Planning is everything! Before starting a backpacking trip (and any other trip) it is necessary to do some planing, unless you want to end up somewhere with no bed to sleep in, or, even worse, no money left. Depending on how you spent your money, you can shorten or even extend your adventure. In the following, I’m going to tell you my personal habits and experiences on how to save up money best!
As soon as you get the idea of traveling with your backpack, you should start saving up money. Even if it is a ‘cheap’ way of traveling, it costs money. I recommend you to making a list with everything on it that might cost you something. Beginning with flight-tickets, bookings, entrances, food and souvenirs. (In Ireland, I spent around 1000EURO in 1 month. Including everything.)
By this, you can already plan your trip – which is fun – but also see how far you still have to go. Furthermore, it is good to have a plan on where to go and what to see before actually being there. Personally, I use to have an extra list with places to visit, hostels to stay and buses to take before actually taking off. Maybe it is just me, but crossing them out after visiting and seeing what is left for the next days always makes me happy. Also, this way I knew what nights are still to be booked and which days are to be planned. Of course, I don’t say you should plan everything in advance, but somethings just feel better if planned.
Additionally, I love reading articles by other bloggers, visiting websites, downloading brochures and getting really excited to finally go! If you are the same, planning and making lists just seems necessary. Don’t be afraid, it is fun! Even if it is numbers and money which you don’t really have, yet.
After having an amount of money that you’ll have to have, you can start planing on how to save up this sum. For me again, it is easier to write it down. Make a list with all your income, subtract all necessary expenditure and you’ll see how much you are be able to save up per month. If you are able to save up a concrete amount of money, you can calculate when you will be able to start your adventure. You will also see where you might save up some further money. Maybe there is your birthday coming? Or Christmas, easter, whatever? Ask people to give you money instead of a gift. I know, its not as creative as a gift, but most people will be more than happy to make you happy and not have to think of another gift!
When I turned 18 (big birthday in Germany) I asked for money to go to Ireland. Some of my friends came up with crazy ideas! For example, I got ‘Kerry-gold butter’, filled with money. As I lived in Kerry before, this was just too cool. Another friend of mine gave me a pot with money, followed by a rainbow. I was impressed by those ideas.
If you are in total need of money and you cannot wait until the date calculated, you will have to take up some extra work. For information, read my post on ’10 ways to make money’.