Discover the top 10 most useful tips for traveling well as a backpacker.
Preparing for a backpacker trip is no easy feat. Like any traveler, you must book your flights, check the authorized weight of your luggage, book hotels, plan your visits… But you must also think about how to optimize your budget to travel as long as possible. You also have to organize your travel itinerary – which is not always easy when you think outside the box – and deal with the unforeseen events that will inevitably happen during your trip …
In order to help you make the most of your next trip, we would like to share with you 10 essential tips to know to make the most of your next backpacking trip. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to travel all over Europe or trek in the Amazon. One thing is for sure: these tips will help you get the most out of your trip.
1. Prepare your trip
Traveling as a backpacker is above all traveling spontaneously. It’s accepting to change plans along the way based on the advice of other travelers or the meetings you meet … But traveling completely unexpectedly can be stressful – if you don’t know where you are going to sleep at night …
Know how to find the right compromise. Taking a look at your travel guide before you set off will help you find some inspiration, spot must-see sights, and structure your trip. Organizing your trip as little as possible before you leave will allow you to improvise better along the way – because you know you can get back on your feet.
2. Travel light
When traveling as a backpacker, always remember that you will need to wear your backpack very regularly. To travel with peace of mind without tiring yourself unnecessarily, travel light. Do you really need 20 pairs of socks, 5 pounds, or 3 tubes of sunscreen? Probably not. Even in developing countries, it is relatively easy to find laundromats, drugstores where you can buy toiletries, or even mini markets where you will find all types of basic products (razors, toothbrush, etc.). So, travel with the minimum of business even if it means restocking yourself on the way!
Another practical tip: if you love to read, why not equip it with an e-reader? Admittedly, buying an e-reader represents a small budget. However, the tablets are much lighter – count 200 to 300 grams for the small models – than the paper travel guides. A great way to read without adding too much weight to your backpack.
In addition to the weight aspect, remember to place your things wisely in your backpack.
• Place heavy items closer to your back – to protect your spine.
• Store the items you need regularly – like sunglasses or travel documents – in separate pockets or at the top of your backpack for easy access at all times.
• Place your shoes at the bottom of your backpack
• As for your other things – clothes, toiletries – you can place them wherever there is room, on the side or on the outside of your backpack for example.
3. Is it better to book your hotels well in advance or at the last minute?
Do you prefer to book your hotels in advance to travel with peace of mind or, on the contrary, book at the last moment to be able to change your travel itinerary along the way according to your desires and thus travel in complete freedom? The answer to this thorny question depends of course on your personality, but also on the time you have available to travel.
If you only have two or three weeks at your disposal to take the Grand Tour of Italy, it is probably better to book your hotels in advance, as you have very little leeway to change your schedule during the trip. road. On the other hand, if you plan to travel 6 months in South East Asia, it is better to book in advance only your first hotel nights and improvise along the way to be able to visit the places you want, when you want and also as long as you want.
Spontaneity is what makes the charm of a backpacker trip
4. Save money on visits when you travel
When traveling, money often disappears much faster than you anticipated. It must be said that the temptations are numerous: an ice cream here, a souvenir t-shirt there… But don’t panic: there are many ways to save money while traveling which will allow you to visit all the places which you dream of seeing without breaking the bank.
• If you have a student card, remember to show it as often as possible, in order to benefit from free entries or strong discounts on your visits. For example in China, the student card allows you to benefit from a 50% discount on the price of visits to historic places!
• Another possibility: remember to check if the places you plan to visit offer open days or free nights. Indeed, many museums like the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid are free in the evening. Smart!
5. How to eat without breaking the bank?
When traveling, you probably like to visit as many new places as possible and try new things and new activities. Even though backpacking often involves making compromises for material reasons, missing out on local culinary specialties would be a shame. For this reason, we invite you to plan a budget devoted exclusively to restaurants or street food. For example, plan in your “food” budget to provide you with a good meal in each place you visit. The rest of the time, try to eat street food as much as possible. In Vietnam for example, you can eat delicious Vietnamese food – like pho bo – on the street for just 1 to 2 euros! You can also go to a local market or supermarket to buy some produce and cook on your own in your hostel. It’s a great way to eat great food without breaking the bank while meeting other travelers.
Walking is an excellent way to explore unknown places, to meet new people …
6. Don’t waste your time on your train trips
Are you traveling by train? Rather than being bored during the long hours of your journey, why not look out the window to admire the landscapes that pass before your eyes? You can also read a local newspaper to find out more about local news or consult your travel guide to plan the days ahead…
Don’t hesitate to chat with your neighbor to make a new friend and learn more about the country you are visiting. Finally, you can jot down your personal notes and thoughts in a notebook to keep a written record of your travels.
7. Talk to people
Each camp has its advantages and disadvantages. Seeking the company of your compatriots has a reassuring side. But it will limit the experience you get from your trip. What good is traveling between New York and Singapore if you only plan to speak French, English, or your native language and only want to eat steak and fries? After all, part of the fun of traveling is above all successfully overcoming the language barrier and meeting locals, and experiencing different cultures, isn’t it?
However, avoiding your compatriots (and tourists in general) will prevent you from exchanging travel tips with other tourists. Suddenly, maybe you’ll miss the best restaurant in town or the best youth hostel to party without knowing it …
8. Make the most of the places you visit
When you travel, you will undoubtedly spend a lot of time looking at landscapes on trains or on tourist buses… So once you arrive at your destination, try to make the most of your (allotted) time visiting as much as possible. When possible, prefer to explore the places you visit on foot rather than by public transport. As you walk, you will discover things that you would never have discovered otherwise, such as magnificent works of street art, small antique shops, small cafes are known only to the locals … If you don’t like walking, you can also rent a bike for the day which will allow you to explore the city without fatigue and even the surrounding countryside.
When you come back from your trip
9. Don’t bother your loved ones
For several weeks, you were amazed, you did unusual activities, you made enriching encounters, you ate dishes that you did not know existed before you left… No doubt you want to share all those travelogues and all those adventures with your friends or family when you get back home.
Do it in moderation. Indeed, your loved ones have undoubtedly already followed your adventures on social media, and do not necessarily want to listen to you talking for hours about places that mean nothing to them or to see each of the thousands of photos. that you took …
If you travel, it is above all for you, not to show off to your loved ones when you return, is it? So when your friends ask you “how was your trip,” be synthetic. Answer them something like “that was awesome thank you” and tell a quick anecdote, nothing more. If your friends are interested and want to know more about your adventure, they will ask you for additional information, be sure.
10. Document your memories
Did you collect old train tickets, museum tickets, and small denominations of local currency during your trip? You may have kept towels, beer caps, postcards, thimbles, and.? Rather than leaving all your memories lying around in the back of your backpack, why not use them to make a souvenir album or show them off in a display case?
You can also edit videos using your travel photos. To do this, use video editing software. Then, assemble your photos into a video, add music to the soundtrack and voila, you’ve made a wonderful video of your trip.
Finally, do not hesitate to bring back small souvenirs from your travels, such as a fan if you are traveling to Andalusia, a kimono, if you are traveling to Japan … Bringing back souvenirs from the four corners of the world, will allow you to decorate your home in an original way and it’s also a great excuse to talk about travel when you invite fellow travelers over to your home.