Suddenly you are struck with an epiphany and you decide to embark on a journey with just a backpack. Well, to begin with, that is an amazing decision you have made. So, now the first thing you need to do is to buy a good backpack that can digest the necessary paraphernalia required for your backpacking trip. The second most important step would naturally be to stuff it and just leave the protected umbrella of your home!
14 Essentials for a Backpacking Trip
Just to let you peep into the future and apprise you of impending issues, here are 14 essentials for a backpacking trip. So now you have an advantage of knowing about the things you should have on a backpacking trip way ahead of that first trip!
Keep your Bag Light
Pack wisely as you are going to feel the weight of every item that you pack. After the initial few days of your trip, you will be glued to your most comfortable shoes or flip-flops.
So, the extra pair of shoes and other fancy items will be like dead weight. We recommend that you pack a week before and review the items each day before you leave to check you are carrying only the necessary stuff.
Also read: How to Select the Best Backpack!
Do not forget that you can buy items along the way.
Invest in Good Earplugs
Meeting new friends in the shared dorms and listening to their travel stories sounds exciting, but trust us, after an exhaustive and tiring day you just need a sound sleep.
A lot happens in the dorm bunk beds; from nocturnal farts to pre-dawn plastic bag rustlers, from travelers suffering from sleep apnoea to two backpackers getting cozy in the bunks. The worst is the snoring.
Don’t forget to pack earplugs; they will be your lifesaver.
It’s Okay to be Lost!
In spite of all the maps and GPS, you may be lost. Accept it and enjoy it! Do not fret but see it as an opportunity to meet new people, communicate with them.
Seek help from the locals; people are happy to help the tourists. When you feel that you are lost, stopping is the first step. Look for landmarks or surroundings to locate yourself.
Stay calm and approach the situation rationally.
You will Learn a New Definition of “Cheap”
When you start the trip, you might feel that spending some bucks for a night in a cool hostel is cheap. But by the end of the trip, you will think that it was overpriced and you could have managed with something cheaper.
Also, spending on snacks and fast food for munching is pretty much equivalent to dining in a 4-star hotel.
Even Google does not know Everything
Not everything is online. There are many incredible places which are off the Internet grid.
Learn to go beyond the obvious and discover places organically; we bet you will find your own favorite spots.
Likewise, you will find the best local cuisine in the tiny restaurants located in the middle of nowhere.
It is always great to have a plan. Invest in a good itinerary/travel sheet. Accommodation is a problem when you are traveling during the peak season.
Finding decent hostel rooms can be a tiring affair. Plan and book the rooms in advance. You definitely will not be comfortable spending your night at the airport or the railway stations.
However, refrain from over planning as it can kill the fun.
Relax and Enjoy
If you want to have a real backpacking adventure, be sure to have time. Spend ample amount of time at each place to soak the vibes and details.
Keep your itinerary open so that you can leave a place early if you do not like it or spend some more time at a place you have fallen in love with. Enjoy the freedom.
Life is beautiful, do not waste worrying about things. Relax and enjoy the journey. You do not have to cover all the “must see” places.
Make your own list of best locations.
There is so much of Goodness in the World
Despite so much of negativity all over the TV and the Internet, there are many good people in the world. If you are courteous and respectful to people, they will be happy to help you. Follow your instincts as they are always right.
Be alert but do not be judgemental.
Remember one thing:
Deal with people in a way you would like to be reciprocated with!
Go with the Flow
Planning ahead is a good thing but do not be rigid. Learn to go with the flow of travel. Pre-planning every detail of the trip will not be adventurous. Make random plans with newfound friends.
Learn to get rid of your fears and indulge in new sports and adventurous activities. The real fun lies in accepting the unseen and enjoying every bit of it.
These unplanned trips are the ones that will fill the treasure chest of your memories.
Read these tips if you plan to back across India – How to backpack across the country – India!
Be Ready for Change
Travelling is opening yourself to change. A backpacking trip introduces you to the different aspects of your personality. With every new situation, you will discover the new you.
It is never too late to change—so change for good.
Be proactive and transform into a better and positive human being.
And we bet that after your backpack trip your perspective will take a 360-degree turn and you will have a refreshed outlook, which will be more accommodating and empathetic.
Try New Things
It is said that traveling is the only new thing; rest everything is stale.
Travelling expands your horizons and equips you with a better understanding of the world and its affairs.
You come across and learn so many new things like new traditions, cuisine, culture, and people. You can learn cooking, magic tricks, new language and can even conquer your fears and challenge yourself.
Life is short, so keep trying new aspects and discover a new you with each and every new prospect.
Learn New Skills
A human mind is an amazing machine which has been underutilized since its inception. Backpacking can help you unravel the mysteries of this supercomputer. By learning new skills while on your way hopping from one place to another you are actually using never-before-used mental faculties.
Your backpacking trip teaches you to be more social, adaptable and flexible.
You improve your communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal. You become more independent and disciplined.
It overall makes you a more open and better person. You would be often surprised at your own capabilities.
Waiting is okay
Waiting is a part of a backpacking trip. You will have to wait for connecting flights, trains or bus.
You might reach late to a city which sleeps at around 9 pm and have to find a comfortable spot in the area and wait till the sun comes up and the nearby coffee shop or hotel opens.
You will Always Find a Better Traveler
In the hostels, you will find someone who has done and seen more than you have. They would have seen better places and would have done more exciting things.
Ask them their reviews about places; it will help you plan your next trip.
Be prepared to meet a bigger, better and best traveler.
You will be nervous while you embark on this new journey, but be rest assured that these tips will help you prepare better. A gentle and sincere smile and politeness can touch many hearts and make your first backpacking trip memorable.