There has been a wave of changes in the travel industry in recent years. Amongst them, a resurgence of the popularity of solo backpacking across every region of the world! It’s not only fashionable and trendy but it’s also refreshing and life changing in so many ways. There are many tips and guides on this subject, so we’ve picked our top 8 for our readers to follow:
1. Buy travel insurance!!!
This has to be the absolute number 1 tip! Do not leave home without first getting a comprehensive travel insurance plan. You are going to be on the trip of your life and you do not want to leave anything to chance. You absolutely need this protection and safety that an insurance provides. This will give your family and friends peace of mind too!
2. Buy a sturdy backpack
Bring all the stuff you need but remember to pack lightly! You will be doing lots of walking so you don’t want too much weight on your shoulders. Spend the money on a solid backpack with a good back support system so you will be travelling in peace.
3. Research the countries you are going to
Research local cultures and customs first. In some cultures, wearing flip flops is not acceptable in places of worship or heritage. In other cultures, people are expected to take off their shoes before entering a special place. Bring along a pair of walking shoes as you will need this for hiking or for roaming around the city. Singlets can be frowned upon in some countries as well. And in some countries, you should not attempt to hug, kiss or touch a stranger.
4. Keep in touch with your family and friends at home
To travel is to explore and be one with the world! You will be surrounded by newly found friends every step of your journey – but do not forget to update your family and let them know where in the world you are! Leaving your travel plans with family or friends before you go is something that is a good practice so they can be kept in the loop too.
5. Plan Ahead
If you are going to a new city, try and plan to arrive before the sun sets. Book at least two night’s accommodation at a trusted hostel or budget inn. Try to choose accommodation that is close to public transport or a hostel that includes airport transfers.
6. Back Up Documents
Before you leave home make sure that you take photos / scan copies of your Identity Card, Driver’s License, Passport and Flight Details – store it on your phone, email yourself a copy and keep a printed out copy just in case! This will help with any lost passports or documents which might happen along the way.
7. Split your credit cards
Before you leave home, get a secondary credit card – issued by either VISA or MASTERCARD! They allow you to withdraw cash if you urgently need it and you can spend it for most restaurants and cafes so you won’t need too much cash! If you know you are heading on a night out in a new city – take one card with you (or just a small amount of cash) and keep the other card somewhere safe.