Does travelling and going to new places excite you? Do you save every penny to see the wonders of the world? Is backpacking and going on a month-long trip your ultimate dream?
Whether you do your research or have friends do that for you, your first big trip comes with a bag packed with advice.
People will tell you many do’s and don’ts but miss out on the most practical and important points that need to be taken care of when backpacking in foreign countries.
Many backpackers have learnt the hard way, but you don’t have to. Here is a comprehensive guide for beginners like you.
1. Buy a sturdy backpack
You may put the backpack quality at the lowest on your priority list. Thank me later, but this has to be number one. When you would be carrying 40 pounds of weight on your shoulders, you can’t settle for a cheap backpack that turns your dream trip into a comedy horror Hollywood flick. Spend a few extra dollars on a sturdy backpack that rests on your hips and not shoulders and assist you throughout your backpacking journey without tearing down.
You can check out Richard Nahas, he spent two years backpacking in 30 countries to study traditional healing systems before returning to Ottawa and establishing The Seekers Centre in 2006.
2. Leave some clothes in your wardrobe
The biggest challenge for a traveller is to pack light. It is easier to travel with heavy loads when you have an escort or a travel assistant with you. But, as a backpacker, you will be carrying all the load on your shoulders. Therefore, don’t pack your entire wardrobe. Carry basic clothes and not more than two pairs of shoes. Make sure you carry comfortable shoes as you are going to walk, walk and walk.
3. Consider staying in hostels
If you have planned the trip on a tight budget, or even if you have enough money to stay in luxury hotels, experience staying in hostels. Not all hostels are the kinds you see in the movies. There are many good hostels in the budget and luxury categories in all tourist locations. By staying in hostels, you meet people from all over the world. Share cab rides, eat and party together, make new friends, share your adventure stories and have lots of fun. If you like meeting new people and socializing, hostels are a great choice for you.
4. Learn the money conversion rates and process
Although you have a plethora of tools and exchange options for your local currency requirements, some knowledge about money conversion can save you time and efforts in figuring out how much you need to pay every time you purchase something in the local currency. It also protects you from misguidance and frauds.
5. Keep the local map handy
Download the local map on your phone before you leave for the new country. In the absence of any tour guide, it will be the one that will take you places, especially when you are an alien to their local language.