This section is designed primarily for first time backpackers although others may find some of the info useful. The first part covers stuff you need to consider before travelling and the second offers advice on getting by on a budget once on your backpacking adventures.
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
What vaccinations do I need? This is a common question for anyone travelling abroad. If you're visiting developing countries and tropical regions you will almost certainly need some as there a lot of rather unpleasant diseases out there you don't want to end up with. Check out our advice which admittedly is based on no medical qualifications whatsoever. It should give you an idea of what other travellers tend to opt for as most vaccinations fall into the optional rather than essential category.
Visas are a right pain and luckily most countries do not require them. It does depend on what country you're from but often you can turn up at borders unanounced and enter the country normally for free. Some countries such as Russia, China and Vietnam require you to apply for your visa in advance and therefore it is always important to check before travelling to a new country what the visa situation is. This section should help you!
Read our intro to visas or skip to the Visa Requirements for UK citizens in:
This section will be of most use to first time backpackers as it is very hard to know what you should or shouldn't pack ahead of your first trip. The cardinal sin is normally to pack everything you think you might need during your travels, a decision which will quickly come back to haunt you when you realise that hauling a heavy backpack around for months on end isn't much fun.
TRAVELLING ON A BUDGET
This guide offers a bunch of valuable for tips to help you see lots but spend little. It is possible to get by on a surprisingly small budget in lots of countries but the cost of a backpacking trip can spiral out of control if you're not careful. The section covers everything from finding cheap fights, trains, bars and meals to finding somewhere to get a nights sleep for free on the road.
Intro | Sleep for Cheap | Cheap Transport | Eating/Drinking on a Budget
When budgeting for your trip it's always a good idea to have an idea of what typical backpacker expenses are within the countries you are visiting. This table is based on recent experiences of backpackers and if you're budget is say US$5000 you will notice that this could keep you going for a year in South East Asia but only 3 months in regions such as Western Europe or Oceania.
If you’re going travelling for a decent length of time and you don’t happen to be obscenely rich then chances are you’re basically going to be living in hostels for a while. You’ll get to know these places pretty well on your travels and chances are any preconceptions about youth hostels will be smashed fairly quickly. Here are some basics to help you on your way.