Right, let’s get straight into a summary of some of my best backpacker tips that I have learned from my travels all over the world. Of course there are many others yet I feel these ones listed below cover the core concerns of the Independent Backpacker, where ever their journey takes them.
Travel as light as possible. Don’t pack stuff you won’t use or may only use once. Create a strict packing list and stick to it.
Consider not booking a return ticket for trips longer than three months. This way you can literally end up anywhere and fly home from there.
Take a laptop/iPad and iPhone. Great for backing up photos/video, entertainment, staying in tough with friends and navigation.
Use Skype to stay in touch with friends. Also buy Skype credit which gives cheap international calls via Skype.
Pack travel sickness tablets, anti diarrhea, multi vitamins, pain killers, etc
Take a multi fit power adaptor and small multi socket power board.
Pack hiking pants and no jeans. Jeans are heavy and bulky and slow to dry
Always carry some alcohol. A great way to relax with new friends
Keep a journal. You will definitely want to record all your memories.
Always book one location ahead. This way you know you have a bed waiting for you. Though don’t book to far ahead as this will reduce your flexibility.
Pack a good guide book. Although you could get by with Wikitravel (online) for travel info and the internet in general.
Always try to book accommodation near your arrival train/bus station (country dependent) Easy in, easy out. Train stations are usually near town centres.
Use automated ticket machines to buy bus and train tickets when ever possible. No language barrier here
Avoid arriving after dark in your new destination. So much easier and less stressful finding your way around in daylight.
Always have some snack food with you. Some days finding cheap food can be an issue.
Carry hand sanitizer.
Be confident at all times. You will be less likely to be singled out by scammers and the like.
Politely turn down strangers who approach you. Particularly at train stations. Often these people will have some sort of scam.
Spend no more than four weeks in any one country at a time (except perhaps the larger ones) Otherwise you will get itchy feet.
Take a couple of books to read.
Travel in the shoulder periods i.e. Spring/Autumn, even winter in some countries like Greece and Italy. Prices are lower and crowds are down. Weather is still OK.
Photograph everything. I mean everything. All memories, and helps to fill in the blanks between the touristy sites.
Video as much as possible. If this is your thing. Great way to capture memories.
Take a small day pack. Used for day outings and will be your carry on luggage.
Allow your trip to evolve as you go. You don’t want to trap yourself to a fixed itinerary unless it is a short term trip.
From my travelling experience the above mentioned tips without doubt are my top tips. I am sure when you get out there and begin to explore the world you will come up with a few yourself.