Are you planning a backpacking trip for the first time and don’t know where to start? You ended up in the right place. This step-by-step guide covers every aspect of planning a backpacking trip, from before your departure to your return, paying particular attention to your budget.
How to choose a low-cost destination
It may seem obvious but choosing an economic destination is essential in order to organize a low-cost trip. While getting to any of these destinations can be expensive when it comes to airfare, once you arrive at your destination it will be extremely easy to keep an extremely low budget for accommodation, transportation, food and activities.
If this is your first experience abroad then I recommend South East Asia because:
- The cost of living is extremely low.
- Flights tend to have more affordable prices than other low-cost destinations such as South America, as well as being safer countries.
Other low-cost destinations are for example Eastern Europe and Central Asia. If you already have a specific country in mind, then try finding a detailed guide for that specific country and it will give you a good idea on how much your journey will cost.
How to create a perfect itinerary
Make a list of the things you would like to see taking into account that thinking of seeing everything a country has to offer is impossible, as is thinking of making long trips every two days.
In general, try to spend at least 2 nights in the same place before moving on to the next stage; Traveling can be extremely tiring both physically and psychologically, it is better to see a few things without rushing than to spend all your time jumping from one place to another.
Search and mark your points of interest on the map (you can safely use Google maps) in order to have an idea of where they are and to create an itinerary that allows you to move in the smartest way possible.
Leave yourself some margins as the itineraries can change quickly, you may decide to go somewhere else following the advice of a traveler met on the street, or get stuck in a place due to force majeure.
Whether you want it or not, hardly everything will go exactly according to plan. Let yourself be guided by your instincts, stay calm in case something should go wrong and don’t be afraid to “skip” some stage in favour of another, or simply to spend a few more days in some place that you particularly liked. Have fun and be spontaneous.
How to prepare your luggage
I strongly recommend travel backpacks or adventure bags. In any case, whatever your luggage, prepare it in relation to the type of trip you are going to undertake, taking into account the climate and the activities you are going to do (for example, trekking, snorkeling) and always putting the lightness factor first.
Traveling light is the best advice I can give you when it comes to luggage, it will save you money for example when you can just walk instead of taking a taxi, and avoid paying extra to check in your luggage. You will also be grateful when you have to move from one place to another without necessarily breaking your back.
As much as you want to cut costs, never compromise on the quality of the bag. You don’t want it breaking in the middle of the road. Get a good quality and sturdy backpack. If the cost is too much, find a deal or promotion like millets discount code.
Same goes with your clothing and shoes. Do not pack too many attires, few T shirts and pants/shorts will do you just fine. But depending on where you are going get a good quality jacket and especially focus on your shoes. Remember you will be walking a lot, so find shoes which are sturdy and comfortable.
You can find such shoes and bags on stores like Millets which specialize in traveling and adventure gear and best of all you can avail yourself with their millets discount code to offset some of the cost.
How to find cheap accommodation
Hostels are the recommended choice for most backpackers. These structures, snubbed by many, have reached very high-quality standards in recent years, all at an extremely low-cost price. They are highly social places and therefore particularly suitable for those traveling alone.
More and more often they offer private rooms at more advantageous prices than hotels, perfect for those who are not willing to share a room, essentially the ultimate solution for a low-cost trip.
If hostels aren’t your thing then Airbnb is an interesting and cheap option, which allows you to book a room or even apartments and entire houses at very competitive prices.
How to travel safely (visas, vaccines and insurance)
From visas to permits, it is necessary that you prepare all your travel documents in advance. Also make sure you have a hard copy of every document, do not simply rely on soft copies.
Moreover, designate someone back home as your ICE (in case of emergency) and also give that person a copy of your itinerary, so they know where you are and try to keep in touch with them along the way.
Some countries also require the compulsory vaccinations and please consult the Ministry of Health or the relevant government department in your country and ask for all the vaccinations you need for travelling to a specific location.
Finally, do a favor to yourself and stipulate a travel insurance that covers at least the medical costs and liability.