How to Save Money while Backpacking (Pinoy style)

Pinoy backpacker insider's observation

"A penny here, and a dollar there, placed at interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the desired result is attained. It requires some training, perhaps, to accomplish this economy, but when once used to it, you will find there is more satisfaction in rational saving than in irrational spending." - P. T. Barnum

Most Filipino's are known to be on tight budget-basis in terms of traveling whether it is on high-end vacation spot, typical place of attraction or secluded nature areas. though backpacking is already an act of money saving in terms of traveling, one can further minimize what was the amount on the planned itinerary if to chase any of the following suggestions based on my experience;

must check bag before leaving lodge

my 2 usd meal in seam reap, cambodia

(1) plan your itinerary - this is the primary and most important suggestion on traveling. somehow, if you know where, how and what to do, your budget is automatically lowered due you know the consequence of any decisions to made. in addition, this makes you have the wider perspective of the journey. wider perspective can bring you to another set of activities such as you will not spare some time queuing for the next bus departure or availing the most tourist-friendly cheapest accommodation.

(2) focus on lowering allotted budget - use cash, period. credit card is only for emergency purpose, period also. this emergency's include payment for excess baggage, lost cash, and miscalculated fees. though i don't have credit card since the start of my backpacking career even traveling abroad, i bring spare money just in case it needed. avoid impulse spending. if you can't, then reserve budget for this section before the start of travel. monitor the expenses, this helps allotting in your difficulties on future interests such as souvenirs, favorite items and extra food trip.

my budget in winter korea get-away for 6 day

pack snack foods before going to my 7-days trip in indochina

(3) use the cheapest transpo - though convenience will surely suffer, awesome adventure will be its payback. use public transpo's and blend-in with locals. moreover, ask them. they surely know whats the best and cheapest public vehicle on your journey, even the earliest and last trip skeds. another example is if you rode a jeep and it is already full of passenger, kindly ask driver if its safe to top load on just to be on time to your preferred destination. additional option is to hitchhike. i experienced all of this when i was in bukidnon and batanes, unique adventure for an ordinary traveler.

(4) seek group travelers - there are some trips that getting into a group is inevitable. i did this on my trip to camiguin and calaguas island. i searched via online travel forum. this is mutually favorable due for the aim to lower cost of tour and accommodation such as the multicab, jeep, boat rental ang guide fees. of course money is not just the issue, this also includes time and the connection to the group. ordinary filipino travelers don't have the luxury of time to spend on every attraction due vacation leaves on their work are highly valuable. while the connection is bearable for travel's sake.

promo fare ticket for 4 during the 11-11-11 phenomena

diy tuktuk in sieam reap, cambodia (2011)

habal-habal in basilan (2010)

(5) monitor online deals / vouchers - 2010's best marketing strategy for budget shoppers and travelers. lot of special offers and different websites to choose from. my friend availed mt. pulag package tour that has an almost 50% discount which he then transferred to me. i didn't like the service they provide but at least somehow they brought me again to my quest to conquer that summit.

(6) watch-out for airline seat sale - jetsetting nowadays is affordable due to the promos, from 50% off down to zero base fare whether you have credit card or just savings account (cebupac's payment system is versatile among all the local airlines). 

(7) try spartan/dormitory room - very budgeted room with minimal or none-at-all decoration, or with less furnishings of any kind, such as a bedroom with only a bed and bare shelves. No drawers, no table, no chair, no rug, etc. This is very advisable, economical and convenient of you always leave as earlier as 0600H and will arrive back as late as 0000H in which sleep is on average of 5 hours only. Just take note that the place must be reliable and safe to leave your backpack.

backpack room for only php300 a night in puerto princesa city (2009)

guesthouse in ho chi minh less than 400 pesos for overnight w/ free breakfast

(8). online tools - essential online tools that make your trip more systematic, organize and budget saving.

- know your interest first

- check the weather / season

- compare flights

- navigate your places on more specific ways

- read other fellow traveler ideas

- updated currency calculator

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