Six Easy Steps To Plan Your Backpacking Adventure
Planning a trip can be at least half the fun as the trip itself. In my experience there are 4 main types of trips: Backpacking, budget day trips, luxury, and cruises. Keep in mind that all of these options have the potential for adventure. Let’s begin with my personal favorite – backpacking.
Find the right backpack.
A Backpacking trip can be totally unplanned or planned to the T, depending of course on who’s the one doing the backpacking. The first step is to purchase (or borrow) a backpack. There are many brands of backpacks that come in different varieties and sizes. Be sure to select a bag with an inner frame (skeleton), this feature will support the weight of your pack thereby offering some relief to your back and of course enough room to fit your belongings. Borrowing a backpack may save you a few dineros, but at the end of the day, there is no backpack that will fit you better than your own. The rest is purely a matter of preference. I’ll delve further into this subject at a different time.
Figure out how much time you have.
This may need the approval of your boss, family or travel companion. Be sure to tie up loose ends and not to burn any bridges in the process. Unless you plan on leaving and never returning, it’s imperative that those bridges are kept wide opened for your return home after the trip.
Time is one of the key factors of your adventure and its best to use it wisely. If you only have a few days it may be better to stay local and only fly a few hours so that you have the most time to actually enjoy your trip .In my experience, the less time you have, the more detailed your planning needs to be. An unplanned trip needs time to make room for unexpected delays, weather and unexpected events. I would say that 2 weeks should be the bare minimum needed to have a planned backpacking adventure, three weeks to have a refreshing planned backpacker get away and one month to have a truly spontaneous unplanned adventure.
Figure out where you want to go.
This is completely a personal preference. History buffs may want to sail the straight of Magellan and trek through the quiet solitude of the Chilean national parks, trekkers and climbers will usually prefer heading to the mountainous wildernesses such as the Himalayas, Alps or anywhere else a natural playground can be found. While city backpackers will enjoy new friends, cafes, hostels and everything a city has to offer. Don’t worry if you’re interested in a mixture of everything! You are the mapper of your own trip.
Define your budget.
Make sure to be realistic and not to forget to give your credit card company a heads up. There is nothing more frustrating than getting to a destination and finding out that your credit cards are frozen.
Additionally it may be helpful to have a backup credit/debit card and some cash for emergencies. Remember, the middle of nowhere may not accept credit cards or foreign currencies. Not to mention, most credit cards charge foreign transaction fees for using their services abroad. So make sure to inquire with your credit card provider about using your credit card. If you plan to travel on an exceptionally low budget make sure to do your research and consider currency exchange fees, and the bare minimum cost of living at your desired destination.
Keep in mind that with proper resourcefulness transportation can also be combined with step number 6 – lodging. There are 6 main modes of transport:
Before jumping to conclusions and selecting the mode of transport that you simply prefer, do your research and see what the most efficient plan is for the area that you will be traveling to. For example if the majority of your destination can only be reached by bus or car, don’t invest money into a rail pass. Keep in mind that children, seniors, students and youths ages 18-28 can usually get massive discounts on rail and bus passes.
There are 4 main options:
- Couch surfing
- Your mode of transport
Do your research and pick the option that’s best for your adventure. If you sleep on the train, a train pass can double as a place to sleep. A car will serve the same purpose, and a tent can be pitched wherever you choose to stop.
In conclusion, planning a trip can be at least half as much fun as the trip itself. Backpacking is an amazing way to go about your adventure. There’s nothing as fabulous as having the freedom to come and go as you please, with only one bag on your back and the horizon ahead. Be sure to make wise choices, and stay safe. Enjoy your backpacking adventure, have fun and ALWAYS seize the day!