So, you've saved up your money and you're ready to do some exploring on a modest budget. We've got all the inspo you'll ever need for traveling light and without breaking the bank. From sun-drenched beach vacays to postcard-perfect countryside sojourns, the world is your backpacking oyster. Journey with us as we make our way from one inviting destination to the next, and bring your best walking shoes and good humor while you're at it.
The UK is a fabulous place to backpack. In August, you can take in the sights in London and travel west to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. The north of England is popular with football fans, but there are fantastic fellwalking opportunities in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. You can also trek the mountainous Snowdonia National Park in Wales.
Cross-country bus trips cost as little as $7. Head up to Scotland, and you can attend the world's largest arts festival in Edinburgh or look for the Loch Ness monster.
Start in Dublin, this island nation's cosmopolitan capital. You can use Dublin as a base for day trips to Northern Ireland, or you can stay in Belfast. Check out the Titanic museum and, if you're a fan of the show, embark on a journey to see some of the filming locations from Game of Thrones. These attractions are not far from the Giant's Causeway, a fascinating natural wonder and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you make some buddies on this first leg of your trip, you can carpool along Ireland's west coast, the Wild Atlantic Way. It's a stunning road trip with pristine nature and charming seaside towns.
Portuguese cities like Lisbon will surprise you with their cost-effectiveness compared to other mainstays on Eurotrip bucket lists. Stylish hostels abound. You can eat well at a sushi buffet or fill up on pastéis de Belem without having to fork out a large sum. Take a train ride to must-see Sintra nearby.
Lisbon's panoramic views, the same enticing ones that prompted voyagers of old to traverse continents, will spark something in you too.
Eat seafood in the Algarve, check out jaw-dropping big wave surfing in Nazaré, and if you're a bookworm, try and visit Porto's Livraria Lello when it's quiet.
Whether you're going south to Cannes and the French Riviera or to Paris, backpacking in France can be a delight. Cut down on food costs by using hostel kitchens. You can make your own grub in between occasional splurges on macarons and French cuisine.
Cycle through the Loire Valley for mesmerizing scenery, captivating castles, and fulfilled fantasies. Go exploring in the Pyrenees too. The trails are fruitful, and the locals challenge the grumpy French stereotype.
South Africa has a bad reputation for safety. Still, the country has so much to offer visitors who are willing to do their research. Depending on where you're coming from, the exchange rate can work in your favor. There are backpacker hostels in major towns, but also loads of affordable and chic Airbnbs. The country's Panorama route near Kruger National Park offers excellent canyon hiking with a side of safari. The Garden route between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town is dotted with gorgeous beaches, surfing and fishing hotspots, satisfying restaurants, and the epic Otter Trail.
Fancy diving in the Great Barrier Reef? How about surfing at the famous Bondi Beach? Australia is super hospitable, and the strong backpacker culture makes it easy to soak up the country without breaking the bank. Drive the Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Adelaide and get a good look at the Twelve Apostles in person. If you're a Masterchef Australia fan, see what all the former contestants are cooking up when you're in the mood to drop some dough.
Backpacking in India and Pakistan offers arguably the most inexpensive traveling that you will ever do. But it's only for the truly adventurous. The poverty can be unsettling, and foreigners should expect some unwanted attention.
However, if you arm yourself with knowledge and accept the challenge, India can blow you away with its beauty and spirit. Party in Goa, go tiger-spotting in Rajasthan or relax on a houseboat in Kashmir. And while you're at it, gobble up all the glorious food your stomach can handle. If you're vegetarian or vegan, this country offers an endless array of meat-free dishes.
Backpackers have plenty of options for where and how to spend their time and money in the Great White North. Get the best views of Niagara Falls and let Toronto's energy fill you up. There's also some French to learn in Montreal.
Our suggestion? Nature rules in this nation. Wake up at the crack of dawn for sunrise hikes in the Canadian Rockies. Or go whale-watching off the coast of Vancouver. British Columbia isn't a filming mecca for nothing.
Backpacking in the UAE's desert oases can cost a pretty penny. But don't let that put you off. If you've been hustling for some time, these Arabian cities could be just the change you need. They scream luxury, but you can find hostel accommodation with free breakfast to boot. Save your money for the novelty theme parks and fine-tune your bargaining skills at Karama Market in Dubai. Party in skyscrapers or take refreshing dips in the clean and safe beaches.
Thailand is a favorite with backpackers for a good reason. It's budget-friendly, the waters are turquoise, and the people will warm your heart. Whether you plan to party in Phuket, do business in Bangkok, or meditate in a jungle retreat, you will come away with some A-plus memories. Be sure to get your fill of muscle-melting massages at the best prices in the world.