Backpackers Travellers Tips


Over the past few years an ever increasing number of people have taken to travelling and exploring different parts of the world independently. There has been a growth in travellers embarking on independent travel, backpacking and those travelling on a budget, this has become increasingly popular with young people who take the famous route of backpacking around the world in a gap year or after university.

People of all ages are increasingly being drawn towards the advantages of independent travel, the freedom to where you want, when you want and for how long you want (subject to time and budget constraints). This flexibility is not so evident to in traditional package holidays and similar arrangements.

Backpackers travellers tips guide useful tips, suggestions and points of action for you to consider, we hope you find them useful when planning your trip.

Backpackers Travel Tips and Advice

Before You Start Your Trip
Paperwork & Travel Documents
Travel Insurance
Health & Safety Considerations
Whilst You Are On Your Trip

Before You Start Your Trip

Good planning at the beginning of your trip can help avoid problems further on, it is important to do your research on the country/countries you will be travelling to. Familiarise yourself with the different culture, social customs, environment and lifestyle you are likely to encounter on your travels. The more knowledge you have the better.

Plan your journey beforehand and ensure you have good quality guidebooks for the places you will be visiting.

Even if your itinerary is likely to change or subject to change, it is a good idea to let a family member or friend have your itinerary and contact numbers for safety and in case any unexpected occurs.

Use the experience gained by others travellers who can offer tips, advice and things to look out for, ask your family, friends and colleagues for their thoughts and advice.

If you like the idea of backpacking & budget independent travel but need some inspiration consider using the services and expertise of specialist travel operators with knowledge of budget holidays and backpacking. You can consult their websites and travel and promotion literature for ideas and inspiration.

It is a good idea to ensure wherever you are going to travel that you book and confirm your first nights or few nights’ accommodation before you arrive at your destination. Independent travellers can be most vulnerable when they first arrive at a destination and have not had time to orientate themselves. A few nights booked accommodation gives you some time to acclimatise and reduce the stress of immediately having to find accommodation.

Ensure you have enough money to properly fund your trip, including extra for emergencies and any unforeseen emergencies. In case you do need extra travel money whilst on your trip, have a system in place where family or friends can be asked to arrange for transfers of money to send to you overseas in case you need it, so you are not left stranded overseas.

Paperwork & Travel Documents

Ensure you have all of your travel documents, including passport, visas, plane tickets, hotel/hostel bookings/confirmations and any other document or confirmation you may need.

Ensure you have photocopies of all your important travel documents and store these in a safe place not with the originals. The copies are useful in case the anything happens to the originals.

Take care of your travel documents i.e. passport and do not leave them unattended or lying around. Passports in particular are a target of thieves.

If you are going to work during your travels ensure you have the correct work permits to do so. If you need to extend your visa or work permit, plan ahead well in time and seek advice on the correct procedure for doing so, you can contact the local British Embassy/High Commission for more information. Do not work beyond the work permit validity or be tempted to overstay your visa as it is a serious criminal offence and is likely to end in jail or deportation.

Travel Insurance

Ensure you have up to date full medical insurance before you travel and ensure it is valid for the full duration of your trip. Ensure your insurer is aware of any pre-existing conditions you may have. A failure to disclose this can result in claims being turn down and the prospect of having to pay for any treatment yourself.

If you are going to be taking part in any sports or activities that are deemed as winter sports, extreme sports or potentially dangerous activities it is important to ensure your travel insurance policy covers you for this, it is best to check with the insurer to make sure their policy covers this. See: Travel Insurance Quotes for competitive travel insurance quotes for independent travellers

Health & Safety Considerations

Ensure you have all of your medication and have enough of it to last through your entire trip and some extra, in case there are any delays in returning. If you cannot carry it with you or are going away for any length of time ensure you have the correct doctor’s letters and prescriptions to be able to get the medicines in other countries.

Some medications may contain ingredients legal in the UK that are deemed illegal elsewhere, it is best to check with the embassy/high commission of the countries you will be visiting before you travel.

Be aware of local customs and act responsibly, avoid drinking too much alcohol and be aware any accidents caused whilst under the influence of alcohol are likely to invalidate any claims you may have on your travel insurance.

Respect the local laws, customs and etiquettes, if you break them you could be arrested and jailed.

Take a first aid kit with you, it can come in very useful and can be more expensive to purchase when on your travels.

Ensure you have a web based email address where friends and family can contact and communicate with you. Make use of the ever increasing amounts of internet cafes to access your email account at relatively low cost. By using email you can keep in touch and ensure other people know where you are and how to contact you.

Whilst You Are On Your Trip

Remember to observe all the usual common sense precautions when travelling, if you are travelling alone do not tell strangers you are travelling alone. Do not show any valuables in public i.e. jewellery and money. Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings and environment at all times.

Respect local dress codes, they may be very different to that in the UK. Do not bring unnecessary attention by standing out with your clothes and as a tourist. Try to blend in with the local dress code.

Ensure you have good quality travel wallets that have strong security chains & wallets that can be hidden under clothing. Do not take out all your money in public, before you go out keep some money you are likely to need in another smaller wallet so you do not need to show your main wallet.

If you are staying in hotels or in accommodation where you have to share rooms, be vary vigilant for your valuables and belongings, do not leave valuables (including money, passports, traveller’s cheques etc.) attended for any reason.

Exchange money only at banks and official foreign exchange bureaus to minimise the chances of being given incorrect or false money. Be weary of non-officially accredited persons offering to exchange money. Keep a receipt of all the money exchanges.

Do not carry packages for anyone else through customs, if anything illegal is found the penalties can be very severe.

Ensure you pack your own bag and double check all the items in it comply with the laws of the countries you are in and going to. Do not leave you bag unattended at any time.

Seek out all the free or low cost attractions in the area, it can be a great way to see lots of interesting places without costing too much.

You can save on laundry costs by washing small items yourself and letting it dry during the day.

Check to see if there are discounts for students and OAPs in hotels, hostels, attractions and restaurants etc.

You may wish to choose a hostel that serves breakfast, or book a hostel that is close by to somewhere where you can go for breakfast without having to travel too far.

The backpackers travellers tips can help to ensure your trip runs smoothly and that you are well prepared even if the unexpected occurs. Backpacking and budget travel are an important component of the travel market and offer travellers the chance to do their own thing, an increasing number of travel companies catering for this market have emerged in the last few years.

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