Caption: All you need to do is pack yourself a backpack
There are all kinds of things that you need to remember when planning a solo backpacking adventure. From making sure that you’ve got an arsenal of entertainment: you could try the wide variety of bonuses offered by comparison sites such as oddschecker to play classic casino online games, to remembering reading material that you can count on during the flight. You can’t forget that waterproof pouch for your valuables, nor should you be without sun cream, bug spray and more. There are all kinds of little things that people forget when they’re preparing to set off on their adventures. If you’re worried about leaving something behind or failing to prepare adequately then don’t worry, we’ve taken the hard work out of it for you.
Let The Organization Commence
Caption: Budgeting might be boring, but it’s also essential
Before anything else even begins, you’re going to need to plan your trip. Unless you are incredibly lucky, also confident and calm in any situation, have an endless budget and no time scale, then you’re going to need to do a fair chunk of planning. Although it might not be the most exciting place to begin, working out your budget is going to provide you with the best chance of having a great trip. If you decide you’re flying from the USA to Thailand and you’ve only really got the budget for a US road trip, then you’ll have failed before you even started. When working out your budget set aside around half for flights and other travel, the remaining half will be for accommodation, sightseeing and food. With this budget, you can fairly quickly work out the sort of distance you’ll be able to travel and how long you’ll be able to sustain yourself for.
Skyscanner is a great place to look for inexpensive flights and their hotel function isn’t bad either. However, you’ll save a lot more money by planning to stay in hostels or the occasional Airbnb versus checking into luxury hotels every night. If you happen to stumble across anything that you find useful in your searches then pop it into a dedicated travel folder on your Google Drive. That way you’ll be able to access all of your information regardless of which device you’re using, which can be super helpful when you’re on the road. Once you’ve decided on your destination and found your flights, it’s time to plan a route. Some people enjoy backpacking around a small area, whilst others might want to take multiple flights to enable them to see more of a country. How you choose to do it will be a combination of personal preference and that all-important budget. Open up Google Maps and draw a rough trail of how you envisage your journey to go, then start looking for sights and stopovers.
Booking Up Everything
Your route is planned, you’ve got a good selection of sights you’d like to see and you might even have a few hostels pinned that you’d like to stay at; it’s time to start booking. Back in the backpacking heydays of the 60s and 70s, the super organized would book by phone and a lot of people would just turn up. In the present day though, it’s a much better idea to book online. Generally speaking, you’ll find the best prices online and you’ll get an email confirmation of your booking which is super useful if you remember to save it in that Google Drive folder that you created.
Book the hostels that you’d really like to stay in, first of all, making sure that if you want certain amenities like a single-sex dorm, a washing machine or Wi-Fi that you check online reviews first to make sure that’s what you’ll be getting. Booking.com, Trivago, Trip Advisor, and Hotels.com are all great resources for checking out reviews and getting traveler insight into what a stay might actually be like. Plus, some of them have the option to book a room that is totally refundable, which can be useful if you’re likely to change your mind.
Next, book your travel between each place. Trains and buses are cheap and cheerful, plus you might get to meet people who are backpacking too. Planes are obviously more expensive, but you’ll cover a great deal more ground if you’re planning a longer journey. Some people opt to make it a road trip by hiring a car, but remember to look for hostels with parking. However you’re traveling from place to place, book that next.
Your Pre-Trip To-Do List
Once your trip is more or less planned and booked, it’s time to prepare for setting off. This checklist is going to vary wildly depending on your destination, so you might need to do a little research yourself. The first thing on your list is to check that your passport has long enough left on it and if it doesn’t get that remedied immediately. Following this, you need to have a look at the visa requirements for the country or countries that you’re visiting and make sure that if you need to, you apply. Some countries still suffer with diseases that others don’t so regardless of where you’re traveling check out their government website to find out if there are any nasties that you don’t want to catch there. If jabs are suggested, or a course of medication then make sure you get them in plenty of time.
Finally, organizing travel insurance is a seriously sensible idea wherever you’re planning on traveling to. Fit and healthy people can get ensured for less than $20 and it could save you thousands if something does go wrong abroad. Finally, organize all of your documentation, that could be proof of your jabs, your visa, passport, other identification and your plane tickets into one folder. Ideally a hard copy of each in a plastic wallet that you can take with you and also a photocopy of each that you can store electronically. It might seem a little over the top to keep copies of things, but it’s better to be over-prepared. Traveling alone for the first time can be a little daunting and it’s nice to leave yourself as few things as possible to worry about when it comes time to set off. All you’ve got to do now, is pack!
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