There is no wrong or right way to backpacking the world. It’s challenging and tough, but magical and thrilling. Learning life lessons and skills and broadening your mind into how the rest of the world lives.
I wanted to write up some tips to traveling anywhere in the world. Helping you let go of expectations, staying positive and being free.
Let go of stuff you don’t need. Let go of luxury and expectations. Let go of being in control of everything and what you’re used to. The world is a diverse and different place wherever you go. It’s your time to understand how other people live.
2. Pack light.
Bring stuff you know you will need and wear. Backpacking isn’t fashionable or attractive, be realistic. The more things you bring, the more to worry about and manage. This is your chance to be a minimalist.
3. You will learn.
It’s okay to mess up or have things go wrong. It’s okay to not always know what to do or how to handle some situations, but you will learn the more you travel. You travel to learn
4. Open your mind.
-This is no time to be picky or judgemental. It wont get you anywhere.
5. Travel towel
-If you shower, you need a travel towel. They’re light, easy and compact, unlike a bath towel.
6. Carry earplugs
-Regardless of how easy you sleep, in hostels people snore and talk loudly despite their entire room asleep, or on long journeys when babies are screaming. Do yourself a favour and take some so you can block out noise when you need.
7. Always have warm clothes
-Don’t be that person with no warm clothes. I always carry warm jumpers, a hat and scarf, even in the hottest of countries, it’s possible to feel cold anywhere, plus their a big comfort.
8. Flip flops become your best friend.
-Shower shoes, slippers, run to the shop or making breakfast in the kitchen. You will need some. Cheaper the better as they’re easily lost.
9. Stay in big dorms
Cheaper, Easier to meet people.
10. Compare prices
Bus’s aren’t always cheaper than flights. Companies always charge more and smaller business will make good deals, it’s worth finding the best for your money.
11. Respect the locals
Your entering their homes, their communities and countries. Be respectful and friendly. These people are the best to get on with and will show you the real parts of the country and authentic culture.
In hostels, online, volunteering, is an easy and fulfilling thing to do when and opens lots of oppurtinities.
13. Take photos
Photos capture a moment, a memory, they make time stand still and the best way to remind yourself of these wonderful experiences. You’re in outstanding and unique places, capture the moment.
You will forget stuff. Write down how you feel and what you’re up too. Important information or recommendations. You are on a trip of a lifetime, document what you’re doing.
15. Be prepared.
Think ahead for certain situations. Don’t rely on one bank card or not needing a visa. It’ll save you stuck and panicked further down the line. Get a photocopy of things and have emergency numbers written down.
16. Back stuff up.
If you want to keep your photos and video, back it up often. No one expects to loose their phone or have their camera stolen.
17. Lay off the booze.
It’s so expensive in many parts of the world and traveling isn’t just about getting drunk. Learn to find fun in other ways.
18. Don’t plan too much.
Keep your options open. Do what you feel like and when, it’s so much more fun and possible.
19.Wash your own clothes.
In some countries, laundry is super cheap but get used to washing some of your clothes in the sink, let things dry naturally and saves money.
20. Learn to cook
By no means can I cook, but learn the basics and know your cheap ingredients. Plan meals, cook together and save money. Buy local produce from markets and be creative. It’ll save you heaps.
21.Get your advise and tips off other backpackers.
The internet isn’t always true and it’s easy to get the wrong comments from people who haven’t travelled much. I also get many comments from people who have never been to the country. Listen to the others doing it.
22. Keep your wits.
Be prepared to stay aware and on the ball and look after yourself more then ever before.
23. Carry a padlock or two.
Lockers should be provided in accommodation but a lock always helps keeps things a little safer. From hostel lockers, to falling asleep in the airport or locking your rucksack closed on long travel journeys.
24. Photocopy important information and leave some at home with people you trust.
Get your vaccinations.
It’s not worth risking. If you’re traveling to poorer countries, research what you need. Some countries may not let you in without certain vaccinations.
Not everyone needs to know the truth.
Be wary of how much information you hand out, anywhere. Not everyone needs to know you’re completely lost or traveling alone.
Download your music offline.
Thank me later.
Get the right rucksack.
