Top Backpacker Destinations for 2017

1. Cuba

Simon Matzinger
Simon Matzinger

This was destination that was off limits to Americans for a very long time, until now. In 2017 there will be a flood of backpackers and tourists taking advantage of the cheap lifestyle, amazing culture and beautiful beaches. Starting in Havana, you can explore the hundreds of miles of neverending coast, with hidden beaches yet unexplored.

2. Mexico

With the decreasing value of the Peso thanks to President Trump, you can now get almost 22 Pesos to the dollar, compared to just 16 in 2015! Beautiful beaches and ancient ruins await you, where you can easily live with a budget of $25 dollars or less, dorms are around $7 per night and alcohol is cheap as chips!

3. Nicaragua

Mikeblue / Getty Images
Mikeblue / Getty Images

Another hispanic destination that grows more popular every year. Cheaper than it’s more popular neighbour, Costa Rica, Nicaragua is now a backpacker hot spot with amazing beach and night life in places like San Juan Del Sur wherea bottle of rum can go as low as $4.

4. South Africa

When most people think of South Africa, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela usually come to mind, or possibly the high crime rate of places like Johannesburg. Both places are beautiful in their own right, but the best wasy to start is in Cape Town and along the southern coast to Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth.

5. Vietnam

Cristaltran / Getty Images
Cristaltran / Getty Images

Known as one of the cheapest countries to travel in the world, especially Hanoi where you can get freshly tapped beer on the street for 10 cents! Famous street food and stunning scenery await you in this increasingly popular country.

6. Myanmar

Recently opened to tourists after being a closed country for many years, Myanmar is seeing floods of tourists every year and developing very quickly. Get in there before it becomes too over run with tourists and see the natural beauty and famous ruins like the Bagan temples while it’s still relatively quiet.

7. Ecuador

South Americas cheapest country, you can comfortably survive in Quito on around $20 per day where dorms run around $9 per night and delicious meals await you for only 2-3 dollars. Quito is known for its high altitude and spring-like weather all year round, which make the place a bit exotic when compared to most other big cities in South America.

8. Nepal

Goikmitl / Getty Images

Backpacking in Nepal is not new, but in the past the popular thing to do was backpack the Himalayas. Now the upcoming popular thing to do is visit Lumbini and Birgunj by backpacking and then make sure you head to Nepalgunj, which is famous for it is trekking.

9. Great Britain

Yes it’s possible to backpack England, especially now that the pound has been dropping since leaving the European Union. You will be spending about $20 USD per night for a hostel bed and that’s on the cheap end. Expect to be paying around $80 a day there, but it’s still cheaper than it has been for a while.

10. Tonga

Wtf is a Tonga you might ask? This tiny pacific Island has a population of only 105,000, so it’s no wonder many people have never heard of it. Soon, it’s going to become a popular destination for backpackers simply because of its natural beauty and untouched landscape.

Start in the tiny village capital of Nuku’alofa and work your way along the coast, which looks like something straight out of Lost.

11. Thailand

Masterlu / Getty Images
Masterlu / Getty Images

This country makes everyones list every year and with good reason. Notorious parties on tropical islands, dirt cheap alcohol, the best sky bars in the world, beautiful beaches, ping pong shows and amazing food. The King has recently passed away after reigning for 70 years so now the future and direction of the land of smiles is uncertain.

12. Honduras

Mainly known as the most dangerous country in the world with the highest homicide rate, however, the Bay Islands, three separate islands off the main coast of Honduras are very safe and more known for their beautiful trains and excellent scuba diving in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. It is stunning and an unforgettable place to go solo backpacking. It’s becoming more and more known, so it may be getting much more crowded in the coming years.

17 Things You Learn Backpacking Around Australia

Steve and Sabina from Sunsettravellers.com spent the bones of two years backpacking and working in Australia.

‘We saw some amazing things and learnt a lot about the backpacking around Australia. We were also
on a two-year working holiday visa(once we completed our dreaded regional work), meaning we
could work for a few months and travel.’

Here are 17 things you learn(or will learn) backpacking around Australia

1. Bring lots of money – Unlike many parts of Asia, Australia is super expensive for everything.
Accommodation, transport, petrol, booze(well depending if you invest in some Goon) and all
the other finer details. If you budget is $2000 for a trip, try and stick to that but have $1000+
for emergencies. You will probably need it, especially in Australia.

2. Sometimes flights can be cheaper than buses – Greyhound buses are fantastic for getting
you around Australia but often domestic airlines have deals on to get you from A-B in 2
hours instead of 20 hours. You save time and money.

3. Don’t pay full prices for activities – Going through a local travel agent can save you a
fortune on activities. Sites like BookMe, Groupon and, of course, Backpackr have incredible
deals, just be sure to look around before booking anything.

