Backpacking might seem complicated but it’s a fun-loving activity when you get into it. It requires your interest and the passion when you start thinking about your trip. When packing for your trip, simply write down all the items you’re bringing. Pen and paper work well but excel spreadsheets can also be put to good use. It’s always better to be organized and prepared with a list of things.
- R&D/Planning: Trip planning is not that easy as it sounds; thorough and meticulous attention is required for each and every aspect. I would say trip planning can help you to avoid thousand of blunders which can happen during your travel. Do a proper research about the places you want to explore. Like the total number of places (practically) you can cover in one day, estimated time for a particular place, the total time it would take to travel between the places which you are planning to cover on the same day. Make a tentative itinerary before you start your trip and try to stick to the same.
- Weather: Whenever you start planning, first thing to do is check the weather forecast of your destination. An unplanned trip can ruin your mood and can cost you a lot. Also, the weather condition can help you to decide upon what kind of clothes or other things you have to carry. For instance, if it’s going to rain on that particular time then either you can postpone your trip or carry a rain jacket. Don’t hesitate to change your plan or route if the weather is not favorable.
- Offseason travel: Offseason travel gives you many benefits like if you are travelling by flight then you can get better deals as compared to peak season and the places you want to travel will be less crowded. One most important thing is if you are travelling on weekdays via flights then it would be cheaper than travelling on weekends.
- Lodging: Decide what type of accommodation you prefer, whether its hotels, hostels or guesthouses, or apartment rentals, read the reviews, and see what the prices are for the area you want to visit. Bag packers always try to reduce this part of the trip as hotel beds and shared hostel places quickly add up if you are paying for them every night. If you are going for a hike then it’s well worth to spend on the tent. You can purchase a light weighted and durable tent of your choice.
- Clothes and shoes: Carry your stuff according to on the weather, but take care of the weight. If you are going to cold weather areas then keep light weighed fleece and jackets with you. Layering of the clothes should be enough to keep you warm in the cold weather. Always take your comfortable shoes on the trip. Keep everything simple and comfortable.
- Bring your own food: If you want to tighten up on your food budget, look for hotels or guesthouses that include breakfast. Consider apartment rentals where you will have access to a kitchen. Even if you buy groceries and cook just a few times and always eat breakfast in the apartment, you will save money on your trip budget. This option can save your money and time. Keep some ready to eat things with you if you are planning for road trip or hiking. You can always find your own favourite foods that are light weighed, nutritious, healthy and high in energy. If you are a tea lover like me then it’s always advisable to carry instant tea packets with you. Trail mix, dried nuts, oatmeal can also be helpful.
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- Travelling Bag: The size of the bag depends on whether your trip is a single night trip or several nights trip. The only way to find this out is to actually go to a store and try on several backpacks while working with an experienced salesperson or backpacking friend who can help you adjust the pack to your body. Also, load the pack with weights to mimic how it will feel filled with gear. Never blindly order your backpack online unless you’re prepared for the possibility that you’ll have to make at least one return. Keep the bag as light and as small as possible. You can use vacuum pouches to make better arrangements within the bag. If you are travelling for 2-4 days then your small bag and proper packing tips can save you from the extra charges of check-in baggage.
- Travelling kit: Your travelling kit should include everything you want to carry instead of clothes. Travel size of lotion, toothpaste, brush, comb and even deodorants are available in the market. This can reduce the overall weight of the bag. Also, if you have a travelling kit ready then it can reduce your time for every oncoming trip. And you don’t have to collect the items each time when you are going for your next trip.
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- Basic First aid: You can make a super handy kit by yourself at home only. It will just need few simple tips while preparing your first aid kit e.g. basic medicines (antiseptic cream or wipes, bandages, adhesive tapes, anti-diarrheal, decongestants etc.), as per your trip style (motion sickness, cold and flu medicines) and as per your personal need (e.g. vitamins) or prescribed ones.
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- Enjoy your trip: Vacation does not need to be cheap but affordable too. Not knowing any one of these things could easily ruin your trip or keep you off the trail altogether. Over the time you will realize that if you choose the right destination then staying on budget is easy. Planning a little can save your money and time.
Life is not easy but travel can give you unlimited ways to be happy. Keep dreaming, it will keep you going.