It can be a daunting task to plan your backpacking adventure. Especially if you’re new to backpacking. How do you start backpacking? There’s so much to think about, length of travel time, where to go, accommodation, what activities you can’t miss, will you need to work, will you need a visa, the list goes on and on! But don’t be scared off by this, just take a deep breathe and have a think.
Firstly, how long will you be travelling? One week? Six months? A year? Maybe more? The length of time you travel will help to determine where you and how you travel. A small trip, like a week or two, means maybe staying to one country, maybe two and doing a few cities and maybe a national park too. A few months, say six months and you’re good to maybe backpack Europe for example. A year or more and you’ll probably want to backpack around the world.You can get around the world flight tickets for this, these can either be open ended or be valid for a year.
Now, travelling is not about flying from place to place. Try not to arrive and leave via the same airport. I’m not saying don’t fly at all, just don’t fly all the time. For example don’t fly to Madrid and then a week later fly to Barcelona, get a bus or train. Stop somewhere between like Zaragoza for a few days. Think of your carbon footprint! Plus you see more of the country and meet more people getting other transport. Make sure you compare flights and other transport, don’t just buy the first one. And if it’s a big trip just get the first leg of the journey, leave some flexibility, just incase.
Once you’ve decided on your destinations, and your transport (or at least the first bit) it’s time to think about accommodation. Once again, compare these. There are some great comparison sites for hostels and hotels. Read what you get for your money and look at reviews. Try to get a feel of the place before you get there.
The next step is to check if you need any visas (you probably won’t for small trips, but big ones you might, especially if you plan to work). Also check if you need any vaccinations or other precautions and get these sorted.
Now you need to get your backpacking gear. A guidebook is a good idea, so you know what you can do and see. A backpack is essential, go to shops and try a few out, make sure it is comfortable. The backpack will either become your best friend or worst enemy! Then pack your bag and go!