Are you new to backpacking?
You’ve come to the right place, this introduction to backpacking guide is for anyone looking to explore new places, learn about different cultures, try fantastic food and meet incredible people!
The term backpacking can mean many different things but here it generally relates to someone going on an multi-week, month or country trip.
So it’s your first time heading out to travel and you have no idea where to start or how to plan? I’ve been there. We all feel this way, and we all have moments of uncertainty. When I set off on my first adventure I definitely didn’t know how to plan a trip. I had no clue what traveling would be like or even what to expect. Turns out I was not as alone as I thought, once you start backpacking you quickly become immersed in this massive community of fellow travelers from all around the world.
This topic deserves it’s own guide, but here’s a quick version. What you should pack depends on these 2 important questions, where do you want to travel to and what do you want to do?
If you are staying in one country or a region with a similar climate, you need to pack a lot less than if you are visiting different areas, with different climates and activities.
Wild Tip: If you are leaving the beach to do a high altitude hike, some hiking tour companies will provide cold weather gear if you ask them or make sure to ask around your hostel if someone has gear to let you borrow.
Ideally, your finding some helpful information at Outsidevibes! And if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the site, or you have a specific question, remember you can always get in touch with me by posting comments or through the contact page. I am happy to try and answer any questions you have.
When planning a trip, I try to get a general idea of where I want to visit and I book my accommodation for the first city or two. After arriving, it’s easy to ask for advice. Do some research and figure out what you’d really like to see, but if you have time, traveling on the fly is a great way to see the world.
Money, this is the bummer for everyone traveling or someone who wants to travel. The best way, I found to save money, is to set a savings goal. Plan to have “X” amount of dollars saved up before you leave.
To decide on a savings goal you should first decide where you want to visit, how long you want to travel and plan how much your daily expenses will be. This will let you come up with a general budget to stick to.
Saving money is one of the hardest part about planning a trip. Personally, when I try to save money I avoid eating out, I stop going to bars with friends and cut out any other needless spending. Saving money this way is tough, I miss out on events and feel a little cooped up, but it all becomes worth it when I hit my goal and get to travel.
The best advice that I can give, is to find a balance. Do pick up more work hours or a second job, and cut out needless spending, but also try and find time for your friends and the things you love. Finding this balance can be hard but it is worth it in the end.
It’s difficult to put into words what backpacking feels like. On each of my trips I have experienced a full array of emotions. But I can truly say that if you plan on traveling for an extended amount of time you are going to eventually endure some hard days, physically and emotionally, but you will also have some of the best days of your life.
As fun as backpacking is, I couldn’t write an introduction to backpacking without mentioning some of the downfalls.
Coincidentally, many of these challenges are also what make backpacking great. Seeing new places, meeting new people and enjoying new food and experiences.
The best piece of advice I can offer is to take each day as it comes. There are going to be good days and bad days. Always remember if you are unhappy traveling, there is no shame in heading home early or finding a new destination.
I hope this quick introduction to backpacking helps with some of the basic questions you might have. Check out Outsidevibes Travel Resource page for more information, travel tips, guidebooks and gear reviews. Enjoy your travels!
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