When planning a backpacking trip, it’s likely you’ll want to go to some far-flung places, and probably spend a couple of months there to truly embrace the backpacking lifestyle.
It takes a lot of time, but knowing that you’ll create memories to last a lifetime will be worth it. You’re going to need to plan and prepare before you hit the road. We’ve listed the three most important things you need to know before going on your backpacking adventure.
- Your route
Where do you want to go? This is probably one of the toughest things to figure out but a good place to start is listing all the things you want to see or the activities you want to accomplish. Maybe you really want to learn to scuba dive? There are lots of locations all over the world for that so it gives you a general idea of locations while keeping your options broad. However, if hiking Macchu Picchu has always been on your bucket list, then you know you’ll definitely be including a trip to Peru on your itinerary.
From making this list, you can start to piece together your route and begin thinking about the milestones along the way. Then you’ll have a better idea of what you might need to book in advance and things you can decide along the way.
- Your budget
Did you know that one in three millennials would spend £5000 on a summer trip? How much money will you have to spend? To start with, you need to make sure you’re saving and making extra money where possible before you go. It’s important to know your budget and to seek out the best prices where possible. Think about side hustles but also how you can make your money work for you: a good idea is using air miles and loyalty schemes. Budgets can vary wildly by country and it’s dependent on the standards you want to have while travelling. Having cheap nights in hostel rooms is a great way to save for other things but there will be times when you want your own space too so factor that in. It’s also worth thinking about how long you plan to spend in certain places. A day in Singapore can cost the same amount as a week in Indonesia so be mindful of the value of your money.
- What to pack
This is very much related to the route you plan to take and what time of the year you’ll be there. If you’re in South America, you’ll probably need all four seasons of clothing. However in a lot of South East Asia, as long as you have a good rain jacket, some shorts and flip flops, you’ll be fine for most activities. If you’re visiting more temperate climates such as Europe or the US, it might be that you need to bring a lot of things to layer with. Don’t forget things like your toiletries, electronics and shoes either! And of course, make sure you leave yourself with some extra room because we can guarantee you’ll want to buy plenty of souvenirs along the way.
Stephanie Brookes is a travel writer and blogger with tales from Indonesia and beyond.
Author – “Indonesia’s Hidden Heritage – Cultural Journeys of Discovery”