So you decided you want to see the world with your backpack and learned how to use your Chase Sapphire points in 2017. While adventure may be what you seek, you still want things to go smoothly. So whether you are backpacking through Croatia, Cambodia, or Canada; here are some travel tips for first time backpackers that will make you a seasoned traveling veteran in no time.
Your immune system will be working overtime when traveling. You will likely be missing sleep and exposed to new viruses and bacteria. Be sure you get adequate travel doctor services before you depart to make sure all your shots are in order. Also when traveling make sure you are getting the right vitamins and being smart about what you eat. A good rule for food is, eat what you see the locals eating. If there is a line for a food cart, chances are the cooks are doing things right; watch out for the lonely chef because perhaps people no something you don’t. Also be sure and wash your hands regularly especially before you eat. You don’t want to spend your backpacking trip sick in the hostel, so make sure you stay healthy!
Don’t Expect to be the Only One
Reading travel books from the 1960’s has given many first time backpackers unrealistic expectations. Today backpacking is a massive international industry with millions each year heading across Europe and Southeast Asia following the same well worn trails. This is not a bad thing necessarily, it can be a great way to meet new people and see the sights with a like minded group. If you are looking to avoid the large crowds you can try traveling during the off-season, high season usually coincides with college breaks. You may also travel less popular destinations, consider Russia, Eastern Europe, the Southern and Western USA; these places will give the solitude you are looking for.
Look Beyond Hostels
Though our guide books still preach the hostels as the only place to stay for backpackers, this notion is becoming outdated. While hostels still can be a great place to stay for the backpacker, they offer a unique culture and history; they are no longer the only choice. Social home share sites are providing unique and low-cost options, consider checking AIRBNB or it’s less commercial rival Couch Surfing. Many backpackers also make the mistake of overlooking hotels, assuming they will be out of the backpacker’s budget but this is not the case in many countries. Hostels are geared primarily towards foreigners from wealthy countries and the prices reflect this. Local hotels are often priced for the local market which means they can even cheaper than hostels, imagine your own room and rooftop pool for less than a shared bunk!
Joining the ranks of the backpackers may not be quite as adventurous as is it was in your favorite travelogue but there is still plenty of beautiful culture and scenery to experience and one of the best ways is with nothing more than a backpack on your shoulders. So get out there and happy travels!