Backpackers are being offered tips on how to save money when taking a gap year so they can enjoy a sightseeing trip away for less.

The frugal team at have revealed how buying food from local markets and pre-planning experiences can help lone travellers cut their trip costs.

According to statistics, it’s estimated that over 181,000 of 18 to 24-year-olds in the UK chose to take a gap year in 2022.

Taking a gap year can be expensive when the costs of flights, accommodation, food and experiences are all added up.

Charlie Stirzaker, consumer expert at said: “Taking a gap year is an amazing chance to experience different cultures in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“But taking a gap year comes with a heavy price, quite literally.

“The main costs depend on where you visit, how long for and what you do while there. But there are also the little charges like luggage fees which can add up quite quickly when travelling to various locations.

“That’s why we wanted to help those wanting to take a gap year with money-saving tips to help them enjoy the experience without burning through their cash on the first week.”

Here are tips on how to take a gap year for less:

Plan at least three months ahead of the trip

Planning a solo trip away is not an overnight job. It requires months of research to ensure you’re able to travel to the places you wish to visit and not be left stranded without any money left to get home.

Avoid expensive destinations

Research your desired locations and look up what other travellers have had to say about the prices online. It’s also worth noting that if a country has high inflation rates, it’s best to give them a miss for now and visit again once they’ve stabilised.

Don’t overpack to save on luggage fees

Don’t pack your whole wardrobe when travelling as it’ll not only be a burden to carry all of the clothes but it can result in charges of over £25 for a one-way flight. Be realistic about what you need to bring to avoid the fees.

Walk around to explore the culture

The best way to get to know a new location is to walk around and discover it first-hand. It’ll also save you paying for a taxi or hiring bikes when exploring the local culture on foot.

Buy food at local markets

Don’t rely on popular, tourist-heavy markets, head to stalls where the locals are known to get their meals for less. It’s also worth buying breakfast ingredients like cereal from supermarkets so you don’t have to pay for expensive morning meals.

Buy water in bulk

Bring large bottles of water everywhere you go, the more the better. It’s more cost-effective to buy larger packs of water rather than smaller bottles with overpriced charges.

Visit free museums and temples

Many local museums and temples are free to enter and visit for a day trip. Research the locations beforehand to ensure there are no hidden charges on arrival.

Bring your own towels

Many popular beaches charge tourists for using the sunbeds, so make sure to bring your own towels so you can still enjoy relaxing on the sand. It’ll also help you to avoid scammers pretending to be sunbed payment collectors.

Pre-plan experiences

If you have an itinerary of activities that you want to do, then you’ll know roughly what your budget will be when heading to each location. There are instances of people taking advantage of tourists for extra cash, so make sure to research experiences in advance to avoid being deceived.

Part-time jobs – But check Visa regulations

Make the most of the facilities which are around you by taking up some shifts to have extra money to enjoy the travelling experience. Bar work and event repping are some of the popular options for solo travellers on a gap year. Make sure to check you’ve applied for the right Visa option, otherwise, you can be charged and potentially removed from the country for breaking the terms of the agreement.