Yes, you have finally decided to head out there! Get a big bag, travel the world and stay in busy hostels. Whether you are doing this red nosed straight out of high-school or decided to experience it later on in life, here are some of the most important Tips we can give first-time backpackers.
Don’t be afraid
Easily said, difficult to do we know, but backpacking is beautiful to experience that isn’t half as scary as you think. As the departure date comes closer you may start doubting yourself. Being excited and having a healthy dose of nervousness is fine, but don’t let this tension overrule or blind you. Did you want to travel right? Keep in mind why you chose backpacking in the first place and we guarantee once you are there the fear will fly away.
Don’t get stuck in your Guide-book
A big mistake first-time backpackers make is being glued nose first to their guidebooks. Chances are you have spent the last few weeks and days reading through it, highlighting places, cities, restaurants, churches etc. and that is all great! Preparation means you know what you really want to see, but being so tight on your plans means that you may miss out on all the secret wonders locals can tell you about or other backpackers at your hostel. Don’t plan too much and be flexible.
Don’t break your back
It is hard to decide what it is you really need to take. Keep in mind you will buy little wonders along the way and it really isn’t necessary to change your clothes 3 times a day. Everything you pack will go on your back and that for extended periods of time. Try to keep your backpack around 10-12kg max!
The goal is to travel, not hack off destinations
Breath and take your time! The aim here is to travel, to get to know places, cultures, people, and experiences not tick of as many destinations in as little time as possible. Backpacking is unique in its potential for emerging yourself into a place, so take it easy and enjoy the ride!
Before heading out get yourself international health insurance. You don’t want to be in a bustling city of Guatemala without knowing that if something happens you are covered. Also, be smart about your health. Eat street food and try new things by all means, but if you see a piece of meat out in the blistering sun that is starting to turn slightly green, maybe this is not the stall for you.
Take a lock with you
I know we want to believe that every free-spirited backpacker is a hippie, all loving person – and most are! But there are always bad apples and coming home to your hostel after a long day of discovering to find your stuff stolen is horrible! Take a little lock with you and close the locket you will get assigned to each hostel to keep your most important valuables save.