Friday, 26 July 2013

Handy tips for backpacking

Most of the time people come up to me, asking how I make do travelling around all the time. And since I'm still studying, my budget can be tight at times. In today's post, I'll be sharing a few tips and advices about travelling on a low budget. Many thanks to a friend of mine KC Owens for sharing his article about travelling on low budget.

Seeing the World on Very Little Money

People often say that college is the best time a person can ever have in their lifetime. The truth is that it is kind of hard to believe that when your best friends from high school are drifting away, you are working a new job while going to school full time and finals are breathing down your neck! With all these stresses, college can seem slightly less exciting. Personally, I take my summer breaks away from home and let loose. Seeing the world, as a college student, is more possible than you may have imagined, so think about what you can do to make it happen.

Funding Yourself

Unfortunately, no one is handing out free vacations to see Belgium or Russia. Travelling costs money and the more you think about it, the more likely you might be to get cold feet. The money that is required to fly overseas can be a little daunting, and it might get even worse when you think about things like hotel fares. However, take heart. Students have been travelling the world for a very long time, and as the latest in a long line of college-age explorers, I have to say that the key to moving forward lies in proper financial planning. My job does not give me the opportunity to fund my trips completely, so I always end up borrowing some money. Look into credit cards that have very forgiving rates. This is how you can get a plane ticket without having to wait until you have a lot of cash up front; just make sure you can pay it back later! Aside from getting you expensive tickets, a great travel credit card will allow you to exchange currencies (automatically) and track your purchases so your bank account is much safer. Carrying a stack of cash can be a dangerous risk some travellers take while in foreign countries; I would not recommend it.

Hostel Living

One thing that makes people shy away from international travel is the cost of living in that city. Hotels are incredibly pricey, and if you want to make sure that it is not pulling money out of your pocket, you need to find other accommodations. For example, if you’re looking to save some extra cash, you can also look into hostels outside the city limits of where you’re staying. Hostels are designed for travellers just like you and they can ease the pain in your wallet. Choose hostels that are rated well for cleanliness and safety and always make sure that they are open when you get to town (24/7 check-in). It does you no good to get into town and to find that the hostel you wanted to stay at closes its doors at eleven at night and refuses to make exceptions. In order to keep these long, sleepless nights to a minimum, I use Hostelworld to help compare hostels and book my overnights ahead of time. Doing this saves me time and money; who wouldn’t want that, right?

Choosing Clothing

When you go to pack your sleek, low profile bag, you may be wondering what kind of clothes that you need. For the most part, keep it simple and keep it light. There are many people who find that they over-pack and then end up lugging it all over the place without really using everything. The best thing to do is to make sure that your clothing rolls up nicely. Resist the urge to pack natural fibres (they will wrinkle and not dry well). Clothes with polyester in them do not wrinkle as quickly, and they shed water more effectively. You should also make sure the shoes that you are wearing are sturdy. You are not going to be renting a car wherever you are going; you are going to be taking a lot of public transportation and doing a lot of walking so you’ll want a good pair of shoes with you. One of the most important items on your list should be a traveler’s money belt. These are lifesavers while travelling in foreign countries because you can keep your passport, cash, credit cards and phone in there and safely under your shirt. A pickpocket would have to work real hard to steal something from that!

KC Owens has written and submitted this article. KC is a college student who loves travelling, college life, fitness and a good survival kit. He enjoys studying different cultures, meeting new people and leaving his footprint somewhere most people only read about. 

To conclude it all, it is possible to travel around the world on a tight budget. Nothing gives me as much pleasure as travelling. I love getting on trains, buses, boats and planes. I guess I've already been afflicted with wanderlust.