How Can I Eat Cheap Backpacking?

By Anna Duncan

Backpacking on a budget can be an intimidating prospect for those used to a life of luxury. But with a little planning and creativity, it’s entirely possible to travel cheaply without sacrificing essential creature comforts. And one of the most important aspects of any backpacking trip is eating well and staying healthy; doing so on a budget can be surprisingly easy if you plan ahead.

Strategies for Eating Cheap Backpacking

1. Stick to basics: Eating cheap doesn’t mean you have to eat boring food and settle for low-quality ingredients; instead, stick to basic staples like fresh fruits, vegetables and grains that are readily available in local markets and grocery stores.

Pack snacks like nuts, trail mix or dried fruit that will last throughout your trip.

2. Buy in bulk: Buying in bulk is an excellent way to save money when backpacking; purchasing larger quantities of staple items like rice, beans, oats and dried pasta can help stretch your budget further. Also look out for weekly specials or discounts that may be offered in certain stores or markets.

3. Eat local cuisine: Eating local dishes is one of the best ways to experience the culture of a new place while also taking advantage of cheaper prices than those found at tourist restaurants. Check out local street food vendors or farmers’ markets where you can get delicious, home-cooked meals for much less than restaurant prices.

4. Cook your own meals: If you’re staying in a hostel, Airbnb or other accommodation with kitchen facilities, why not take advantage and cook some cheap dishes yourself? Bring along some basic ingredients from home – such as canned goods, spices and herbs – which will last longer than fresh produce and are often cheaper too.


Cheap backpacking doesn’t have to mean sacrificing good nutrition or delicious meals; with a little planning and creativity it’s possible to eat well on a budget while still having an exciting adventure! Sticking to basics, buying in bulk, eating local cuisine, and cooking your own meals are all great strategies for saving money while still enjoying flavorful meals during your travels.