Planning a backpacking trip is an exciting experience, however it can begin to get quite expensive depending on the length of time and choice of destination. Many gap year goers choose to set themselves the challenge of travelling on a shoestring budget, which can be a great way to save money as well as highlighting how much of a smart traveler you are. For some budget travel tips, check out our guide below!
Why should I pack light?
When it comes to packing your bags for the first time, it can be a real challenge. Your bag is only so big, but the temptation to try and cram as much as you can inside can be pretty overwhelming.
A great tip is to lay everything out that you want to bring with you and then try and half the number of items. The reason behind this is that you don't want your bag to be a burden - carrying too much stuff can be a burden as the bag is heavy and can be awkward on public transport. Remember that you can always buy what you need when you get to your destination.
Why should I leave valuables at home?
Taking valuable and sentimental items with you on holiday is always a risky move, so it is always better to leave these items safely at home. Unfortunately theft can happen wherever you are in the world and therefore keeping these items in an unsecure backpack is not recommended. If you really want to take things abroad with you such as a camera, opt for a smaller cheaper alternative rather than an expensive DSLR with multiple lenses. Check with your home contents insurer before you travels to make sure that you have cover for them under your policy.
Why do I need to tell someone which countries I am visiting?
Many people focus on enjoying their trip so much that they forget to make regular contact with those back home. For safety reasons, it is a good idea to let someone know where you are, where you plan on going next and provide regular updates to let them know you are okay. This can be done in many ways including phone, or if you are on a budget by email or social media.
Why should I use a comparison site for cheap flights?
Getting a cheap flight is easy when using a comparison site such as Kayak or Skyscanner and can be really useful if you're looking to travel cheaply. You can even search for connecting flights and filter them by time, date and preferred airport. Backpackers in particular can benefit from using comparison sites as flights can equal to a huge proportion of the trip cost, therefore saving you money in the long run.
Why do I need travel insurance for backpacking?
When planning a round the world trip, it is vital that you have a quality level of travel insurance cover in place. It is recommended that you purchase insurance at the same time of booking your holiday to ensure that the full level of cancellation cover is in place. If you have any existing medical conditions or take any medicines, these will also need to be declared at the time of purchasing to ensure the correct cover is in place. Furthermore, if you are planning to undertake in any sports activities while away, you may need to purchase an activity pack and get this added on to your policy.
At Alpha, we offer gap year travel insurance and longstay and backpacking holiday insurance to cater all types of trips. It may seem a lot to remember, but if you're looking for a cheap holiday don't make the mistake of travelling without insurance - protect yourself from potentially expensive pitfalls including medical bills, lost luggage and delayed flights.
If you enjoyed this post, why not join in the conversation and let us know your own tips for a cheap backpacking holiday in the comments below. If you (or a friend) are planning your own gap year adventure, make sure you share this article on your social media pages to give them some useful information.
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