Welcome to The Broke Backpacker
The goal of The Broke Backpacker is to show budding adventurers how to ditch their desks, hit the road and discover the intoxicating levels of freedom that can only be found while traveling the world.
We believe that travel is the ultimate learning experience and that when you are out of your comfort zone, this is when you learn the most.
We are passionate about real adventures in far flung lands. We live for raw, challenging travel that pushes you out of my comfort zone and helps truly change your life…
For many moons, The Broke Backpacker was a one man band traveling the world on $10 a day, living rough, picking up random jobs, hitchhiking, Couchsurfing… It was an incredible experience yet alas; our lonely solo warrior found there was very little information on the art of true budget backpacking available online and so, a decade ago, The Broke Backpacker was born…
How to pay for your travels?
Originally, many of us on the team had some truly shitty jobs in our quest to save up enough cash to hit the road… We all followed the same basic pattern though; working our assess off (construction, unloading lorries, retail, lifeguarding, basic bitch, the list goes on), saving up as much money as possible over as many work hours as possible, quitting and then hitting the road…
We stretched out our money as far as possible by hitchhiking and couchsurfing everywhere and picking up odd jobs on farms, in bars and in hostels…
In a nutshell, we travelled super cheap in super cheap countries.
Today, The Broke Backpacker is packed to bursting with practical guides on how to travel cheap, how to make money on the road and how to travel forever by building a passive income as a digital nomad…
Do you have to be rich to travel?
Hit the road and you will learn pretty quickly that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. If, like us, you are passionate about seeing the world and willing to sacrifice a ton of comfort to achieve that dream – you are in the right place. Prepare for some truly epic adventures, sur-thriving on crackers and kindness…
Here at The Broke Backpacker, we like to get out and about… many of the team often camp out and we all agree that travelling broke is simply the best adventure experience – when you’re broke you’re forced out of your comfort zone, you learn, you evolve and you make friends all over the world.
THE STORY OF THE BLOG
The Broke Backpacker officially sprung into existence on January 30th, 2013.
The Broke Backpacker began with the aim of teaching others how to to hit the road in search of a real adventure and how to travel on the cheap.
THE BROKE BACKPACKER TEAM
Since 2017, The Broke Backpacker family expanded rapidly and have built an awesome team of incredible people who share a passion for adventure and financial freedom. Find out more about the team here.
THE BROKE BACKPACKER MISSION
Our mission is to provide a blueprint for others to ditch their desks and discover the world. We want to show you that it’s possible to travel the world on a budget of $10 a day whilst you set up an online income.
Travel can be more than just travel; it’s one of the greatest opportunities a person can find for personal growth and development. But you have to be open to that change.
At its core, the Broke Backpacker’s mission statement – what it means to be a broke backpacker – is seeking that growth. It’s being willing to step out of your comfort zone, live rough, and interact with the world from a place of authenticity. That is what The Broke Backpacker’s Mission is: to inspire people to find their best self through travel.
Work with The Broke Backpacker
To enquire about partnering or advertising opportunities, please email [email protected]
And that’s The Broke Backpacker! Feel free to explore some of our favourite adventure tales from the road…
- Entrepreneurship: How to Become a Digital Nomad and Travel Forever
- From the road: The Hitchhikers Bible – How to get Picked up when Traveling!
- Travel Inspiration: The Broke Backpacker Manifesto
- Travel Resources: Everything You Need to Know to Hit the Road
Hi, My names is Claire. I am 22 from Scotland and this year I am hoping to travel South East Asia. This is a trip I was meant to begin Summer of 2020 but unfortunately, Covid had other ideas. I am planning on working and volunteering when I am traveling, so have been trying to find the best ways to do that. I appreciate the time you take to help others fulfil their dreams of traveling as I know my self, as exciting as it is, I am defiantly nervous for when I eventually go.
Best of luck on your trip, Claire. There’s loads of info and links all over the site that will be of use to you. I hope you have a great time, SEA looks to be opening slowly but surely.
