Backpacking On A Budget

What Is The Average Price For Backpackers? How Much Does The Average Backpacker Cost?

Is backpacking around the world expensive? No, it doesn't have to be expensive; you can easily backpack on a budget! Budget Backpacking makes up one of the four types of Travel Backpackers along with Flash Packers, Digital Nomads, and Backpacker Volunteers.

Whether you're travelling across continents or exploring a single country, budget backpacking offers a unique experience that allows you to immerse yourself in different cultures, meet new people, and see the world from a different perspective. But some of the most common questions among those considering backpacking is: How much does it actually cost? What is the average cost for backpackers?

How Much Does The Average Backpacker Spend?

How Much Does The Average Backpacker Cost? 

The cost of backpacking can vary significantly depending on a multitude of factors including your destination, travel style, duration of your trip, and personal preferences.

There is a simple formula for a travel backpacker's budget and how much you'll spend while backpacking.

Accommodation +  Transportation + Food + Activities


Accommodation: One of the biggest expenses for backpackers is accommodation. However, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available such as hostels, guesthouses, camping grounds, and even couchsurfing. I've personally seen hostel dormitory beds for as economical as $5 USD/night in Southeast Asia to over $100 USD/night in major European cities in summer. Accommodation is probably your BIGGEST variable in a Travel Backpacker's budget.


Transportation: Another significant expense is transportation, including flights, trains, buses, and local transport. Budget airlines and buses are often the cheapest options, while trains can be more expensive but offer a more comfortable journey. 

If you are staying in a city for more than a day, browse for their transportation packages and deals. Usually you can find discounted rates if you buy a multi-day pass or something along those lines. 

Food and Drink: One of the joys of backpacking is sampling the local cuisine, and luckily, street food and local markets are often inexpensive. You can also save money by cooking your own meals if you're staying in accommodation with a kitchen. If there is no kitchen and you are sharing a room with others like at a hostel dormitory, AVOID cooking in the shared bedroom just to save money.

No matter which country you are in, you usually can find inexpesive places to eat and drink if you look hard enough. Don't shy away from grocery stores while backpacking. You can find great deals there and even already prepared meals at a bargin.

When I backpacking in London (a VERY expensive city), I can't tell you how many Tesco Premium Meal Deals I had. For roughly 5 Pounds, you can get a sandwich, a bag of chips, and a drink. Look for these kinds of deals while you travel backpack.

("The Bunkers" (Bunkers del Carmel) in Barcelona for sunset) 

Activities: Some activities, such as hiking and exploring cities on foot, are free, while others like guided tours, museum visits, and adventure sports can be more expensive. However, get creative. There are free (tip based) city walking tours in larger cities and often there are discounted days to visit museums. The best thing to do is to research (destination name + budget friendly activities).

One of my favorite things to do that is economical is to go somewhere popular to watch the sunset. I would buy a snack and a drink and put it in my daypack. Everywhere in the world has somewhere nice to watch the sunset (unless you're in Antartica in the winter).


Preparation Expenses (Before You Go): Don't forget that there are expenses before you even start your travels. For the most part, preparation expenses are visas, travel insurance, and backpacking accessories.

So what is the average price for backpackers? There are A LOT of variables involved but probably the most controllable expense for Budget Backpackers is the destination that they go to.

3 BIG Tips for Backpacking on a Budget

1. Choose Your Destination Wisely

I'm constantly asked, is Bali cheap for backpackers? Is Fiji cheap for backpackers? Is Europe cheap for backpackers? Yes, they all can be cheap for backpackers. However, there are definitely destinations that are overall cheaper than others. 

Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America are going to be the best regions to travel backpack if you are on a budget.

Consider the following budget friendly countries in each region that Budget Backpackers love!

Eastern Europe: Albania, Bulgaria, Romania & Turkiye
Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, & Nepal
Latin America: Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala & Cuba
(Meeting other Travel Backpackers in Vietnam)

2. Get A Refillable Travel Water Bottle

The first time I went on a backpacking trip, I never thought to bring my water bottle. My water bottle at home is bulky and heavy. However, I soon began to realize that spending a few dollars a day just on water adds up quite fast!

Check out the map below from the World Population Review. This shows us how much the average price per ONE bottle of water in many countries. $4.13 USD in Switzerland! Some of these numbers are crazy. Save money, save the environment, and bring your own travel water bottle that is compact, lightweight, and collapsible.


3. Plan Ahead

One of the biggest things to do to save money is to PLAN AHEAD. Prices fluctuate in the travel industry. Whether it is booking flights or accommodation, you're going to get the best rates the further in advance you can book it. Remember, there are somethings you can't plan for. So always get travel insurance when travel backpacking to make sure you are covered.

I've personally planned an entire 10 Days in Morocco but ended up getting sick when I was in Egypt. Thankfully, I had travel insurance and they refunded me EVERYTHING that I reserved in Morocco. 




I’m Mark, the Founder of Generation Nomad, Avid Travel Backpacker & Digital Nomad. I am passionate about helping others discover the world through my experiences. I solo backpacked for months at a time, lived abroad, and even speak two foreign languages. Besides collaborating on the best lightweight travel accessories for Travel Backpackers, I also love sharing my travel photography.
Favorite Trips: Spain, Egypt & Vietnam 
Favorite Cuisines: Italian, Peruvian & Japanese
Quote: “Be a circle and just roll with it” 
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