Backpacking is an exciting and adventurous way of visiting a destination, to experience the thrill of surprises and spontaneity. It comes with the added benefit of saving money and making new friends. Have you ever thought of backpacking through a continent or any bucket-list destinations? Well, you are not alone. Even though it sounds appealing, there are a number of factors to be considered, such as your luggage on the move, theft, hygiene, and comfort while traveling. Experienced backpackers will claim backpacking is not meant for just anyone and needs a lot of prepping before you leave for your life-changing experience.
If you have never backpacked, we will point out a few mistakes that beginners make and suggest how to avoid them to make your experience a memorable and comfortable one.
Not purchasing travel health insurance
However, young and careful you are, you simply cannot control hazards or accidents. They can happen anywhere and anytime. You are probably trying to save money by taking this backpacking route to travel, but skimping on travel health insurance could lead to paying double in a foreign land in the occurrence of an unfortunate event. The importance of taking insurance rises even more when you are seeking to experience adventure sports such as surfing, scuba diving, or bungee jumping. Normal activities such as trying foreign food or hiring a two-wheeler to ride can also be hazardous. In fact, having travel insurance is advised, even when you are traveling normally, given its importance.
Travel health insurances don’t cost much. A lot of companies offer amazing deals which are likely to be within your budget. We cannot emphasize enough on how important it is because it is always better to be safe than sorry.
The concept of backpacking literally translates to carrying your backpack and traveling all the time. If you are someone who likes to have a lot of outfit options or carry loads of food everywhere you go, you might want to reconsider backpacking as it might strain your back. Traveling and walking with a heavy bag for almost the entire day sounds tiring and undoable if you have a lot of ground to cover. You will realize that half the things you packed were completely unused and unnecessary which could be avoided.
The simple solution is to pack only the essentials and buy anything you absolutely need on the way. Gather and organize all the things you need and pack just the half of it. Carry just one pair of sturdy shoes and do not even think of packing more food than the necessary amount to survive at the beginning.
Not taking the right gear
Saving money by buying poor quality gear can result in a loss of double the money. If you are an adventure junkie who plans on spending a few nights outside or camp along the way, the right kind of gear is absolutely necessary. It is advised by all backpacking guides to create a gear list, purchase them at least a few weeks ahead of time, and test them all before you pack them. A strong but light-weight backpack, a high quality sleeping bag, cooking equipment, tents, and additional accessories should be included in your list in this case. Again, do not pack more gear than needed as it will be difficult to carry a heavy load.
Look for the best reviewed gear and do not hesitate to buy if they are a bit expensive. The right gear will make traveling more comfortable.
Planning too much, or too little
Planning way ahead of your trip with every day outlined precisely will not leave any room for spontaneity, which is the whole idea of backpacking. You will meet new people along the way who might give you suggestions to visit some particular place you didn’t anticipate. Leaving a few days free can give you the opportunity to explore those. Simple things like booking flights and accommodation is fine, but do not go overboard by booking insignificant events such as parasailing or museum visits months prior.
Take your time to see the location, roam around freely without a plan, or encounter a travel buddy who could make plans for you on the go!
Proper budgeting is required when you are out backpacking because you might have unseen expenses such as the need for extra food or buying emergency toiletries along the way. All these small things can add up and cost you more than your anticipated budget. Always keep the extra cash for emergencies and add a few hundred dollars to your calculated budget to meet unexpected costs.
Your first backpacking trip will always be a special experience. If you are thoroughly prepared and avoid these mistakes, it will be an easier and more enjoyable.