How to plan a backbacking trip


How to plan a backpacking trip

You want to go on a backpacking trip? Very good idea. The world is yours. But before heading off to see the world, there are a few issues to think about. Is you passport still valid? Do you need special travel vaccination? How expensive will it be to use your bank card abroad? Do you need a visa for the country, that you want to travel to? And do you have all necessary travel vaccinations? I wrote down everything, that I found important after I had been traveling around Australia, New Zealand and Asia for more than two years in a row.

Additionally, you can see my tips for a packing list here.

 

Check passport, visa and vaccination

  • Put yourself into the right travel mood.
  • Leave all your prejudices behind.

  • Get a passport, that is at least valid for six months and has a few blank pages for stamps and visas.

  • Check the visa regulations for the countries, that you want to visit a few weeks before you start your trip – or even before buying flights. Some visa applications need some time to be processed.

  • Check your vaccination record a few weeks before you leave your home country. That leaves you some time to get the eventually necessary special travel vaccination for the countries, that you are traveling to. The website of the World Health Organization (WHO) can give you first advice about travel vaccination: www.who.int/ith/en.
  • Think about, if you want to carry some emergency medication in case of traveling to remote areas or small villages in developing countries. You can get information about that at a specialized travel doctor. Seeing a doctor for a health check and a dentist before you start a longer backpacking trip can also make sense.
  • Check with your health insurance, if you are covered in the countries, that you want to travel too. If you go on a longer backpacking trip, it might be useful to get a travel insurance BEFORE you leave your home country. Some insurance companies won’t cover you any more afer you have started traveling.

  • For a long and cheap trip get yourself a free or cheap bank account with a free credit card for FREE international cash withdrawels, so that you don’t have to pay extra fees for every transaction abroad. It makes sense to carry two different credit cards (VISA and Mastercard), as not every ATM in the world will accept both cards. Carry them in two different bags or pockets as it is always possible to loose something. Also take some cash with you for emergency cases (small new perfectly looking US-Dollar and EURO-bills), so that you can survive comfortably a few days, if you don’t have a chance to get money out of your bank account. Be aware: In some countries ATMs are rare or pretty much non existent!

  • If you are a student, get a international student card for discounts abroad. For example in China, you will get massive discounts with an international student card at every sightseeing spot.

  • In some countries, you might need an international driving license to rent a car or motorbike.

  • Depending on where you are traveling to, get yourself a useful piece of luggage. A good quality backpack might be a smart choice as you cannot expect perfectly paved roads everywhere to use a trolley or a suitcase. You don’t necessary need to take the biggest backpack. Better take a second small backpack for day trip. Aand maybe a light bag for beach days. Don’t worry about taking too many clothes. Traveling with light luggage makes yourself feel light and free. In most countries, there are laundry services available. In some countries, you might want to buy new things anyway.

  • It can be useful to take a smart phone, that is not locked for foreign SIM cards. It can safe you some money to get national SIM cards in the countries, you are traveling to. Sometimes, you get them handed out at airports for free. Otherwise, you can get them for small money.

  • To stay connected with family and friends via WIFI, it can be useful to take a smart phone or a lightweight notebook with you.

  • Travel guidebooks as for example The Lonely Planet or The Rough Guide can give you some ideas about routes and places to visit.

  • Become a member on couchsurfing and air bnb: Get yourself accounts onand as it might be fun to meet some locals this way and can save you some money: www.couchsurfing.com and www.airbnb.com

  • Booking a hostel, hotel or couchsurfing place in advance for the first one or two nights at your first destination can make you feel more comfortable. Hostels can be great places to meet new people and get some backpacking information: www.hostelworld.com, www.hostelbookers.com, www.hostelz.com.

  • Carry copies of all your important documents as passport, return flight ticket and visa and safe the documents online as well.

  • Don’t worry. Start happy!

You can read some tips for a useful packing list for a backpacking trip here.

Janina

Janina

Travel writer at Travel Steps
Traveling around the world is my passion. On www.travel-steps.com, I'm writing about my backpacking trips with all ups and downs.
Janina

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Ben

great I have look all your trips looks nice how I can make my blog on this site please let me know I have traveled to Mongolia I had nice time in there and would love to write about my travel story in there
thank you