Backpacking is a great (and cheap) way to see the world. It allows you to be spontaneous, meet other travellers and it often also allows for a more authentic experience, travelling on foot and seeing a place like a local would. Here are some of our tips to make your backpacking adventure a little easier:
Pack light: Not only will it save you money on luggage costs while travelling, but it will make your life much easier when on the move. Remember everything you pack you have to carry on your back!
Get a hostel with a kitchen: Food can quickly chew through your funds (no pun intended), so take advantage of the opportunity to cook meals at your accommodation where possible.
Buy a train or transport pass: Transport is also a big money drainer, so do some research into local trains, buses or trams and buy a transport card, it can work out to be far cheaper and easier than buying single tickets.
Roll your clothes: Not only does it save room but it keeps them much nicer too.
Pack some bags for dirty clothes/shoes: There's nothing worse than having to put wet or dirty clothes and shoes in with your clean things, keep a little sealed bag handy.
Bring locks: Not only to lock your bag securely, but you can also lock your bag to your hostel bed.
Keep essentials handy: Avoid having to pull everything out of your bag just to find the one thing you need, think about your day ahead and what you're going to need, and then make sure you pack those things at the top of the bag.
Pack a sleeping bag liner: Liners are great if you're staying in hostels and the sheets can sometimes be a little unsavoury. If you're using your own sleeping bag, it also keeps it fresh and clean if you're a little dirty or sandy when going to bed.
Invest in a quality bag: Do plenty of research on the best bag for your trip and buy the best you can afford. You'll be using it day in, day out for weeks or months and you want it to be comfortable and quality.
Pack earplugs: Shared accommodation means not everyone will be on the same sleep schedule as you, make sure to throw in some earplugs to make sure you get a good nights sleep.
Make the most of luggage storage: Remember to take your backpack into consideration when planning your days activities. Most hostels and accommodation will have facilities available to leave your bag even once you've checked out, but be sure to check ahead.
Plan, but don't plan too much: It's always helpful to book the first few nights accommodation, but be careful not to organise a full itinerary with no room for flexibility. The beauty of backpacking is the spontaneity, you have the ability to move around as you please and change your plans at the drop of a hat.
Photocopy your documents: Photocopy your passport, flight details, insurance certificate and any other important information you may need and email yourself a copy. Also send a copy to family members so they can access if needed.
Download music/movies before you go: You will likely have a lot of time in transit, so be prepared with lots of good music or movies pre-downloaded to your phone.
Carry a small first aid kit: This doesn't need to be much but it can be a life-saver; some band-aids, Panadol, small scissors, tweezers, bandages, antiseptic cream, hand sanitizer, insect repellent. There are plenty of first-aid kits you can buy ready made up if you don't want to custom build your own.