Different budget travelers: 7 common types

Different budget travelers: 7 common types

different budget travelers - forever roaming the worlds post covering the 7 different common types (Last Updated On: May 27, 2020)

Did you know there are different budget travelers?

You may think you can’t afford to travel or backpack around the world because of financial restraints but It’s possible

Do you think about traveling the world possibly even quit your normal life but then look at your bank account and think you can’t afford it? It’s not for you right, It’s just a stupid far fetched dream, traveling the world is just for people with money?

Well, what if I told you it didn’t matter how much money you have or don’t have. What if I said if you have a burning desire to travel or backpack around the world, you can do?

Ok, yeah, you’re probably laughing saying “Yeah sure whatever, trying to sell me that unrealistic dream are you?” – If that’s what you’re thinking, before you click off this post, just hold on and carry on reading a minute.

Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

I’ve been in your shoes so, in this post we dive into how It’s possible, and show you the different budget travelers out there traveling, backpacking and roaming around the world. We cover the different levels of different budget travelers and you’ll see how people with financial restraints can in fact travel or backpack the world.

Of course, I’m not saying you’ll be able to afford to stay in luxury 5 star hotels and resorts, or fine dine in michelin star restaurants or even take those all expense paid trips. As a budget traveler or backpacker you will be on the ground level. You will be more often than not eating in lower end and local eateries, taking budget transport, taking the cheaper tours or even look to be creative on how to do certain excursions. But by the end of this post you’ll gage an idea of which different budget traveler you might be if you decide to take the plunge.

I had no idea about different budget travelers

If you’ve decided to carry on reading this different budget traveler post, I just wanna put it out there that before I first packed my bags in 2010 and left for Australia, I had no idea there were different budget travelers and budget backpackers roaming around the world. And for sure I never thought I could do it.

For most of my life, I thought like everybody else, you need a lot of money to travel or backpack around the world. That’s what put me off from traveling in the first place. That’s why to somebody dirt poor as me, traveling the world was just a far-fetched unrealistic dream.

Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

But then something happened, I reached a point in my life where I just said fuck it – After copious amounts of research into how, and with just 600 to my name I left England to become a budget backpacker.

I’ll be honest, with my shit money management skills, and history with money, I didn’t think id last long. – And I did fuck up pretty quickly but I had no intention of going home with my tail between my legs. I learnt how to replenish my backpacking funds and carried on and I’ve managed to maintain long term budget travel since.

Different budget traveler levels

Having learnt how to maintain it, and keep going, not only have I been able to discover amazing things, live out my dream and create lifelong memories, I’ve been able to come across and meet the most inspirational different budget travelers. I’ve met budget backpackers from all over the world, from all walks of life.

Through meeting these different budget travelers, who have their own stories, financial restraints, I’ve learnt how there are different levels of budget travelers. There are backpackers who have less than me but make it happen because of their love and desire of traveling and exploring. There are those who do whatever they can, save whatever they can so they can get a glimpse of the world.

Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

Something I’ve learnt through these incredible different budget travelers is It”s not so simple to defining what a budget backpacker actually is. Is it just somebody who puts some money aside for a holiday fund and makes sure that’s all they use? Is it somebody who has barely two pence to rub together and gets by day to day on bare bones? Is it somebody who is very frugal and strict with their spending? Or is it somebody just makes what they have stretch as long as they can? – Well from my experience of meeting different budget travelers it’s all of the above.

Everybody has their own reason

All these different budget traveler have their reasons to travel, I have mine and you’ll have yours. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter, all you have to remember is you should travel or backpack in the way that best fits you. Nobody should ever look down at you for traveling a certain way; nobody should tell you how to travel.

Everybodies situation is different, what you might think isn’t enough money, might be plenty for another.

I’ve had the experience over the years where people have said they’re on a tight budget, but the daily budget they give themselves is more than double of mine, and that’s been the case vice-versa too. We’re all at different budget travelers at different levels. And the levels can depend on the country your traveling through, the amount of time you’re spending there, or the type of trip it is.

