Backpacking tips – around the world backpackers advice
Taking a round-the-world backpacking trip is not a decision that you should reach lightly; just setting off and seeing where you end up sounds like a wonderful idea, but many backpackers struggle to cope with living life in over crowded and run down hostels.
Plan your route
The first thing you need to do is pull out a large map of the world spend send a long time considering a basic route. Select the direction from which you are going to set off (east to west or visa-versa), make a list of countries you wish to visit, and then a sub-list of attractions and sights you want to visit in those countries.
Forming a basic plan can grow from there. You will probably have to eliminate some countries or attractions, and you will always have to be flexible about your plans; but now you have the basic outline of your trip, and some concept of the route to be travelled.
Buy insurance and check medical requirements
There is a lot of boring stuff to take care of before you leave. Insurance is an essential, not an extra, especially medical – most countries you may visit will not give you treatment if you cannot prove you can pay, often without exception.
Carrying money securely
Money is another problem; not just saving it, but also carrying it. You can use traveller’s cheques and credit cards as you move around. Carrying all of your cash is both impractical and dangerous – it is a good idea to leave a reserve with someone you trust back home for emergencies, so they can use a bank wire or Western Union transfer to send cash to you in emergencies.
Selecting a round the world air ticket
Many travellers select a round-the-world air ticket, which allows them to go in one direction while stopping along the way. Possibly the best option is Star Alliance, a group of major airlines from across the globe who work together to cut costs and overhead.
Another airline group is One World; a third selection is Qantas, the Australian airline that operates Global Explorer and Oneworld explorer tickets. Whatever you do shop around, and compare prices, do not go for the first option you find online.
Get immunisations and check visa regulations
Armed with a list of the countries you want to visit, you need information, available from your government, on immunisations that you will need. Do this well in advance, as some are a course of injections. Next, check every single country for visa regulations and make notes of each one. Overstaying is a serious offence in many countries that can lead to all kinds of problems.
Make a budget
The next near-impossible task is to attempt to calculate daily cash needs for your trip, and then to earn it! It is foolhardy to undertake any trip without sufficient cash. Foreign governments will not help cash-strapped backpackers, and depending on your home country, you probably will find your own government’s embassies in other countries less than helpful.
Seek advice on cost of living and accommodation
Realistically, how much cash is needed can only be guessed. Advice is best sought from those who have already undertaken similar trips. This can easily be found online, but still should be taken only as general advice as everybody has different requirements – if you drink a lot or want to stay only in slightly better accommodation, your costs may not match those of other backpackers.
Reduce the weight of your rucksack
Take time before, during, & after each part of your trip to look for ways to reduce the weight in your rucksack. You may be surprised at the amount of unnecessary weight that you inflict on yourself. Make a list of essential items and check the list before you leave your hostel.