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How Can You Get The Money To Do Long-Distance Backpacking


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Leeann Handy



Embarking on a long-distance backpacking adventure is a dream shared by many travel enthusiasts around the world. The idea of exploring new places, immersing oneself in different cultures, and experiencing the freedom of being on the road is undeniably enticing. However, one of the biggest challenges that aspiring backpackers face is obtaining the necessary funds to turn this dream into a reality.


While long-distance backpacking can require a significant financial commitment, there are various strategies and options available to help you secure the funds needed for your adventure. Whether you want to hike the famous Appalachian Trail in the United States, explore the stunning landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island, or trek through the mystical mountains of Peru, here are some tips and methods to consider when financing your long-distance backpacking trip.


Before delving into the specific ways to acquire the necessary funds, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your budget. Determine how much money you’ll need for the entire duration of your trip, including transportation, accommodation, food, visas, travel insurance, and any additional expenses. By having a detailed budget, you can better assess which funding options will be most appropriate for your specific needs.


Whether you’re starting from scratch or have some savings already, saving money is an essential step towards funding your long-distance backpacking adventure. Consider implementing the following tips to help you maximize your savings:

  • Set a monthly saving goal and create a budget to track your expenses.
  • Cut down on unnecessary expenses, such as eating out or buying new clothes.
  • Move to a cheaper living situation, such as downsizing to a smaller apartment or finding roommates.
  • Take on a part-time job or freelance work to generate additional income.
  • Use apps and tools to help you save money, such as automatic savings transfers or cashback programs.

By implementing these saving strategies, you can steadily increase your travel fund while still maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. However, if saving alone isn’t enough to cover the entire cost of your trip, there are other avenues to explore.


Saving Tips for Long-Distance Backpacking

When it comes to long-distance backpacking, every penny counts. The more you can save before setting off on your adventure, the longer you can stay on the road. Here are some valuable tips to help you boost your savings:

  • Create a Budget: Before you start saving, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your expenses and how much you can realistically save each month. Identify your financial priorities and allocate a specific amount of money towards your travel fund.
  • Cut Down on Daily Expenses: Small expenses can add up quickly, so it’s crucial to minimize them as much as possible. Consider packing your lunch instead of eating out, making your own coffee instead of buying it from a café, and utilizing public transportation instead of taking taxis or rideshares.
  • Track Your Spending: Keep a record of all your expenses to identify areas where you can cut back. Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to easily monitor your spending habits and make adjustments where necessary.
  • Downsize and Declutter: Take this opportunity to declutter your life and sell any unnecessary belongings. Not only will this help you generate some extra cash, but it will also lighten your load for when you start backpacking.
  • Opt for Cost-Effective Accommodation: Look for budget-friendly accommodation options such as hostels, guesthouses, or even camping. Consider staying in dormitory-style rooms to save money on accommodation costs.
  • Cook Your Own Meals: Eating out can quickly drain your budget. Instead, visit local markets, grocery stores, or prepare simple meals in a shared kitchen at your accommodation. This not only saves money but also allows you to experience the local cuisine in a more authentic way.
  • Be Flexible with Your Destination: Consider traveling to destinations where the cost of living is lower. Look for countries or regions where your money can stretch further, allowing you to stay on the road for a longer period.
  • Travel During the Off-Season: Flights and accommodations are usually cheaper during the off-peak travel season. By avoiding peak travel times, you can save a significant amount of money on transportation and accommodation expenses.
  • Take Advantage of Travel Rewards: Sign up for travel credit cards or loyalty programs that offer rewards such as airline miles or hotel points. Use these rewards to offset some travel expenses or even secure free flights or accommodations.
  • Work While Traveling: Consider taking on short-term jobs or gigs while on the road. Work opportunities can range from teaching English to freelance writing, farm work, or volunteering in exchange for accommodation and meals.

Remember, saving money is a continuous process, and every effort you make will bring you closer to your goal of long-distance backpacking. Stay focused, be mindful of your spending habits, and make adjustments along the way to ensure a successful and budget-friendly adventure.


