Random budget travel F.Y.I’s

This page is purely full of random budget travel situations, experiences and things that generally will occur whilst traveling.

If you have never traveled before, some of these random budget travel F.Y.I’s may come in handy.

Like always I would like to stress the following statements may cause a split in opinion but all come from experiences from 6 years of budget traveling. Some of you may agree and relate but some of you may think I’m talking out my ass.

Have a read, some of the following statements might be obvious, some you may already know about. You may even find some things funny or ridiculous but some might come in helpful in your future travels.

 

GENERAL.

My personal budget travel tips

*Research well but plan loosely. (How many times have you heard this?)

*Travel plans change on a whim so be prepared.

*There will be times you will get stuck in one place longer than anticipated. (Sometimes you will not even want to leave)

*There will be times you won’t see half the things you thought you would.

*Pack light but practical.

*Pack enough underwear – Why? Some of your underwear will almost certainly go missing every time you wash your clothes in either a hostel or a launderette.

*Long term travel is actually hard work and tiring; it’s not always a holiday and can take it’s toll

*Traveling can be mentally draining at times.

*Travel books are guides and not travel bibles – You don’t have to follow everything they say.

*Form your own opinion of a place and not what the travel book said.

*Long-term traveling is a marathon not a sprint – You don’t need to see everything straight away. Take your time and enjoy it.

*Some places will just blow you away and stay with you forever. Other places you’ll hate and want to get out of there as quick as you can.

*Be open minded and receptive to new circumstances – Embrace the new country you’re in.

*Traveling will rip you out of your comfort zone.

*You will have the highest highs and the lowest lows.

*You will learn more about your own personality and character more than ever before.

*There will be times when you get lost but that’s what makes it an adventure.

*There will also be times you will get lost within yourself – Don’t worry it happens to all of us.

*Sometimes you will question why you’re doing this.

*You can have identity crisis sometimes – Forget the person you were, but ultimately you will grow as a person.

 

HOSTELS.

random travel - forever roaming the wolrd

My very first hostel, became my home for a long time. (Funkhouse Hostel, Kings Cross, Sydney)

*Forget what pre-conceptions you may have of hostels – they can become the corner-stone of your travels.

*Don’t expect hotel quality in a hostel.

*Don’t be the snobby guest, not everything is going to be perfect, things break and people make noise.

*Hostel WiFi might not be the best – It’s not the end of the world.

*Easiest way to make friends is to be social; play cards, share a beer or a joint.

*Hostel friends can sometimes be clicky, don’t be afraid or intimidated by them.

*Take advantage of free breakfasts – But don’t complain about them if they don’t offer a wide range of choices – It’s free! If you don’t like it buy your own stuff and make your own!

*Hostel staff are usually fellow backpackers too – Be friendly to them.

*Hostels are usually safe but keep your belongings in a safe place.

*Every hostel will have a drug dealer, or somebody who will know a drug dealer.

*Weed and drugs are taken in almost all hostels. (Don’t be shocked)

*There are always ways to sneak booze into hostels that say they don’t allow it.

*Know the difference between party hostels and quiet ones.

*There will almost always be at least one ‘longtermer’ at the hostel – Don’t judge them for why they don’t want to hop and skip to a different place every other day.

*Don’t leave your shampoo in a hostel shower, it will get used.

*Don’t use all the plugs in the dorm at the same time – Charge things one after another not all at the same time – It’s not your room

*Keep your bag close or under your bed in the dorm room – Don’t leave it laying around in the middle of the room. Be considerate of other guests.

*If you’re leaving early in the morning pack your stuff the night before and not before you need to leave

*If other people are sleeping, be respectful of them (doesn’t matter what time it is)

*Don’t steal from fellow backpackers!

 

TRAVELERS.

random travel - forever roaming the world

*Fellow travelers can become like family.

*You can feel closer to your new friends than your own family.

*Life long friendships can be formed from traveling.

*Most travelers are there for the same reason but you will meet such a diverse range of characters.

*Be prepared to making new sets of friends on a regular basis.

*You will fall for somebody while traveling.

*You will come across somebody who is exactly the same as you and you will bond instantly.

*Saying goodbyes to traveling friends you become close doesn’t ever get easy.

*Sometimes travelers can be very judgmental and quite pretentious.

*Other travelers don’t want to know your life story straight away.

*Having the same conversations all the time gets tedious (Where you been? Where you going? What’s your route? How long have you traveled for? blah, blah, blah)

*Traveling isn’t a competition – Just because you’ve done a certain thing or in a certain way doesn’t make you a better traveler.

