The Treats You Can’t Afford to Miss on a Shoestring Trip

Going on a shoestring backpacking trip is one of the most exciting and affordable ways of seeing the world.

It is also pretty thrilling to move away from a comfortable lifestyle and stay in grungy hotels for a while. Eating low budget lunches on the street and trying to work out what the mystery meat really is can also add an extra bit of fun to your travels.

However, at some point on a long backpacking trip you are going to want a bit of luxury. Let’s be blunt here; you want a treat and you want it now. So which treats can’t you afford to miss out on.

Stay a Night in a Nice Hotel

There are some excellent hotels around the world that won’t cost you a fortune to stay in. When I was travelling around Ecuador I was used to paying just a few dollars to share a shabby little room with my travel buddies. When we got to the city of Riobamba a few of us decided to splash out on some luxury. It turned out that by upping the nightly budget to just $12 we could each stay in our own rooms in a fantastic hotel with showers that even had – gasp! – hot water. It was probably the finest night of luxury in my life so you should definitely try to do this at least once.

Eat in a Nice Restaurant

I have to start by saying that I’m a big fan of eating in cheap eateries filled with hungry locals. These places often serve great food at incredible prices. The atmosphere is also hard to beat. However, there are some times when I have to confess that I just want a frothy cappuccino and a slice of cheesecake in a place with Wi-Fi and comfy seats. I have discovered that most touristy restaurants around the world are happy for bedraggled travellers like me to spend a few hours reading my book, using their Wi-Fi and making a cappuccino last an unfeasibly long time.

Hire a Car

NM_124_and_US_66_WB_near_Budville_NMI have hired a car a couple of times on my travels and it is something that gave me some terrific memories. The best way of doing this is to find a group of other travellers who want to do some exploring and pay for the car between all of you. The first time was in Florianopolis in Brazil and we had a great time driving to the beaches and looking out for whales. Getting in a car and getting around the area for a day gives you a different perspective on the place you are in and lets you see more than you normally would.

Rent an Apartment

I only discovered fairly recently the joys of renting an apartment while visiting a city. In fact, it is often as cheap or even cheaper than staying in a hotel, especially if you cook there instead of going out to restaurants. It is also generally a lot more comfortable than being in a hotel and some of the apartments I have stayed in were really nice. Usually there is a decent TV, a good shower and a comfy bed in apartments. I also love to use the fridge to store yoghurts, ice creams and other stuff I can’t normally buy form the supermarket when staying in a hotel. It is only really worth doing this if you are planning of staying at least few days, so you could give it a try when you go to a big city a want to give yourself a little treat.

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