How to organize a backpacking trip

How to organize a backpacking trip

Tips for your first backpacking trip

Traveling backpacking and as a backpacker it requires considerable planning which makes even the simplest decision seem complicated.

In the phase preceding a trip that will last months, states alternate quickly from euphoria to fear, from the inability to wait for the day of departure to the desire to have enough time to organize everything and not forget anything.

I generally say as long as I have passport, credit card it’s a bikini I’m calm, but this is partly true and a bit exaggerated given that in reality there are more thoughts and there are more things to consider than one might think.

Right now I’m close to leaving for the world Tour and in reality there are quite a few things to organize before leaving and I realize that they take longer than expected.

I have the ticket, I bought it with just as a hard core traveler I met in Guatemala advised me and with his stories he encouraged me to leave.

The destinations are mostly those that I have always wanted to visit. Almost all but I will have to leave something for the future so I left it out for this time Nepal, India, Africa e United States.

But now, despite the experience, the pre-departure panic is there and the classic questions haunt me: what visas do I need? Do I have to get vaccines? Approximately how much time will I dedicate to each country? Can I travel by land by buses and trains? What will the weather be like? How much will I spend on average?

Here is a list of things that I always check before leaving and that following it reassures me and that I hope can be useful to you.

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What to consider when planning your trip?

  • Seen – For most of the countries where I have been there is no need for a visa (or at least we Italians don’t need one) but in many other countries a visa is necessary. In some cases it can be purchased directly at the border but in other cases the visa must be obtained before arriving in the country otherwise you risk being sent back or not crossing the border.
    It is important to know if you need to apply for visas in advance, check if you are eligible, how long you can stay or if you have to follow different procedures based on your needs (tourism, business trip, more than 30 days etc.)
  • Climate – The climate is very important if you consider that the weight of our backpack will depend on it. I love summer and the sea and when I travel I try to follow the summer and avoid being in countries in winter.
    But based on the temperatures you expect then you will make your own travel backpack (read this post to discover my favorite travel backpacks). Never forget a waterproof jacket and a sweatshirt, as well as sneakers
  • Budget – Difficult to predict but some time ago I discovered a very useful site that helps to consider approximate travel costs based on travel budgets created by other travellers. The site is BudgetYourTrip. In fact, for a 6 or 7 month trip I consider a budget of around €5000/6000.
  • Vaccines – In most of the countries I have been to and will be going to there is no obligation to have a vaccine but before leaving it is necessary to know whether there is a need for it or not, in particular for diseases such as Yellow Fever or Hepatitisin the case of the Amazon in Brazil for example.
  • Insurance – Something you cannot leave without and which in some countries, such as Cuba or the United States, is a must. Don’t leave without it because the costs abroad for tourists are very high, an ear infection in Jamaica cost me $165 and so you can protect yourself and rest assured. For this trip I purchased it on WorldNomads.
  • Travel itineraryo – In all honesty I don’t make it very specific but in broad terms.
    I know which route I will follow and which direction I will take but plans change quickly and for me it doesn’t make much sense to decide well in advance where to go and above all when to be there.
    In fact I know what I don’t want to miss but then as you travel and meet other travelers you can discover destinations that you didn’t know or didn’t consider and which are actually worth seeing.
    With a travel guide then plan in broad terms and start thinking about what not to miss and look for information on how to get around.
  • Travel guides. Obviously if you are going to travel through some countries and you do it on budget you could buy a guide that brings together the countries of a certain area, I often use the Lonely Planet.
    To go around the world things get complicated, the idea of ​​having 3000 pages of guides on you isn’t all that appealing so I recommend buying the first guide in paper and then following with those in PDF format. Then certainly in all hostels there are always copies to physically consult.
  • Book the first nights in the hostel. After 15 or more hours of travel it’s no fun deciding where to sleep and not having the faintest idea where you are. I recommend booking at least for the first few nights.
    It takes some time to settle in and get into the travel mood, at which point you will realize that booking in advance will become increasingly rare (mandatory or at least recommended for high season periods).
  • Travel documents and photocopies – If a friend hadn’t told me I wouldn’t have thought about it but photocopies of documents (passport, debit cards and tickets) are not to be forgotten. Always keep copies of documents in your inbox or in an online document. Obviously check that your passport is not close to expiring otherwise you will rush to renew it. Many countries require a passport valid for at least 6 months which means that if when you leave your passport has another 6 months of validity after just one month of travel you will be forced to return home.
  • Register on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, it is important that we always know where we are. We think positive but prevent the negative.
  • Credit and debit cards – Notify your bank of the trip you are about to undertake and make sure that the cards also work abroad. I recommend having at least 2 with you in case one is lost or demagnetized. Rechargeable cards are very useful and practical Revolut ed N26 which have excellent exchange rates upon withdrawal, are free and can only be managed via the application. They’re also free!
  • Medicines – Apart from those that are carried in general (painkillers, aspirins, broad-spectrum antibiotics) and which you can read about in this post What medicines to bring when traveling.
    If you have special needs, go to the doctor and get a prescription for medicines that might otherwise be much more expensive or difficult to find abroad.
  • Leave with some cashUS dollars would be better as they are easier to exchange.

In my opinion this is what is involved in pre-trip planning and which should not be forgotten, if you then realize that you need an extra sweater or shorts you can always buy them where you are but there are things without them which you might have complicated problems to solve when you are away.

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