4. Do a campervan relocation – You might have heard rumours that you can rent a brand new
campervan for only $1 a day. This is true! We did it from Sydney to Darwin in six berth
camper. There are a few things to keep in mind, and we recommend a shorter route Sydney
– Brisbane for example. This article gave us a lot of info before our trip

5. Road trips are fricken awesome – If you backpack around Australia please oh please do a
road trip! We did our first one from Perth to Melbourne over 2-3 weeks and saw some of
the most amazing sights. We documented our road trip from Perth to Melbourne
here.

6. Be careful – National parks are huge! Recently two backpackers attacked while camping in
South Australia have sparked concern about how safe backpacking in Australia is (story here). Always remember to report your location, plan ahead, come prepared and know where to camp

7. Use Hostel Membership – Hostelling International memberships cost $25 a year and shave a
few dollars off your hostel stay each night.

8. Talk to locals – When you do get to a new area, locals will always know more about what to
see and some secret spots. If you can try to chat with the locals

9. Wear Sunscreen – Sounds so obvious and many are frowning at this point. The sun is a lot
harsher in Australia. Spend an hour on a beach with no sunscreen in summer and you are
just asking for trouble.

10. Be Flexible – You will meet some amazing people while backpacking around Australia and
there is nothing worse than having pre-booked flights, accommodation and tours. The more
flexible you are, the more you will enjoy backpacking around Australia.

11. Get travel insurance – Please do get some travel insurance before you go backpacking. Yes,
it is an additional cost, and it’s a pain to get but much better to be safe than sorry. $100 is
cheaper than a hospital bill

12. Try new things – Australia has endless outdoor activities everything from sky-diving to
swimming with whale sharks. While these are certainly not cheap, I promise you won’t
regret it.

13. Be present on your travels – It can be so easy to look forward to the next destination that
you don’t appreciate where you are and what you are doing. Before you know it you will be
back in Europe wishing you were back in a warm sandy beach watching the sunset.

14. Get an Australian bank account – If you are on a working holiday visa be sure to get a bank
account as you will very quickly rack up interest and charges on your non-Australian bank
account. We used Commonwealth Bank travelling around Australia

15. Spend more time in fewer locations – Australia has some of the most amazing beaches we
have ever seen. It can be easy to get carried away trying to visit everything. Over the course
of two years, we managed to see an LOT of Australia but wish we had spent more time in
fewer places.

16. Get the right gear and back up data – Invest in a decent camera, it will make the difference
when backpacking around Australia. We took some amazing shots around in Australia, check
out some on our Instagram. Nothing is worse than a laptop, GoPro or Camera breaking and not having everything backed up. Invest in a
good hard drive and try to back up at least once a month.

17. Spend the money and take photos – Lastly backpacking around Australia is by far one of the
most expensive backpacking we have ever done and likely you will too. We took like 10K+
photos over the two years backpacking and working in Australia but looking through them
we missed a ton of places! So always remember take as many pictures as you can and enjoy
your trip!

Hope the above gives you a bit of insight into backpacking around Australia. It was one of the most
incredible experiences of our lives and have documented a lot of our travel on our
blog.

If you are making the move to Australia, you might also like our article on 101 things we wish we
knew before moving to Australia.
Have you ever backpacked around Australia? What was your experience, comment below:

14 Moments Every Backpacker Experiences

Our remake on matardornetwork’s original.

1. When you find the fare you were going to book just went up

2. When someone questions your travel motives

3. When you find yourself on a 20-hour bus ride

4. Being told the next place you’re going is overrated

5. Discovering your travel crush from a few weeks ago is staying at your hostel

6. Being too hungover to leave the hostel

7. When the hostel has free breakfast

8. When you can’t figure out the foreign computer at the hostel

9. When you’re very optimistic arriving at a new place, only to find out it’s not what you expected

10. When the person in your dorm talks too much

11. When you try to convince another traveller to go to the last place you visited

12. Thinking you’ll be able to make it out after drinking in the common room all day

13. When you missed the last bus out of town and you’re stranded for three days

14. When you’re almost out of money, but you still have three weeks of travel left

13 Tips For Travelling With Almost No Money

‘I want to travel but I have no money.’ Oh really? Well I want to slap you. If I received a dollar every time someone said this to me I’d be travelling a lot more than I currently am so either travel or give me a dollar!

Tip 1. Don’t spend your money on stupid shit

Seems like common sense doesn’t it? Well apparently not for 90% of people.

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Tip 2. Sell your crap (if you have any)

This is to get your started on your journey, use this money to buy a ticket and all the essentials you need for travel.

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Tip 3. Don’t be like this guy

Pack light. The less you pack the less you’ll spend on any means of transport / flights. No excess baggage costs etc. Just travel with a carry on.

pack-light

Tip 4. Don’t travel anywhere that’s out of your budget

Check out our guide here to see the top 10 cheapest destinations to go backpacking.

Cover

Tip 5. Work while you travel

Don’t be a complete hobo. You can find jobs to get you by as you go. If you don’t want to work and know how to busk do that. For the rest of us, hostels offer work for accommodation so that’s a roof over your head as well. I did this for months and we used to survive off eating food that other backpackers left.

