How to Plan an Ultra-budget Long Term Travel?

Suppose being on ultra-budget long-term travel, how do you keep accommodation and food costs to a minimum? Specifically, is stealth/wild camping the norm or do you usually do Couchsurfing/trustroots etc? (i.e. staying with hosts for free).

If it’s the former, how do you go about sustaining it? Do you camp out near towns and villages then hitchhike/ explore/hike/cycle the following day? Do you stick mainly to designated nature trails and camp more like a traditional distance hiker? Or do you sleep in cities on the down-low somehow? Do you get advice/permission from locals or do you keep your sleeping plans to yourself? Are people usually accommodating and understanding or is discretion really the name of the game?

If your travel is focused on wild camping and such, what kind of kit do you have for it? Is it worth investing more in a quality tent in the £200+ range or will a cheaper £100-200 tent/bivvy/hammock do the trick?

What about food? Do you use a camping stove and cook your own meals from local ingredients/long life foodstuffs eg rice, beans, tinned fruits, nuts etc? Or do you travel more in developing countries and find local rates in cafés, food halls etc? Or do you rely on the kindness of strangers to invite you to eat? Or is dumpster diving/ homeless shelters the primary source for getting in those calories?

Finally, the safety aspect. How do you stay safe when the locals don’t know where to find you if things go to shit? Are brush-ins with unsuspecting hunters ever an issue when camping wild/low profile? Has local wildlife ever posed a threat or do they just ignore you and/or go for your food stash only?

I know that’s a lot of questions, but the overall question is, how do you deal with the ‘big three’ aspects of food, sleep, and safety when you’re on ultra-budget for longer trips?

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Answers ( 6 )


    I think it really depends on a person and situation.

    I mostly hitchhike, but I also take trains or busses sometimes (rarely).
    I normally try to find a friend-of-friend / squat / meet people on the way, but I also sleep outside, with or without a tent (mostly without) or sometimes (rarely) use CS- now more trustroots, as CS sucks.

    If I stay somewhere in someones home, then I normally either buy something from the supermarket or go to dumpster dive and cook at their home. Otherwise, I have tried to find a way to make fire outside (place for it), or also cooked with camping gas. But I have also gone to some falafel places if I am in a super lazy mood.

    If you are looking for a tent, the price does not matter, what matters is how light it is, how easy/fast it is to put it up and take it down, and waterproof. I am quite sure that some cheaper versions are better than more expensive ones, just need to look for the right ones.

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    Just to chime in I can not comment on those things but look up Naturehike, a Chinese brand, very good quality lightweight tents, dirt cheap compared to big brand names. You do need a floormat under it that is waterproof but that’s all.


    In short: Take every opportunity. Dive every dumpster. Be smart but don’t let fear get in the way. Research each place you go thoroughly (local squats/good CS/Trustroots hosts/camping spots). Workaway!!! If you’re willing to put in a bit of work, is literally the best thing ever.

    Most importantly just go with the flow and keep happy. People like happy people. Good vibes and all that. You’ll find that networking is absolutely crucial to traveling cheap. Local knowledge is way better than Google.


    I work mostly for food and accommodation, just a few hours a day at work so I have plenty of time to discover a new place. It’s often with locals so you get to experience a different lifestyle, learn new skills and they know all the unknown places. Win win win.

    Like they said above workaway is a good one for that, or wwoof. I myself use, had some amazing experiences. 🙂


    Camp/couchsurf/woof/volunteer/make friends/share whatever you have/ Dumpsterdive /eat less /reduce your needs/live simple/ hitchhike 🙂


    Consider kitting out a Van so you can sleep and cook in it. Once you have it, all you need to worry about is petrol money and you can easily get that by busking or just chilling on the streets with a sign.

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