Backpacking Abroad Tips | Top Advice
Backpacking Abroad Tips: If you’re planning to embark on a gap year overseas, you’ll no doubt have booked your flight tickets to the countries you want to go to, as well as decided on which attractions and places to visit.
My Journey Backpacking Overseas
When I secured my flights for my five-month round-the-world backpacking trip, I immediately started researching the best attractions in each of the countries (which included India, Thailand, Vietnam and New Zealand, among others).
Panic started to set in a little – what on earth do I need for five months away in countries with different climates?
I soon managed to come up with a list of essentials that would help see me through my time abroad.
Things to Take on Backpacking Trips Abroad
1. Passport, visas and other documents
This might sound obvious, but one of my biggest fears was losing an important piece of paper.
Even though most entry documents are online, I made sure I printed out a copy of the Asian and Australian ones just in case I needed them at the airport.
I also required visas for India, Thailand and Vietnam, so I applied for these well in advance.
These should be in your passport before you set off from the UK.
I kept my round-the-world flight itinerary close to hand at all times and checked and checked it again!
After all, every penny counts when backpacking on a travelling budget and it would definitely be annoying if you had to pay for an unexpected flight.
2. First aid kit
Don’t worry, I don’t want you to think travelling on a gap year is dangerous, but my first aid kit (provided by the parents, of course!), really proved handy.
You do lots of walking around attractions and I found the healthy supply of plasters stopped my hiking boots rubbing uncomfortably against my feet.
Your first aid kit should include diarrhoea medication, just in case you get tummy troubles, as well as the usual painkillers.
The last thing you want when in an exciting new place is a banging headache.
Deet insect repellent was a lifesaver in Thailand and really kept the mozzies at bay.
I should add, make sure you’re well stocked up on your usual medication, as you won’t want to run out at the most inconvenient time.
Before heading through the airports just double check on any personal medication you are taking as every country varies in what is allowed to be brought in.
3. Rechargeable batteries
This is something I completely forgot to pack.
My camera was out every day – after all, sights such as the Taj Mahal and Whitehaven Beach are crying out to be photographed – but I had to use normal batteries.
Not having rechargeable batteries meant I had to spend precious money on new batteries, as well as waste time hunting for shops that sold them – something of a mission in remote south-east Asian destinations!
Power banks are a good alternative and are relatively cheap in other countries and can get you through a few days.
4. A wide selection of clothing
By this I don’t mean an outfit for every day of the week!
Rather, research what the climate will be when you arrive in each country.
I was thankful for the pack-away raincoat the parents (again!) provided me with.
While I laughed at such a sensible gift, I was certainly glad of it when wading down a street in Goa with my flip-flops floating away from me!
T-shirts that cover your shoulders and cut-off trousers and skirts that fall below the knee are essential if you visit mosques, temples and other sacred places, as is a small shawl.
Cardigans and hoodies are great for when the temperature dips in the evening and can help protect you from insects.
I also wish I had packed sturdier footwear, as my flip-flops really didn’t cut it during very wet weather, not to mention when I landed in San Francisco in December!
Of course, there’s loads more stuff I could put here – can you think of some more?
Let us know what they are in the comments section below to help other travellers.