As students, money is an issue. Backpacking is a great for student travel. When you backpack, you set your own itinerary, your own program and you see what interests you, and skip the boring stuff. The sense of adventure when you backpack.
First of all, you have to determine where you want to go. If you are on a budget, you may want to go to a place where the cost of living is lower. There, the accommodation and transport charges should be cheaper. Your dollar can be stretched further.
Next, go to the travel agent. Ask them to get the necessary paperwork done. Ask them to get you the student passes, airline tickets, train passes and accommodation. Student travel is more affordable as you can get student passes which entitle you to student rates in hostels, museums and other places of interest. That way, you can save quite a bit.
You would want to limit the amount of hard cash on your body. A very good idea is to get a visa card. If you don’t meet the requirements, ask your brother or parents to get you a supplementary visa card.
Another way is to get travellers checks. Buy them before you leave. Once you reach your destination, you can exchange these checks for cash at the traveller’s check office. You still need some cash in the local currency as you make your way about. Before you leave, go to the money changer to get at least $50 to $100 in the currency of the countries you are going to. You’ll need the cash with you for food and transport along the way. This is especially important if you are going on an extended holiday.
You also need to apply for visa for the country you are going to. If you are going to Schengen area you might wanto know more how to apply for a Schengen Visa. You don’t want to be stuck at immigration because you do not have the necessary papers to enter the country. Your holiday will be ruined if you get deported for such an oversight.
As you are back packing, get a good pair of shoes and suitable clothing for the climate of the countries you are going. If you are going to a cold place, remember to bring along your sweater, jackets, long johns and whatever you need to keep warm.
Never leave home without your guide book. Arm yourself with traveller’s guides which tell you where to find cheap lodgings, places of interest to visit and the shortest route to get there, what to look out for, like which places snatch thieves abound.
How to save on your student travels
Bring along a mini portable gas burner.
You’ll need something to cook food in. A light aluminium deep cooking tray would be ideal.
Bring along canned food and packets of dried food. Dried noodles, spaghetti and pasta are light, easy to cook and fill the stomach.
To keep the hunger pangs at bay, once you reach your destination, look for bread, french loaves especially that you can carry along, keep well and eat for your meals in the following days. Buy some jam to go with it, so you can save on your meals by eating jam and bread most of the time. Continually replenish your food supply with bread and jam and you will save a lot on your daily meals.
If you have friends or relatives in the countries you are visiting, you can stay with them, if they welcome you. Make arrangements with them first.
Furthermore, if they have transport, they would probably bring you around to places of interest, you get to meet old friends and catch up with one another’s lives.
You can save on food, transport and accomodation that way. Be courteous though. Don’t rip off your friends. Be considerate. Return the favour when they visit your country.
Plan your journey well. You can save on accommodation by travelling by night in a train. You sleep in the train while travelling between to places. That way, you save on a night’s stay in a hotel or hostel.
Shopping on a budget
What’s travelling without bringing home souvenirs. You can get great souvenirs at flea markets.
You can target countries where the cost of living is lower. Places like Prague and Barcelona are cheaper than Paris. Even in U.K, the further north you go, the cheaper everything is. Go shopping when you reach these places where things are cheaper than elsewhere.
Bring along clothing that can are washed easily and dry quickly. You may want to bring along some disposable underwear as well. Don’t forget the detergent too. That way, those few sets of clothing you bring can last your entire trip. There’s no need to load your backpack with more than you need.