Congratulations! Now, that you have decided to backpack on your own the first time and skip all those well pampered, fully organized, dodgy travel tours (just to say you have travelled here and there even if you just went to see a jewelry shop in Bangkok), its time to have and experience the coolest adventure of your life! To backpack. Yeah, I’ll give you tips on how to do it on your own.
Okay, so you will soon be a backpacker, what to do next? Here it is…
5 Tips for First Time Backpackers
Research. Find out anything about the place where you want to go first, their visa rules, currency, climate, culture, hostel prices, food, etc. You have to be equipped with the necessary information of the place to start up with. Lonely Planet is the ultimate backpackers bible(do not be so stubborn, this is just a guide and not super accurate fact. Take note of the time it was researched to being published ok?)
Pack Light. When you’re backpacking (no time frame and itinerary), it is way better that you pack light, that is my most important travel packing tip so you won’t have to worry carrying a lot. You’ll have what you need along the way anyway, rather than carrying things you don’t need.
Choose your accommodation wisely. I suggest you book your first night online on your preferred hostel, you have the next day to explore and find more cheaper and better hostel (look for the accommodation near where you want to visit to save you money from transfers). Most backpackers choose to stay in hostels, its cheaper and you get to meet new buddies there that may be your next guide to your next destination. They always provide safety lockers (and if they don’t, I won’t trust the place). TIP: Beware from Vietnam Provinces’ accommodation, bring a small padlock there are several incidences that people lose their valuables in their room (private rooms), so always ask for safety boxes or cabinets where you can put on padlocks.
Travel Cheap. Backpacking is all about extending your trip, no limits, no boundaries (well, most of the time). So how is it possible to travel cheap? Man, I found out not so long ago and its never too late to let you know and share how I enjoyed how it was and will be. If you could resist the urge to splurge, you’ll get to see more places. Keep in mind that its either you get to see more or carry more things around is your choice, so set your priorities.
Set Your Mind for Real Adventure. There are little adventures along the way too, like walking everyday to save for transfers or staying in a $1 dorm room, eating street foods, or trying things you haven’t done before (with caution and responsibility of course) like Vang Vieng, Laos‘ style, outdoor sports like rock climbing or surfing, eating exotic strange foods, or even volunteering for some charity English teaching in Southeast Asia. All of these will make your experience worth remembering and will always make you high reminiscing every moment of it. Take every experience as an adventure, don’t whine, complain, get mad, or depressed, just always have fun and it will make your trip light and grand.
Now, if you read all of this post including the links then you’ll be set for your first backpacking trip that will be an amazing adventure if you keep a positive mind set. Do not expect too much, so you’ll gain more. Bon voyage!