Im really interested in doing pretty much exactly what you did! needing a fresh start! I’ve been doing a little bit of research, searching for how to apply for jobs especially within teaching abroad and many say that degree is required. I am half way through my degree but really want to have this adventure now. Did you have a degree or any expertise when you first started travelling or how did you go about jobs abroad?
Look forward to hearing from you
Hi Tylah, Some countries require a degree, some do not. Certainly a certificate in teacher English as a second language is most likely required if you want to teach English. You should do deep research in country, on forums and by speaking with people who have recently been involved with jobs or organisations facilitating teaching abroad.
Hi I am 61 year old female and at end of 2019 travelled alone from Scotland to Singapore by road and rail via trans Siberian railway I travelled through France Germany Poland Belarus Russia Mongolia China Vietnam Cambodia Thailand Malaysia and Singapore. I loved my travel then covid hit. Now looking for a new adventure.
Great post keep it up
I love your website and thank you for putting it together. An article your colleague Ashley Ryan wrote on this website about visiting Chicago 2021 is dangerously inaccurate. The crime the past two years in Chicago has nearly quadrupled with almost 800 homicides, 1550 carjackings and 4,300 have been shot this calender year which is not even over yet. She writes which neighborhoods are safe and she is not correct. Tourists as of lately get pushed in front of el trains and robbed constantly in downtown Chicago. As a fellow brokebackpacker for nearly two decades I think it is very misleading to put false information up like this. Blood will be on Ms. Ryan’s hands for falsifying details to unbeknownst travelers. Her information is not backed by any real statistics. Please change this article. I have writen her
by email to ask her to change it but she has not replied. Check heyjackass.com or any other Chicago crime statistic website for proof of crime if you don’t believe me. Thank you for your time.
We have heard a lot about the deterioration of certain US cities and will review these posts when we can. However, we do not have anybody on the ground right now so the updates will unfortunately have to wait until we do.
I am 62 years old and now is the time to make a move to fulfil this long time ambition of wanting to explore the world on a budget and experience different cultures. I strongly believe travel is pay of education. What tips can you render and how safe is it to accomplish? I shall be travelling alone. The country’s on my list are American , Bali, Indonesia, Sri Lanka’, Thailand, China and many more. I would like to commence next year. Thank You
I think you will be fine Margaret.Bali, Indonesia, SriLanka and Thailand at least have well trodden traveller paths where it’s easy to meet people and access tourist infrastructure. Unfortunately bad things can happen anywhere, but using common sense and remaining aware of your surrounding can go a long way to ensuing safety. Petty crime and scams often comes hand in hand with tourist destinations so try to keep awareness to that too.
Thank you for your letter! I’m back in Tehran right now, with a cup of tea in one hand and a supper menu planned… What a beautiful country!
