Top Tips for Backpackers and Independent Travellers

Travelling as a backpacker or independent traveller can be the adventure of a lifetime. Backpacking can offer more freedom and the chance to explore different places all in one trip.

But how do you make the most of your trip? Planning is the key, and there are steps that you can take to ensure you have a smooth ride.

  • Plan your trip using a reputable guide book, and take it with you if there is room in your backpack
  • Ask fellow independent travellers for advice - they might know something that you haven't thought of
  • Set yourself a daily budget and try to stick to it as much as possible - you don't want to be short of cash before the end of your trip
  • Arrange travel insurance to cover your whole trip - provides policies for all sorts of travellers of any age, including those with pre existing medical conditions
  • Only pack the essentials to keep your backpack light
  • Take a travel towel - it's lighter, smaller and it dries faster than ordinary towels
  • Allow room in your backpack for clothes that abide by local laws and customs
  • Pack a small first aid kit. Include basic medication such as pain killers and diarrhoea tablets
  • Take water purification tablets or iodine so that you can sterilise water on the go
  • Make accommodation arrangements for at least the first night of your stay to allow you to settle into the swing of things
  • Before you set off, email your passport and travel documents to yourself so that you can access them in an internet cafe anywhere in the world
  • If you are intending to work abroad, apply for a relevant work permit
  • Familiarise yourself with your immediate surroundings so that you know how to return to your hotel or hostel
  • Avoid buying currency on the black market as you could be handed fake bills
  • If you intend to hitchhike, try to travel in pairs or during the day for safety
  • Be vigilant of your baggage when travelling from place to place
  • Travelling alone can sometimes be lonely. Consider volunteering - it can be a great way to meet other travellers
  • Never overstay you visa - if you wish to stay longer than you intended, you can apply for your visa to be extended
  • Contact friends or relatives as often as you can to assure them that you are safe and well