I’ve been on the road this time around for just over a year now (how time flies when you’re having fun hey?!) and it’s been the first major adventure where I’ve been bouncing around countries heaps.
Needless to say along the way I’ve learnt alot on how to backpack and travel long term, made some mistakes and generally got more of a grasp on how I want to explore and structure my trip!
I thought I’d pass on some bitesize chunks of this knowledge to help you with your plans!
So here’s 10 Thing I’ve Learnt From a Year of Backpacker Travel;
- Planning – It Needs To Be Flexible! I had a pretty solid idea of where I wanted to be and where I wanted to go last year, but my plans changed more times than I care to admit! Leaving room in your plans for being flexible is a must, and having changeable airline tickets will save you a massive amount of money and headaches!
- …leave some cash for unexpected opportunities! Along with changing plans you need to make sure you can cover the costs. Putting aside some dollar as a reserve would be a great idea, suddenly decide to do your PADI course? No worries!
- It pays to sort everything at home before you leave! If you’re heading abroad for a few months make sure you tie up all your loose ends before you go. Sell your stuff, inform your bank, cancel your phone contracts, get everything sorted so you can kick back and enjoy life on the road
- Staying In Touch Needn’t Be A Worry. With iPhones, Skype, Wifi and social networking it’s heaps easy to stay in touch with friends and family. You can make free calls from across the world, email, and blog whilst on the road so there’s no need for anyone not to keep up to date!
- Sometimes You Need a Break! Despite my love of meeting heaps of strangers, living in hostels and bouncing all over the place if you’re on the road for a long while you’ll need to avoid a backpacker burnout! Every so often base yourself in a single place for a bit, unpack and treat yourself to a private room. You’ll thank yourself for it!
- Overland Travel is Pretty Easy! Even bouncing into countries I’ve little idea of I’ve found that getting around places like Asia and South America overland are actually pretty easy! So next time you find yourself looking at flights weigh up the cost against a night bus or train! (Here’s some of my costs from overlanding in Asia)
- …if rather a test of patience sometimes! As much as overland travel is easy to sort sometime it can seriously test your patience. Me and a buddy found ourselves in a 4 hour line at the Cambodian/Thai border, not the best backpacking experience – so prepare yourselves witha book or some tunes!
- Backpackers are amazing people! Over the last year I’ve met some of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with. From all walks of life, nationalities, cultures and backgrounds! Backpacking really allows you to break down social boundaries and meet some incredible characters.
- The More You Travel The More Places You Want To Visit. By meeting heaps of people you inevitably add a heap of places and things to your bucket list and it encourages you to see more of the world. You get all kinds of ideas from other peoples experiences and a whole array of offers to come stay at places all around the world! Who needs couch surfing -I just chuck out a message on Facebook!
What have you guys learnt from your travels? Any awesome tips/advice you’d like to pass on and share?!