I like your site very much, yet I’m much older than your users at 67. I have a kind of major decision to make in the next about 40 hours. Why 40 hours? I’m considering buying a used electric bike or “ebike” up on Ebay. It is a very reliable one by a world renowned manufacturer and used lightly. It is a low maintenance bike. Why I am considering worldwide ebike travel is I live with a back problem of a ruptured disk and trying to avoid surgery. A doctor at Mayo Clinic told me to avoid it as much as possible as he strongly advised that one should not have back surgery to resolve pain or numbness which I have 24/7. I can’t backpack like I used to. I bummed around Europe in 1975/76 for a year, but of course very young and no health issues. I worked many jobs to make it and had a great time and traveled solely by hitchhiking, staying in hostels (then I was of Youth Hostel membership age) and camping. Now I hope with my Social Security at $1,028 US dollars a month try to go all over the world on my last adventure. I don’t know if going by ebike and pulling a one-wheeled trailer is going to set me apart from the people as opposed to hitchhiking. From your backpacker standpoint, how do you see ebiking? Will having all that be a kind of separating myself from the people? I’ve already had CoVid19 last November and had what I consider a moderate case. Even after 13 days isolating I had a test. I thought I was over it and was positive. My doctor said isolate 7 more days and I did. Doesn’t that make me more acceptable for various countries? I plan to get the vaccine soon. Does that too make me free to travel the world in any country I want? I also lived in Mexico 6 months in 1982. In 1993 I helped Guatemalan refugees in Mexico and traveled for 2 weeks in Guatemala. In 1989 I hitched from Minnesota to eastern Canada in Nova Scotia and all over Newfoundland for about six weeks hitchhiking. Sorry if the following is a foolish area of question to a backpacker(s)? I get worried sometimes thinking if I’m riding an ebike pulling a one-wheeled trailer that I’d be separating myself from “the people”. If I went by public transportation I’d be among the people. If I travel that way I would have to have a 2 wheeled cart to carry my baggage because with my back problem I can’t have a backpack, even the external framed kind of pack. I want to travel for years. I have 83 countries on my list. If I find places I like I’ll live there. This very good ebike is for sale for 40 more hours if no one buys it first. It means a PayPal loan for 24 months at $311 a month. It is top quality ebike rated as being almost maintenance free. I would get solar panels to charge the batteries if there’s no electricity to do so. You’ve probably never traveled this way. I thought since I’m torn between pulling a small cart and hitching and/or taking public transportation, as compared to maybe ebiking, is the reason I’ve found myself here asking this question. I’ll be asking the same at some ebike traveler site too to get both sides of it all. Just thought I’d pass the idea by you. How much is your travel insurance? Do you have to get a lot of vaccinations for other diseases like yellow fever, cholera, rabies, etc? Thanks for all you do! I will later give something to suport you all here! Carpe Diem! Mike
You have been through the gauntlet, but its great to see that your spirit and desire for adventure remains intact!
None of us has other done any e-biking but I have taken a few short cycling trips. Honestly, I LOVED them but it does change the backpacking dynamic. Cycling can mean long hours alone on the road, you are always tied to a vehicle and always keeping one eye on your bike. Still, you do meet other cyclists along the way, and many hostels will let you stay and find a safe space for your bike. Oh, and check out the website ‘Warm Showers’- its cyclists hosting other cyclists.
As for vaccinations, it depends on where you go and what your personal views are. The only “essential” vaccine I know of is Yellow Fever which is a requirement for some African and South American countries. Personally, I have also had shots for Hepatitis, Tetanus, Japanese Flu and all of the standard UK childhood ones. I didn’t have the rabies shot. I would speak to a Doctor or Travel Nurse once you have a clear idea of where you are going.
Just curious, do you sell or do you know where to buy hardcopy maps for backpacking into Iran?
Nice words…. Thanks man…
Thanks sir share this information.He has really sweet responses to basically all of these:] I really…..Loved this post.. This Blog —— is one of the best blogs.
Hi Will, I have followed your travels for a few years now – I have travelled a fair bit in S.A, Europe and Asia.
I am expecting my first child this month and I am hoping your ditch the desk course can keep the adventure travels going !
Have you met many others balancing a family, remote working and travels (and doing it well)?
Over the years I have met several people who balance remote working with family life. Numbers are growing and pretty soon there will be a whole generation out there!
I am extremely encouraged and inspired by your experiences and stories, this website is so awesome!
I am a 20-year-old university student from China, I really want a nice backpacking adventure in 2 years after graduation, I don’t make money online yet while Chinese passport is not so valuable around the world, do you think I should just make a decision and go, or wait for a well-prepared opportunity then go?
I hope some suggestion from you!
I enjoy reading your blog and really appreciate that you share so much!
Hope you will be successful in your coming entrepreneurship!!
