5. Break the Shyness and Carpool
It’s amazing how often you will randomly meet the same backpackers on your trip in different cities. This is because they have also done their research and want to explore the same special places. Next time you land at an airport or get off a bus, break your shyness and ask to split a cab. You will be utterly surprised by how many similar-minded travelers are out there.
4. Avoid Airport Taxis
Probably one of the most cost effective walks in the world has to be from the airport lobby to the nearest public road. Don’t you just hate it when you show up to an airport that offers only inflated airport taxi services and no other forms of transport (minivans, public buses, MRT, etc.). Don’t be fooled by the signs and taxi touts when you reach the arrival hall. Instead, do your research beforehand and check how far it is from the airport to the nearest road with public transit services. Take a quick walk from the airport and your fare may be sliced in half in no time.
3. Keep your Luggage Under 7 kg’s
With the majority of budget airlines charging additional money for checked luggage, try to downsize what you bring. If you are backpacking for a long time it may be a stretch to keep your luggage under 7 kg’s, but for trips under a week it is a realistic possibility. Check out our related article which describes in detail how to keep your wallet heavy but your backpack light when travelling.
2. Shop around before Booking a Tour
If you are in a busy tourist area, it’s shocking how the same day trip and/or tour can vary so much in cost. The optimistic assumption we often make is that if they are charging more then the tour must have a better lunch, or they must have a cleaner tour bus, etc. In some cases this may be true, but the point is that you have to ask about these specific details at different travel agencies before booking. It’s not uncommon for backpackers to discuss the cost of the tour on the tour only to find out that each person has paid significantly different prices. Make sure you are on the bottom end of this range.
1. Avoid Changing Currency at Airports
You see it at every airport. Immediately after arrival a huge line of tourists emerge at money exchange booths to convert large sums into the local currency at exorbitant rates. If you have no other options, convert only a fraction of your money over to local currency at the airport and then exchange accordingly at a local bank branch or a private money changer. Always remember to check what the most recent conversion rate is before your flight to save risk of being ripped off.