How to backpack around the world with less than €2000/$2500.
With as little as €2000 you can have the adventure of a lifetime, visit 5 continents and see over 20 countries.
We’ve compiled a list for all the major categories you’ll be interested in.
Including how to travel, what to eat, which countries are cheapest and much more.
To make our ultimate guide to traveling the world on less than €2000, we gathered advice from hundreds of backpacking veterans, as well as our own travel experience.
To get the most out of this guide, we suggest you cherry pick the suggestions that work best for you.
Be sure to read on and discover our number 1 tip for traveling the world on a tiny budget!
Travelling Long Distance Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth
Let’s get the biggest question out of the way first.
How do I afford flights to travel the world?
At Adventorama, we have a formula for catching cheap flights, and it’s called the Flying Guru Method.
Hitchhiking is an age-old technique that’s proven to work. Either use your thumb by the side of the road or make a sign with your destination written on it.
You’ll be surprised at how far you can travel by asking people for a ride.
There are apps to help hitchhikers, too. Apps offer an increased level of safety because drivers and backpackers have an online profile and are rated by the people they’ve shared a journey with.
If you’re up to hitchhiking the old fashioned way, be cautious of who you ride with. Needless to say, hitchhiking is an unpredictable but free way to travel.
Gas stations, airports, and rest-stops on major highways are the safest and most accessible places to catch a ride to your next port of call!
Talking of ports…
Travel via Cargo Ship
Traveling by cargo ship is an experience like no other.
If you want to travel at a slow pace with a low carbon footprint, have loads of luggage capacity and live in luxury, then a cargo ship is exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Cargo ship journeys can cost thousands of euros.
However, there are ways to get passages for free. Here are our 3 top tips:
1. Contact the owner of the ship or their PR team first. Do not ask the Captain of the ship as he/she wants one thing: to get out of port and sail to their destination as quickly as possible.
The owners of the ship, on the other hand, are going to be more interested in why you want to travel via ship.
2. This brings us to our next point. Give them a reason to have you on board.
If you’re going to blog about your experience and promote cargo ship travel as a way to lower your carbon footprint and travel with style, then the ship owners might be interested in having you on board.
3. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to work as a deckhand in exchange for free passage.
It was possible once upon a time, but in today’s world, it takes years of training and study to work on board a cargo ship.
So, do not offend the ship’s owner by offering to be a deckhand.
Exchange Your Time and Skills for Food and Accommodation
Volunteer roles give you the chance to meet locals, provide time and energy to a good cause and, most times, you’ll earn free food and a place to stay.
Some of the most rewarding volunteer experiences are had in developing countries where you can teach English, help out in summer camps or help protect endangered species like turtles and orangutans.
You can also volunteer in Western countries for established charities and individuals.
A great place to find volunteer roles that provide free food and accommodation is WorkAway.
On their site, you’ll find thousands of volunteer opportunities from renovating French Chateaus to farm work to looking after children.
Working holidays are very similar to volunteering.
There are many opportunities around the world to apply your skills to a job in a new country.
The bonus with a working holiday is that you will get paid in the local currency while you travel.
Popular jobs include teaching English, looking after children, running bars, hostels and summer camps.
How to Make Money While Travelling
Be a Digital Nomad
If you’re a professional in the digital industry, you can work your day job while on the road.
This is the perfect opportunity for graphic designers, website builders, bloggers or virtual teaching assistants.
All you need is a laptop and a reliable internet connection.
Websites like Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr are innovative platforms where remote jobs are posted.
Land a gig there, work hard, and it won’t matter whether your office is on the beach in India or up a mountain in Nepal!
Send Exotic Items Home to Sell Later
This tip is more of an investment than a money saver.
However, when traveling around the world, you will find trinkets, rare items and exotic oddities that aren’t available in your home country.
Because these items will be strange to your fellow countrymen and women, you can make money back by selling them at home.
Simply find interesting books, antiques, and curios from far-flung countries and send them home via air mail.
Once you return, use an online auction site to sell your items in an online shop.
You’ll be amazed at the money you will make back on your trip!
How to Travel and Eat Well for Less
Discover the Cheapest Foods
The first thing you should do when you arrive in a new country is to find out what foods are the cheapest foods available.
It’s not rude to ask a local ‘what food is cheapest?’. Once you explain that you’re traveling the world, they’ll be more than happy to help.
For example, in Turkey, a locally grown watermelon costs €1.50. They are bigger than your head and full of vitamins, so eat up!
Free food can be found everywhere. You can either stay with a generous Couchsurfing host or find people on the road who will put you up for the night.
Most of the time, these people will let you eat with them for free.
Other methods include dumpster diving, otherwise known as ‘freeganism.’