*You don’t have to dress or look a certain way to be a long term-traveler.

 

RECREATIONAL.

random travel - forever roaming the world

*Agree or disagree – Drinking and partying is a huge part of backpacking culture.

*Hostels will regularly organize nights out.

*You will party a lot even if you tell yourself before hand you wont (personal experience)

*Buying local alcohol is a lot cheaper than exported (Helpful for your budget)

*If you smoke prepared to smoke even more when you’re traveling.

*Most countries cater to backpackers and have backpacker specific areas with cheap bars.

*Reps from bars will always come over to your hostel and entice you for a night out.

*Don’t judge other travelers who seem to just party all the time. (You might become one of them down the line)

*If you can’t handle your alcohol don’t go too hard on your first night. (Seen it far too many times)

*If you see people smoking weed or taking drugs and you don’t, don’t judge them – You do you and they will do them.

*You will have some of your best night’s out as a backpacker.

*Just one more! – Will lead to a night out until the early hours of the morning.

FOOD.

*Eating street food will not kill you.

*Don’t be afraid of trying local delicacies. (Fried Scorpion tastes like burnt chicken wings)

*In some countries eating out is cheaper than cooking for yourself.

*Even though instant noodles will come in handy at times – You don’t need to live off them.

*Saying that there will be times you don’t know where your next meal is coming from.

*If you can’t cook, you will learn to cook cheap and basic food.

*It’s hard to find good bacon in a lot of countries (real bacon and not crappy American streaky bacon)

*Most countries have a variety of cuisine (cheap and expensive)

*Hot dog stands and pizza slices can be life savers.

*Spaghetti bolognese will be a staple of your diet.

*Don’t steal other peoples food – If you want to borrow something just ask them!

*Cook in groups, makes it cheaper, make friends and more sociable.

*Shopping at local markets and butchers is normally cheaper than supermarkets – Don’t be afraid to explore.

TRANSPORT:

*When choosing transport – Remember the cheapest option is not always the best. You will want some comfort.

*Renting your own vehicle (car, van, Bike) can be a much better way to see a country.

*Always check transport options don’t just book the first thing you see, read or are told about.

*Check hostel boards and talk to people, as other travelers may be heading to the same place and some will have free spaces in their vehicle.

*Take snacks with you for long haul bus journeys.

*Take overnight buses to save on a nights accommodation – But don’t expect a good night’s sleep.

*Be prepared to freeze to death on some overnight bus journeys take something warm. (air-cons that don’t work in the day will be on full blast through the night)

*Be prepared for bus drivers to blast out local music at 4am, just when you’ve finally been able to fall asleep.

*In some countries police will board bus’s to check Id’s of passengers – Don’t be alarmed (Even if they see your British passport, hear your British accent and think you might be Venezuelan)

*If you’re traveling solo but don’t feel safe traveling alone – find a group and travel with them.

*Keep your personal and important items close to you, don’t advertise your belongings (I’ve seen it happen)

*Hitchhiking can be daunting but is actually fun.

 

LOCAL.

random travel - forever roaming the world

*Learning basic words of your destinations mother language goes a long way.

*Making friends with locals is well worth the experience. You will learn so much more from them than any guide, book or blog and will generally enrich your experience.

*Try a home stay (Something I haven’t done but planning on doing on my next trip)

*Having local friends, they will show you all the hidden gems that are not advertised about.

*Stay away from dangerous areas – If there are signs at the hostel or local areas saying don’t go there, then do not go – Don’t think you are an exception.

*Haggling is a game – Don’t take it too seriously, don’t get angry at them.

*Be wary of scammers – Learn to become a savvy traveler.

*Don’t flaunt that your a traveler – you will get targeted.

*Learn to blend in with the locals.

*Respect other countries beliefs and ways of life – You are visiting their country.

*Just because something is a certain way in your country doesn’t mean it has to be that way in another.

*Explore local areas, don’t just stick to the tourist strips (just make sure they are safe areas)

*Prices in tourist areas are generally hiked up to the max.

*Don’t fall into the tourist trap.

*If you go off the beaten track and into non-touristy places be careful but have fun.

*Some locals don’t take kindly to tourists so be mindful and don’t act like a douche.

PERSONAL.

*Arduous journeys are worth it – what you will see and experience at the end of it will remain with you forever.

*Traveling is meant to be fun, don’t stress your self out with needless things.

*You will have times when you question why you’re doing this.

*There will be times when you feel lonely as a solo traveler.

*However solo traveling doesn’t mean lonely travel.

*Whatever reason you’re traveling for – you’re traveling for yourself and not for others.

