If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet. – Rachel Wolchin
The definition of backpacking is the activity of traveling or going camping while carrying your clothes and other things that you need in a backpack. Backpacking is all about the overall experiences and memories, not just visiting a list of attractions. Every backpacking experience is unique, it is whatever you want it to be. So, here we present to you some backpacking tips to have an experience of a lifetime.
Tips for backpacking
1. Selecting your destination
The choice of your destination is the foremost decision you will make for your backpacking journey. The destination decides the type of experiences you’re going to garner and your next travel plans. There are certain destinations which are considered as launching pads for beginner backpacker. The reason being
- Traveling to such places is easy
- A frequent traveling option which is easy to navigate
- They are deemed to be very safe and have well-established tourism network.
Google search all of the destinations you want to visit. Make sure you have all information regarding what your destination can offer as a tourist attraction.
Duration of your vacation is also an important criterion when it comes to choosing your destination. If you have a week or two when choosing a destination closer to home might be a good option. But if you have a month time, then your options get more flexible.
2. Packing for your backpacking
Every gram counts. That’s an important aspect to remember while figuring out what to pack. Reasons to pack light-
- You will be in a constant rush to catch transport or last room in the hotel.
- Walking around with a lighter backpack will be easier.
- Easier to find stuff when you have less number of things in your backpack.
- Fewer things to lose or get stolen.
Some must-have in your backpack:
- 3-7 shirts/tops
- 1-3 jeans/shorts/skirts, travel trousers
- Next-to-skin base layers
- Microfiber travel towel
- 1-3 sweatshirt/sweaters (depending upon the destination)
- Slippers/everyday shoes/sandals
- Lightweight raincoat
3. Save money
No doubt traveling will be expensive. As soon as you start your trip, you will notice money flowing out of your hand. But there are certain smart ways to save money while backpacking.
One of the biggest thrills of backpacking is the spontaneity. It might not be spontaneous to book and plan your trip throughout but it does save a lot of money. If your trip is short, then maybe having a bit of an itinerary will help you make your spending worthwhile. However, making concrete plans is difficult when you are planning a long trip. So, plan for a few days or weeks and then the wanderlust takes over.
Walking is the best way to explore cities and gain experiences. While you might thing bus or taxi will help you reach your destination sooner but the fares will cost you a lot more bucks.
Book hotels or hostels which offer a free meal. While eating fancy might seem exotic but try some street food or sample interesting things from the local supermarket and cook in the hostel, which is another way of understanding the culture of your destination.
While visiting tourist places make sure you go through discounts. Many offer free admission on certain days of the week while most offer a special discount such as for students, military etc.
It is tempting to buy souvenirs along the way but the best method is to buy them at the end of your trip. That way you can weigh up how much money you have left and buy accordingly. Also, you can save a lot of money through haggling. In local markets, you’re, expected to haggle and bring down the price of the things you want to purchase.
Some additional backpacking tips to have an experience of a lifetime
Get physically ready
Backpacking is physically demanding. Walking along roads with a heavy backpack is not an easy task. You need to be completely healthy and competent. Plan out a workout scheme before the trip which will help you to get fit for the trip.
Get mentally prepared
Get familiar with all your packing gear beforehand. Also, learn the basic first aid and compass navigation which is a skill that you will need in the long run.
Make a scrapbook
After returning from your trip, you will have collected hundreds of scraps of paper, photographs, tickets, and memories. Making a scrapbook accumulating all these memories is a good way to remember your all so fascinating trip. You can also store your memories in a more digital format, compiling them into a video of photos and videos with that song that made the trip as the soundtrack.
Next time, you are planning to go for a backpacking trip, feel free to share your experiences with us.