As a backpacker, your ultimate goal while travelling would be to spend as minimal as possible by utilizing available resources. You might have come to Nepal with that in mind, incase you heard that it is pretty cheap compared to other countries. But let’s be honest nothing is cheap anywhere and the people are trying earn a living. But the good news is there are life hacks and travel hacks so let’s be optimistic with this guide:
Part-Time Work: Not so popular in Nepal but worth a try to score you some extra cash can be by working part-time. You can try teaching English at schools or perform at pubs. Befriend the locals so they pitch you in if there is an open spot for short-term jobs.
Volunteering: Foreigners who are on a business or plan to stay in Nepal for a long usually do this. The conditions are that you volunteer to work for them and in return they provide you with fooding and lodging. This is the easiest way to score yourself some shelter for free but you need to persuade the people.
Hostels and Camping: As a backpacker, hostels are the best as they are comparatively cheaper than hotels and you can meet like-minded individuals who may give you their own travel hacks. You get to spend the night on a bed, shower and recharge your equipment but if you’re trying save more, camping is always an option. Secure a good spot where you’re safe from sudden rain and wind.
A dummy wallet: More that spending you don’t want to lose your money before even spending any so carrying a dummy wallet is effective against the dishonest and sneaky pickpockets who try to pick your money through scams or busy streets.
Budget Food: Most hostels make you cough up money by having cheap lodging but expensive food and one food item costs you a night’s stay. Try street food from the local area. It is ten times cheaper and tastier, just a bit on the unhealthy side. There are varieties to try from in Nepal. Convenience/Department store foods are also an option.
Going Local: You always have the option of walking but travelling on the local buses and mini-bus will save you time and money. If you’re confused just ask for directions. Ask your seat partner how much the fee is so the fare collector doesn’t scam you for being a foreigner nor do you want a taxi to scam you in broad daylight as they charge heavy (specially if you’re a foreigner).
Carry Herbs and Spices: As a backpacker, everything is on a budget and you also cook for yourself most of the time. So carry a small container filled with different dried herbs and spices so you are ready to cook anywhere with your own delicious meal. Being your own chef saves you a lot.
Local Currency: In case you see an option of paying with your credit card, you need to avoid it as you could be charged around some percent of charge for ‘service’. Always pay in local currency wherever you are.
Invest in a travel-towel: Towel are a good investment for backpackers, it is handy while travelling and also if you’re staying at a hostel. Hostels have a separate charge for towels and if you’re not carrying one, there goes your wallet savings.
Laundry: Just like towels, you have laundry charges and for someone who is saving up that’s a hassle. Unlike outside Nepal doesn’t have a Laundromat so you’ll have to settle down for the sink in the bathroom! Wash your own clothes son (or daughter) and dry them out of the window of your room.
Hope this saved a few bucks in your wallet and don’t be afraid to try them out. As backpackers we have our own conditions to meet and desperate times call out for desperate measure. Try to have as much fun with these on-budget travel guide and some of these tips apply universally so good news for you, fellow backpacker. Have a great time on a low cost!