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Tip 6. Couchsurf

If you need a place to sleep for free this can be useful. Make sure to plan far in advance to assure you have a couch pre-booked. A lot of people have started using backpackr for this as well.

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Tip 7. Try Hammocking or Camping

If there’s not a couch available just set up a hammock or tent wherever you are. You may get asked to move on but that’s alright, there’ll be somewhere else to set-up base around the corner.

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Tip 8. Hitch Hike

If you need to get somewhere and are really that broke, try hitch-hiking. I’ve met a guy who has hitched his way through every country in Europe.

Two Tourist Girls Hitchhiking

Tip 9. Wash Your Clothes in the Sink

We mention it a lot but this is a massive money saver. Mine are in the sink as I write this.

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Tip 10. Cut your Own Hair

I haven’t paid for a hair-cut for 7 years. That’s around $3,000 in savings! WOW that’s the equivalent of a round the world flight. If you don’t trust yourself get a friend to do it. If you don’t trust your friend don’t cut it at all.

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Tip 11. Explore cheap

Depending where you are you’ll find a lot of cities have free walking tours and museums etc. This allows you to see and learn some things while you travel for free.

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Tip 12. Eat Cheap

Now I don’t condone it but I used to steal food from the supermarket because I was actually that broke, but I survived. You can eat free legitimately if you do your research. For example in Vancouver, Canada there’s a temple called Shree Mahalakshmi where I used to go to eat free Indian food.

please_stop_stealing_food_thumb

 

Tip 13. Drink Cheap

All about the pre-drinking here. We know backpackers spend most of their money on booze and this will never change. Just make sure you drink before going out and maybe even take a flask with you too. Unless you’re in Cambodia where a beer at the pub will cost you 50c.

goonn

Any other tips you’ve found useful that you’d like to share? Chuck them in the comments!

 

 

 

10 More Crazy Party Hostels Around the World

Due to the popularity of our original 13 Great Party Hostels around the World we decided to bring you 10 more.

1. Carpe Noctem – Budapest, Hungary

Hostelworld travellers have said the staff of Carpe Noctem offer ‘awesome off-the-beaten-track tips to explore the city and are always willing to go the extra mile to help us find something exciting to do, ensure we get proper wrecked and feed our lush hangovers’.

“The best hostel I’ve stayed at! The staff is the insanely fun, they sure know how to party and know some sweet spots. I would come back 100%.” – Hostelworld Review

yo

2. Malibu Beach Hostel, Malibu Beach, Panama

“After checking in to my private room, I went down stairs to enjoy my free welcome shots and hang out with other travelers. They played great music and had a good party. There are hammocks all around the place to enjoy a drink and lay out, along with a great bar and small pop-up pool to cool off. The beach is a few steps away from the hostel…”

Mmelissameg – Panama City, Panama (Trip Advisor)

malibubeach

3. Rising Cock Party Hostel, Lagos, Portugal

Going hard since 2004, Rising Cock has become a haven where global travelers, international students and party connoisseurs come to have fun, relax and experience Lagos how it was meant to be.

“I stayed at many hostel in Portugal and the Rising Cock was definitely one of the best!!! Outstanding ambiance, great staff, and amazing free pubcrawl. I felt completely safe leaving my stuff in the room I was in. Everything was clean, the linen is changed every single time a new person comes in, Mama’s crepes are the best, and the location couldn’t be better. I loved my experience and would go again anytime!!”

LouTanguay – Canada (Hostel World)

risingcock

4. Hanoi Backpackers Hostel – Hanoi, Vietnam

This hostel throws a party at the drop of a hat. Started by Australians, the place has a legendary Sunday bash that includes traditional barbie and a free keg. Happy Hour starts at 5pm every day on the roof.

“It is crazy busy, which is good for a hostel and if you’re looking for a party… Overall it’s a good place to meet people if you’re young and want to party…”

Richie B – Tipperary, Ireland (TripAdvisor)
hanoi

5. Bounty Hotel – Bali, Indonesia

“This place is made for everyone who likes to party! Big rooms with all you need (and also a minibar with alcohol and snacks), a big and clean pool with a poolbar and sound during the whole day, clubs all around the hotel, full of young people, and a damn crazy party every Friday. If you like a quiet place, or dont like party, then i guess its the wrong place.”

Moritz F (Trip Advisor)

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6. The Mad House – Prague, Czech Republic

A beautiful city, ideal central location, cheap beer and a wild new short term home to get the party started. Remember it’s the Madhouse, not the behaved and sensible house!

Enjoy the taste of a free beer on arrival with the fridge stocked with help yourself $1 beers thereafter.

The beer pong games get you lubricated before the staff take you out (for free) and the party is on every single night. Prague’s nightlife is legendary and the staff know where to go to maximise the madness. Very highly rated, The MadHouse is the best hostel in Prague to start your party in a city known to party like tomorrow is the end of the world.