There are so many different types, sizes, ranges of rucksacks, spend time getting the right one, it doesn’t need to be so expensive but look at different makes and try them on. It should fit correctly on your back evenly over your shoulders, chest and hips.
Learn the basics language –
You would appreciate someone in your country talking to you or at least trying to communicate in your own language. Phrases like Hello, Yes, No, Thank you, How much? Please. Excuse me. Goodbye etc. It’s respectful to try and will make your life a lot easier. Speaking the local language will help get lower prices when traveling andhelpful to meeting more locals.
Keep in contact with friends and family.
It’s easy to be busy and occupied with your travel life, trust me, I have to remind myself all the time but keep your relationships, invest time in keeping up your friendships, they’ll be the ones waiting for you at home.
Let people know your main plans.
Whenever I move towns/ cities/ countries I tell my parents so they know what’s going on for my own safety. Sometimes I tell people at home where I am staying in case of any problems. I also let people know if I am leaving internet for some time so they don’t worry. It’s for everyone’s benefit.
Use bags when packing.
Plastic or travel packing bags helps keep your things organised. I use a plastic bag for tops, one for dress, one for my underwear etc. Makes unpacking and packing easier and managing my clothes.
They are designed to help you travel. Earplugs, a neckpillow, eye cover, USB chargers. It’ll make your life and travels a lot easier. Stick to one or two ones you gain the most from.
Couchsurf, Hitchhike, volunteer.
Fun, Exciting and Free ways to stay in places. There are tons of websites, groups and organizations and it’s a totally different experience.
Don’t get lazy.
You have plenty of time to sit back and relax. You need those naps in the hammocks and lazy movie days, but you can’t relive your life, make the most of your time in each place.
It’s okay to be alone.
I travel alone and sometimes spend days completely alone in quiet hostels or hotels. Always making long journeys solo and going out for dinner with me, myself and I, but it’s part of the deal. I admit to getting lonely but I love the freedom I have in my life.
Try local food.
It may be different, strange and simply weird. It may also be the tastiest thing you’ve ever tried. A big part of traveling to foreign places is to try their local food. Understanding how the locals do it and their flavours. Sometimes you have no option or acess to foods you know or like.
I am sure you will, but really learn to
There are enough disrespectful and problematic people in the world. There is enough pollution problems and plastic waste. Many countries have little systems in place for hygienic and helpful tactics. You also entiring peoples homes, their countries and communities, be respectful. You expect the same when people come to your home town.
You’re traveling to see the world. There are many things I see that I do not agree with, and many beliefs I think are total bullshit. There are many foreign cultures and manners different to what you’re used too. Try not to judge, and know it’s not about being wrong, just different. You’re traveling to this places to learning and opening your mind.
Bring your own water bottle.
Saves on plastic, easy to carry water with you and saves money.
It’s okay to be confused.
Traveling can be tough, you’re enduring one giant adventure. Constant changes, temperatures, cultures, vibes. Always adapting and watching other peoples lives, you don’t always talk the language or anyone around you, it get’s exhausting and confusing but it’s ok.
Try new things.
This is the best time in your life to try different things.
Reduce what valuables you bring.
Save the hassle and risk of loosing something valuable. Coming to South America alone I really had to think about what I needed. I also can’t draw attention to myself, with fancy jewellery and flashy objects. People will know I am an easy and worthy target.
You can do things yourself.
Why so many people pay for tours and guides I don’t know. It’s convenient and easy but nowhere near as fun as doing it on your own. Normally a lot cheaper and a deeper way to travel.
I would struggle to travel safely and independently without this wonderful offline app. Download it.
Keep hydrated and healthy.
It’s important to look after your body anywhere in the world but if your in foreign places, in poorer areas and third world countries,. Plus, who wants to pay for medical bills?
Do some research before hand.
You don’t need to plan your route, or know exactly on what you’re going to be doing there, but just make yourself aware of what’s in the country. Weather, visas or entry requirments, danger/ terror threats, natural disasters and the different places you want to go.
Remember your representing your country.
Many locals you meet, in many countries, have never left their own. They know very little about other countries and traveling. I know many people who have never met someone from England. I am the only person they can go off, my country.
Just have fun.
Have fun in life. It’s short. Go live, laugh and love, go travel!