What are the common types of different budget travelers

Like I mentioned before people travel for different reasons and to what their finances allow. Some people travel for short periods of times, some for longer and even without end dates in mind. There are people who backpack internationally and some in their own country. There are different budget travelers who travel solo, in groups, with their families, so whichever type of different budget traveler you turn out to be it really doesn’t matter.

Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

Although there are all types of different budget travelers and backpackers, the following are the most common types I’ve met and come across since I started long term budget backpacking in 2010.

The pretenders!

These guys, well, are more often than not. they’re actually not budget travelers, they have a lot more money but just want to see what it feels like to travel on a budget. It’s like they want to test themselves, to try and ‘slum’ it out. It’s often the case these types have a far bigger budget than others but think they’re living on the breadline.

When you see these types of pretenders, for the first day or two they might try not to flaunt their cash but they can’t resist temptation for long. They might see something shiny and just buy it, or feel the need to indulge in something more to their taste. They might struggle with budget accommodation and transport and take something more to their liking.

Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

They’re the type to pay whatever the cost is for expensive private tours, always have personal guides, feel they don’t need to haggle because they can afford it and they’re the ones that are constantly buying souvenirs. You will hardly ever see them eating in a local eatery or traveling on local transport. You can spot them when they’re in places and being picky because they’re used to a much higher standard. Don’t be surprised if you come across them one day in a hostel but move out the next because they need more comfort.

The holiday fund budget travelers

These are people who choose to budget travel because they have a life to tend to back home. They have other financial commitments, bills to pay, mouths to feed, families to raise so they can’t just use all their money on traveling. These are normally working class people and have to save, save hard to make a holiday/travel fund and whatever they manage to save that’s their budget for the holiday or travel trip.

During their trips, whether that’s for a week or months, they will have a tight budget to stick to, and will do their utmost not to go over it because they can’t afford to dip into their everyday funds because they need that to survive in everyday life. Although I’m not in their situation, I don’t have a family to raise or bills to pay I can’t do anything but applaud them. These guys make sacrifices to save their money and make travel happen when easily they could just pay another bill off instead.

Mid-level flexi budget travelers

These are travelers and backpackers who save a certain amount for their trips, but have a second saving pot to have a little extra in reserve so they can splurge out at times. These are not like the pretenders, these budget travelers just have enough to splurge out here and there.

Mid-level flexi budget travelers know before their trip begins there will be times they’ll want to splurge out, so that’s why they make provisions for the second pot.

Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

It’s common to see these budget backpackers live on the breadline, stay in hostels, eat cheap for most of the week to then have that 1 or 2 days of splurging a little or they might choose to pamper themselves. They know they need it to keep them sane through their trip.

The strict budget backpacker

These types of budget travelers are on the ball, they are the ones that have worked out 100% of their costs before the trip. They normally meticulously plan and research, have the strictest itineraries, activities pre booked and paid for before their trip begins. They even know where to eat and sleep beforehand.

They are the ones that can’t and won’t allow themselves to stray from their itineraries otherwise their budget goes into disarray. Having come across this type of budget traveler before it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve planned out forecasts in the months they spent planning their trip.

I do have to mention, it’s these types of budget backpackers that I’ve come across and are the most stressed out while traveling because they have to stick to their strict itinerary. They’re always on the go and don’t take the time to enjoy the moment or take in what they are doing. The response I normally get from them is “We don’t have time to enjoy it now – We will enjoy the trip when we get home and look back at pictures.” – Hey, each to their own It’s not up to me to judge how they choose to travel.

Frugal budget backpackers

These types of budget backpackers have the most and strongest willpower. They will only spend money when they need to, and they will make sure they get the most value for their buck! Budget travelers all have to be frugal at times but most of us will buckle at some point, we will get tempted to spend when we don’t need to, buy something needless; we all get tempted and sometimes fall to temptation; not these guys. They will stand firm.

