What is your travel budget? How much money do you need for hitchhiking? A little peak into my travel budget while hitchhiking.

How much money do you need for travelling?

I often get this question: how much travel money do you need while hitchhiking? It’s an interesting question, the answer is not so easy. But I’ll try to give an overview.

hitchhiking money
While hitchhiking in South East Asia people offered me money several times. I took it once (my mistake), but this is not my idea of travelling cheap, although it’s super friendly of course.

Travelling on a small budget

First of all I try to keep my expenses low. Not extremly low, because I also want to enjoy life. But when I can save some, I would often do that. The more I safe, the longer I can travel.

Saying that, I have to admit I go out for food almost every day. In Asia mostly three times a day (hostels don’t have kitchens in Asia).

Furthermore I very often have decent accommodations with swimming pool. So the travelling life isn’t bad at all.

How do I fund my travelling?

When you’re on the road for more than six months, people are wondering where I get the money from. How do I fund my travelling?

People ask me if I get money from the government because I don’t have a job? Nope. I quit my last job, so the government doesn’t support my travelling haha.

I worked for a few years to save some money to travel. Besides that I earn some money online, not enough to travel, but it helps. And yes, I have my own registered company to pay tax.

work while travelling
Sometimes I work a bit while travelling.

Daily budget for hitchhiking

To keep the expenses low I try to stick to my daily budget. I set my daily budget around 15 euro a day. Which is including everything except for visas.

So it includes:

  • Accomodation (mostly hostels, sometimes my tent or a hotel)
  • Food, snacks and drinks
  • Cosmetics (tooth paste, gel, sun screen etc.)
  • Transportation (hitchhiking is mostly free, but citybuses or ferries cost money)

Budget breakdown

So how do my expenses exactly look like? It’s not easy to make a budget breakdown, as it differs everyday. As well as it differs in every country. But it roughly looks like this.

Daily budget breakdown

  • Breakfast: €0,50-2
  • Lunch: €1-2
  • Dinner: €1-4
  • Accommodation: €3-6 (camping is mostly free)
  • Others expenses

So the other expenses can be an entrance ticket to sightseeing, tooth paste, mosquito repellent, bicycle rental, day tours, ATM costs, drinks, new clothes, flipflops etc.

Especially these other expenses can grow quickly. It’s often nice to have a few beers at night or join this special boat tour to the remote island.

Different costs in different countries

Also every country comes with different expenses. For example the food in China is super cheap. 

cheap food in china
Cheap food in China; egg fried rice with beef for about €0,80.

Noodles, fried rice or dumplings can be always bought a €1 or even less. But all national parks and other activities in China are quite on the price. 

For most Chinese national parks you’ll pay between €20 to €30. Which cuts hard in a daily budget of €15. Then I would try to spend less on other days.

Tips for cheap travelling or hitchhiking

Do you want to travel cheap? My daily budget is about €15, but if you want to do it real cheap it’s possible with less. Here are some tips that might help you.

free nights with the best views
The best places I slept were for free. Of course you need a tent.


Take a tent with you. I camp in most countries for free. Just make sure you are out of sight. Actually the most beautiful locations I slept were in my tent, for free.

This is a cheap and good backpacking tent from China.

Cooking set

If you have you’re own cooking set, you can prepare your own meals for the best price. Makes the camping easier as well.

Take your own cooking set to prepare your own meals everywhere, at low costs.

Find the cheapest hostels

A big money saver are cheap accommodations. This doesn’t mean they are bad though. I always stay in dorms (shared rooms).

How to find cheap hostel? Go to Booking.com, type you destination and sort on price, from low to high. Mostly you’ll find a hostel for €3-6 with a rating above 8.5. Pick that one. Hostels with a lower rating are often a bad choice.

Cheap food while travelling

While travelling in Asia you’ll find the cheapest food at the street. Search for the restaurants which don’t look too fancy, they tend to be cheaper.

In Europe you can go to the supermarket for cheap breakfast and lunch. Also most European hostels have a kitchen where you can cook your own dinner. Otherwise kebab is always a good and cheap option.


Go hitchhiking! Hitchhiking is cheap or for free. Don’t do it for the money only, you need to like it as well. I like the unexpected experiences you’ll witness while hitchhiking.

Do you want to hitchhike for free outside of Europe? Ask before you get in the car if it is car for free. More hitchhiking tips.

My equipment

Curious what I carry in my 19kg backpack? Check the equipment I take for hitchhiking.

Categories: Blog

World Hitchhiker

Hi there! I am the guy behind worldhitchhiker.com. In 2019/2020 I hitchhiked from Holland through 26 countries to Malaysia. In total I've hitchhiked more than 40.000 km in 36 countries.

1 Comment

Artis · April 2, 2020 at 11:37 pm

Two latvian hitchhikers to traveled with 4 euro day budget. ha

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