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14 Backpacking
Tricks You
Need To Know

We’ve all made mistakes while backpacking – overspending, getting ripped off, and just plain learning things the hard way.

Well, here’s 14 backpacking tricks to help you along the way…

Go off season

Try to avoid the peak seasons when traveling.  By coming in the off season, often referred to as the “shoulder” season, you’ll avoid long lineups and overcrowded attractions.

An extra bonus to coming in the off season is that sometimes hostel rates are cheaper and you may be able to get a bargain on different adventures as it’s their slow season.

Don’t overplan

One thing almost all new travelers do is overplan.  They do all their research and write down in depth what they’re going to do every day of their trip.

Our advice is to definitely do some planning like research what to do in each city you plan to visit but leave your days open so you’re not dead set on a schedule.

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Go with the flow

The main reason you don’t want to overplan is so you can change plans if you need to.  A big part of going on a backpacking adventure is being free to go wherever you like whenever you like.

Maybe you meet someone awesome and you want to go traveling with them or maybe you have an opportunity to go on a new adventure you hadn’t thought of before.

There are any number of reasons to change your plans so leave your plans open, relax and just go with the flow.

Euro Trip Kit

The best trick of all?  Getting a Euro Trip Kit, obviously!  It’s a fantastic way to begin planning and dreaming about your euro trip.

Inside you’ll find travel tips, a trip journal, adventure passport, language flashcards, inspiration and a whole lot more.

It’s perfect for everyone from first time travelers to those who are already out there living the backpack dream.

Be organized

Being organized will save you both time and money.  For instance, if your backpack is a mish-mash of everything everywhere it’s going to take you forever to find what you need.  You’re going to run late, miss buses or, worse yet, miss a flight.

Even though we recommend keeping your plans open, you should also be organized in a way where you at least know what attractions and adventures await you when you arrive in a new city.

Pack smart

If you ask any backpacker what they would change after their first trip, the universal reply would be “I wish I had packed alot less stuff”.

Indeed, most first time backpackers tend to overbuy every little bit of travel gear out there and quickly realize a week into their trip that they didn’t need most of that crap.

Overpacking clothes is also a big mistake.  You’re not going to need those fancy shoes or dress pants.  You’re backpacking, after all.  Pack clothes that you can mix and match and wear for a few days in a row.

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Do it yourself

Part of the backpacking experience is doing things yourself.  Avoid the tour groups and figure out how to do it on your own.  You’ll save a ton of money and you’ll be free to travel at your own pace.

By doing your own trip planning you’ll be able to go where you want when you want.  It’s a great freedom especially if you’re just winging it and allowing yourself to change your plans on a dime.

Be safe

While backpacking is almost as safe as going about your daily life back home, there are things you can do to avoid having bad things happen to you.

The biggest advice we can give you is don’t stand out, don’t flash your valuables, and don’t be a jackass.

If you’re dressed like a tourist with an expensive camera around your neck you’re going to make yourself a target.  Also, if you’re stumbling down the street drunk acting like an ass, you’re also easy pickings.

Just be smart about what you do and we aware of your surroundings at all times.

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Take it easy

It’s easy to fall into the trap of getting into a city and wanting to do everything on a list and then zooming to the next city only to do it all over again.

Don’t pack your days so full of activities that you don’t have time to breathe.  This is a vacation after all and you don’t want to feel like you need a vacation from your vacation after it’s all done.

Take it easy and leave time for yourself to literally do nothing.  Spend some time getting to know the people you meet or just to walk around the city aimlessly.  The point is – don’t burn yourself out because your adventure will soon feel like a chore.

Try new things

You didn’t travel halfway across the world just to go out clubbing and eat McDonalds.  You’re on an adventure and it’s time to be adventurous.

Learn the culture, eat some local cuisine, and try doing things you never would have considered back home.

Start answering questions with “Yes, I’m totally up for that” instead of worrying about all the nagging things in your head.  Just do it!

Don’t be a tourist

Yes, there’s going to be a handful of things you do that are touristy like going to the Eiffel Tower or seeing the Colosseum in Rome but that doesn’t mean you have to be a tourist all the time.

Take a step out of the touristy area of town and explore the real parts of the city.  Talk to locals and ask them where you should go and what you should try.  You’ll be amazed at what your learn and experience by just getting out of tourist mode.

Stay in hostels

One of the things that makes backpacking so great is staying in hostels.  They are a great place to meet likewise young travelers who are looking for adventure.

Many hostels offer activities like game nights, communal dinners, or pub crawls.  Hostels are the perfect place for solo travelers what with the friendly vibe, you’re sure to connect with other people and share adventures together.

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Go on free walking tours

Almost every major city has companies that offer free walking tours.  These tours are usually run by young students who are passionate about telling the story of their city and country.

The tours are probably the best way to explore and learn about the city as the guides will take you to unique places in the city while telling you all sorts of interesting stories.

As a note, while these are “free” walking tours, tips are encouraged at the end of the tour and a €5 tip is the standard.

Be respectful

It’s important to respect the local culture, their customs, and the way the go about their day to day life.  You are a guest in their country and there’s a good chance they do things differently from what you’re used to back home.

Don’t be an ugly entitled tourist who thinks the world revolves around them.  Besides, you’re on vacation so take it easy and don’t sweat the small things.

Keep a journal

By keeping a journal of your trip, you’ll be able to relive it anytime you wish.  You’ll be able to remember the intricate details of your adventures and all the people you met along the way.

If you want to take it a step further, set up a blog.  There are many blogging sites out there like Blogger and WordPress that will let you write about your adventures and upload your photos online.

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What's Next?

If you've been hanging out on this website, then you've probably got that itch to travel.  Well, if Europe is calling you, check out the Euro Trip Kit.
Part inspiration, part information, and part fun - the Euro Trip Kit is the perfect tool for planning your next euro trip.
Whether you want to learn common travel phrases, play some backpack bingo, or get inspired through the adventure passport - the Euro Trip Kit has what you need!