adventures cheaply and easily.
- Portable battery pack – This is essential for any backpacker on the road, ensuring you can charge your tech goods anywhere, anyplace.
- Journal and pen – Write down any scribbles, thoughts, and stories during your travels.
- Reusable water bottle– A refillable bottle will save the environment and save you money!
- Waterproof rain jacket – Handy for keeping you dry and preventing any water damage to your, phone, camera and travel gear.
Budget Travel Tips
Travel Budgeting Apps/Useful Apps
Trip Coin App – This App lets you track all of your travel spending’s offline, without the use of Wi-Fi, which is ideal for any remote backpacking adventures. The App gives you notifications of your daily spend, track what type of purchases you are making, and allows you to keep an eye on your set travel budget.
XE Currency – The app allows you to stay in the loop with live exchange rates, you can even see multiple currency exchange rates in the app all on the same screen! Avoiding any confusion over those pesky exchange rates in your new destination. This will save you stress and money!
Google Maps – Did you know you can view maps offline? Search for your intended destination whilst you have Wi-Fi and your destination will remain on the screen once you hit the road. You can also check out the different travel options including public transport routes with live travel times and precise directions. So, you can travel somewhere on your own without taking expensive taxi rides.
Top Budget Travel Tips
- You could hand-wash your clothes to save money on laundry. In Asia, you can find very cheap options, but in places like Europe, you could end up paying about $10 just to do your laundry. You could also carry detergent pods with you!
- One of the biggest expenses related to transportation is going to an airport and leaving an airport. Making research beforehand is a great way to avoid paying expensive taxi rides. Also, you could always share a cab with people met at the airport or on the plan. Be social, it could help you save money!
- In Southeast Asia, I managed to find ways to go on an extreme budget by using my skills and knowledge to save on accommodation.