Backpacking Tips for First Timers

If you find yourself ogling at beaches and holiday pictures on Instagram, then you might need a time out, and backpacking could be an option for you. Backpacking can give you access to wilderness as you walk and explore, and also let you take the time to appreciate its beauty.

It might seem like had work, but the trick is to make sure you take what you need.  So before you leave your car behind and gain access to the world, have a look at these few tips that can help you prepare for a smooth sailing memorable trip.


This seems like a giveaway, but you won’t be able to travel as far if you don’t start saving now. Before searching for your dream locations, you need to establish a realistic budget, because this determines where you can go and for how long. Most backpackers tend to work extra hours, especially during holiday periods, then begin their travel in January. You can also look into freelancing online to help you save up. Depending on where you go, you may only spend about $30-$40 per day on food and accommodation.


Before taking off, make sure you have researched into your accommodation options to find what’s perfect for you. There are a lot of websites that provide information on hostels around the world. It’s important to look at their reviews to scope out all your options. Looks into other factors such as cleanliness as well as ratings on their communal areas.

Balance it Out

You might be on a very tight budget, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should save on every single thing to the point where you have no fun. You might feel homesick at one point or another, so it’s important to consider perks like a nice meal, or a nice air-conditioned room to make you feel better. This won’t take you too far off your budget as long as you don’t do this all the time. If you are not keen on getting around by yourself, you can also look into booking an excursion. This way you can meet other people, and you don’t have to worry about getting around by yourself.

Pack Essentials

You don’t have to pack too lightly. This may seem counter-intuitive, but you might get sick of wearing the same outfit every five days, then washing and rewashing it. So add in a few extra clothes and you won’t regret it later on. This doesn’t mean that you should go all out and carry your whole wardrobe; just a few essentials to keep you going.

Double Up

Try as much as you can to bring along any multi use products you may have. These include products such as BB creams containing SPF, or making use of lip colors as blush. Before you decide on what you need to take with you, make sure you research the climate of the place you are heading to. For hot summer weather, you might be better off sticking without cream products as they can end up melting. If you happen to be travelling with friends, you can split the essentials, so one of you can carry a hairdryer or sun cream and you can share as you go.

Avoid Volunteering

If you plan on volunteering with a non-profit as you travel, ensure that you have researched properly into the organization. Some companies may do more harm than good for their communities, so while taking that selfie with a baby tiger looks cute, you might be heartbroken later on to find out they actually mistreat the animals behind closed doors. This happens a lot in some countries such as Thailand. If you plan to volunteer, make sure you do so with a truly ethical no profit.

Put Yourself First

Most people would love to spend their time travelling with their friends, but if you feel that you have different travel interests, then don’t be afraid to go for it alone. Many seasoned travelers mention that this is the best way to see the world, and if you happen to be going on different routes, you never know who you may bump into later on.


First off, make sure someone knows your travel plans and your whereabouts at all times. You should provide them with details of your flights, accommodation, address and contact number. It can seem tedious, but it keeps your loved ones at ease and also makes you feel better knowing someone knows where you are.

When you’re out at night, make sure you watch you drinks. It’s also important that you are aware of any local scams; most of the time tourists are targeted because they are unaware of the place they’re in. You should also keep a close eye on your valuables. Some hostels provide the option of having lockers to safe keep your important documents; you can use this option for your valuable documents such as your passport. However, you have to make a judgement call on this, as sometimes it might be easier to carry your passport along with you.

Traveling is one of those experiences that you want to do again and again. If you are looking into backpacking because you can’t afford staying at hotels for long periods, or you simply enjoy the spontaneity and freedom of it, then you should ensure that you research, plan, then make the most of your trip.

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