Let’s face it, what college student is not on a budget these days? Just because you are pinching pennies doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun backpacking trip. It does mean being smart, finding ways to cut corners, and having a little extra left over at the end of your trip. With these tips below you will be having a great trip in no time and worry free with your money.
Be careful of pickpockets and scam artists
Many countries, even the most cosmopolitan, have some form of pickpockets or scam artists. These people are trained to feed on tourists. They know right away that you are not a local and that they can take advantage of you. The best way to save money when backpacking is to keep your money close to you. The fastest way to lose money when traveling is having it stolen.
Buy alcohol at a store
Bars and clubs love charging tourists for drinks. In major cities especially they know when you are coming and where to get you. For instance, around major tourist sites bars will charge more for beers then in other places knowing that you aren’t going to stray too far. If you buy your alcohol at a store then you can pregame at your hostel and buy less drinks when you go out. Many cities also allow public drinking. So check the guide books first for this.
Bring your own snacks
Bringing some energy bars or granola bars with you during the day can help fight off hunger cravings in between meals. Snacks during the day can easily add up to just as much money as a meal. With bars in hand you won’t be spending your money on unnecessary snacks and can save it for other things.
Walk instead of taking a cab
It may feel easier to hop a cab and head to a destination. But don’t do it! Between the mileage cost, tipping, and of course the added secret tourist fee (many cab drivers charge tourists more than locals because they don’t disclose rates) you are looking at a hefty bill. Walking a little extra is good for your body and then environment not to mention your wallet. If something is really out of walking range then take a bus or metro. They tend to run less than $2 in most cities around the world.
Watch your drink cards at clubs
In a lot of European countries clubs require drink cards at the door. Clubs hand them out, you get them punched each time you order a drink, and then when you leave you cash out. There are many instances of drunk club goers getting extra punches and not taking notice so they get charged double. Also if you loose your card, good luck. The fees for a lost card can be astronomical. So just make sure you keep track of your drink card and who is punch them.