Travel

Backpacking 101: What to Sort Out Before You Strap on Your Rucksack

backpacking: man with backpack looking up at snow covered mountains by a lake.

The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life. Jetting off can be exciting, however, it’s important to have a vague plan in place, no matter how spontaneous you wish to be. Backpacking is like everything – if you fail to prepare you can prepare to fail.

Work out your budget

Before you book anything or make any concrete plans, you should work out a rough estimation of your budget. If you’re backpacking, rather than simply going on holiday this is even more important as your daily budget will have a huge impact on where you’re able to visit and just how long for you. In many Western European countries, you can expect to pay more and will likely find that cities in Eastern Europe are far more affordable. Remember; there’s accommodation, transport, excursions and meals to think of! And this doesn’t include clothing, travel insurance and flights which all amount to those pre-trip expenses. 

Packing

You should start to make a list of things you plan to take away around three weeks before your trip as this will help to ensure you have more than enough time to make any last-minute purchases you may have forgotten, without getting stressed. Packing cubes, portable chargers, plug adapters, mosquito repellent and so on are all necessities that may slip your mind. Just don’t leave it until the last minute. Try not to overpack either, if you’re travelling in a large group – it’s pointless to each take a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, along with shower gel, toothpaste and hair dryers. Sharing is caring after all. 

A rough plan

Planning a little is okay but try not to plan too much…you’re on holiday, you’re free! More often than not, the best memories are those that were unplanned and we’re all for spontaneity. That said, some things should be planned. Don’t turn up to a random city during a busy period without having booked accommodation. Similarly, don’t leave yourself stranded at the airport either, airport taxi transfers are available for transport to your hotel.

backpacking: notes in many different currencies.

Buy local currency before you leave

Before you embark on your backpacking travels, it’s a good idea to get enough local currency to last you for the first few days of your trip if you plan to travel between countries. Though, don’t turn up at an exchange bureau the day before your travel…keep an eye on rates a few weeks before you leave and bear in mind that certain currencies may need to be ordered.

Of course, you may be able to use your bank card while travelling but having some local currency means that you can be comfortable in knowing that a broken ATM won’t catch you out. You should also save some cash in a separate account should anything go wrong with your main card.

And of course be sure to remember all of the essentials such as sun-cream, travel insurance, your passport and any visas that you may need! You should also make photocopies of this documentation. You can never be too careful when backpacking!

 

collaborative post