*If you don’t like a certain place do not be obliged to stay.

*Traveling will open your eyes in ways you didn’t know about.

*You will see things from a different perspective.

*Long-term traveling is like being in a bubble and there will be times you lose touch with reality.

*You will learn something new about yourself.

*Be prepared to have arguments with yourself.

*From personal experience, if you think you’ve left your personal demons at home, you’re wrong – they will follow you and will rear their heads at certain times.

 

BUDGETS.

random budget travel forever roaming the world

*Traveling on tight budgets can be hard but fun at the same time.

*You will learn to manage your money better.

*Don’t blow a weeks budget in a couple of days. (Another personal experience)

*Pick and chose what you would rather spend your money on.

*Look for free activities to do, sometimes they turn out much more enriching.

*Remember you are traveling and not on holiday, you shouldn’t spend like you are on holiday.

*resist spending money of needless things.

*Put your pride to the side and pick up random work to keep you going.

*If needs be work for accommodation – hostels, workaways, woofing.

*Buy simple cheap drinks instead of most fancy and expensive.

*Have days where your super tight with your money but also have a day to spoil yourself.

*You don’t need to buy every souvenir you see.

***

(This will be an ongoing page of random travel F.Y.I’s, I will be adding to this constantly. If there is anything you want me to add, any section you feel I should put in, just leave a comment below.)

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22 Comments

  1. This is a good list of things to mention!! For me, I definitely need to plan less strictly next time and also really do watch out for your things!! Also, I like that you said just take your time with seeing the sights, cause I have noticed it does get exhausting when you want to see everything and it becomes rushed. Great share!

  2. This made me really laugh. I love a lot of these. I love “Don’t leave your shampoo in a hostel shower, it will get used.” It amazes me how many people never seem to learn this simple fact. I would also add label your charging cords. They are less likely to wander off.

  3. I definitely agree with the underwear one, where the hell do they go? I find with hostels I get what I put in – ie if I am sociable, people will be sociable back. When choosing a hostel read reviews, but remember they can change completely depending on who your dorm-mates are!

  4. For me, travelling means seeing things from a different perspective regardless of how you travel – budget, luxury or in between. It is the richest experience in my option. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.

  5. I had to laugh at this one: air-cons that don’t work in the day will be on full blast through the night. It’s so true! Why? Why? These are fun random insights and I think I agree with them all, especially the one about not needing every souvenir. What a good way to fill up your backpack in a hurry.

  6. These are absolutely wonderful tips. I think the biggest one of this list is that long-term travel is a marathon, not a sprint. Nothing will burn you out faster than doing everything right out of the gate.

  7. What an incredibly comprehensive list! It rang true in so many ways! I used to get so disappointed when plans fell through, but now I just role with it. And other travelers really do become like family, especially when you travel solo. As you said, solo travel doesn’t mean you’ll be lonely.

  8. Wow that’s quite a comprehensive list of budget and solo travel tips! I can see a lot of travelling has taught you a lot of lessons 🙂 I completely agree about the ‘highest high and the lowest low’ , people don’t know the different between a vacation and travelling. A lot of times, it isn’t smooth and it’s not that great and you’ve deal with a lot of adversities and that’s a part of life, and a part of travelling! Also, budget travel isn’t always the most comfortable but it’s mostly very rewarding, at least in hindsight 🙂

  9. Hah, leaving your backpack in the middle of the floor in a hostel is my biggest pet peeve. Even worse is when someone does that and then acts shocked when they get their credit cards or money (which were lying right on top) stolen. Not that stealing from other backpackers is okay, but really, a little common sense goes a long way.

  10. Great tips for budget travel! I’ve recently moved to Europe so my travel style will definitely need to change to take advantage of all the nearby places to visit. I will definitely be taking some of these tips to heart.

  11. I’ve stayed in hostels a few years ago when I was younger, it’s really fun because you get to meet new people and even make friends but it’s not always comfortable as people don’t seem to respect the fact that it’s really late and you want to sleep and they shouldn’t make any noise. I would do it again though if I’m travelling on a budget.

  12. So many of these I learned the hard way! Live and learn, this post will definitely come in handy, even for an experienced backpacker! !

    *resist spending money of needless things –the hardest for me!

  13. Wow! As a full time traveler I agree! My favorite was take advantage of the free breakfast! Sometimes it doubles as our lunch if you go towards the end!

  14. *Remember you are traveling and not on holiday, you shouldn’t spend like you are on holiday.

    – that statement is so true! Yeah British tourists at resorts in Spain and Greece 😉 (sorry, thats my personal view). So many other great statements here too 🙂

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