Hi Jing and thanks for your message! I’m glad to hear you have some epic adventure planned – and 2 years is plenty of time to start working on an online income if that’s the path you choose! I think right now would not be the best time to travel, better to wait till Covid-19 is played out before hitting the road and to maybe focus on working on a blog for Chinese travelers – I’m sure that could be very lucrative 🙂
I’m a university student in the US and I cannot express how much your blog has meant to me. Whenever I’m bored, upset, stressed, I go to your blog to fantasize about backpacking all over the world. There’s no other website that’s as real, useful, or entertaining. My sister and I are finally setting off on a backpacking trip to Peru and Bolivia, and we hope to make it down to your Tribal Hostels one day. Thanks for all you’ve done and keep hustling!
Hey Rachel and thanks so much for your kind words, that absolutely made my day 🙂 Have an awesome trip and if you make it to Bali, hit me up at the hostel, first drink is on me 🙂
Love love love your blog so happy to have come across it! I’m a 21 year old student and have been looking for travelling inspiration. I want to go somehwere for around 6 weeks or so but I don’t know where to go. I’m from southeast asia and I’m studying in Europe, these two are super accessible areas for me but I want to go somewhere other than these two areas as I dont know when I’ll get a chance next. Any recommendations? (I’ve never done solo backpacking before)
I was hoping I could get some tips in relation to traveling with a drone. I am heading to 6-months trip to South America and would love to get a drone. Now, the problem is that my trip is starting in Cuba, where drones are not allowed. From there I am heading to Peru (and the rest of South America). I couldn’t find anything useful online – eg is it even possible to buy a drone in Peru, and would an option of sending it over be reliable. Any tips on that? Thanks so much.
Hi Sandra! I don’t know all about traveling with a drone, but I wanted to mention that I randomly met a guy who did an advertisement for a drone salesperson/repairperson in Medellin, Colombia. If you’re headed that way you could pick up a drone there! The guy has a shop in Monterrey. Happy adventuring!
I’m very soon going on my first solo trip to Bali. Your ‘Backpacking Bali on a Budget’ article has been really helpful on planning the journey. Thank you so much!
Thanks for dropping by!
Hi! 🙂 I just came across your site for the very first time, and I must say, it has the best information and inspiration I have found yet. Thank you so much for everything you’ve included on here. It is truly a wonderful help to my trip planning. I am embarking on my first ever solo backpacking trip, at age 22! I’m starting in Bali, Indonesia and hoping to stay out for between 3-6 months travelling all of Southeast Asia. Your blog has been a huge help in many ways. Just wondered whether or not this hostel of yours is up and running yet, or will be by September? I’d love to check it out if so.
Hey Hanah, thanks so much for your kind words – I’m glad you find value on the site 🙂 The hostel isn’t open yet – we are aiming to open in March 2020 – so you’ll have to come back! 🙂
Hey! I just found your blog(s) yesterday, and have developed that weird obsession you warned us about! Jokes, but the info I’m gaining, and inspiration I’m feeling is legit. I’ve been thinking about starting a travel blog for a while now, coming and going on whether it truly is something I could put my all into (I’m a musician with a gypsy heart). Then, after audibly laughing my way through a couple posts of yours, I’ve had a bit of a crazy idea to combine the two interests whilst helping people, which I don’t think I could pass up. Thanks for inadvertently lighting the fire – watch this space.
Hey Hannah and thanks for your kind words 🙂 Your idea sounds awesome – get out there and crush it! Hit me up if you make it out to Bali 🙂
Greetings and best wishes.
Re: Waggha Border crossing
From the Pakistani side – after the immigration formalities how far is it to the Indian Immigration check point? and is there any mode of transportation between these two points? And once on the Indian side are there taxis easily available to Amritsar? Thank you.
It’s a short walk to the Indian side, there are some golf carts whizzing around the place but I just walked. There are loads of taxi links to Amritsar 🙂
Your life sounds like an amazing adventure! Good luck in your travels. Great blog!
Hi, I am a writer and editor behind http://www.momthemuse.com. I write humorous travel stories trying to make museums and archeology interesting to kids 🙂 I love to see you are a big traveling kid your self and I would be grateful if you find some time and take a look at my travel website and give me your comment. Keep enjoying! Dragana
Truly inspiring, and the strength both mentally and physically you demonstrated is truly remarkable!
