7 Tips For Planning A Backpacking Trip Abroad

When people think about budget traveling, they often think about the adventurous life of backpacking. Most people would love to backpack abroad in places like Europe or Southeast Asia.

Photo by Tristan Pineda on Unsplash

But to make a trip safe and enjoyable, there’s a lot to consider before packing your bag and getting on an airplane. We will cover several tips for planning a backpacking trip abroad.

Decide What Type Of Backpacking Trip You Want

Before you start booking your ticket to your destination, it’s important to consider what type of backpacking trip you want to have.

If you want something more luxurious, you may want to book your hotels ahead of time. This way, you can find the perfect place to stay with the right amenities such as a view of the water or a gorgeous pond fountain with lights.

However, if you’re less concerned about luxury and want to enjoy a more social type of experience on a budget, you can look for hostels in your area.

These are typically less private as you may need to share a room with several other people. This type of vacation produces a more communal feel with slightly less comfort.

Again, it’s about deciding which type of journey is right for you. Think long and hard as this can determine how much planning you’ll need to do ahead of time.

Have The Right Luggage

It can’t be expressed enough how having the right kind of luggage for your experience can make all the difference in your journey.

For example, if you’re planning on hiking through the mountains of Peru, you may want to have some type of travel backpack that’s meant for more of the backpacking style.

If you’re planning on staying in busier cities and intend to use individual travel such as rideshares or taxis, you can probably get away with a rolling suitcase. There is also a hybrid version that offers a backpack with wheels if you’re undecided.

Prepare Your Home For Travel

Taking an extended trip such as going backpacking internationally also means you might have to take care of a few loose ends at home first. Prepare your home before leaving for an extended vacation. This could include things such as:

  • Make sure there is someone to care for your plants
  • Putting a pause on your mail
  • Keeping your home safe with proper security measures
  • Cleaning out your refrigerator

Learn Basic Language Skills

If you have a general idea of the countries you intend to visit, it’s important to be able to communicate on some basic level. These can be simple phrases such as:

  • Hello, goodbye, please, and thank you
  • General directions (left, right, straight, etc.)
  • Any allergies you may have when going out to eat
  • “How do you say…”

This will make it much easier when trying to navigate your way around the country. Plus, it’ll show respect when speaking with locals, knowing that you’re trying to learn their language rather than assuming they speak yours.

Get A Travel Credit Card

Not every country has the same currency. While many countries in Europe might use the Euro, you might need to then exchange Euros for Pesos when visiting a country in Central America.

However, exchange rates could be extremely high when using cash. It’s highly recommended to opt-in for a travel credit card on your backpacking trip.

Find one that doesn’t charge any international fees and also provides some sort of reward incentive. This way, you can build points that you can use on later flights or hotels as well.

Embrace Going With The Flow

One of the biggest lessons I learned when backpacking abroad was how to go with the flow. When I initially started my journey, I planned out every detail from the very beginning.

However, it stopped me from allowing myself to be exposed to other opportunities I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Plus, if things go wrong on your trip, you won’t want to be in a sour mood while you’re having a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As you allow yourself to embrace the idea of going with the flow, you’ll feel a lot less stressed and can meet so many incredible people along the way. 

Have A General Plan Of Direction

While this might seem counterproductive to go with the flow, it’s important to have some type of general plan of direction for your backpacking trip. This is because you may need to know about certain visa, vaccination, or COVID requirements based on the country you’re visiting.

Some visas can take upwards of three to five weeks while others can be done right on sight. You’ll need to do your research before you travel to these countries so you’re prepared and don’t get stuck in a sticky situation.

Taking a backpacking trip around the world is one of the most incredible opportunities a person can have.

Make sure to decide upfront the type of adventure you want to have. This will determine many other aspects of your trip such as your luggage type, accommodations, or visa requirements.

But most importantly, remember that certain things will go wrong on the trip. Allow yourself a bit of freedom to go with the flow. You’d be pleasantly surprised what can happen if you open yourself up to new opportunities.


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