So, you’ve decided to take an adventure abroad and go on a backpacking trip! Congratulations, you’re about to embark on the most incredible experience of your life! Now for the hard part. While making the decision to put your life on hold for a while and go and explore the world is relatively easy, making it happen is substantially less so.
Saving is one of the biggest hurdles you’ll come up against, and it’s going to be a long slog to get together enough money to make sure you’re prepared!
There are a range of expenses before you go travel gear, travel insurance, flights, tours—and then there’s the issue of the money you’ll need while you’re there. Here, we’ve provided a brief guide to what you should take into consideration while saving for a backpacking trip.
Flights & Tours
A common pitfall people fall into when they plan for a holiday is that they focus solely on the cost of living while they’re in a country, and not on all the things they need to afford before they’re even there. It’s a good idea to get an idea of the cost of internal flights to and from all of your destinations before you work out a plan, so that even if you don’t book them right away, you can gauge how much you should be taking with you. Similarly, if there are any tours you want to take, factor these into the cost of so that they’re taken care of in advance.
A daily budget is a tricky one to figure out, especially if you’re going to be going to a range of different countries with widely varying economies. Say, for example, you’re heading to South America.
While the cost of living is relatively low in places like Peru and Uruguay, it can get quite expensive in Brazil and Argentina, especially in the big cities, so you need to take into account time spent in all of these places.
The Savings Plan
Once you’ve worked out what you’re going to need to budget, add an extra $10 per day to that figure. There are always going to be unplanned events, and you need to have some sort of financial safety net.
Next, you need to figure out how you’re going to get the money together. Planning out your current budget and working out how much you can realistically save from each pay packet is the best way to get an idea of how long it will be until you have the money.
If, for example, you think it’s going to take a year to save the funds, book your tickets in for a year’s time to get yourself on track with saving. If, on the other hand, you think you’ll have the money saved more quickly, pull the dates forward to give you a goal to work towards.
Photo: San Diego Shooter
Whether you’re spending your time flirting with surfers in Sydney hostels or dancing the night away in Brazil, a backpacking adventure is one of the best experiences you can have. To make it last, make sure your funds do!