Being a backpacker and being broke basically go hand in hand. We save like crazy, pick a country to jet off to then simultaneously spend all of our savings doing things everyone back home only dream of. Learning new languages, making friends from countries you couldn’t previously point out on a map and eating strange food, it all sets our souls on fire. Most of us didn’t choose this life, it chose us, and we love it. We’ve become masters of budgeting and hunt for the cheapest of the cheap while scouting for anything free to help us along our journey. From free rent to free food to free beer, I’ve experienced it all over my years of globetrotting and hostel life.
Booking into hostels with free breakfast is one of the biggest perks you can come by.
Even better if they also offer free BBQ nights, who doesn’t love a good veggie dog or quinoa burger? Free breakfast may seem bleak and carb filled, but throwing some fresh fruit on free pancakes or cereal can brighten your morning like no other. Free tea and coffee and you have yourself a recipe for a successful day, and a cure to any hangover you may be suffering from. Included breakfasts will also end at certain times giving you the motivation to get out of bed, start your day and go on a random adventure in whatever country you’re calling home at the time.
Only thing better than free food? Free rent!
Most hostels offer work trade for accommodation, meaning a few hours a day or week and you’re living a rent-free life. This can be anything from front desk work to cleaning to general maintenance around the property. When you live rent free you have more money freedom to explore! On the upside, you’ll also meet everyone in the hostel and who’s to complain about more friends when so far from home? No one. The best memories of backpacking come from the people you meet along the way.
Saving the best for last, free alcohol.
Stay informed about local breweries, wineries and distilleries when moving anywhere new. Tastings and tours are as informative as they are delicious and more times than not will be free or by donation base. Then come the select few top-notch hostels that include free beer or wine with check-in or offered on movie and/or game nights. No better way to break the ice and get everyone in the hostel introduced and mingling than with a drink in hand.
(Sometimes) the best things in life are free, any traveller will agree!