Will Hatton, 26, also known as The Broke Backpacker
, has been travelling the world since he was 19, averaging a budget of $50 to $100 a week.
Currently, he’s on a three-year trip from England to Papua New Guinea, which he’s doing entirely without the use of flights. The trip will take him through around 30 countries, and he’s given himself a budget of less than $30 a day. While that’s more than he’d like to spend, he figures he’ll need it for the European portion of the trip.
Here’s his advice for keeping it cheap.
1. Visit countries not everyone is going to
According to Hatton, the best way to travel cheaply is to get off the beaten track. “Go to countries like India, Venezuela, Pakistan… These places are cheap, and there’s nobody else there, so you’ve kinda got it all to yourself. Places like Thailand and Vietnam are getting more and more expensive, because there are millions of backpackers that go there every year. So if you want a proper taste of adventure, and you want it to be affordable, choose someplace that is a little more out there — Africa is also a pretty good bet.”
Besides saving a ton of money on transport, hitchhiking is a great way of meeting new people, since you’re bound to get picked up by some colourful characters.
Hatton rarely spends money on accommodation, either choosing to couchsurf or camp. He adds that couchsurfing is “a great way to make new friends, and to land on your feet with a social life somewhere totally new, because people always want to show you around.”
4. Become location independent at work
Instead of quitting your job to travel, Hatton suggests that people should try and find a job that enables them to work from their laptops — photography, blogging, dropshipping, SEO. “I really think that people should be more interested in finding these digital nomad opportunities, rather than just going and travelling the world, and having an amazing time, and then having to go home, and to get a shitty office job all over again.”
5. Monetise your travels
While he used to work odd jobs back home to save up for his next trip, Hatton made the decision to monetise his travels by becoming a travel blogger. He now makes enough to cover his expenses (and even save money!) through advertising and sponsorships.
His best advice here is to stand out from the crowd. “I found that I’m more attractive to brands that want to tap into the adventure side of backpacking,” he says. “So if you’re going to run a blog, it really helps if you can stand out, because there are so many people out there who want sponsorship, and there are so many people out there that have so many more skills than bloggers, like pro skateboarders and windsurfers and base jumpers. So to stand out you need to do something different, which is why I’m doing the UK to Papua New Guinea trip — it’s not the only reason, but it is in part a marketing stunt.”
6. Don’t skimp on the important stuff
Hatton recommends getting gear with lifetime warranties, because he says you buy them once and never have to worry about buying them again. If they do break, you’ll get free replacements.
He also believes that travel insurance is vital. As much as he hates paying for it, if you end up in a situation in which you need it (say, a hospital), you’ll save tons of money in the long run.
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