Backpacking and Hiking Abroad Tips
Hiking Abroad Tips: Chances are, you’ve been saving and planning for your backpacking and hiking trip for some time.
Having mapped out the dream destinations you’d like to visit, made regular contributions to your savings account and slowly bought all the gear you need to take with you.
You’re finally ready to set off and begin what could potentially be a life changing experience.
The question is; have you prepared enough?
When it comes to backpacking and hiking abroad, you need to plan ahead for every possible eventuality and you really can’t be over-prepared for your trip of a lifetime.
Here are my top 10 tips to help make sure your travelling gets off to a smooth start:
1: Travel light.
Even on short hikes you’ll probably find you don’t wear half of the clothes you’ve packed and this is the same when backpacking around Asia.
Aim to ditch about half of the amount you initially pack (remember you’re going to be carrying this around for a long time) and don’t pack more than one pair of jeans as these will really increase the weight of your backpack.
2: Purchase travel insurance.
You don’t want to have to call off your whole trip because you’ve lost your spending money or suffered from an injury.
Make sure you have a comprehensive policy with low excesses and good cover level, whilst not breaking the bank.
Making use of a price comparison site can help you to find a cheap travel insurance policy and allow you to compare quotes from a number of insurers.
Be sure to look for a backpacker specific policy as this will usually be a cheaper option than taking out a single trip or annual policy.
Always be sure to have your electronics like cameras and phones insured and all your gadgets protected.
3: Don’t carry too much cash.
Aim to split your spending money between 2 cards if possible, so that if you lose one, you still have access to money to tide you over.
Prepaid credit cards are ideal for this purpose as you can load whatever amount you like onto them and they are not linked to your bank account.
Try to carry only enough cash to last you for a couple of days and keep it in small denominations.
4: Do your paperwork before you travel.
Some of the countries you are planning to visit may require you to apply for a visa beforehand, so aim to do this well in advance to ensure you are not delayed in trying to enter a country once you are on your travels.
Where possible, plan your route and find out prices for transport you will need to take to facilitate your travels.
5: Safeguard your photos
During the course of your trip you’ll most probably take hundreds of pictures documenting your adventures and you’ll want these memories to last a lifetime.
It’s a good idea to back up along the way if you have a digital camera, try to email them somewhere safe or save them to a separate memory stick or disc.
Remember, your pictures are irreplaceable (although losing them is always a good excuse to go on another backpacking trip in the future…).
6: Don’t forget your flip-flops.
These really are an essential item when it comes to travelling.
Handy for the beach and equally good for when you have to use public showers and don’t want to stand barefoot.
7: Get your vaccinations.
If you are planning on heading to somewhere exotic then it’s a good idea to pop down to see your doctor and find out what vaccinations you will need.
It’s easy to take the “risk it and see” attitude but you’ll regret it if you catch Malaria or something equally nasty that calls a halt to your travels when you could have easily prevented it.
8: Don’t use a new backpack.
If you are a seasoned traveller, you’ll likely have a trusty backpack that’s accompanied you on your various travels.
Thieves are much more likely to target those with new, expensive looking backpacks as they’ll think they are likely to find better gear inside.
If you buy a new backpack, spend some time roughing it up so it doesn’t look too new and you’ll be a much less attractive target.
9: Have a backup plan.
It’s wise to plan for every eventuality as you never know what might happen whilst you’re travelling.
Have a contingency fund you can access in an emergency and alternative travel plans should you need to miss out on one of your destinations.
10: Pack a ball of string.
One of the most useful items to have on you when you’re travelling.
Whether you need a temporary clothesline, a replacement shoelace or need to tie your belongings to your backpack, it comes in handy for all manner of things and doesn’t take up much space which is all important when backpacking.
Have you been hiking or backpacking overseas before?
Let us know any tips you have below in the comments section.