“Fantastic place to stay while exploring Prague!! The staff are very inclusive and the family meals are amazing!!! The nightly beer pong games and multiple planned events each night makes meeting people easy and fun. The location is great for walking to everything, and the burrito place is right around the corner.”

Anonymous review – Canada (HostelWorld)

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7. The Bulldog  – Amsterdam, Holland

It’s no exaggeration to say this is one of the best known hostels in the world. Most will know of its legend simply by word of mouth. It’s located right in the centre of the city smack bang in the middle of all the action, with the red light district and Dam Square mere steps away.

“If you’re looking for a party hostel, this is your place. It’s in a great location and the bar downstairs was always full. If you’re in Amsterdam to sight see and not spend the whole trip stoned and drunk, do not stay here. It was loud, our lockers were broken, the entire place reeked of weed, the shower was disgusting, and we cancelled our remaining nights and went to a hotel. The staff members were very nice, the wifi connection was strong, and the beds were comfortable though.”

Anonymous Female (HostelWorld)

Via Ryan Quinn
Via Ryan Quinn

8. Gilligans Backpackers – Cairns, Australia

Most travellers either begin or end their Aussie route in Cairns and the vibe here is pretty contagious. At Gilligan’s Resort, you can expect to dive right in to the party scene with regular social events and ‘cool people’.

“If you’re looking for a good time in Cairns, Gilligan’s is the place to go to. The staff is really helpful and friendly, the rooms are nice and clean and the atmosphere is full on party. Everyone is looking to meet people and have fun. If I ever go back to Cairns in my twenties that’s where I’m staying for sure.”  – Hostelworld Review

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9. SameSun Backpacker Lodge – Vancouver, Canada

The largest hostel in downtown Vancouver with a central location in the entertainment district . We boast a clean environment with a great social atmosphere and friendly staff, as well as the Beaver Lounge with food and drinks. Everything you need in a hostel!

“If you’d like to sleep, request a room not on the first floor. Other than the bar itself the loudest place in the hostel was my room, despite a plethora of signs about quiet hours after 11pm. On weekends the bar is open until 2pm and opens again at 7:30 for breakfast.” – Hostelworld Review

samesun

10. Miami International Traveler’s Hostel – Miami, Florida, USA

Miami Beach International Hostel is a lively hostel centrally located in the Art Deco district of Miami Beach, surrounded by bars and clubs and less than five minutes’ walk from the sands of South Beach. Hostelworld guests have said the friendly staff ‘think about what the traveller needs and try to provide it’ and that ‘this is by far the best hostel…for meeting people and partying’.

“Don’t think guests sharing dorms should bring visitors back after a night out to have sex. Very uncomfortable being in a dorm while this is going on and no where to go.” – Hostelworld Review

miam

5 Ridiculous Reasons to get Travel Insurance

1. Broken Penis

ouch

A backpacker was about to have sex when his frenulum split near the base. He needed a frenulectomy to fix the damage. All costs were paid for.

2. Falling Coconuts

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A traveller was in Sri Lanka when a coconut fell and hit her head while she was reading. She probably could have picked a better spot to sit but luckily her insurer covered all medical expenses.

3. Thieving Monkeys

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A couple on holiday in Malaysia went back to their lodge to discover they’d been robbed by  monkeys. All their clothes and valuables were scattered in the nearby forest. Unbelievably the insurance company paid for the valuables they couldn’t find.

4. Not-so Smooth Backpacker

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A young traveller was distracted by a group of women in bikinis. He walked into a bus shelter and broke his nose. What an absolute twat. Let’s just hope they were Swedish super models.

5. Camel Kick

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There are about 750,000 Camels roam free in the outback and one of them just so happened to kick the door of a travellers car door denting it. The insurance company had to pay when he produced video evidence.

6. Absolute Legend

cigar

A touch unrelated but this story was too good not to add to this list. A lawyer bought some cigars and insured them against all catastrophes. Floods, storms, and of course fires. Months later he filed a claim saying they’d disappeared in a series of “small fires”. The company that insured them correctly assumed he’d smoked them and told him to go away. The company was forced to pay up after the judge ruled in favour of the lawyer as the size of fire was not specified in the contract.

Backpackr has now teamed up with World Nomads to bring you cheap Travel Insurance. Get a free quote now.

12 Reasons Travellers are More Likely to Be Successful

1. They Welcome and Embrace Change

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As soon as you step foot off the plane you have invited change in to your life. People surrounded by new and different things tend to focus and are better at unlocking creativity.

2. They Succeed Outside their Comfort Zone

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Travellers are constantly surrounded by unfamiliar situations. In order to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way they need to find a solution. As it is not a rare situation for travellers, they learn to cope with different situations calmly and effectively. This is a key skill in any business.

3. They Manage Fear

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The key to success is action not talk-tion. Travellers don’t talk about what they’re going to do, they do it. Travellers get in situations where there is no turning back. This makes people face fears head on.

4. They Know how to control their Emotions

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Travellers go through a range of stress on a day to day basis. Border crossings, making tight flight connections, using a toilet with no paper or bum gun, etc. This trains travellers to handle themselves under pressure which develops self-awareness.

