Tips for Backpacking

Another callaborative post for you today with loads of tips for backpacking. Wish I’d done a little more travelling when I was younger, but I guess it’s never too late to start and now I have a family to share it with.

Tips for backpacking

Backpacking is all about adventure, travelling and meeting new people around the world. That’s why it is so appealing to a lot of people, not only to young, gap-year students seeking for a cheap way to travel, but to people of all ages looking for a unique way to explore different destinations on a budget.

If you are thinking to embrace the backpacker’s vibe, there are some good tips you might want to follow to travel like a pro.

 Pack Light

The first rule is to pack light. Travelling like a backpacker means you’ll be probably walking long distances, so you don’t want to carry too much weight on your back. Make a list of essential things you will need and leave the unnecessary stuff at home.

Also, consider packing multi-function items (a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner bottle, for example) and investing in a light but sturdy backpack specifically built to hold more and weigh less.

Do not carry extra clothing items, bring a couple of changes and maybe portable packets of detergent, to being able to wash your clothes if needed. Alternatively, if you’re visiting a bigger city, research laundromats; also, many hostels and accommodations have laundry facilities too.

 Hostel or camping?

When backpacking, you can consider camping or also staying in a hostel. You want to look for cheap accommodations, and both are great alternatives to expensive hotels and resorts. First of all, plan your route and then do some research to see where the cheapest hostels or campsites are located.

Many hostels provide spacious rooms or dormitories with shared bathrooms for fair prices. They might not be the most comfortable rooms in the world, but at least you can sleep in an actual bed, use a decent toilet and even shower. Having a bed to come back to after a long day of walking is always nice and refreshing. Hostels tend to invest in bunk beds with metal bed frames (you can see a selection of similar ones on bedstar, to have an idea), which are less expensive and easier to move around. They are the perfect solution for a tired backpacker. If you’re travelling within the UK, you can check Hostelling International (hihostels.com) and YHA (yha.org.uk); these places tend to be large, clean and attract travellers of all ages.

If you prefer camping, you might want to check if there is a recognised campsite in or near your destination beforehand. Check if there are toilets, washing facilities, showers and so on, in order to be prepared and to pack what you need.

 Money and documents to bring with you

Backpacking is all about adventure, but there are a couple of ‘boring’ details people often tend to forget but which are essentials, especially when you leave for multiple destinations: your documents and a pre-loaded currency card. Bring your ID and insurance number, and also a photocopy of both of them, just in case.

If you’re travelling to a lot of different countries, it also means you’ll have to deal with various currencies. In order to avoid exchange rates, having a pre-loaded card with you can be a considerably secure solution. An example is the Caxton FX Global Traveller card which can be charged online or via mobile phone.

 Possible backpacking destinations

2014 is going to be Brazil’s year if you’re a football fan as the country is hosting the World Cup for the second time in history. It is going to be crowded and loud, but if you’re planning to travel around the world it is a destination that can’t be missed.

Tulum, Mexico is another place worth a visit. Situated on the Yucatan Peninsula, this Mayan city offers a wonderful scenery of the Riviera Maya beaches, Caribbean Sea and surrounding coastal region.

If you’re backpacking around Europe, try not to skip Spain. From Andalucia to Catalunya, there are so many cities to explore while enjoying the Mediterranean vibe and amazing wheather.

You have plenty of beautiful places to choose from, all you need is a good guidebook and a comfortable pair of shoes to walk around different countries.

 

 

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.