After all the world is big even though your suitcase isn’t and so the easiest way to achieve a trip round the world would be to pack a backpack. Backpacking allows you the freedom to immerse yourself in the local culture in a way that you wouldn’t get to otherwise.
So before you head out, these tips are essential.
Research the environment – Before you set out on a trip anywhere, you have to know more about the place. Get to know the lifestyle and culture of the people as this will help you pack effectively. Know the local wild life, and focus in on dangers! What local snakes are poisonous, what spiders are poisonous, and are there any predators you should be aware of?!
You will get uncomfortable – If you are a budget traveler, there will definitely be some bumpy rides, and you would have to join public transport where you might be squashed in an uncomfortable position with too many people for way too long.
Your skin will suffer – When backpacking, depending on the climate, your skin might end up looking like you have been trampled upon by an elephant. Your hair, skin, heels etc will experience changes in weather conditions and this might affect them adversely. A good moisturiser and sun block is essential!
Always have your essentials – Besides your passport and cash, there are a few things you should always carry. Things like your toilet paper, sanitary products, hand sanitizer, eye drops, lip balm, wet wipes, small change, phone charger, powerbank, head torch, sunglasses, water, snacks, a scarf, and medication like Imodium just in case.
Some days will be lonely – Backpacking can get lonely sometimes. Some places don’t have the volume of travellers that you find in other popular backpacking destinations, so whilst you will definitely meet people in hostels etc, it doesn’t always mean you’ll be on the same itinerary. If you are flexible, it definitely helps, but that’s not always possible, especially if you have specific places you want to go or activities pre-booked. Be prepared for the fact that you may get the odd day or two where you don’t meet many people.
Don’t be afraid to travel alone – There are so many solo travelers out there that are totally cool with hanging out with a buddy, even for just a few days, even if you'll never see each other again. You just might meet tons of amazing new people.
Always reserve emergency funds – Always have an emergency fund, whether you keep it in your makeup bag or at home with someone who can readily transfer it to you if need be. Things can and will go wrong, and although you can't prevent it, you can prepare for it.
Stick with a backpack – Your backpack should be small enough to carry on flights. This will save a fortune on baggage fees! Plus you really don't need a huge backpack weighing you down!
Do not overstuff your itinerary – If you're traveling for 20 days, don't plan 20 things to see. You just might burn out by the end of the first week. Make some plans, but also create room for spontaneity.
Make the most of it – Whether you’re just wandering around town, or doing a cool activity or going out on safari, every day you travel will be an adventure. Enjoy the time and make the best use of the opportunity!
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