5. They Seize Opportunities

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‘Carpe Diem’ It’s safe to say almost all travellers jump at the opportunity to experience something new. A travellers plan often changes on a daily basis based on the opportunity that is placed in front of them. This helps improve innovative thinking.

6. They Trust others and Don’t Always Need to take Control

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Travellers are constantly meeting new people and they learn to trust them.  They deal with language barriers and often rely on the kindness of strangers. This helps build new relationships in both private life and and business.

7. They Know how to get What they Want

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Travellers learn how to avoid being scammed and taken advantage of without being pushy or aggressive. This is an important skill in leadership as you learn to lead by example and influence others.

8. They are More Confident 

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Even if they’re not confident in a certain situation travellers know how to fake it. They know what they want to accomplish and how to get the job done.

9. They Understand People Better

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Travelers are always meeting new people. They are open minded and curious of  other cultures and opinions. They learn to become good at asking questions and in so doing become more knowledgeable.  They make friends and learn the power of networking.

10.They Listen

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There’s a time to listen and a time to shut-up. As travellers are constantly meeting people on a daily basis they improve their listening skills which is in direct correlation to learning.

11. They  know how to budget

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Even if it means sleeping at the airport travellers know how to save their money for what they want (even if it’s partying). By making the world home you know where you can travel within your budget. By doing so travellers can live off less money and still live well.

12. They Know How to live for the Moment

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Rather than focusing on the past backpackers learn to live more for the present. This teaches them to focus more on their future goals as well. Travelling inspires us to build character and live the life we want.

Man Drunkenly Dances Around Europe

A drunken intention turned out to be the best experience of a man’s life after he travelled around the world getting drunk and dancing. Josh Stevenson, 20 woke up after a night of drinking to find he had booked a one way flight to Paris.

“I had absolutely no memory of doing it because I was drunk, but I thought hey! this is going to be fucking awesome” he said.

After arriving in Paris he got straight back on the booze and asked a random on the street to film him dancing in front of the Eiffel Tower.

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‘It was at this point I thought hey, wouldn’t it be cool if I get drunk and dance all around Europe and get people to video it?’ he said.

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‘I even got other people to join in! I was pretty hammered the whole time, but that’s travelling isn’t it?’ he said.

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‘I took it to the next level and decided to go to other places other than Europe as well. I got arrested in Costa Rica for being a public nuisance and dancing like an idiot’ he said.

soz

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‘In the end I decided that I would actually make the video a little more serious and try and inspire more people to travel’ Josh said.

13 Signs You’ve Been Backpacking for too Long

1. You don’t have a clue what day of the week it is, nor do you care.

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2. The majority of your friends were met through your travels.

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3. Because of this you have somewhere to stay in almost every Country you visit.

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4. Staying put for more than a few days makes you antsy.

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5. You really need a shave. That includes you too ladies.

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6. You’re no longer aware of your body odor and probably need a shower too.

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7. You’ve lost your accent.

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8. You’ve lost count of how many times you’ve washed your clothes in the sink.

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9. You’re an expert at finding the best deals.

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10. You don’t even know where home is anymore.

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11. People always reach out to you asking where you are.

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12. It feels like you’ve seen your family on Skype more than in real life.

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13. ‘Backpacking for too long’ is not possible in your eyes.

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What is your backpacker personality? (Quiz)

You asked for it, so we made it! Remember not to take this too seriously it’s just for a bit of fun. Let your friends know what you are and find out what they get too… Are you a nomadic slut? A true nomad? A flash-packer? A broke back-packer? A travel princess? A mummy’s boy? You may even be a stay at home mum! Enjoy.

Travelling soon and need to exchange money? Don’t forget to Czech our detailed article on how to save money here.

The Cheap as Hell Guide to Bangkok ($20/day)

Currency: 34 Thai Baht = $1 USD

Average Cost Per Day: $20 (THB 650) if you don’t pay for any attractions and drink a bit.

Drinks: Around 35 baht for a beer from 7 Eleven, or 275 baht for small bottle of whiskey.

Bed: Dorm bed from 180 baht, private from 300 baht and budget hotel room from 700 baht.

Food: 40 baht for a small street food meal (eg, pad thai, fried rice)

Transportation: 30 baht for skytrain (2 trips)

Difficulty Level: Easy!

Contents: Drink | Eat | Move | Sleep | SeeTips

Bangkok, the ultimate destination for virgin backpackers looking to set off on their journey. The most visited city in the world, Bangkok is a main hub for other South East Asian countries. Notorious for its night-life, beaches, food and sex tourism, there is something for everyone. A dream for the budget traveller with cheap food, hostels and relatively inexpensive drinks, you can easily stay a few nights here without spending more than $30 per day.

In this list we’ve compiled the cheapest places to drink, eat, sleep, see and where to meet people if you’re travelling alone.

Drink

Cost to get wasted: THB 300-500 if you stick to hard liquor and don’t eat much.

