Basic Tips for a Beginner Backpacker

Backpacking has a pretty good shot in making it into one of your life’s most remarkable memories. However, the fun part may be sucked right out of it if you’re not prepared. With that said, we have tips for you below so that won’t be the case.

Prioritize safety
Yes, backpacking is an adventure, but you need not head to your destination “blind” and without having much knowledge about the place. It’s recommended that you familiarize yourself with the area first—
especially locations that are right in the middle of nowhere—before anything. Check if it’s safe. Is there a breakout of a virus or disease? Is there civil unrest going on? Confirm if there’s any advisory from authorities saying that tourists should stay away from the location for a while. Conduct research on safer routes, accommodations, and modes of transportation. Ask your family, friends, peers, or anyone you know for that matter for any useful information about your destination. Bringing travel books or guides (or having an app for this on your mobile device) is also of the essence. Additionally, you can seek insights from fellow travellers from backpacking forums.

Pack light and pack right
Backpacking newbies have the tendency to overdo a few things. This is most apparent in the way they pack. The rule of thumb is that you can never go wrong by packing light and packing right. But in order to do that, you first need to have the right backpack. Get one that’s comfortable, appropriate for your size, and of course, one that’s of excellent quality. Brands such as In Luggage boast of great backpack selections that have something for beginner and veteran backpackers alike. Once you have a good pack on your back, leave all non-essentials at home and only take what you really need with you. Should there be additional room in your pack, don’t feel like you have to maximize the space—you’ll just regret it later on.

Money matters
If you want to get your money’s worth when trading in your money for local currency, do your research beforehand. Look for establishments where the best rates are offered. Do the same for hostels and food establishments so that you won’t get the higher “tourist rates” from locals who want to make a quick buck. Be informed so that you won’t be taken advantage of.

The hostel: Your home away from home
As a backpacker in a foreign land, you’d most likely be spending your nights in a hostel. We’ve got a few tips for you, in that case. First, it’s best for your wallet’s well-being to cook a few meals in a hostel. This will save you a lot of cash that would otherwise be spent on restaurants or food stalls. Do remember, though, that most hostels don’t have the most sterile cooking utensils. It’s recommended that you have your own set of kitchenware and dinnerware. Aside from that, the hostel is a great way to meet new people, so take advantage of the opportunity to gain travel buddies/drinking pals for the next couple of nights.

Be smart with transportation
Should you be backpacking in a bustling city, a railway system is most likely available. If that’s the case, purchase a train pass to cut down your expenses. Also, instead of taking a cab, just opt to walk if your
destination isn’t that far. After all, you’re there to see the sights, hear the sounds, and absorb as much as you can from the experience, all of which are better done on foot rather than being cooped up inside a vehicle. On top of that, you’ll be able to save more this way, as cab rides tend to be on the expensive side for most cities.

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  1. Backpacking is super fun. Yeah making sure I have enough of each local currency always helps. Also doing hotel or hostel reviews is great too. I try to pick places so if I don't like the one I'm staying at there is another well reviewed one close by.

  2. Yes we do that as well. I always have a back up in mind and if I hate the place it is far easier, especially with kids, to already be in a spot to look for the next place.