Do you fancy doing something different from the classical family summer holiday on the beach for a week in an all-inclusive five-star hotel? Do you still like the idea of the luxury hotel, but want to change place over the holiday to discover more places at once and get the most of your time? If you’re an adventurous person, or one who likes a challenge, backpacking is the answer! If you are thinking about going backpacking but you don’t really know where to start from, here there are some tips to get you started for the adventure of a lifetime!
- Choose the type of holiday: are you a city or a countryside person? If you are planning to travel from city to city around Europe, the Interrail passes can be a cheap solution. Once you’ve got the pass, you also get discounts on transport, accommodation, and tourist attraction. If you want to get more into nature and you’re planning to walk and sleep in tent, you need to have the proper equipment for that, and then to get information on the camping sites you can find along your way. If you would like both to enjoy the journey itself and to have enough time to visit the cities, you can then opt for travelling by bike.
- Transport: buy tickets in advance to get them for a lower price. Always compare all the options and choose the one that best fits for you. Don’t forget to check and ask for student discounts for the local transport service in the place you’re travelling to. Always ask for student discount wherever, to whoever for whatever.
- Travelling: plan to walk and to reach your destination during the morning when the temperature is lower, and then to rest and enjoy your time during the rest of the day when it might be hotter.
- Budget: remember that it is always much more convenient to pay with the local currency instead of with your own. Check for what the local currency is and, in case you need to change money, be sure to do it in advance.
- Eating: if you’re planning to cook by yourself, bring along a small camp stove or a gas cooker and a set of camp dishes that can serve both as pans and dishes to eat on them, so you will save space in your backpack.
- Order, order, order! While packing your stuff, try to fit everything in the best place. It will be easier to find what you need so you will save time and be less stressed. It’s incredible how order gives the impression of having more space. Choose a safe and handy pocket in your backpack to keep your travel documents.
- Choose the right place for the right thing: for instance, leave waterproof clothes close to a place where you can easily reach them. Also, always brings extra plastic bags in case you don’t have time to dry your stuff.
- Things that can save your life:
- Microfibre towels can help you save a lot of space and they also dry extremely quickly.
- Power banks and adaptors are essential, especially if you’re planning to go camping.
- Thermal sheet for sleeping, heavy clothes: don’t trust the weather!
- Plasters for blisters. If travelling by bike, use bike shorts. If hiking, use proper socks reinforced on the tip and heel.
- String, clothes pegs and neutral soap: if you wish your backpack were much lighter, an option is to bring just the essential clothes and plan to wash them. A neutral soap can be used both for the body and for the clothes, it’s a great deal!
- Tourist guides can suggest the highlights of a place, so they can be a good place to start from when planning. Check for the experience of other backpackers on blogs online. Here I’m giving you just a few general tips; however, you can usually find people who have travelled to the same place you are travelling to, so their experience can be much more helpful!
As the last tip, I wish you all will get the most from your backpacking experience! And even when your feet will be full of blisters and your shoulders will hurt because of the weight of the backpack, you don’t give up! Walk, ride, sing and smile!