Budgeting for Long-Distance Backpacking

When it comes to long-distance backpacking, creating a comprehensive budget is essential for a successful and stress-free adventure. Budgeting allows you to have a clear understanding of your expenses, allocate funds accordingly, and make informed decisions throughout your journey. Here are some tips to help you effectively budget for your long-distance backpacking trip:

  • Identify Your Expenses: Start by making a list of all the expenses you anticipate during your trip. This includes transportation, accommodation, food, visas, travel insurance, activities, and any other potential costs. Be thorough and realistic in estimating these expenses to ensure accuracy.
  • Research Costs: Research the cost of living in the countries or regions you plan to visit. Look into the average prices for accommodation, local transportation, food, and attractions. This will give you a rough idea of how much you’ll need to budget for each category.
  • Allocate Funds: Once you have a clear understanding of your expenses, allocate funds to each category based on priority. Determine which expenses are essential and which ones you can be more flexible with. This will help guide your spending decisions and ensure you have enough money for the duration of your trip.
  • Consider Contingency: It’s always wise to have a buffer for unexpected expenses or emergencies. Set aside a portion of your budget as a contingency fund to give yourself peace of mind and financial security while on the road.
  • Track Your Spending: Keep a record of all your expenses during your trip. Use a travel budgeting app or keep a spreadsheet to track your daily spending. This will help you stay accountable and make adjustments to your budget if necessary.
  • Find Ways to Save: Look for opportunities to save money throughout your journey. Opt for budget-friendly accommodation, cook your own meals, use public transportation, and seek out free or low-cost activities and attractions. These small savings can add up and help you extend the duration of your trip.
  • Be Realistic: It’s important to set realistic expectations when it comes to your budget. While it’s tempting to stretch your money as much as possible, be mindful of your comfort and safety. Don’t sacrifice essential needs or travel experiences solely to save a few dollars.
  • Review and Adjust: Regularly review your budget and expenses to ensure you’re staying on track. If you find that you’re consistently overspending in certain areas, identify areas where you can cut back or consider adjusting your itinerary to better align with your budget.

Remember, budgeting is not meant to restrict your enjoyment or freedom during your backpacking adventure. Instead, it serves as a guide to help you manage your finances effectively and make the most of your long-distance journey. By taking the time to create a realistic budget and sticking to it, you can embark on your backpacking adventure with financial confidence.


Crowdfunding and Fundraising Options for Long-Distance Backpacking

If you’re passionate about long-distance backpacking but find yourself lacking the necessary funds, crowdfunding and fundraising can be viable options to consider. These methods allow you to reach out to friends, family, and even strangers who share your enthusiasm for travel and adventure. Here are some crowdfunding and fundraising options to help you finance your long-distance backpacking trip:

  • Crowdfunding Platforms: Websites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo provide a platform for individuals to create campaigns and share their stories and goals. Through these platforms, you can explain your backpacking adventure, the purpose behind it, and how the funds will be utilized. Share your campaign on social media and reach out to your network to maximize visibility and increase the chances of receiving support.
  • Social Media Fundraising: Leverage the power of social media by creating posts and sharing your journey with your friends, family, and followers. Be transparent about your financial goals and explain how their support can make a difference. Offer updates and show your appreciation to those who contribute to your travel fund.
  • Personal Fundraising Events: Organize fundraising events such as garage sales, bake sales, or even parties. Invite your friends, family, and community members to participate and donate to your cause. Be creative and think about activities or services you can provide in exchange for donations.
  • Sponsorship and Partnerships: Reach out to travel-related companies, outdoor gear brands, or local businesses and pitch the idea of sponsorship. Offer to promote their products or services on your social media channels or blog in exchange for financial support or discounted gear. This can be mutually beneficial as it provides exposure for the company while helping you fund your trip.
  • Participation in Fundraising Events: Explore the option of participating in fundraising events for charitable causes. Many organizations organize events like charity walks, runs, or cycling challenges. By taking part and raising funds for the organization, you can also raise funds for your own backpacking adventure.
  • Writing Grant Applications: Do thorough research to identify grants and scholarships that support travel or adventure-related endeavors. Prepare well-crafted grant applications that clearly articulate your goals, purpose, and financial need. Tailor your applications to the specific requirements of each grant and highlight your passion and dedication for backpacking.

