How important is a budget plan for backpacking?

Why do we go backpacking? Most of us would say – to explore a place using the way of locals, at slow pace, by spending as little as possible.

For a student or someone who has just begun working, options on a backpacking trip are fairly straightforward. Travel in local buses, eat at affordable eateries, walk at length and crash at economical homestays or hostels which in turn create plenty of chances for things to go right and wrong. Surprises spring up at every turn and there would be interesting stories to tell on getting back home.

On the other hand, as someone who has worked for years now, if you have a considerable amount of money at disposal on a backpacking trip and no spending limits, what becomes of your options? Where there had been only one way to commute now there are three – embark on a 7 hour journey by bus or hire a taxi which will be convenient but costly or take a flight which will be more convenient but even more costly. Amidst all the tiredness and temptation of comfort, I would’nt blame you if you take a taxi or flight.

But, choice such as this to make your trip convenient will not end here. Hotels over home stays, pony rides over hikes, fine dining over street food, and slowly… the trip will take a different route. Everything will become too easy. Little interaction with natives. No more inconveniences. Having set out for a backpacking trip, before you know it, comfort would have taken over experience.

In my opinion defining spending limits and sticking to it might very well keep you on track and true to the spirit of backpacking. After all, as G.K. Chesterton quoted ‘an adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered!’

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