While the strict budget backpackers have their itineraries crammed to the brim and most things pre-booked, the frugal budget backpacker might not have that strict of a plan but they will have done extensive research. They’ll know where to spend, where not to spend, how to stretch their money and get the most value out of it. These people are not afraid to really slum in out if needs be. If there is a cheaper option, they’ll know about it.

I’ve seen these guys in action, while I have buckled they have not, they will scrutinize every cost, squeeze their money and in most cases are really organized. I tip my hat to these types of budget travelers; they put us all to shame.

Different budget travelers: 7 common types 1

Long term budget backpackers/nomads/drifters (9 months+)

This is where I fall into the different budget travelers chart. We’re the ones who love to travel, backpack and roam around the world without an end goal. Our problem is we just don’t have much money to begin with. We scrape together whatever we have, we strip away everything we don’t need but we’re content with that. We take what we have roam the world for as long as we can. We’re the ones most likely to run out of our backpacking funds, stop replenish and carry on. We work only to get us through the next period then stop, replenish and continue.

Also we have another problem in most cases; We’re shit at money management, in saving or keeping to our very small budgets. We get tempted easily, our willpower isn’t the strongest but we’re survivors. We can make the best of a shit situation. While different budget travelers might have a set budget they’ve given themselves; whatever money we have to our name is our budget.

Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

Is hard? Yes but it’s also fun making our money stretch. You do have to have a certain type of mentality to be a nomad just drifting from place to place. You have to be willing just to let go of everything, your pride, inhibitions, and even way of thinking at times. We are very open minded, laid back and just let the wind take us where it wants to.

The broke, no frills…free is my favorite word budget backpackers

The most resourceful of all the different budget travelers. These budget backpackers have such a desire to wander the earth, even their lack of money doesn’t stop them. These budget backpackers have little or no money but they don’t care. Free is their favourite word in every sense; they will search out anything going for free, they have no qualms in exchanging work for food or accommodation, hitchhike, slum it out, sleep in the wilderness, take the cheapest local transport or even just walk for miles to get to their next destination and will just survive on next to nothing.

Did you know there are different budget travelers out there? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?

I’ve met so many of these budget backpackers over the years, and some of them are truly inspirational for how they look at the world, their way of thinking they how they let the world provide for them. These budget backpackers need nothing but the freedom they have, It’s like their minds are just free. I’ve come across people who have walked across countries, cycled through continents with nothing else but a sense of adventure.

However there is a flip side to these type of budget backpackers, some of them resort to begging, their not begging to survive, they’re begging to prolong their travels and this is something I strongly disagree with. If you get into that much of a state then it’s time to go home! These begpackers are the type of people who give us budget backpackers a bad name. Don’t be that guy or girl!

Which type of different budget traveler category fits you best?

As you can see now, there is a range of different budget travelers roaming around the world, some for short trips and for others it’s their life. Can you see yourself as one of those different budget travelers? Which type would suit you and your needs the best?

Before you decide which different budget traveler you may be, remember you don’t have to always be one type, even though you’ll be able to see where you fit into, don’t pigeon hole and box yourself into just one group. You might turn out to be one type of budget traveler for one trip but have a looser budget for another. Have flexibility, and remember you do you.


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Do you have to be a certain type of person to be a longterm budget traveller? No, not at all. Over the years I’ve met many different types. In this post I cover those different types. Which type are you? #budgettravel #longtermtravel #longtermbackpacker #backpacker #solotravel #solobackpacker #travelblog #traveltips #budgettravelers
Do you have to be a certain type of person to be a longterm budget traveller? No, not at all. Over the years I’ve met many different types. In this post I cover those different types. Which type are you? #budgettravel #longtermtravel #longtermbackpacker #backpacker #solotravel #solobackpacker #travelblog #traveltips #budgettravelers
Do you have to be a certain type of person to be a longterm budget traveller? No, not at all. Over the years I’ve met many different types. In this post I cover those different types. Which type are you? #budgettravel #longtermtravel #longtermbackpacker #backpacker #solotravel #solobackpacker #travelblog #traveltips #budgettravelers
Do you have to be a certain type of person to be a longterm budget traveller? No, not at all. Over the years I’ve met many different types. In this post I cover those different types. Which type are you? #budgettravel #longtermtravel #longtermbackpacker #backpacker #solotravel #solobackpacker #travelblog #traveltips #budgettravelers
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11 Responses