Hi, I am studying studying abroad next semester. I will be going to Brazil, Argentina, Chile. As a broke student – how much money do you think I should budget for in each country? I want to have a great time and visit some of the places that you have mentioned on your websites. If you have any tips please do let me know. I’m thinking of budgeting 500 a month in each country. Will that be enough to have fun?
Each country is different and it’s hard to give budget recommendations as it really depends on where you choose to save cash – if you Couchsurf or find somewhere cheap to stay, eat local – then yeah, it should be enough for plenty o beers! 🙂
congratulation sir. Atleast you finally made and at the same time found love along the line
Traveling full time is a dream of mine. As a internet marketer myself, I can see the grit that you put into this blog. I truly wish you safe travels and keep us updated on how things go!
I dream a life like you. But as I’m from India ( happy to know that you visited my country at very young age) can’t afford to travel to developed country. But I have started my own site and working to make it successful affiliate site in next few years.
I travel within India and use AirBnB a lot. Hope if my affiliate site do well, I will be able to travel a lot.
Good luck on your journey Sourav 🙂
Hi! My name is Rose and my mom and I are planning a backpacking trip. We are very athletic and are longing for an adventure. We cant decide though on a country. We are from Dallas Texas and want to go somewhere not in the US. Are top options are New Zealand or Iceland. Do you think you could give some insight on the pros and cons of each trip? We have read your blogs and they both sound amazing which is why we nned your help. Thanks!
Both are great countries and, from a scenery point of view, actually quite similar! If short on time, go to Iceland – the distances are much smaller 🙂
Thanks Will. Never thought of AirBnB but will certainly look into that option. Thanks again
Hi Will. Love reading about all your adventures. I have managed to get 2 months off work Feb/March 2019 and both myself and my husband are looking at spending 7-8 weeks travelling. We are so excited about this and would love some advice. We are both in our mid 50’s (young at heart though). Our idea is to start in Bangkok and look to see some of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and maybe Malaysia. We want to spend time though lazing on beaches and relaxing along the way , we want to be able to chill out a bit rather than spend lots of time going from 1 place to another in a mad rush. Therefore if we cannot get to see all the countries we will just look to do a couple. Can you please give us some ideas of what to do and where to go at that time of the year.
Hey Cath! I never really like to advise where to go at different times of the year because I myself don’t mind traveling in off-season as it’s a bit quieter and the rain has never bothered me 🙂 As for what to do – Oh wow, you have so many options… Thailand is amazing and offers some truly awesome places to explore, I would recommend perusing AirBnB for some special retreat-esque places to stay in the villages outside of Chiang Mai, you can also check out some amazing treehouse experiences in the Southern Islands. If you have a look at our individual backpacking country guides, there’s a wealth of information – https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/where-to-go/
Hey Will, I just found your website and want to say you: You are awesome! You can be really proud of yourself!
I send you all the best vibes from India, Marlena
Thanks Marlena, you rock 🙂
Congratulations from Athens Greece !! : )
Love the site and the awesome info. We are on month 4 of our Travel and have landed in Merida Mexico. We are renting a small place for next to nothing (by American standards) and are really enjoying the freedom from the day to day stresses of our past lives working to pay rent in Portland Oregon.
We have a similar story working odd jobs trying to save for the launch. On lunch breaks at work delivering food on PostMates to make an extra 5 dollars to save, etc. 🙂
We are still trying to figure out how to make the travel lifestyle sustainable. Our goal was/is to travel and enjoy the location but also create or help with volunteer projects that are wanted or needed by the local communities.
At this point we are using the knowledge you shared on your site and investing the majority of our time building a blog/vlog about our travels and projects. We are also promoting our plastic free store which is focused on sustainable travel and living with plastic free options.