When utilizing these crowdfunding and fundraising options, it’s important to be transparent and genuine in your approach. Clearly communicate your intentions, how you plan to use the funds, and how it aligns with your personal goals and values. Express your gratitude towards those who offer their support and keep them updated on your journey.


Remember, crowdfunding and fundraising require effort and dedication. It’s not a guaranteed way to fund your entire trip, but it can certainly provide a significant boost to your travel fund. Combine these methods with personal savings and other income-generating strategies for a well-rounded approach to financing your long-distance backpacking adventure.


Grants and Scholarships for Long-Distance Backpacking

If you have a passion for long-distance backpacking and a desire to explore the world, grants and scholarships can be valuable resources to help fund your adventure. These opportunities provide financial assistance for individuals looking to embark on meaningful travel experiences. Here are some grants and scholarships to consider for your long-distance backpacking journey:

  • National and International Foundations: Many foundations offer grants and scholarships for travel and adventure pursuits. Research organizations that support travel, cultural exchange, and adventure-related initiatives. Some examples include The National Geographic Society, The Explorers Club, and The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund. Check their websites for grant opportunities and application details.
  • Educational Institutions: If you’re a student or recent graduate, your educational institution may have funding opportunities specifically for travel or research projects. Explore scholarships, grants, or fellowships offered by your school or department. Speak with advisors or professors who may have information on travel funding options.
  • Specialized Travel Programs: Some travel organizations or programs offer their own scholarships or financial aid for participants. These may be focused on specific destinations, outdoor skills, or cultural immersion. Research travel programs that align with your goals and inquire about available funding options or scholarships.
  • Cultural Exchange Programs: Cultural exchange programs, such as the Fulbright Program or the Rotary Foundation’s Ambassadorial Scholarships, offer opportunities for international travel and cultural engagement. These programs typically require applicants to have a well-defined project or research proposal. Carefully review the eligibility requirements and application process for these programs.
  • Travel Writing or Photography Contests: Various travel publications and organizations run contests that award travel grants or cash prizes for exceptional travel writing or photography. Submit your work to these contests and seize the opportunity to both showcase your talent and potentially secure funding for your long-distance backpacking trip.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofit organizations focused on conservation, environmentalism, or cultural preservation may offer grants or scholarships for individuals committed to sustainable travel or research. Look for organizations that align with your values and goals, and explore their funding opportunities.
  • Government Funding: In some cases, government agencies or departments may have travel grants or scholarships available for individuals pursuing educational or research projects abroad. Visit government websites or contact relevant departments to inquire about potential funding opportunities.

When applying for grants and scholarships, it’s important to thoroughly review the application requirements and guidelines. Pay attention to submission deadlines, document requirements, and eligibility criteria. Craft a compelling application that highlights your passion for long-distance backpacking and the impact your journey will have on your personal growth and understanding of the world.


Remember, grant and scholarship opportunities can be competitive, so take the time to prepare and present the best possible application. Even if you don’t secure full funding, partial funding or recognition from these programs can still provide valuable support for your long-distance backpacking adventure.


Working and Earning Money while Backpacking

For those looking to extend their long-distance backpacking journey or simply cover some expenses along the way, working and earning money while on the road can be a practical solution. This not only provides financial support but also allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and gain unique experiences. Here are some ways to work and earn money while backpacking:

