One of the great rights of passage for young people is the classic pre-Uni or post-Uni backpacking around the world trip. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in different cultures, see parts of the world you might never get to see again and truly discover yourself and who you are when cast adrift from the life you know. It’s also something that’s so much more enjoyable and less frightening if you do it with some good friends.
But before you set out on your once-in-a-lifetime adventure, here are a few of thing steps you should be taking to ensure the experience is as painless as possible.
First and foremost, budgeting is key! You’re all going to want to budget and try to save up as much as possible. Make a plan as many months in advance as possible with the minimum you want to save and figure out exactly how you’re going to reach that golden target. It could mean working a few extra odd jobs or selling a few of your more expensive items.
Don’t stop when you’ve reached your target either as the more money you have to work with, the bigger and better your trip will be. Keep budgeting right up to the last minute too. Even when you’re travelling to the airport, think about ways to save money, whether it’s grabbing a group saver ticket or hopping on a bus to the airport rather than taking a taxi.
Planning will make life much easier! Plan a route so you know exactly how you’re going to get from A to B in the easiest and least amount of time and make a note of desirable stop offs along the way. Depending on where you’re travelling, you should also figure out what kind of transport you’re going to be taking, how long you’re going to be staying in each location and whether you’ll need to sort short-term employment in certain areas.
Backpacking is all about planning ahead as once you’re out in the wild with spotty Wi-Fi, it can be all too easy to fall into bad habits if you don’t have a plan. Think about what you all want to gain out of this adventure and what pace you want to travel at and make your plans around that.
Figure out how long you want to go for
This is a key one because you may only have a certain amount of money available, and you want to make that last as long as possible. Not only that, but if you have commitments at home to consider, you might only have a few months to spare. Figure out how long you want to be away for, how long you can be away for and how much money you have available. Finding that sweet spot is the key to ensuring you have an adventure you’ll be telling your grandkids about decades from now.
Oh. And make sure you actually get on with the friends you’re planning on travelling with!