At first, you will feel a little cheap, but once you discover how much edible food is thrown away every day (particularly in the West), you’ll realize that you’re doing a public good.
The optimum place and time of day to dumpster dive is behind supermarkets near closing time.
Packaged sandwiches, cheese, fruit, and tinned goods are typically thrown away hours after their supposed ‘expiration date’ and are perfectly edible.
Exercise caution when looking for discarded food. Use your judgment and choose the food you eat wisely.
Tips for Finding Accommodation Around the World
Couchsurfing has become a worldwide phenomenon with thousands of travelers swearing by this smart little app.
Simply go online and set up a profile.
From there you’ll have access to hosts in every country around the globe.
They’ll offer anything from a couch to sleep on to an entire room with ensuite bathroom and kitchenette facilities.
Some hosts request a small fee to stay with them while others prefer to choose their guests carefully and enjoy their time with a new foreign friend!
Many travelers swear by the Couchsurfing method, and many lifelong friendships start with a simple message and a rendezvous in some faraway city or airport.
Join the fun and save on boring and expensive hotel rooms.
Meet a local and become one, too, with Couchsurfing.com!
Staying in a hostel is a classic backpacking experience.
Unlike hotels, that are clean, well-kempt and offer room service and restaurant bars, hostels are basic, and every single hostel is different.
Some have dorm rooms that you share with other guests.
Others offer single rooms and double rooms for friends and partners to share.
You will find some with other quirks, too, like swimming pools, scooter hire, common rooms, and pool tables.
To stay for free, make sure to ask the reception worker if there are any job vacancies.
Because of the nature of the work, many hostels are run by travelers.
So, there are always vacancies available.
Take up a job at a hostel, and you’ll save money and meet new friends every day.
There comes a time on any long distance trip when you will want to treat yourself, and the best way to do that is to stay in a luxurious hotel room.
To get a great price, we suggest calling your desired hotel directly.
When you call, explain your situation to the room booker and ask for their best rate.
Another option is to use Roomertravel. On this site, you’ll find rooms in your local area that other people have booked but cannot cancel.
Usually, they have been reserved by other travelers who have changed their plans.
Sometimes they are business people with altered schedules.
Whoever they are, booking their room is a win-win situation because they will offer their room at a discounted rate!
For more information about how to find hotels rooms for cheap, visit our previous post on the Adventorama blog.
Stay With Friends
It’s a modern world and chances are you have friends in far-flung places.
If no names come to mind, check your social media friends list to see if any old school friends have moved to anywhere across the globe.
These two strategies are bound to get results.
If you give a friend or family member a heads up, they’ll welcome you with open arms, a warm meal, and a power shower, too!
This is a great way to stay somewhere homely and eat for free.
Top 10 Cheapest Backpacking Countries
Backpacking in the following 10 countries will make your journey wallet friendly.
The capital cities of Nepal, Indonesia, and India (Kathmandu, Jakarta, and Mumbai) offer local cuisine which is on average 50% cheaper than local foods found in London and New York.
5. Sri Lanka
7. Costa Rica
Visas are cheaper in developing countries whether they are in Europe or Asia.
For example, visas for Armenia and Bangladesh are as little as €5.00 for a 3-week stay.
There are other countries where a 90-day visa-free period is a norm.
Typically, they are well-developed but more expensive countries, like Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
Here’s our number 1 tip that will help you travel the world!
Be a good person, and you will be a great traveler.
If you are kind, generous and have a smile on your face, you will receive much more in return.
All of the tips in this guide require you to ask other people – often complete strangers – for their time and energy.
Be a respectful guest and not only will you be making friends for life, but you will also be doing the next traveler who comes along a big favor.
A smile and good conversation make people want to help you.
It’s simple but very effective.
It doesn’t cost the earth to travel the world.
Many of the tips and tricks in this guide are thanks to the wonders of the internet and the generosity of individuals across the globe.
You’ll have to use each tip in this guide to travel transcontinentally for less than €2000, but with the savings and the incredible experiences awaiting you, the time you spend planning your extraordinary journey will be worth it!
Remember to stay safe and exercise caution.
Though the majority of people are willing to help with food and accommodation, you must always be careful, especially when traveling alone.
Also, to have the best chance in each country that you stay in, take the time to understand the local customs, traditions, and local people’s religious beliefs, and always be respectful.
With this advice, you will be welcome anywhere, and home will be wherever you take your trusty backpack.
To decide which backpack is the right travel buddy for you, check out the Adventorama ultimate guide to the best backpacks of 2018.
Travel the World with the Best Backpacks of 2019
The Ultimate Backpacking Gear List for Adventure Trips Around the World