  1. I’m not even in the list! in the future I would love to be able to visit the different places in the world in see their beauty with my own eyes.
    Christian Alcantara recently posted…How to Disinfect Yourself While in a ResortMy Profile

  2. An excellent article! As you might guess from my name, we’re definitely in the frugal budget travellers category- why take a bus or taxi when you can walk the 4km to your hostel 🙂 After 2.5 years we’ve started incorporating elements of the Long term travel category as are now permanently on the road… and after enjoying our own Air BnB apartment for 6 weeks lockdown in Krakow, I’ve decided we need to slow down and get our own place for at least 1 month per year! That’ll definitely blow the budget but will save our sanity 🙂
    Thanks for the great read – it’s reminded me of so many other backpackers we’ve met, and all the interesting ones we’ll meet when it’s deemed safe to travel again!

    • Thanks for the comment, the walking instead of taking a bus comment made me laugh because I recently (well late last year before this pandemic and lockdown) met a guy in Malaysia doing just that. He refused to take a bus or metro and just walked to places. He was actually on a mission to walk from Singapore, through Malaysia up to Thailand. Like I said in the post I tip my hat to you guys. For us long term travelers, staying a in one spot for a while is needed for our sanity. I wish you all the best on your journey.

  3. Thanks for the tips. it help me a lot.
    Its very useful for travel.

  4. Medha says:

    Haha, I can see that you’ve met and analyzed all kinds of ‘budget travelers’ from across the world and you’ve definitely managed to nail the categories and the descriptions of each kind! I would categorize myself as a Mid-level flexi budget traveler, I usually have a budget set for the trip that I want to stick to but I always have this little extra fund set out for small luxuries, maybe 1 night at a really amazing property out of the 10 that I am there for or a dining place or an experience 🙂 I read your description of the people in this category and could totally relate – very insightful!

  5. This was such a well written piece, I can vividly remember people from each of these categories on my trips (from the woman who left our hostel after one night because someone came hope after 11pm to the guy I backpacked around Thailand with wearing ripped pants for a month because they were still ‘doing their job’).
    It’s great to see so many people enjoying the world in their own ways. I’d say I’m a long-term Flexi traveller. I will spend majority of the time in a hostel, largest dorm room, but if I know I’m visiting a location for a few days I’d like to splurge in (e.g. Santorini/Florence) I’ll try and book a cute air bnb or a budget hotel. That being said, if it came down to it, I’d happily budget more tightly and have the opportunity to travel if it came down to it

  6. you have nailed it, I could fully relate and smile to all you said here 🙂 I think, I am frugal kind and my husband is mid flexi+, now you can imagine the extra fun we have when we travel and we try to travel as much as possible. We don’t save for travels, we simply don’t like to buy and accumulate stuff, but prefer to spend on experiences.

  7. I would say I’m a mid level budget traveler. Always keep the budget in mind, but keep a little extra for the fun stuff 😉

  8. eli says:

    I’m definitely the mid-level flexi budget traveler! I hate spending money on useless things then I’ll find myself splurging every couple of days on a night out or a nice meal

  9. Nicola says:

    This article made me smile. Mainly because I’ve definitely met people who fit into all these categories and I’ve definitely fitted to a number of different categories. Having been travelling on and off for the past 10 years I think I have progressed from frugal to mid-level-flexi, only through determined saving when I’m not travelling. And I must say I’m glad my frugal days of travelling are over and now. I’m grateful that if I want to eat something other than pasta aI can.

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