Hey Nate! Awesome story dude- sounds like we have some adventure in common, see you on the road for a beer one day and good luck with your online ventures! 🙂
Hi Will, I was fortunate to live and work in Islamabad from 1979 to 1981…a time of much excitement and drama. Managed to escape down the Khyber Gorge ahead of the invading Soviet army, who were 40kms out of Kabul at the time.
Hoping to go back but frustrated by the lack of really good information out there…..but then here we are!
Hope to look at your resources in more detail and start to plan to get back the the NW Province once again.
Hey Phil – wow, what a time to be in the region, that must have been very exciting indeed. I’m glad you’ve found our resources useful 🙂
Just came across your blog from Matt’s site and already fell for it jajaj! It’s such a huge belief that you need to be “rich” for traveling, but I totally agree that if you want it bad enough you’d do it anyway regardless the comfort you have to give up. Traditional ways of traveling can be quite expensive, is just that people sometimes don’t know how to travel cheap!
Thanks Martina, glad you like the site! 🙂
I’m lameck from Tanzania i like escorting people from other countries like Switzerland Sweden USA and others when they come to Tanzania as a guider can you help me by connecting me with other people in whatsup groups so as i can develop by receiving many guests?
This site is amazing! Though, you should leave a warning: how far does a single man get when traveling from UK to PNG? Answer: Iran 😀 (Though I’m quite sure it’s not possible to start single and get to PNG single anyway :))
Haha, true that! I managed to avoid getting tied down by a few of the lovely ladies I met on the way but once I made it to Iran, well, the rest is history 🙂
How do you plan on going from East-tumor or Indonesia to Papua New Guinea? I too want to do the trip from western Europe to PNG without flying, but I couldn’t find how to do this last part of the trip. According to my research, there are no ferries between these last points. Your only options are taking a very expensive cruise or spending a very long time trying to find a private yacht.
I plan to build a boat.
Build a boat to go such long distances? It’d have to be seaworthy right? Wouldn’t you need to be an expert ship builder?
I am super encouraged by your website, its so well made and inspiring! I am currently planning a cheap trip to Vietnam and surrounding countries! Thank you for giving me the motivation to pursue a life long dream!
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog The Broke Backpacker has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Backpacking Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Backpacking Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.
Hey Will, found this site by accident through another travel blog, it’s great reading about what you do!
I’m a 56 year old woman who has some health issues, (chronic pain etc) & I take some prescription medications & need regular access to the same healthcare provider. (I live in Alaska) I love traveling in theory but in reality it’s kind of difficult with the pain issues. For now it’s just armchair traveling through books & blogs like yours & I wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed discovering your blog & how great it is that after so long of bare bones travel you are able to make an online living! Thanks for allowing some of us to follow you on your adventures & enjoy vicariously.
Thanks so much for your kind comments, I’m stoked that you are enjoying the site! Alaska has been on my wish-list for so long now, what an incredible part of the world to hail from…
I started reading your blog two years ago when I was 16 years old and looking at ways to travel the world. Your blog inspired and helped me to actually accomplish that dream and when I turned 18, I bought a one way ticket to Spain and then stayed in Europe for 3 months, seeing 8 different countries all because you helped me know it was possible. Thank you for your amazing advice.
Hey Samantha! I am so stoked that you are living an adventure, power to you and keep on rocking – if you find yourself in Asia, let me know; beers are on me.
Dear Will Hatton.
I was delighted to read about your travels and adventures in Iran. Back in the days of the Shah I worked in Teheran for 4 years and enjoyed every minute. The people..the history..the mountains..coastal regions. And lets not forget the food! I hold a British passport and I also have Irish ancestory. Anything is possible. Good luck with all your future adventures.
I have lived in South Africa for over 40 years…and still pack quite a lot of travels into my life.
Very best wishes
Hey Silvia! Thanks for your message! I’m actually back in Tehran right now, a cup of tea in one hand and a feast for dinner in the works… Amazing country!
Where can I find your guide? I would like to buy it, as I am going to Pakistan next week.
Hey Ole! It actually isn’t finished yet but there’s a ton of info in the Pakistan backpacking section on the site 🙂