25 chapters, 100,000 words, 120 illustrations
 Table of Contents
On $25 a Day or Less
Art of Travel - European and World Backpacking


How to Save on Travel Expenses

Resolve not to be poor:  whatever you have, spend less. Samuel Johnson, England

Of course many backpackers aren't going anywhere unless they go dirt cheap. Harken the Earl of Somewhere: "It is much, much better to travel cheap, than to travel not at all."

If you have a minimal budget don't spend your wad on gear. You'll be happier without expensive stuff that may be lost or stolen, and have more money in your pocket for what's really important, like food, accommodation, and fun. You can probably get by with whatever you have.

I imagine there are many would-be travelers who spent so much on gear they didn't have enough left for the trip. Besides, in the budget backpacker subculture the cheaper you go, the higher your status.

Cheap Packs

My first pack was a cheaply-made external frame bought at a garage sale for two bucks. Its original, full retail price was probably under $20, so it was no great bargain. But I knew if I spent money on gear I wasn't going to have enough for travel, and I didn't know what I wanted anyway.

The frame broke five weeks into the journey, but I fixed it just fine with rope. (I didn't have duct tape.) While it wasn't exceptionally handsome, I had few worries about anyone stealing it. After three months of grand adventure its seams were busting and the rest was fraying, so it was retired with honor, a heroic, cheesy-little-backpack if ever there was one.

Age-old footpaths are the greatest
Photo: Age-old footpaths are the greatest!


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