Heading off on your first overseas adventure is incredibly exciting but the big question is usually what to pack and is there anything you need to know before you go? Below we have given you a run down of our top 5 tips for your first backpacking experience to make sure you stay safe and can focus on enjoying your adventure!
- Less is more – Make sure you only pack what you are going to need. Remember you have to carry everything you take with you, so do you really need to pack ALL your favourite jeans? Remember, if you forget something you will be able to buy it when you get to your destination, and it will probably be cheaper than in the UK!
- Book your first and last nights accommodation – You may be wanting to travel freely and book in to hostels as you go, but believe me, when you first arrive in a new country it can be overwhelming. If your flight does not land until late evening, the last thing you will want to do will be to try and find a room in an unfamiliar country in the dark. Pre-book a room for your first night. That way, you can get some good sleep ready to get up in the morning and start exploring! Knowing where you are staying on your last night is also great, as it will give you something to aim for, and if it is prepaid, then you know you have somewhere to stay even if you start to run low on money!
- Photograph your passport, travel insurance and travel documents – Then email them to yourself! The most important possessions while you travel are your travel documents. By keeping a copy on email, you will be able to access it in any internet cafe and print a copy if you lose them.
- Let family or friends know where you are! – You may be wanting to go off grid, but if something happens then someone needs to know where you are, just to be on the safe side. Also, this is a big event for your family as well, so don’t leave them stressing about whether you are OK! This can be done in a fun way through a blog or agreed check in points, such as dropping a text every day or week at a pre-destined time so that everyone knows you are OK.
- Have a return flight booked – OK, we know, you want to be free, but knowing when you are due to leave a country can really help give your travelling a purpose. Also, when you decide it is time to leave, if you have nothing booked, a last-minute one-way flight home can be extremely expensive! Be prudent and book ahead. Also, many countries will want to see evidence that you are going to be leaving the country once your tourist visa expires – so a return ticket really helps with that!
P.S – Please check the visa requirements of any country you will be entering! Different countries have different requirements, including if you cross borders by aircraft or by land. Some visas may also need to be organised before you travel so make sure you have everything in place 1 month before you travel to make sure you are not disappointed. The first place to check for any visa requirements will the the embassy website for the country you are visiting, if you have any queries, speak to your travel agent.
P.P.S – There are many places in the world where it is not advisable to travel, so always check the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) website before you travel for the latest travel news. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Stay safe & happy travels!