Four Key Things To Do Before You Start Backpacking

July 21, 2021

Photo by Joe Leineweber from Pexels

Do you feel the call of the open road? Fancy picking up your pack and just heading off? Before you do, make sure that you have ticked these essential items off your to-do list so that you can enjoy your trip without any worries.

Plan a budget

Backpacking can be expensive unless you are willing to live a basic existence. Decide on your total budget before you go but err on the generous side. Things will always cost more than you expect, and you may need to pay out for something unexpected. It is a good idea to factor in the occasional stay in a moderately fancy hotel. Traveling on a tight budget can be tiring, and sometimes you need a clean bathroom, a soft bed, and some good food to restore your mojo. You will need to have access to your bank account so make sure that you have a bank card that can be used at ATMs worldwide without incurring heavy charges.

Arrange  Vaccinations and Visas

Before you leave, check whether you need a visa or work permit for your destination. Don’t presume that everything will be fine and that you will get away without the required papers. You won’t, and being held back at the airport and returning home on the next flight will be a disappointing start to your adventure. You can find out information from the embassy websites of the country you’re heading for or contact a UK immigration solicitor for information about the requirements in Great Britain. Similarly, it would be best if you investigated which vaccinations you will need. Many countries require you to prove that you have had specific vaccinations before you arrive. Information for each country is available online and from your medical practitioner.

Pack a lock 

Many hostels and low-budget hotels will provide visitors with lockers for their packs. Take a lock with you so that you can lock it securely. Make sure that it is a combination lock, not a key lock. You don’t want to have to worry about losing the key. Now, what was that combination again? Maybe text the combination to a couple of friends so that someone will always be able to remind you! 

Organize Travel Insurance

You should at least take out some insurance for your backpack, phone, and other belongings so that you can replace them if they are lost or stolen. It is also wise to take out medical insurance as very few places will have comprehensive free health services that will take care of you if you are injured or ill. Look into the small print of your policy carefully if you plan to undertake any ‘risky’ activities. You may not consider hiring a motorcycle a high-risk activity, but your insurance company may not agree. If you plan to be away for a long time, consider a policy that allows you to claim for a couple of emergency flights. Something may come up at home unexpectedly that will require you to break your trip and fly home for a while.

Filed in: Travel Planning

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