Summer is the time for backpacking adventures. The weather is nice, school and work are more easily set aside, and people are more easy-going with the warmer temperatures and increased sunshine. If you are hoping to take a summer backpacking trip in 2016, now is the time to begin planning. Early planners wind up enjoying their adventures with fewer hassles.
The first part of the planning process is deciding where you want to go. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many backpackers take spontaneity to an extreme by not deciding on a destination until the day of departure. Deciding where you want to go is the first step because it determines everything you do after that. You may choose to backpack in Europe, or you might decide Asia is more your cup of tea. You will have to do things differently in either case.
Passports and Visas
Passports and visas should be a high priority for one very simple reason: they take time to secure. Under the best conditions, it can take 8 to 10 weeks for you to obtain your passport; visas are anyone's guess depending on where you want to travel. The more time you have to secure travel documents the better off you will be. Three to four months should give you plenty of time if you run into trouble.
One last tip: make some copies of appropriate identification documents you can take with you when you depart. You will need these documents if you lose your passport while travelling.
Financing Your Travels
You can certainly finance your travels with cash, but doing so is neither secure nor convenient. You are better off with a major card such as Visa or MasterCard. Here's why you need to start thinking about it well in advance: you need enough time to shop around. Keep in mind that your bank may not be your best bet. Banks tend to charge pretty stiff foreign transaction fees. Look around for as many additional options as you can find.
Check out the Accommodations
Your accommodations along the way will eat up a considerable portion of your budget as you travel. Backpackers typically prefer paying as little as possible for accommodation, which is why hostels are so popular. Therefore, it pays to know what sort of accommodations are available in the countries you plan to visit. This will give you a better handle on the routes you take and the places you see.
Research Travel Insurance
It is never a good idea to go on a backpacking adventure without taking travel insurance. Backpacking is such that far too many things can go wrong while you are out and about. Travel insurance can protect you from financial loss in the event of an accident or illness, lost or stolen luggage, missed flights, etc. Take a look at some of our DUInsure backpacking policies today.
If you are hoping to take a backpacking trip for next year, start planning now. The traveller who plans early is the traveller whose expectations are met.