  • Freelancing or Remote Work: If you have marketable skills such as writing, graphic design, programming, or digital marketing, consider freelancing or finding remote work opportunities. Websites and platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr connect freelancers with clients from around the world.
  • Teaching English: English is in high demand worldwide, and many countries offer opportunities to teach English as a second language. Research countries with a strong demand for English teachers and explore programs like TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) to get certified.
  • Farm Work or WWOOFing: Engage in agricultural work or participate in the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program. This allows you to exchange your labor for accommodation and meals. It’s a great way to experience rural life, learn new skills, and reduce living expenses.
  • Working Holiday Visas: Several countries offer working holiday visas for travelers looking to work and travel simultaneously. This allows you to legally work for a certain period while exploring a new country. Research countries that offer working holiday visas and check the specific visa requirements and restrictions.
  • Tour Guide or Hospitality Work: If you’re knowledgeable about a specific destination or have experience in the hospitality industry, consider working as a tour guide, hostel staff, or in a hotel. These jobs often provide accommodation, meals, and a chance to interact with fellow travelers and locals.
  • Volunteering: Many organizations around the world offer volunteering opportunities in exchange for food and accommodation. It’s a way to give back to the community, learn new skills, and reduce expenses. Websites like Workaway and HelpX connect volunteers with hosts seeking help with various projects.
  • Selling Handmade Items or Artwork: If you’re talented in creating handmade items or artwork, consider selling your creations. Set up an online shop or visit local markets and craft fairs to sell your products. This allows you to earn money while showcasing your creativity.
  • Blogging or Vlogging: If you have a passion for writing or documenting your travels through videos, consider starting a travel blog or YouTube channel. By building a dedicated audience and monetizing your content through advertising, brand partnerships, or affiliate marketing, you can earn income while sharing your travel experiences.

When working while backpacking, it’s important to research visa regulations and local laws to ensure you’re legally allowed to work in a particular country. Be prepared to adapt to different work environments and embrace the local culture as you endeavor to earn money on your journey.


Working and earning money while backpacking not only helps finance your trip but also enriches your travel experience by providing opportunities for cultural exchange, personal growth, and unique connections with people from around the world.


Selling Personal Belongings or Assets to Fund Long-Distance Backpacking

If you’re committed to embarking on a long-distance backpacking adventure but find yourself short of funds, one practical solution is to sell personal belongings or assets. By decluttering your life and selling items you no longer need or use, you can generate additional income to help finance your journey. Here are some tips for selling personal belongings or assets:

  • Assess Your Belongings: Take an inventory of your possessions and identify items that you’re willing to part with. This could include clothing, electronics, furniture, sports equipment, or even your car. Be realistic and let go of things that are not essential or hold sentimental value.
  • Research Prices: Before listing your items for sale, research their market value to ensure you’re setting a fair price. Check online marketplaces, such as eBay or Craigslist, to see how similar items are priced. Take into account the condition, age, and demand for the items when determining the selling price.
  • Choose the Right Platform: Decide where to sell your items based on their nature and target audience. Online platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace are suitable for a wide range of items, while specialized websites or forums cater to specific categories like electronics or collectibles. Alternatively, consider hosting a garage sale or participating in local flea markets.
  • Take High-Quality Photos: Capture clear and appealing photos of your items to attract potential buyers. Use good lighting and present the items in an organized and visually enticing manner. Include detailed descriptions highlighting the item’s features, condition, and any relevant details that would interest buyers.
  • Promote Your Listings: Share your listings on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, to reach a wider audience. Ask friends and family to spread the word or consider joining online groups or forums dedicated to buying and selling to connect with potential buyers.
  • Negotiate and Close Deals: Be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers to secure the best price for your items. Respond promptly to inquiries and maintain open communication to build trust with buyers. Once a deal is agreed upon, arrange a safe and convenient method of payment and delivery or pickup.
  • Be Safe and Trustworthy: When selling items online, prioritize your safety. Meet in well-lit public places or consider using secure payment methods like PayPal. Maintain honest and transparent communication with buyers to foster trust and secure successful transactions.
  • Consider Renting Out Assets: If you have assets like a spare room, a car, or even a camera gear, consider renting them out to earn additional income. Utilize platforms like Airbnb, Turo, or specialized camera rental websites to list your assets and connect with potential renters.

Selling personal belongings or assets not only provides you with additional funds for your long-distance backpacking journey but also allows you to declutter your life and travel more lightly. Remember to assess your belongings carefully and prioritize items that are easy to sell and have a decent market value. Put effort into creating appealing listings, and don’t forget to prioritize your safety and maintain open communication with potential buyers.


By turning your unused belongings into cash, you can fund a part or even the entirety of your long-distance backpacking adventure while simultaneously embracing a minimalist lifestyle.


