A Backpackers Checklist

Going travelling is an amazing adventure. Seeing the world and expanding your horizons with new cultures, landscapes and dialects can often be a life changing experience. For Americans backpacking through Europe is a traditional rite of passage that many of the young adults across the Atlantic partake in. For a lot of Brits travelling east or west is the norm, either during a gap year between college and university, or post university to reward the achievement of getting a degree. Since Alex Garlands seminal backpacker novel The Beach, Thailand has become a hot spot destination. To ensure a safe and hopefully smooth trip there are several serious preparations to take care of before departing.

You may want to travel without having to worry about finding work. In which case saving a considerable amount of funds will be essential.
Its certainly nice to be able to relax on beaches, drink in exotic bars and dance in new nightclubs without being anxious of having to make it into work the next day. So drawing up a budget is vital if your savings are going to last the duration of your trip. Work out how much money youve got, deduct essentials like accommodation, flights and food and then youll know what sort of cash youve got to play with each day. Some backpackers get work while they travel, either in bars or restaurants or telesales positions. This is a good option if you plan on staying in one location for an extended period.

Travel insurance. This is another essential item to plan for before you fly off. If the worse happens and you do have an accident in a foreign country medical bills without insurance have bankrupted unfortunate backpackers in the past. Many employers who are keen to keep an employee who wants to go travelling will offer them international medical insurance as a benefit and incentive to keep them in the company. This is especially popular with multinational companies who have offices across the world.

Many backpackers leave accommodation until when they reach their destination which can prove to be a big mistake. Booking a hostel or hotel for when you arrive at a new location takes a load off your mind. There is nothing worse than arriving somewhere you dont know, in the middle of the night , weighed down with heavy backpacks and wandering around trying to find somewhere to stay. If you know someone, or are travelling with some whos familiar with the area then you dont have to worry so much. But if youre alone and dont know the town youre arriving at, having a pre-booked hostel can alleviate the burden.

Travelling the world with a backpack is a fantastic eye opening experience, just do it safely and be well prepared.