You can save a lot of money by renting cars. Get more details before take off
OSLO, NORWAY: A backpacker is not likely to stay comfortable in one place as most folks tend to do on vacation. You will be out and about, moving from one place to another, facing all kinds of weather, trekking and climbing. Or on overnight busses and trains, at hostels, in hammocks and tents and encountering a lot of unexpected hassle. Here is Backpacker advice before take off.
Budget. So, let me start with number one, the budget! You need to have an understanding of the costs for the following: Air tickets. Accommodation. Food. Drinks. Transportation. Activities. Visas. Unexpected expenses.
Most important: Insurance
Use blogs, articles and all the info you can find to make a budget for your trip. Make sure to have enough or you will have to take a job along the way or simply return home. No matter how tight your budget is, you must get travel insurance. Or else you can find yourself in serious trouble. Make sure to bring several credit cards and place them around so if one gets lost you have a backup. Take a photo of your passport in case you lose that too.
Once you have that settled you need to find the right equipment. The backpack is essential. Try different ones and get help to find the one that fits your body and the size for your trip. I did a lot of research on YouTube and landed on Osprey 65L and Osprey 25L. Since I am packing for four seasons I need more stuff. The smaller backpack I use as my carry on and for day trips and excursions along the way. The 25L backpack also has a camelback and easy access to water. A waterproof pocket for electronics, straps on the sides for walking sticks, and a rain cover.
Moving, packing and unpacking
As a backpacker you are always moving, packing and unpacking. Having control of your stuff will save you a lot of time and a lot of frustration. Therefore, I use packing cubes in different sizes. The large one for all my warm clothing, the medium one for summer clothing, and a small one for underwear and swimsuits. I bring one extra for laundry. This way you always know where your things are and you pack your bag the same way every time.
Off the beaten path
Shoes are so important as you will be walking a lot. Backpacking is getting off the beaten path and your shoes will take you everywhere. Find a Gore-Tex shoe that can take you to the top of Machu Picchu, through the jungle, the desert and the rain. Wear it all the time before you leave and be sure they are broken in before you set off. Have a few pairs of thin wool socks to keep your feet dry and warm. Bring light sneakers for everything else and flip flops for the beaches.
Details about clothing
Backpacker advice: For clothing, use the layer system. Start with a light merino wool set, a thin fleece sweater, a warm breathable sweater and a wind and waterproof shell jacket and pants. This way you can mix and match and you are prepared for all kinds of weather. Bring a few items of swimwear, t-shirts, shorts, dresses and underwear. You can always get cheap clothing whilst traveling so that is not a problem.
Other backpacking equipment essentials is a head torch for trekking in the dark, finding stuff in your tent at night. You will need a padlock for hostel lockers and small padlocks to secure your backpack. Use the ones with a code so you can ́t loose the keys! Carbon telescope walking sticks will save your life going up and down those mountains, volcanoes and for the long treks. A light fast drying towel will come in handy. Do not bother bringing a sleeping bag and camping gear unless you are going camping. You can rent this everywhere it is needed!
Rent a car
Bring your driver’s license. You can save a lot of money by renting cars and do stuff on your own instead of buying expensive tours for everything.
A great tip is downloading useful apps such as hostel world, Airbnb, couch surfing (yes you can stay for free with the locals) and join Facebook groups that cover your destination to ask questions, get great tips and meet other travellers.
I think this covers the basics and hope you got a better insight how to prepare for your adventure, This is advice from a Backpacker, Safe travels!
Name: Nina Elisabeth Huse
I started traveling the world in 2017. I travel solo and my travel style is backpacking. From hostels to nice hotels I get to see several sides of the countries and it`s culture. I have a Norwegian travel blog in which I tell my readers about the experience of solo travel and the up`s and downs that comes with it.
Read more from my visit to Indonesia: Nina on Bali