Are you planning on taking time off work – a month, 6 months or even a year? Do you want to experience life and travel the world? In this blog post, we are sharing our top tips for the first time backpacker. A few tips we have learnt along the way that will help you plan a trip of a lifetime.
Spend time researching
Plan your trip well. Take the time to research the areas your are going to and make a list of all the things you want to see and activities you want to do. Also research the culture and language of the place also to allow yourself to really immerse yourself. Research will save you valuable time on your trip.
Only bring the necessary items with you as you will be carrying them around with you during your whole trip. Dont spend your money on extra clothes or gadgets. Put that money towards and experience on your trip. Only pack the essentials as that is all you will need.
Think of alternative transportations
It’s very easy to book a flight for long journeys but think of alternative transportation too. Make the most of your travel time and if you get that chance to rent a car or take a train journey. You will be able to relax and enjoy the views looking our the window. Places you would have never seen otherwise.
Stay in hostel dorms
This is one of the easiest ways to make friends while travelling solo. It is much easier to make conversation with the people around you by simply asking them ‘Where are you from’ or ‘How long are you travelling’ and the conversation will flow from there. Sometimes when you stay in private dorms, you don’t get this opportunity as easily.
Make friends on transport
When your stuck in one place for a long time, it is easy to strike up conversation and create a new friendship. You never know, you might even find travel tips and tricks from your new friend. If you are both travelling together in one direction, you are bound to have something in common.
Trips and tours are one of the best ways to meet people. Everybody is in the same boat. All you have to do to start a conversation is to pass a comment on something in the tour and the conversation will flow from there.
Try a new activity
This is a great way to meet new people. You are all excited about trying something new! While on an activity, it is almost easier to get to know people. Learn people’s names, enjoy yourself and try to suggest dinner or drinks after the activitiy.
Put your online world to good use. Post a status on where you are travelling and see if anybody you know is around the meet up. They can also then introduce you to their friends. There are also specific groups for meeting people while travelling and you might be able to organise a group trip online before you go. Also meetup.com is another great way of meeting people in an area who have a common interest. The meet ups could be dinner, hikes, activities and much more.
Be open to change
Everything isn’t going to go perfectly. Things wont go to plan and you will have to alter your plans. Try not to let it ruin your day or week. It will all work out in the end and it’s all part of the adventure.
Volunteering is always a great way to meet new people. There are so many options. Not only will you make friends with like minded people but you will be making a difference in the world also.
Give yourself time
When you are planning your trip, you can easily fall into the trap of planning too much in a short space of time. Give yourself time to explore. You dont want to spend your time rushing from one thing to another. Give yourself time to enjoy it and to take it all in. Don’t try to see too much in a short space of time as you wont enjoy it.
Explore like a local
Try to avoid the tourist traps. Eat where the locals eat and explore the local gems – the parks, beaches, gardens. See the place through the eyes of the locals.
Take out travel insurance
This is key to any trip. If you are travelling for a long period, be sure to have good travel insurance. You may need it at some point over your travels and it’s better to have for any emergancies.
Dont forget to treat yourself every now and again. Travelling non stop can be exhausting at times. Treat yourself now and again and book into a nice hotel to relax and unwind. Take a break from the dorms or hostels and give yourself a treat during your trip. You will be relaxed and ready for the rest of your adventures after a night or two of comfort.