12 Tips to Save Money During Your Next Backpacking!

After traveling for almost two years in South America (all the details of this adventure are in Rosa dos Ventos ) with a very low budget and in the best backpacker / hitchhiking / perrengueira style, I decided to select some tips that I read or discovered during my backpacking and that Helped me to save a lot on the road day by day.

Credits: Personal archive

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, one of the cheapest countries to travel in South America.

I’m not very adept at making long Excel worksheets scoring every piece of bread and cheese I eat on the road, but I also know that learning to control the budget and setting daily spending goals make all the difference in the tight financial life of any backpacker.

Then open the notepad because there comes good tip:


The first step to making a cheap backpacker is to choose a cheap destination, and if it is an international destination, it is better that you have a much less appreciated currency than your country.

South American countries such as Peru and Bolivia and as many Asian countries as Thailand and India are good options for both those with tight budgets and those who enjoy exotic destinations.

It is no use wanting to travel to know all the famous cities of France or Australia, which are countries where everything is very expensive, if your budget is in the house of $ 1000.00 to travel two long months.

Credits: Personal archive

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia!


Traveling in low season is also a valuable tip as everything becomes cheaper, especially the accommodations and sightseeing.

In addition to cheaper tourist destinations are obviously more empty, which in my opinion makes it even more enjoyable, or do you like to run out of running water on the coast of Rio de Janeiro or face queues to buy the entrance of the Municipal Orchestra in Vienna?


Find out when it’s the high and low seasons of the city you want to visit, transportation and prices, free walks and those that require a little extra money, everything you need to make your trip a fun experience Without leaving the budget.

Based on this information, which can be purchased from travel groups like Mochileiros.com , you are ready to start planning and traveling more economically.


If we are talking about international travel or someone who lives in Rio Grande do Sul and plans a good backpacking through the Amazon it is good to consider a long and anticipated survey of airfare prices, otherwise you would have to sour a week of bus just to arrive To their destination.

Credits: Personal archive

Taking a ride on the Latin American roads

I ride a ride, this everyone who accompanies Rosa dos Ventos already knows, but if you think hitchhiking by stretching your thumb on the road is too risky, there are ways to ride a ride sharing expenses that can give you a little more Security at the time of having this new experience, such as through BlaBlaCar sites.

In addition, it flee from the tourist transports, like the beautiful and comfortable boats that make trips to and from the islands, as in Ilha Grande, in the state of Rio de Janeiro and the Maria Fumaça trains that connect Minas Gerais cities, they are generally more expensive but they fulfill the Same function as a fishing boat and a traditional bus, take you to your destination.

Credits: Personal archive

Traveling by bus in Peru


There are many ways to get free or at least cheaper lodging during a trip.

Couchsurfing is definitely the most used “traveler” platform for me and also the largest free hosting platform today.In addition to free accommodation and the possibility of a closer contact with local people, Couchsurfing has tools for organizing small events, allowing you to meet and make trips with other travelers and local people, whether it’s a bike tour of Santiago or a meeting on Copacabana beach .

The hostels are the cheapest hostels paid in the hotels and for me, the most fun too.Besides saving on the price of the room, which is usually shared between several people, there is the possibility to cook and enjoy a cheap party and in the backyard “home”.

Through websites such as Hostelworld and Booking.com it is easy to find hostels of all kinds and at any price anywhere in the world.


Everyone loves to eat in good restaurants and taste those famous foods from every region of Brazil or from every corner of this world, but unfortunately lunch in Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires or taste the traditional Turkish pastries in the confectionery near the Bosphorus Strait has its price, And put price on it!

But all is not lost, since in the backpacker world small budgets are usually accompanied by a lot of creativity.

If I am in a hostel or a couchsurfing where I can cook, I already save a lot of expenses with food from day to day, not to mention that snack that I can prepare and carry in the backpack for a longer day of walking via Handbagpicks. If cooking is not an option, look for fairs and snack bars where local people eat outside the tourist area is always cheaper and has typical food.

