Whether you’re taking a break from school, work, or just wanted to get away for a while, backpacking is a perfect option for you. However, there’s no escaping the fact that backpacking isn’t like your normal family holiday, and requires a lot of planning and preparation. If you think that backpacking might be a good option for you, then follow some of the tips and tricks below, to ensure that your trip truly is a once in a lifetime experience.
Do Your Research
Unfortunately, backpacking isn’t as simple as going on a regular holiday, and you can’t do it on a whim. You need to do a lot of research into the area you intend to visit and the people who live there. At the very least, you should scroll through some websites and give a guidebook or two a look, to give you some idea how you should structure your trip. It’s also important to look at the laws of the country or countries that you’re visiting.
If you’re going away for a month or more, it’s likely that you’re going to find accommodation, like hostels and campsites while you’re on the road. However, you should still have somewhere to go when you arrive at your chosen destination. If you wanted to start as you mean to go on, then look at a couple of different hostels, but if you wanted to ease yourself in, then look for an apartment or hdb rental price.
Buy A Travel Pass
In lots of places, there are travel passes available, that allow you to travel around a specific area, whether this is a city or country, on the public transport available. This tends to be much cheaper than buying lots of train and bus tickets, and it’s much more convenient too.
Have An Emergency Fund
There is always the chance that something is going to go wrong, that something is going to get broken, or that an unexpected expense is going to arise. To make this eventuality less stressful, be sure that you always have some money spare to help you out.
Travel With A Group
While there are a lot of benefits of travelling alone, there is no denying the fact that travelling with a group is a whole lot safer, as you are a lot more likely to be targeted by thieves or more sinister people if you are out and about on your own.
If you’re going away for a long time, it can be tempting to try to take enough clothes to fit that length of time. You shouldn’t do this, as you’ll have to carry them around with you everywhere. Instead, take some essentials, and find somewhere to wash your clothes when you need to. Also avoid taking anything unnecessary, like large amounts of toiletries; These can easily be brought when you arrive. If you’re planning to camp, then pack a tent, but only pack one if you know you will use it, as otherwise it’s just wasted space. Keep your bag as light as you possibly can, to avoid you getting any back problems on your trip.
Look After Your Feet
You are going to be on your feet a lot while you’re away, so you need to start taking care of them. Pack plenty of plasters in case you develop any blisters. If you’re buying new walking boots for your journey, then you should start to break these in a few weeks before you go away, to avoid the blisters as much as you can.
Cook Your Own Meals
While it’s a lot more convenient to eat out while you’re away, this is going to start getting expensive pretty quickly. Instead, you should buy food from supermarkets and cook your own meals wherever possible. If this isn’t possible, then avoid high-end restaurants and try some local street foods instead. Of course, you can splash out on a slap up meal every now and then.
Learn To Say Yes
If you’ve chosen to go backpacking, it’s likely that you’re already pretty adventurous. However, there is always room for improvement, so why not push your boundaries a little more. Say yes to the things that scare you or gross you out, and try something new.
Talk To People
If you’re travelling alone, then you are going to get pretty lonely. Take this opportunity to meet new people from backgrounds much different from yours. You never know, you could make some friends for life. Even if you’re travelling with a group, you are going to get sick of each other at some point, and it is at this point that you need to remove yourself from the situation and talk to someone else, to avoid any arguments.
Watch Out For Scammers & Thieves
Everyone always warns you about scammers and thieves, but since I’ve been scammed myself while travelling, I feel the need to reiterate the point to you. Watch your bag and wallet at all times, never carry all of your money together, and avoid showing how much money you have on you wherever possible.
Get Minimalist Souvenirs
Buying large and tacky souvenirs while you’re away is both a waste of money and space in your backpack. Instead, get more minimalist souvenirs, that take up little space in your bag, such as pins, badges, and postcards.
Think Before You Spend
It is possible to go travelling on a tight budget, but that is only possible if you think before you spend your money. Every time you are about to make a purchase, ask yourself if you really need what you’re buying. Of course, you can splash out a little sometimes, but if you make a habit out of it, you’re going to run out of money.
Document Your Memories
Although you should ensure that you are present while you’re away, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a few pictures. Not only will they be nice for you to see, but your loved ones might like to see them when you get home too. When you return home, you can make yourself a scrapbook of all of your photos and anything that you’ve collected during your trip, so that you can look back on your memories whenever you wish.
It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
While travelling the world is a wonderful and magical experience, it can start to take its toll on you. It can be hard to be away from home for a long time, be alone for a long time, or on the other side, spend a lot of time with the same people for a long time. Even if you’re only travelling for a week, you can get homesick, so it’s no surprise that people do while they’re away for months. You don’t have to be okay every second of every day, so if you’re feeling less than great, put yourself first, and take steps to make yourself feel better, instead of forcing yourself to act happy around your friends.
Backpacking is a great way to see the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s so popular, especially amongst young adults. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the simplest or easiest thing to do in the world, so, even if you don’t want to plan your entire trip, you have to make some plans, so that you have some idea of where your journey will take you. Once this has happened, all you need to do is grab your bag, get out there, and see the world. I hope you have a great time!