Are you a backpacking newbie and planning your first trip? Traveling abroad can be exciting, as well as a bit overwhelming. Here are a few tips that can be of great help during your next backpacking adventure:
1- Travel lightly and intelligently.
This is the first tip that all seasoned backpackers are going to give – you don’t want your luggage to pull you down during an adventure. The secret of traveling lightly is to take replaceable items only. Don’t take three pairs of expensive jeans or that watch your mother gifted to you on your graduation. You don’t want to spoil your whole trip if you lose your bag.
2- Learn how to pack a backpack.
Make sure the backpack you have selected is an appropriate size and follows the airline rules. Do not assume that a big backpack will be a better choice. Choose a sturdy 30-50L backpack and make sure it can contain all the essentials.
Moreover, get compression packing bags which will help you organize your belongings. Some other travel-friendly products that you can keep in your backpack include sleeping eye masks, travel towels that dry really fast, and inflatable pillows.
Always keep some of your favorite snacks around. Although it is exciting to try out new food and cuisines, it can get a bit taxing for your tummy. Hence, it is better to have a stash of your own food until you find something that you are comfortable eating every day.
3- Research your destination.
Once you have chosen your destination, research it. Make sure you identify which hemisphere the country you plan to visit lies in. Don’t assume that June is going to be summer all over the world. Australia’s summer is in December because of its hemispheric location. So, be prepared accordingly.
Also, do some local research. Buy a guide book beforehand or download an app, which will help you identify the places you want to see. Furthermore, keep a look out for festivals or local events happening during the time you plan your backpacking adventure. After all, there is nothing more culturally enriching than visiting local festivals!
4- Plan in advance.
While sudden and spontaneous trips can be really exciting, they can also burn a hole in your pocket! For this reason, while planning a vacation tour to go to a new place, it is recommended to make reservations beforehand. Research online for budget friendly tours and reserve your spot in advance. Most of these companies give early bird discounts too, so try to capitalize on them if possible.
5- But don’t over plan.
Although planning is necessary, be wary of over planning. Do not be a stickler for rules and regulations when it comes to planning vacations. Keep your schedule loose and let some things happen with the flow. While traveling to a new place, it is better to keep some room clear in your itinerary so you can spend more time in the places you love.
6- Money matters.
One of the most important things you should do before traveling to a new place is to look up the currency conversion. Keep an estimate in mind, so you are not shocked when you land at your destination and see the prices.
Keep a credit card on hand for emergencies, and make sure it works internationally too. Also, remember to inform your bank before traveling, so they don’t assume your credit card is being fraudulently used from another country. You don’t want your card to be blocked when you need it the most.
Additionally, always keep local currency of the country you are traveling to. You don’t want to get into the hassle of finding currency exchangers at the airport.
7- Security measures.
If you are backpacking somewhere for the first time, make sure that your vaccinations are up to date. There is nothing more upsetting than to fall sick on a vacation. Also, keep your medical prescriptions handy. It is better to take a stash of your daily medication, if you are prescribed any, than trying to find it at local pharmacies. Moreover, keep extra passport photo copies with you as well. You can also register with your embassy once you have landed. It is better to be prepared than to panic in case of an unforeseeable event.
8- Language barriers.
Although English is widely spoken in most parts of the world, it is better to have an idea about the local language of the country you are traveling to. Identify this barrier and be prepared for it.
Download a translating app that will help you in tight spots. Another great tip is to always keep a business card or printed address of the lodging you are staying in. This is a really helpful trick for the times you get a little confused and lose your way.
9- Always be alert.
When backpacking to a new place, always be alert of pickpockets or scammers. A first-time tourist is easily identifiable, and criminals are always on the lookout for such people. Don’t be lured if they offer you too-good-to-be-true deals. Never trust anyone with your belongings, and keep your cash and passport in a safe spot at all times. You don’t want to spoil your trip or return with a bad memory.
10- Do what the locals do.
If you want to really feel what it’s like to be in a new culture, do what the locals do! Use their local transportation, eat from their local eateries and observe how they spend their weekends. Visit their local parks, marketplaces, and museums too. Not only is this going to save you money, it will also help you create lifelong memories.
11- Travel in a group.
Traveling to a new place can be an overwhelming experience. This is why planning a backpacking adventure in groups will help you keep yourself oriented. You can venture off for solo activities and always meet your group later if you want to explore on your own.
Backpacking to a new destination can be a life-changing experience. You just have to do it intelligently to maximize your enjoyment. Make your own rules after reading this basic checklist. Enjoy your adventure to the fullest and save some money for your next trip!
Ashley Rosa is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs.