Travel Tips for Backpackers
A Backpacking trip can be an experience that redefines our very being, giving us a chance to discover ourselves and take some time out from the 9-5 lifestyle many of us now find ourselves in.
Where some of us come unstuck however, is in the planning and packing process. If you are going to be travelling round for 6 months to a year, you need to pack light, but what are the essential items you need to take with you and have you thought of every eventuality when planning for your trip?
Check out my top 10 tips below to give you a helping hand when it comes to preparing for that trip of a lifetime:
I can’t stress enough how important getting adequate travel insurance cover is. An injury or the loss of your travel money could bring your much longed for backpacking experience to an abrupt end.
Aim to find a comprehensive policy with high cover levels and low excesses to pay, at a cost effective price. Make use of a comparison website such as moneysupermarket.com to help you find a cheap policy with the features you need. You can also check some tour service providers like switzerland luxury travel if they also offer travel insurance.
As I mentioned above, it’s crucial that you pack light on a backpacking trip (remember you’ll have to lug that backpack around for some time). Even on the average 1-2 week holiday, we don’t use half of the clothes we pack so be ruthless when it comes to deciding what to add to your bag.
Take just one pair of sturdy jeans with you to keep the weight down and aim to ditch half of what you initially pack – if it’s not an essential item then you shouldn’t be taking it with you.
Get your paperwork done
It’s a good idea to get any paperwork sorted before you jet off to save time when you’re off on your travels. Find out if you need a visa for any of the countries you will be visiting (some countries require you to apply for a visa in advance so don’t get caught out) and plan the route you will take meticulously, factoring in the method of transport you will be using at each stage and the cost.
To avoid you having to cut your trip short should your spending money be lost or stolen, aim to carry only a small amount of cash on your person (around enough to pay for food and accommodation for 2-3 days).
Split your funds between 2 cards if possible to make sure you have access to cash if you lose one. Pre-paid credit cards are ideal for this purpose as they allow you to load them with money to spend on your travels.
It’s likely that you’ll want to capture every memory with a photo so you can look back over your backpacking trip in future – or maybe document your travels on a blog – if you’ll be using a digital camera then it’s a good idea to back up at ever opportunity you get.
Either save them to a separate memory stick or email them somewhere for safe keeping. Although, if you do lose them, it will give you an excuse to go travelling again to take some more…
When it comes to backpacking, flip-flops really are an essential item. Perfect for hitting the beach in and a life saver when it comes to having to use public showers where sanitation isn’t brilliant.
If you’re an experienced backpacker you’ll probably have a trusty backpack that’s been your companion on many a journey. This is the perfect luggage to take with you when you’re on your travels, thieves will be attracted to expensive looking new backpacks, expecting to find pricey gear inside.
If you do have to purchase a new backpack to take with you, spend 10 minutes making it look well used so it’s less of an attractive target to thieves (sandpaper is ideal for roughing things up a little).
If you are travelling further afield to a more exotic destination, it’s wise to find out if you need any vaccinations before you set off. It’s all too easy to think you’ll be ok if you skip the necessary precautions, but you could end up seriously ill and having to cut your travelling short; is it really worth it when all you need is a quick jab?
You really can’t plan enough for your trip, so try to think of every eventuality, such as needing alternative transport, funds running short, or refusal of entry into a country on your itinerary, and make a backup plan.
A contingency fund is also a good idea in case you run into an unexpected expense and you can use it to extend your travels if you don’t end up having to use it.
Perhaps one of the most valuable items you can pack, the humble ball of string is a handy item to have in your backpack. Whether you need a temporary clothesline, need to tie your belongings to your backpack or simply need to repair a broken shoelace, it’ll come in handy for all sorts!