As it is the party capital of Asia, you can’t travel to Bangkok without having a few drinks. With a good selection of local beer, whiskey and rum, world class nightclubs, fancy rooftop bars, ubiquitous “liquor trucks” and backpacker hot spots like Khaosan Road you’ll definitely have a good time.

What to drink

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Cheers Beer – Large cans usually sold in 2 packs for around THB 60, not the best tasting but worth it!

Archa Beer – Dirt cheap but gives you a serious hangover.

Leo Beer – THB 55 for a 650 ml bottle or 38 THB for a can.

SangSom Bucket – Rum, tonic, coke or redbull for THB 250-400 a bucket.

Hong Thong Whiskey – THB 275 for a 375ml bottle.

Where to drink

7 Eleven

Be warned that 7 Eleven does not sell beer from 2-5pm and 12-10 am due to liquor laws, but you can usually find other mini marts that will ignore these laws.

Liquor Trucks

You will find these flashy, neon lit up trucks lined along the road after around 10pm. Sukhumvit soi 11 was notorious for these, but after new laws with the military government, it seems they are rarer. A bottle of beer will be around THB 60-80. They also serve cocktails and buckets.

Khaosan Road

The infamous Khaosan Road, a backpacker hotspot located in the “old city” of Bangkok. With plenty of bars, nightclubs and street food every night turns into a party. You can find buckets of Sangsom and Redbull starting from 200 baht and small Chang’s from 60 baht.

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Golf Bar, famous for cheap buckets and not checking ID’s…

Eat

Cost per day: THB 120 is doable.

If you want to eat on a budget, there’s quite a few places you can eat. On the street, at 7 Eleven or at food courts. Avoid large fast food chains and fancy restaurants aimed at tourists as this will break your budget. We recommend sticking to 7 Eleven and eating their frozen food that they will heat up for you if you really want to save money. Also stick to food courts like Pier 21 in Terminal 21 or any food court in any large shopping mall such as MBK or Siam Paragon.

What to eat

Street Food – From chicken and pork innards to delicious grilled chicken, starting from THB 15 per stick. Can be found almost anywhere on the street.

Pad Thai – The ubiquitous Thai dish , starting around THB 40 at most street stalls.

Chicken Rice – Plain chicken on rice which costs around THB 50.

Green Curry – Another famous Thai dish starting at around THB 100.

7 Eleven Sandwich – Price is around THB 25.

7 Eleven Frozen Dinner – Starting from around THB 35.

Food Court Meal – Starting from around THB 40 for a variety of great Thai foods.

Where to eat

Pier 21

Located in Terminal 21 on Sukhumvit Soi 21, this is my go to place when I want to eat clean, delicious and cheap food!

7 Eleven

There is one on every corner, more ubiquitous than lady boys and plastic bags. All kinds of cheap food to eat here, just ask them to heat it up for you, “Mee Wave Krap.” Family Mart is an alternative if by some chance you can’t find a 711.

Street Food

If you can’t find street food in Bangkok then you’re doing something wrong. It’s usually the cheapest food there is, but you may still be hungry after.

Move

Cost per day: THB 60 is reasonable if you’re only using the sky-train and making a few trips.

Bangkok surprisingly is a great city for public transportation and very convenient with a taxi or tuktuk on every corner and the reliable and cheap sky-train. There are also boat taxis for a more “cultural” experience.

How to get around

Walking (Free)

My favourite way of getting around any city. It’s free and keeps you fit. The side-walks tend to be crowded and full of street stalls and makeshift shops so you may have to walk on the street at times.

BTS Sky-train/MRT (THB 15)

The go to mode of transportation and the cheapest and quickest. Fares start at 15 baht for one stop, and go up to 52 baht for longer journeys. This will take you to most places around the city except for old town (Grand Temple and Khaosan Road). More info here: BTS Skytrain

Bus (THB 2)

The cheapest option after walking, Bangkok’s bus network is very extensive, 2 THB will get you anywhere within city limits and you can experience the life of a local.

Taxi (THB 42)

Has to be one of my least favourite options as the traffic in Bangkok is notoriously awful. If you want to take a taxi make sure you get one that will put the meter on otherwise taxi drivers will try charge more. You may need to hail 5 or more cabs before you get one who will agree to do this because most prefer to get a fare off someone who doesn’t know better. The meter starts at 42 baht and begins ticking up after about 5 minutes. There are also motorcycle taxis which are great for getting around quickly.

Boat (THB 10 – 40)

There are two boat services in Bangkok. First there’s Chao Phraya Express Boat, servicing the Chao Phraya River which is popular among tourists for getting to landmarks such as the Grand Palace. Then there’s the Saen Saep Express Boat, used mainly by locals who commute to work. The fare differs based on the colour of the flag or route. More info can be found here.

Tuk Tuk (THB 50 – 400)

I wouldn’t even bother with this unless you have absolutely no other choice. They tend to rip you off once you get to the destination or take you on a detour trying to get you to buy a suit or cheap jewellery. Once you know exactly how much it should cost to get somewhere you can consider travelling in these after first agreeing on a price.

Sleep

Cost per day: THB 200 is reasonable if you want an okay sleep with A/C in a dorm room.

For budget travellers the Khao San Road area offers the cheapest accommodation with many guest houses, hostels and budget hotels. This is the main backpacker hotspot. If you want to get away from this crowd, Silom and Sukhumvit areas are more up-scale and you can still find cheap accommodation.

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Khao San Road, the backpacker hotspot.

Where to sleep

Khao San Road (THB 150 and up)

This is the first destination for most backpackers in Thailand. Crowded streets with cheap food, alcohol and sweaty men in Chang t-shirts. The cheapest accommodation is on the side streets and not on the road itself. If you want the best deal, you’ll have to walk around until you find a small guest house or hostel that won’t be listed on any websites (you can haggle too). These run on average around THB 200 for an 8 bed dorm with AC if you’re lucky. If you like to be prepared and need to book before you go then you should check out these:

Rest Inn Hostel Dormitory (฿220)

Khaosan Road Rainbow Hostel (฿200)

Sukhumvit Road

Another great alternative to Khao San Road if you don’t feel like hanging out in a dirty neighborhood. Sukhumvit 11 offers some great nightlife and food, but it can get pricey.

Stay Hostel (฿212)

The City At Fifty Hostel(฿195)

Silom

A more up-scale neighbourhood with lots of cheap food and interesting things to see, including the notorious Patpong Street.

Everyday Bangkok Hostel (฿250)

Thrive the Hostel (฿250)

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Everyday Bangkok Hostel

See

Cost per day: You can do this for free.

What to see

Temples (50 baht)

The famous Wat Arun.

Wat Arun Entrance fee is only 50 baht and it’s a great sight to behold. The other temples such as the Grand Palace will be beyond this budget, however you can stand outside and take pictures.

Shopping 

MBK and Platinum Fashion Malls are great places to get lost in the maze of stores and stalls. Chatuchak weekend market has over 8,000 stalls and  you can walk around all day looking for cheap clothes/toys and even live animals.

Nightlife Districts (Free)

Patpong street in Silom is a sight to behold and so is Soi Cowboy but you’ll want to watch out for all the venereal diseases.

Rooftop Bars

You can get into rooftop bars for free but make sure you dress up and don’t buy any alcohol if you’re that cheap. You may find yourself getting kicked out for being a tight-ass though. Some good ones are Octave, Above 11 and Lebua Skybar.

Octave Rooftop Bar
Octave Rooftop Bar

Khao San Road (Free)

A sight in itself. Chill out at one of the tables on the street drinking cheap beer while watching people make fools out of themselves.

Quick Tips

Arriving: The airport train is 45 THB to the city, taxi is 300 THB.

Best time to visit: from November to April (warm and humid year round).

Language: English is not widely spoken, so expect a large language barrier. Try and at least learn to count in Thai and the names of food before you go.

Currency: It’s best to get some Thai Baht before you go, if not there are many small bank kiosks to change your currency for a reasonable price. ATM’s charge a flat rate of 180 baht in most places, so when you withdraw, take out as much money as you can. You should consider setting up a Thai bank account and transferring money internationally to save yourself even more. We wrote a detailed article about it here.

Haggling: Know your prices. This means doing some research before buying anything. You’ll find that a lot of the stores will sell the exact same thing so if you see something you like ask for the best price and don’t act overly interested. Ignore the whole ‘special price for you my friend’, because it’s all part of the game. After being given their ‘best price’ start walking away and before you know it the price will start rapidly dropping. Before long you will start to work out exactly how cheap you can get it for and when going to another store you’ll be armed with this knowledge. You may end up paying 1/10th of the initial price.

Scams: There are a lot of scams for the gullible and inexperienced. To begin with don’t get into a tuk-tuk and watch out for taxis offering you to take you somewhere that you didn’t initially want to go. Also be aware of tour guides telling you a certain temple is closed (which is a lie) and offering you to take you to a more expensive one.

Protecting your belongings: Thai people are great but like a lot of places in the world there are people out their who will try and steal your shit. Now I know money belts and neck lanyards  look lame but you may consider some sort of protection as I can guarantee  someone will try to pick-pocket you at some point. I used to put mine around the neck and under the shirt so unless you’re getting freaky with a girl (or lady-boy) it should be safe. You may also consider leaving all valuables locked up and only go out with the money you need.

 

The Bottom Line

If you walk every where, eat at 7 Eleven or food courts, stick to hard liquor, don’t pay to see any attractions and sleep at a dorm for 200 baht you can easily do Bangkok on 600 baht per day. Add 30 baht for the sky train if you don’t feel like walking.

Food: 120 baht

Accommodation: 200 baht

Transportation: 30 baht

Liquor: 300 baht

Total: 650 baht per day you cheap motherf&cker!

