Those who’ve tried it will tell you it’s probably the best thing they’ve ever done. If your purpose for traveling is adventure and excitement – then backpacking is the best way to achieve this. Backpacking however is not meant for everyone – it requires the ability to leap out of one’s comfort zone. In fact you need to abandon the idea of comfort altogether, leave expectations behind and bring curiosity along. If you’re willing to do the above, then backpacking is the cheapest way to travel the world. There are certain things though, that you must know as a backpacker. Here’s your travel checklist:
1) You carry your own backpack, always. When applied broadly, this means that as a backpacker you’re on your own, even if you travel in a group. You need to be able to take care of yourself, no matter what. As such resourcefulness is important. Evaluate all decisions in this light. Plan your trip keeping in mind what you can handle and what you can’t. You’re not out there to prove anything. The idea is to have fun, but not pay a heavy price.
2) Backpacking is no joke. It requires thorough and advance planning. Since you will be on your own and out of your home for a decent period of time, planning will ensure that you do not run into problems that end up ruining the trip or those that were completely avoidable. Planning is also important to ensure that you manage your time and your money efficiently while you’re traveling. Plan your date of departure, route, tickets, the places you will see, where you would like to stop, where you would like to stay in advance. Whether you stick to this or not is of course entirely optional. The purpose of the plan is to give you some idea as to what you’re doing. It’s pretty hard to change a plan you never had.
3) Carry information, by the truckload. This is the single most important item on the list. Knowledge of the place you’re visiting is of utmost importance, not just to make your trip safer and easier but to turn it into a learning experience. The more you know of a place theoretically, the more the actual experience will mean to you. Also, in case of an emergency, information about the place you’re in will be your saving grace. Knowing a place beforehand will also ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
4) Prepare the backpack well: The backpack is what will stay with you throughout, so you want to ensure it has what you need to survive. The emphasis is on ‘survive’ so you need to carry accordingly. A backpack is ergonomically built – which means when used correctly it causes no or minimal discomfort. » Read more: Travel the World on a Backpack