How to get the most out of your travels.
Backpacking is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the world. When you go backpacking around the world, you get to experience life as a resident of the country. You walk the same streets, eat the same food and interact with the locals far more than a planned holiday. This is why backpacking is becoming more and more popular, even for people that are used to traditional holidays that include hotels and guided tours.
But backpacking can also be quite daunting. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time walking around and you’ll need to have good instincts to avoid tourist traps. So to make your adventures a little easier, we’ve put together a list of backpacking tips that will make your travels more convenient and enjoyable.
Should you carry extra luggage?
As per the namesake, backpacking usually involves carrying a backpack and nothing more. This is perhaps one of the most daunting things about the whole experience–the fact that you can’t carry much with you. This can be a difficult fear to overcome, but you always have the option of just carrying extra luggage. Sure, it doesn’t make it a true backpacking experience, but there’s nothing wrong with having a base of operations (such as an Airbnb or hostel) where you keep your luggage. You can just take a backpack out with you wherever you explore the country and then come back to pick up extra supplies for the next day.
This helps overcome certain fears and concerns with backpacking, such as having fresh clothes to wear or carrying enough medication and emergency supplies. It also makes it seem more like a holiday about exploration rather than a game of survival. There are a lot of misconceptions and arguments about what true backpacking is, but the reality is that you can make backpacking whatever you want it to be.
You might find it helpful to pick a city with locations to help you store your luggage. For example, you could rely on services like Radical Storage to find places where you can keep your luggage as you go exploring. This is useful for when you’re moving from one accommodation to the next, or if you have a bit of time before your flight back home. Many hotels also offer these kinds of storage services, but you can also find lockers in some train stations as well.
Get your tech prepared for an adventure
Devices like smartphones are incredibly useful for backpacking. They can help us look for local attractions, they can translate things and we can use them for emergency situations. However, it’s important to get your tech prepared so that you can make the most of it. Here are a few suggestions:
- Download offline maps as soon as possible. This will ensure that, if you ever lose your connection, you’ll be able to make your way around the country with detailed maps.
- Look at WiFi or data options abroad. Most stations and airports will have free WiFi available, but you should also look for data options so you have access to the internet at all times.
- Make sure you know what adapters and plugs you need for your devices. In most cases, you can get by with just a socket adapter that works with the country that you’re visiting.
- Bring at least one power bank to charge your phone. This is useful for when you’re on the plane or transport and don’t have an outlet to charge your device.
Notify your bank you’re going overseas
If you plan to use your card abroad then you should let your bank know that you’re going overseas. Banks are incredibly quick when it comes to detecting fraud, so they’ll freeze your account as soon as they detect something weird going on. You’ll need to contact your bank and let them know that you’re going abroad. This will ensure that they don’t lock you out of your account when you desperately need to withdraw some money.
Make sure you budget for your trip
And on the topic of money, make sure you budget for your backpacking trip. Make sure you carry a wallet with plenty of cash if the country still mainly uses cash. Carrying a second wallet can also offer peace of mind if you’re concerned about thieves. You should also carry a small pouch for change if you expect to be carrying around a lot of coins. It’s also helpful to get to know what each coin is worth.
In addition to budgeting in the country, you should also take some time to budget for the entire trip itself. This can include your travel costs, food costs, entertainment costs and accommodation fees. You can often look online to get a rough average of how much it’ll cost per day in the country that you’re visiting.
Carry some extra bags with you
Backpacking is all about being prepared while still utilizing the least amount of space. It’s important to carry a few extra bags with you to store or organize your items. For example, some plastic bags will be great for carrying around wet items or dirty items that you need to wash. An extra bag around your waist or shoulder can also be good for carrying important items such as your passport, wallet or medicine.
At the end of the day, backpacking is a unique type of holiday that isn’t for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with staying at a hotel and going on guided tours, but you should remember that there are lots of other ways to embrace the culture and traditions of a country than through a tour. Getting closer to the locals and living among them as a backpacker is one of the most fulfilling experiences you’ll have abroad. We highly recommend it, but we also suggest that you follow these backpacking tips to make things a little easier and more enjoyable.
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