Backpacking seems to be the trend in traveling these days. It is when globetrotters would plan only their first destination, afterwards, every place and destination are completely spontaneous. While there have been backpackers even before it became a trend, more and more travellers have been trying out backpacking for themselves.
But note that just because you have travelled before does not necessarily mean backpacking would be easy for you. It is more than just picking out affordable air fares and cheap travel insurance while hoping services that you might need will be reasonable too.
For this reason, we have created a guide for people who are backpacking for the first time. Read through this guide before you book your tickets so you can have an idea of what to expect and what you can do during your trip.
Secure important documents first
Purchasing travel insurance is more important now if you are going to backpack, especially if it is your first time. It ensures that you and your valuables are safe, you basically do not have to worry about medical expenses and lost items because it can get coverage. At the same time, you need to prepare other documents like your passport and account statements, especially if you are planning on going to a country that requires a visa. Make sure you have these and your IDs with you. As a precaution, you can scan all your IDs and travel documents, and then upload them to a cloud system so you can access them anytime you need to.
Do not bring a lot of clothes
The key to backpacking is packing light, you do not want to lug heavy luggage around because this will make it hard for you to truly tour a country. Besides, the purpose of backpacking is to get a more immersive travel experience that you could not get from just being a tourist. What you can do is bring a few clothes for warm and cold weather. Remember that you can always wash your clothes and repeat wearing them. So while it is tempting to bring your whole wardrobe, think about how impractical that is going to be.
Additionally, bring clothes that are practical to wear. You do not have to wear fashionable clothes. Something comfortable like jogging pants, shorts, and sneakers will do.
Choose the gadgets that you will bring
Just like clothes, it is very tempting to bring all of the gadgets that you have. You are going to travel the world, of course, you want it to be documented well. But this would be the best time to consider which ones you truly want to bring. Would you prefer to use a DSLR or would you be fine taking pictures with your DSLR? Both of these have pros and cons, specifically, your phone can allow you to edit your photos and instantly upload, while the SLR might take some time for you to do all of that.
However, if you really want to bring a camera, there are SLRs that offer a Wi-Fi Internet feature. If you can do away with editing, maybe a Wi-Fi connected SLR would be perfect for you. Note, though, that if purchasing it is not part of your budget, just stick with using your phone.
Budget your money properly
Save all the money that you can so that you will not need to worry about food or accommodation. While backpacking promotes budget travelling, you should not allow yourself not to have access to money that can make travelling comfortable. There are many stories nowadays of backpackers begging locals for money so they can buy food or a plane ticket to go home. You can prevent this from happening to you if you have money saved in your account which you can access anytime through ATM.
Keep these tips in mind when you are planning a backpacking trip so that your first experience will be enjoyable rather than problematic.