Different budget travelers: 7 types

Different budget travelers: 7 types

different budget travelers - forever roaming the world(Last Updated On: March 17, 2020)

What type of these different budget travelers are you?

Do you dream about traveling or backpacking around the world but don’t think you have the budget to do so?

What if I told you, it doesn’t matter how tight your budget is, you can turn your dream of traveling into a reality!

Ok, your first reaction might be that’s bullshit. Your second reaction might be that I sound like every other blogger selling the dream of ‘anybody can do it’ and it turns out they can’t. However your third reaction might just be to keep reading to see what I’m talking about.

want to know about different budget backpackers?

If you have chose to keep reading, here’s the thing, I used to think like you too. No this isn’t one of those fake empathy things. I’m not here to tell you that you can pack your old life up and make 6 figures living on the road – I’m broke as a joke, always have been but I do know how to backpack without fuck all money.

In 2010 I got to a point in my life where I just thought ‘fuck it’ to my normal life. I took what very little money I had thinking I would backpack around Australia for a year at most – If my budget would let me.

In all honesty, I did think the money I originally had would last longer than it did. |However, with a want and a burning desire to carry on, that 1 year though somehow turned into 6 and half continuous years on the road. And after a little break from backpacking, I’m still doing it on the tightest of budgets.

Find out how I maintain long term budget travel?

All types of budget backpackers

Backpacking, traveling, roaming around the world teaches you all kinds of things, one of the biggest things I’ve learnt is; anybody can travel the way they want and how they see fit. Nobody should ever say to you, that you should travel in a certain way, or can only travel if you have a certain amount of money; you do you. There may be help, tips, and aids but there is no rulebook.

Over the years, from my own experience and meeting so many incredible and inspiring people, I also learnt, no matter your financial situation, if you have a burning desire to explore the world; you can. Now, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s always easy, of course It’s not. Sometimes It’s fucking hard, It can be disheartening, frustrating, sometimes you even question why you bother. But in the end It’s worth it.

Not all budget backpackers are the same

Through all these inspiring people I’ve met from all walks of life, I’ve also learnt about different budget travelers, there are different types of us.

What you might think is a tight budget might be a lot of money for another budget backpacker.

After all what is a budget traveler? Is it somebody that travels with a set amount of money or a holiday fund that they won’t allow themselves to go over? Is it somebody that barely has two pence to rub together and gets by day to day on bare bones? Or is just somebody who’s frugal with their funds? – It’s all of them, and more.

What type of budget traveler will you be?

In this post, we’re going to cover the most common types of different budget travelers there are. In a way, this post can be like a chart to see what type of budget traveler you’ll be and where you feel you will fit into.

However It’s important to stress, 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.

 (Note: The following are ‘different budget travelers’ I’ve met and in some instances been inspired by whilst traveling since 2010.)

The pretenders!

These guys, well, are more often than not luxury travelers who want to experiment, they have a curiosity, just to see what it feels like to ‘slum it’. I’ve come across these types of fake budget travelers in hostels before. The funny thing is, the first day or two they try their best not to flaunt their cash and try to stick to a budget but as soon as they see something shiny (so to speak) the floodgates open.

I met one couple who didn’t like the locals because they were poor and left the next day to check into a 5-star resort. But I’m not knocking them, fair play to them, they tried it didn’t work and they have the cash, so why not spend it right?

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?

The holiday fund budget travelers

These guys have a life to tend to, they have other commitments, bills to pay, families to raise, they can’t just use their money for traveling. So they have to save,  I mean save hard to make a holiday/travel fund and what they manage to save; that’s their budget.

During their trips, whether that’s for a week or a month, they will do their best not to go over budget because they really can’t afford to dip into their everyday funds. I can’t do anything but applaud the effort and sacrifices they make to save their money; I find it hard enough just to save for myself let alone a whole family.

Mid-level flexi budget travelers

The ones that travel on a budget but also have a little extra in reserve to splurge out at times. While there are certain types of budget backpackers who have strong will power these guys know before their trip has begun they will splurge a little; so they make provisions for that when saving. They might even have a secondary fund for their splurges that they allow themselves to dip into.

The ones I’ve met will normally try to save on expenses for a few days, try not to spend much but then allow themselves to spend freely and more than normal another day.

It’s not uncommon to see a flexi budget backpacker, leave the hostel for a couple of days to go and get some comfort in a hotel or pamper themselves. Sometimes they will eat locally 6 days of the week so they go and fine dine on the 7th or take the luxury transport option as long as they don’t go too far over their 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?

The strict budget traveler

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 strictest itineraries, activities pre booked, where to eat and sleep before the trip has even begun.

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 travelers that I meet that are the most stressed out while traveling because they have to stick to their strict itinerary; 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 travel.

Frugal budget backpackers

These types of budget traveler 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.

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 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.

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.

Is hard? Yes but it’s also fun making our money stretch. You will also find bare-bones budget travelers to be quite open-minded, laid back with the loosest of plans and you’ll find us just drifting around letting the wind dictate when and how we move on.

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?

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

The most resourceful of all the different budget travelers, these guys have such a desire to wander the earth, even the lack of money will not 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, seep in the wilderness, take the cheapest local transport to get to their next destination and will just survive on next to nothing.

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!


Did you find this ‘Different budget travelers’ post helpful? Let me know in the comments below if there is anything else you would like to know? Or if you have encountered any other different budget backpackers yourself.

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Did you know there are different budget travelers out there?...Think about it for a second, you might be looking to budget travel but what type of budget traveler will you be? Why are you even budget traveling for? What type of Budget traveler will you be?
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7 Responses

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 😉

  5. 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

  6. 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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