People have traveled as backpackers for a few centuries. The low-cost method of travel was the perfect option for adventurers living in a time when airlines did not exist and accommodations were not readily available. Backpackers have always been people that wanted to see what life was really like in the countries they visited. Modern backpacking began in the 1960s as people wanted to return to nature and simplicity. No matter why people choose this style of travel there are some things that everyone should know before they set out on their adventure.
Have a Plan
It is not safe to randomly choose a location and then flip a coin for the duration of the trip. Unsafe places abound, cultural restrictions and the lack of safe accommodations all require travelers to at least plan the route they want to take. Planning helps to save money because it is easier to use something like the ChilloutHC Travel Blog for Backpack Travelers to find the best deals.
Technology is Key
Remember that backpack traveling and wilderness hiking are not the same thing. Yes, the traditional backpackers that hiked across Europe in the 1960s were naturalists that took as little as possible with them. The desire to mimic their journeys and stick with paper maps and a journal may seem quaint, but a laptop and a cellphone offer more accurate GPS information, continuous connection to the outside world and the ability to access bank accounts or family members in the event of a cash emergency.
Have Money Saved
It is possible to save money by backpacking, but it is not free and comfort and safety rely on preparation. Passports, plane tickets and gear have to be purchased before leaving home and those items alone total about $1,000. Factor in accommodations, food and additional transportation expenses and it is easy to see that this is still a serious investment. People typically want to sightsee and take part in events as well and travel insurance is another expense that is a necessity in case any property is lost or a medical crisis arises outside of the United States.
Yes, backpacking still offers frugal travelers and adventure seekers what they desire. However, the world is different today and meeting the backpack challenge takes some effort before the journey begins. Plan first for a safer and more enjoyable experience.