In Bolivia I had breakfast in markets along with the Bolivian workers, because it was difficult to get hostels with kitchen and even worse to get couchsurfing.It is worth mentioning that there the street food is hygienic and quite dubious origin, but the economy was right.

Credits: IMG_2662-01


This is, at least for me, the most boring part of traveling economically.I do not mind hitchhiking, sleeping in a tent or making my own food, but jotting down expenses and counting every penny that comes out of my wallet makes me tired, but I also know it’s important, and maybe one of the most important things I learned about saving on travel.

I always traveled a little, but initially I had no idea how much I spent or how much I would need to save for a few days because of some extra expense with walks or even a medicine when I was sick.

When I started to write down my expenses and stipulate how much I could spend each day, everything became much easier and more predictable, and my money went on to yield a lot more, because the snack and that beer do not make much difference in the daily budget, but pay for Them every day and see the result at the end of the month, …


Contrary to what many people think, it is possible to do several free tours or at least cheaper.

Museums and culture houses usually open for free on a weekday, walking to the squares and historical centers also does not cost anything, the beaches and waterfalls besides beautiful are “0800” and that tour that most do with buses and tour guides very Can probably be done by bicycle, as in the city of San Pedro do Atacama which has a multitude of guided and expensive tours but can also be done by bike and on your own.

[Img class = “wp-image-809943 size-large” src = “https://wiki.catracalivre.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2016/10/valparaiso_catraca-1024×768.jpeg” alt = “Knowing the streets and the art of Valparaiso, Chile” width = “1024” height = “768”]

Knowing the streets and the art of Valparaiso, in Chile [/ img]


I know that having a beer after a day of many walks and going to that nightclub is a good way to have fun, make new friends and give that flirt.But the truth is that these expenses weigh heavily on the budget, especially when we are in very touristy cities.

When I was in Cusco I went to a delightful bar that is a little bit far from the tourist area and has a well-known precinho, got to meet a lot of nice people, enjoy quality music and have fun.A few nights later we decided to go to the famous Mama Africa, which not only did not please me at all, it made me spend only in the entrance what I spent in the other bar to drink all night …


Knowing the language of the country you are visiting, besides being a legal form of cultural enrichment, is also a way of not falling in blows for tourists.In countries where prices are set based on your face and in the mood of the seller or service provider it is good to know a little of the language to understand the negotiation that is being made minimally.

When I lived and worked in a hostel in Bariloche a taxi driver wanted to charge double the price of the race to a couple of Australians who slept in the same room as me, but since I speak Spanish and I accompanied them to the exit of the hostel that ended up not happening because I fought with the driver and explained to them that they should pay the X value and nothing else.


Traveling in a group as well as being a fun or encouraging experience for those who are afraid to explore this world alone is also a way to save money.It is always possible to get discounts on tours, lodging and share that taxi when you are in a larger group.

But that does not mean that anyone traveling alone as I can not make new friends along the way and also take advantage of that to get that buddy discount.

When I was traveling in Peru, my ex-boyfriend and I decided to take a certain part of the trip by bus and not a ride, and a well-known German joined us and we got a good discount on the bus ticket, and that also worked when I joined To a group of five Israelis to get a discount on a boat trip in Chilean Patagonia.


I’m definitely not part of the consumerist team, but I confess I have a crush on travel souvenirs, magnets, funny sweaters and little flags to embroider in my backpack are my favorites.But spending money on it is something superfluous, so I usually take advantage of the places where I live and work.

In Pucón, in southern Chile, I took a magnet from the tourism agency where I worked and one of my uniform t-shirts as a souvenir and in Uruguay I won magnets, stickers and brooches from Couchsurfing Uruguay, more original souvenirs than these impossible!

But if you do not plan to work during your backpacking and do not even try on your ex-boss’s uniform shirts, again come back to the hint of the local population.Buy where the locals buy, get away for a few minutes that is the most touristy part of the city and buy what you want to take of remembrance, just not worth buying for the whole family, there is no backpacker budget that can stand!

I hope you have enjoyed the tips and they will be useful for your next trips.To accompany my backpacking life to New Zealand in a few weeks follow my Facebook page and Instagram .

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