14 Awesome Water Slides from Around the World

Because who the hell doesn’t like to ride a bad-ass water slide? Even if you’re afraid of heights and can’t swim this is still a thrill you can enjoy as it requires no effort or skill. As long as you can walk up the stairs you’re ready to go.

1. BSR Wake Park, Waco, Texas

The largest of these three slides is apparently the worlds longest and tallest chute waterslide.

2. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

The Leap of Faith has a 60-foot drop from the top of this stunning Mayan Temple, submerging riders in a tunnel under a “shark filled lagoon.”

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3. Città del Mare, Italy

You can slide right into the Mediterranean Sea at this Italian resort.

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4. L2, Austria

The first “double loop” waterslide in the world and it looks pretty ominous!

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5. Slip N Fly, Koh Phangnan, Thailand

In the same vein as BSR Wake Park, but this is on the island notorious for it’s full moon parties!

6. Insano, Brazil

With a fitting name,  this used to be the World’s Tallest Water Slide, standing at 135-feet tall and reaching speeds up to 65 mph.

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7. Master Blaster Water Coasters, Dubai

Located at Atlantis The Palms Resort, these dizzying slides take you through the park for a crazy, wet adventure.

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8. Black Hole – Bad 1 – Germany

This slide might be as close as you can get to an acid trip in a water park without actually taking acid..

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9. Boeing 747, Oregon

This plane is actually a water slide. I wonder if it flies?

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10. Head-first Racer, China

The perfect slide at Chimelong Waterpark if you crave a little competition between your friends.

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11.Epic Plunge, Norwegian Cruise Line

A water slide on a cruise ship? This would be ten times cooler if the slides actually emptied into the ocean.

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12. Verrückt – Schlitterbahn Water Park – Kansas City

Taller than the Statue of Liberty, this is the world’s tallest water slide at 168 feet and 7 inches. I’d definitely be Schittering all over the place if I went down this.

13. Big Thunder, Florida

Hold hands with your best mate, or hold a beer as you ride through a 45-degree drop that accelerates the raft into a huge funnel at 20 mph at Rapids Waterpark in West Palm Beach.

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14. Tantrum Alley, Dubai

This is just dizzying to look at!

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If you’e looking to transfer some money so you can experience these bad-ass slides Czech out our article on how to save money when transferring internationally here.

Cheapest way to Transfer Money Internationally

TLDR; If you like travelling and/or need to transfer money internationally read this for a free money transfer & learn how to save yourself a lot of money.

Overview: The new and simplest way to transfer money is peer to peer trading. Simply put, if I want your currency and you want mine, we swap. We ignore banks completely and use a secure website as our source of connection. We pay a small fee per transaction however we get the normal currency exchange rate.

moneytr

If you haven’t already guessed it, we don’t recommend direct transfers between your bank accounts. Although at first it may seem appealing to go through reputable banks, there are a few costs that need to be considered:

1. The bank you send from has a sending fee

2. You get a really shitty exchange rate

3. There’s usually a receiving fee on the other end

Depending on the amount being transferred one can expect to pay anywhere from US$30 – $60 in charges as well as getting a very standard exchange rate. This means that if you make 10 transfers it could cost you  $300-$600 in unnecessary charges (the equivalent amount of money you’d be able to use to travel for 2-4 weeks through South-East Asia).

The solution: Seek alternatives to big banks when transferring money. Some people use Paypal which is definitely better, however an even better solution is peer to peer trading which works by cutting banks out of the equation altogether. There are lots of sites out there but to save you time we’ve listed two well known (and 100% secure) sites that we use and would highly recommend.

Currency Fair

One of their co-founders suffered a massive fee when transferring money through his bank so he came to the conclusion that there should be a cheaper option and lo and behold Currency Fair was born. Now a world renowned peer to peer market exchange, Currency Fair has saved its customers over 126 million euros. They do charge a small fee per transaction, however we’ve reached out to their team and they’ve organised you the first trade free if you sign up through this link – https://www.currencyfair.com/backpackr

Transfer Wise

A newer UK based peer to peer company that we’ve found has great rates if you’re not transferring large amounts. It supports more than 300 currency routes across the world so if you’re looking for an alternative to Currency Fair you should definitely Czech it out. They’ve also agreed to organise a free transfer up to $3,000 when you go through this link – https://transferwise.com/u/24880.

While there are a whole plethora of additional companies out there that offer money transfer services these two are ones we have personally used and are by far the cheapest way to transfer money. It’s completely up to you on which service you decide best fits your needs and what you’re looking for. Regardless, you’ll save yourself some hard earned $$$.

If you’ve read up to here and are still a bit unsure how it works don’t worry, we know that some people are slower than others! This video should give you a clearer understanding.

If you’ve found this information useful feel free to share this article and transfer links with your friends so they can save money too.

Before you go register your free account with CurrencyFair here.

Or alternatively register your free account with Transferwise here.

Are there any other sites you use that you’d like to recommend to our readers? Chuck them in the comments! For now, safe travels.

Backpackr Team

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