Food, Fuel & Freedom: Top Five Backpacking Essentials
For many people the idea of going backpacking is all about the freedom that it brings. The ability to just get up and go wherever you like, staying in different places for as long as you wish and having as much variety as you can handle is at the very heart of the appeal.
Even so, there are some basic things that are needed for even the lightest of travellers – and here are the top five essentials.
Wherever you are going in the world, and even just to leave your own country, you will need a current valid passport. Although travelling around Europe is quite straightforward you still need a passport to go through airports and border crossings in countries outside the Schengen Agreement area.
Depending on where you go, you might also need visas or permits of some kind. Make sure to do your homework and prepare well. Similarly, insurance is also vitally important. Allianz Global Assistance backpacker insurance is a specific policy designed for backpackers, perfect for those planning something a little different to the traditional annual holiday.
For any backpacker, the bag you use will be your closest friend. There are many great options on the market so choose well and make sure the size is right for you – too big or too small can both have their problems.
Although backpacking can be the most cost-effective way of getting to see the world, you still need money to smooth the wheels on your way. Having small amounts of cash in the local currencies of the countries you visit is essential as is the convenience and safety net of a credit card. Prepaid cards can be an extra safe way of keeping some emergency funds in reserve.
Keeping in touch while you are away is important and today it is easier than ever before. Taking a smartphone with you means you can take advantage of Wi-Fi access anywhere in the world to keep in touch with your nearest and dearest.
Choosing a tablet with a 5 or 7 inch screen can also be a great choice as they are small enough to carry without drawing too much attention whilst being big enough to act as your own mobile entertainment centre to help you through the hours spent travelling from place to place.
Although some hardcore backpackers might baulk at the very word, having a plan in place is the best idea for most. If you want to visit certain locations you need to know what to expect at what time of year, how to get there and how it all fits in with your overall trip timetable. A detailed plan or itinerary is therefore another essential.