The option to go out backpacking and all that is associated with it is one of the best ways to travel. It seems easy at first glance, and in a way, it is. Still, everything will be better if you avoid making very common and easily avoidable mistakes. Although of course, the backpacker’s life also implies learning through experience, taking the seemingly more difficult path, although generally much more satisfying.
In spite of everything, we give you some tips that may help you to make that one more step and fulfil your backpacking dreams.
Be very careful with carrying excess luggage. Space is a precious asset as well as the weight you are going to carry, and possibly you will add some other things along the way. Additionally, you may have to include in that backpack some foods or drinks, and you may not have that space from the beginning.
It is always better to leave things at home than to be forced to carry extra bags or leave something that you may later regret. Another fact that must be taken into account is that carrying a backpack implies that you will be walking and with it all the time. That more reasons to avoid unnecessary excess weight.
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As far as clothes are concerned, you must carry enough to be able to change, but in a basic way, you can always wash the rest during the trip. If you know the destination a bit or have informed yourself, take the appropriate coat volume and leave extra unused space for things that you will surely add later.
Planning and Booking
You will need to have some idea of where you are going to go and where we are going to sleep. Therefore some relative planning has to be done. That is, it should be as flexible as possible, not to overbook and pretend to close to a specific plan, especially if we talk about a long trip.
- Recommended: book a hostel for the first nights, especially if we go to a big city that’s typical travellers destination.
- Bad idea: book directly beyond the first nights or hire excursions and activities, especially when they are one after another or in different places.
In general, it is very important to know where and when we are going. That is, arriving in a city like Granada in the middle of spring is synonymous with a high number of travellers and backpackers. In this case, it is advisable to book the first night two or three days in advance, primarily to ensure we have the desired accommodation.
We must never forget that we are interested in being flexible. Who has not fallen in love with a place unexpectedly and yet has been dramatically disappointed with another in principle more popular?
You may be on the constant move but don’t forget to take any chance to practice various outdoor exercises that can be done basically anywhere. A 30 minutes workout can improve your mood and make you stay in shape so that you can endure all challenges on the road.
Other key points of the planning are:
- Knowing any word or expression of the local language is never too much.
- It is imperative to find out about cultural norms, especially in specific destinations.
- Having a general idea of basic geography will help us more than you think.
Basic and delicate topic. We must never run out of cash, but it is not at all advisable to move with large amounts. It is essential to know what access we will have to ATMs at our destination, and if we want our card cards to work.
Never store all your money, cards and documentation in one place. It is very important to calculate the money that you will spend in a day is not together with the total, you will be calmer this way. Besides, the total amount should never be altogether.
- You can leave an authorization and bank details in your usual place of residence to someone you trust, maybe it will avoid some complications.
- If your card is credit, it is sometimes advisable to notify the bank so that it is not blocked for suspicious use. This especially in specific destinations, in the case of Bangkok.
- Never carry little or excess cash, at least openly. It is imperative to plan this and know when you can take out.
- It doesn’t hurt if someone has a specific idea of where you are and more or less what you intend to be your next step, this doesn’t imply a constant flow of communication.
It is also important to know if you want to travel alone, and what that implies, or if you are going to do it with someone, a good friend or someone special. If you make a mistake with your travel companion, you can ruin it or make it a tough experience for both. Likewise, if you are not used to travelling as a backpacker, it may be better to have some knowledge before travelling alone.
When selecting your travel partner, make sure that your personality adapts to the possible and unforeseen circumstances of these trips and, of course, to you. You will spend many hours together and probably some moments of uncertainty, it is not a good option to discuss at certain levels these dilemmas with someone you don’t trust.
- Keep in mind the importance of the necessary mutual solidarity.
- If you have already travelled with that person, he or she may be a better option than someone unfamiliar.
- On the trip, don’t forget the importance of personal space, that is, sometimes you won’t do the same things, or simply one will need alone time with oneself. Respect it, and the possible tensions will dissipate.
- Patience and excellent communication is basic.
The Beginning of Your Trip
It is time to go out and look forward, all that awaits you. Look for a certain disconnection, don’t intend to remain tied to your day to day dull activities. You can communicate via Skype or one of the multiple options offered by the Internet occasionally, but don’t forget that you will disconnect and press on with your journeys.
You have enough to adjust to the “rhythm of your present” so don’t try to coordinate between life at home and on the road. You will end up stressed, exhausted, and you won’t enjoy the journey.
- If it’s a long trip, you can use a blog to post some photos and leave a comment, every one or two weeks.
- Send some messages to your list of friends and family to have a general idea and that everything is going well.
- Remember that social networks will continue to exist when you return, you will upload the photos and other stuff from your adventures at the time. Remember that reality follows its path and will be in the same place when you return.
How have your backpacker experiences been? What have been your favourite destinations? Do you prefer to travel with someone or alone?
Surely you also have many other tips or comments, don’t hesitate to ask any experienced traveller around you for some. Common experiences are a great source of information and learning that will surely help you with your journeys.
We hope that the information we provided will be of great use once you hit the road and be careful in conquering your dreams with nothing more than the backpack and the help of your fellow companion.