Backpacking is one of the best ways to see the world, but it takes some advance planning. As you'll be visiting several different places while you're abroad, you'll need to be comfortable while on the road and certain you have all of the necessary supplies to get you from one destination to another. Here are a few tips if you're considering embarking on a backpacking adventure:
Choosing the right pack
You can't simply grab any old backpack for your first trip. You will have your pack strapped to your back for hours at a time, and the wrong style back could end up causing you pain or limit the number of supplies you get to carry. It's best to visit a sporting goods store to find the right pack. Often, these outlets will have different packs you can try on, sometimes with weights inside. Look for bags that are spacious but compact. You'll want something that can strap across your chest and waist, which will take the strain off your shoulders. Additionally, make sure your bag has a few hidden compartments where you can store money, your passport and other items you need to keep extra safe.
Deciding on destinations
There are many parts of the world that are well-suited for backpacking. If you haven't had the chance to see much of the U.S., you can definitely backpack across several different regions by using trains, buses and other forms of public transportation. Europe is easy to backpack across because of its sophisticated railway system, and many people have had success embarking on a backpacking trip through Europe. Be sure that you stick to places that have reliable transportation, as it's not safe to hitchhike.
The biggest challenge when it comes to backpacking is finding accommodation. If you have the know-how, camping is a great option - just be sure you stick to certified campgrounds and your pack can hold a tent, cooking utensils and other items you might need. If you're not fond of sleeping under the stars, then you can save money by staying at hostels. Typically, hostels don't have to be booked too far in advance, which will give you some flexibility with your travel plans. You can also use websites like AirBNB.com to find room shares and apartments available for temporary rent.