Taking Out a Loan for Long-Distance Backpacking

If you’re determined to embark on a long-distance backpacking adventure but don’t have the immediate funds to finance it, taking out a loan can be a viable option. While it’s important to approach loans with caution, they can provide the necessary financial support to turn your travel dreams into reality. Here are some considerations and tips for taking out a loan for long-distance backpacking:

  • Evaluate Your Financial Situation: Before considering a loan, assess your financial circumstances. Determine your ability to repay the loan, including considering your income, expenses, and any existing debt obligations. It’s essential to only borrow what you can comfortably afford to repay.
  • Research Loan Options: Explore different loan options to find the one that suits your needs. Research traditional banks, online lenders, or credit unions to compare interest rates, repayment terms, and any associated fees. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully and fully understand the loan agreement before proceeding.
  • Consider Personal Loans: Personal loans are a common choice for financing travel adventures. They typically have lower interest rates compared to credit cards and are often unsecured, meaning you don’t need to provide collateral. Shop around for the best interest rates and repayment terms that align with your financial goals.
  • Explore Peer-to-Peer Lending: Peer-to-peer lending platforms connect borrowers with individual lenders. These platforms are often online-based and offer competitive interest rates. However, be sure to thoroughly research the platform and lender credibility before proceeding.
  • Check for Travel-Specific Loans: Some lenders may offer specific travel loans or lines of credit designed for individuals seeking funding for travel-related purposes. These loans may have terms and conditions catered specifically to travelers, potentially offering benefits such as flexible repayment options or travel insurance coverage.
  • Understand the Costs and Repayment Terms: Before accepting a loan, ensure you fully understand the costs involved, including interest rates, origination fees, and any other fees associated with the loan. Consider the repayment terms and create a repayment plan that fits your budget to avoid any financial strain.
  • Borrow Responsibly: While loans can provide the necessary funds, it’s crucial to borrow responsibly. Only borrow what you need and avoid taking on excessive debt. Keep in mind that loans require regular repayments, so factor in these obligations when planning your budget for the duration of your backpacking adventure.
  • Plan for Unexpected Expenses: Be prepared for unexpected expenses while traveling. It’s a good idea to set aside a portion of the loan for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. This way, you can navigate any unexpected situations without compromising your ability to repay the loan.

Taking out a loan for long-distance backpacking can be a practical solution to fund your adventure. However, it’s essential to weigh the benefits against the costs and ensure that the loan aligns with your long-term financial goals. Make informed decisions, borrow responsibly, and have a clear plan for repayment to ensure a successful and manageable loan experience.


Remember, taking on debt is a serious commitment, so carefully consider all your options and assess your financial readiness before proceeding with a loan.



Embarking on a long-distance backpacking adventure is an exciting and transformative experience. While funding your journey may seem like a daunting task, there are numerous strategies and options available to make it a reality. By combining different methods and being resourceful, you can secure the necessary funds to embark on your dream backpacking adventure.


Saving money is the foundation of funding your trip. Implementing smart saving strategies, such as budgeting, cutting down on daily expenses, and finding ways to generate additional income, can help you build a significant travel fund. Additionally, exploring crowdfunding and fundraising options allows you to reach out to your network and beyond for financial support.


If you meet certain criteria, grants and scholarships can offer non-repayable funds to facilitate your long-distance backpacking journey. Researching and applying for travel-related grants and scholarships can significantly alleviate your financial burden. Moreover, considering working and earning money while backpacking allows you to finance your trip and gain unique experiences along the way.


Another option is to sell personal belongings or assets that you no longer need, generating income while lightening your load. This can serve as a dual purpose of funding your trip and embracing a minimalist lifestyle. In some cases, taking out a loan can provide you with the necessary funds upfront, allowing you to embark on your backpacking adventure sooner.


Ultimately, the key to successfully funding your long-distance backpacking trip is to evaluate your financial situation, set clear goals, and develop a robust plan. Utilize a combination of funding strategies that align with your circumstances and preferences. Remember to prioritize responsible financial management and consider the long-term impact of your financial decisions.


No matter which funding options you choose, always prioritize your safety, be resourceful, and embrace the journey with an open mind. Your long-distance backpacking adventure awaits, and with careful planning and determination, you’ll soon be on your way to exploring new horizons, immersing yourself in different cultures, and creating lifelong memories.