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Backpacking for beginners

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Backpacking is a fun, adventurous, and cost-effective way of traveling. It can be tiring and strenuous, but the upside is that you get to meet interesting people from different cultures.

If you enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air, with no restrictions, and just the excitement of the unknown path awaiting you, then perhaps backpacking is for you.

When doing this form of travel, it can be physically intense, giving you a full-body workout. Exercise is not the only advantage, but you can make lots of memories and meet a variety of people from different nationalities.

You could embark on this adventure on your own, with a friend, or with an organized tour group. There is a lot to consider when backpacking, and unfortunately, we won’t cover them all in this article. 

So, let’s look at some useful information you need to know before you set out on your journey.

What is a backpacker?
Some people confuse backpacking with hiking. A backpacker is usually traveling, mostly while on vacation, with all their belongings inside a backpack. They don’t make use of travel bags or suitcases.

Everything about a backpacker’s travels is low budget. They prefer to stay in hostels instead of in hotels. They would rather walk than make use of transport. However, walking from one destination to another might include a hike.

Choosing a destination
One of the first things to do is to choose a destination. As it’s your first time, select a place that you’re familiar with or isn’t too far. Try to keep your trip as short as possible to allow yourself to acclimatize to this alternative way of traveling.

If your destination requires you to fly, then book your flight. For travels abroad, ensure you’ve the necessary travel documents and your passport ready. Make copies of all your documents, such as your visa, passport, and photo ID. Store this in a secure part of your backpack. 

Plan your itinerary, but not too detailed, only to ensure that you’ve made the necessary bookings. One of the fun aspects of backpacking is to go where the adventure leads you. 

Packing your backpack
The most essential item, of course, is your backpack. It needs to be a good quality bag and a reasonable size, depending on how long your future trips will be. It would help if you had a second bag, one you can use as a daypack. It must be foldable, and you should be able to store it in your backpack.

The third bag you’ll need is a money bag which can fit around your waist, in which you can store cash, bank cards, and your passport. Another useful item would be a padlock which you could use to lock your room at a hostel, a locker, or even your bag.

A travel adapter is another essential item. The power points vary depending on the country you’re in, you would need this to charge any of your electronic devices.

You would then need to pay particular attention to your clothes, ensuring that they’re lightweight. Even in cold weather, you can layer your clothes than have thick items that don’t fold easily. Also, ensure that they’re relatively dark as they can hide stains because you might find it challenging to do your laundry.

Pack as little clothing as possible. You could easily purchase cheap clothing items as needed, which you could donate to someone down the line, when you no longer need that piece of clothing.

There are various other useful items to pack that depend on your trip and your destination. As you travel, you’ll discover what will work for you and what won’t. 

Travel insurance
If there’s something that might seem insignificant to most travelers until they need it, it’s travel insurance. Make sure that you’ve got cover in case you fall ill or lose your bags. Being sick abroad can cause unnecessary expenses and ruin a wonderful holiday.

Take away
Backpacking is a fun, adventurous, and cost-effective way of traveling. It can be tiring and strenuous, but the upside is that you get to meet interesting people from different cultures.

It’s safe to say that a lot of planning goes into packing your bag, but not too much planning is needed for the trip itself. It’s all about being spontaneous and opening yourself up to new experiences. We hope your first trip is exactly like that and more. Enjoy!

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