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8 Things We've Learned from 6 Years of Budget Backpacking

Traveling longer on the cheap instead of short luxury vacations has always been our style. Dive into the culture, hang out with the locals and don't plan too much.

By: Alyssa + Hannah ODYSEA + Save to a List

Over the years of budget backpacking in Asia, Oceania, Europe and the America's, we have learned a few things about the best ways to budget. You don’t need tons and tons of money to have a wonderful backpacking adventure. But you also don’t want to be a stingy money-saving traveler where you miss out on unique experiences. The key to budget backpacking is balance and priorities.

Keep in mind:

1. Money doesn't buy you happiness.
But it does buy plane tickets, which is pretty much the same thing.

2. A new experience beats saving money every time.
Don't miss out on a unique adventure because you're too busy counting your pennies. Deep-breath, swallow and move forward.

3. You will meet kind people along your journey who will help you, feed you and buy you drinks.
Accept and be grateful. but remember the time will come for you to return the favor either to the friend that helped you or to another kind soul who needs some TLC. Jump on board Couchsurfing and give it a go.

4. Some days will be pricier than others.
On your travels, there are always times, places, days and activities that are going to be more expensive than average. But there will be cheap days that will cost you barely anything. Making it all even out in the long run.

5. Some countries are more expensive than others.
When you are on a tight-budget, chose to travel the less-expensive countries. Save the others for a time in your life when you're not on such a strict budget. Backpacking through Asia, Central and South America will last you a lot longer than Europe, that's for sure.

6. There are going to be times when you need something.
Your shoes break, your bra is overstretched and your undies have holes in them.. In these situations, you must spend the money, regardless of your budget.

7. Money comes, money goes.
You can always earn more. The world is not about to run out of it.

8. You can't do everything.
Sometimes you must pick only one or a few of your most desired activities. There is always sacrifice.

I think even if I did have lots of money, I would still travel on a budget. Staying at home-stays, eating down the back alleys of streets, jumping on a flight because it was cheap, hopping on random buses and chasing happy hours always makes for good stories. 

Budget travel is an adventure. 

Find balance, spend wisely and always be kind.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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