Backpacking in a New Country? 8 Tips for Backpacking Abroad

October 18, 2019

It is far too easy to get stuck in the same boring routine every day. The only way to truly get the most out of life is by seeing and experiencing various cultures around the world. The cheapest and most exciting way to do this is by backpacking around a new country. Backpacking gives you an authentic experience that makes you actually feel like one of the locals instead of a tourist. These are the eight tips you must follow to ensure everything goes smoothly when backing abroad for the first time. This list of tips was curated by the experts at

Keep it Light

You will spend most of your backpacking trip walking around sightseeing and exploring. The biggest mistake you can make is making the backpack too heavy. The goal is to only pack things that you absolutely need, which is often far less than you realize. There is absolutely no reason to bring a big pile of clothes. You can always find a place to do laundry every few days. It is also a good idea to limit the amount of gear in the bag. If you can’t comfortable carry the backpack for several hours, then you have packed too much stuff.

Stay in a Hostel

Traveling abroad can be very cost prohibitive for a lot of people. A great way to reduce your expenses is by avoiding costly hotels. You can stay in a hostel for a fraction of the cost. Most of your time will be spent exploring the new country, so it does not make any sense to spend a lot of money on a room you will barely use. The great thing about hostels is that they are filled with other travelers, which makes it very easy to find new friends. They also provide free breakfast, unlimited use of the kitchen and other much-needed amenities.

Always Carry Water

Running out of water in the middle of nowhere is the last thing you want to happen when backpacking abroad. You can prevent this from happening by always carrying a large refillable water bottle. Simply refill the water bottle every time you take a break in town. It is a good idea to invest in a high-quality water bottle that can keep your liquids cold for the entire day in hot weather conditions. The added bonus of a reusable water bottle is that you will help protect the environment by reducing your plastic usage.

Never Let Go of Your Belongings

The vast majority of your important personal belongings will located inside your backpack during the trip. The adventure can be completely ruined if something happens to the bag, so you must not take your eyes off of it for one second. Unfortunately, there are criminals that like to prey on unsuspecting tourists in nearly every country. If you leave your bag unattended for a few seconds in the wrong place, then you will likely never see it again. Wrap the bag around your leg when you need to sit down for a break to provide extra protection from theft.

Keep Wallet and Passport Safe

Just like your backpack, you need to keep your wallet and passport protected at all times. You may be tempted to leave these items in your bag, but they are actually much safer in the front pocket of your pants. It is virtually impossible for a thief to steal something out of your front pockets. It is also a good idea to keep a digital copy of your passport information on your phone.

Get to Know the Locals

One of the best aspects of backpacking abroad is that it allows you to experience life like the locals. Take advantage of this unique opportunity by taking some time out of your day to talk to the local residents of the area. You will likely never get this opportunity again, so make sure to take advantage of it while you can. There will be a slight language barrier in the conversation, but it should not be too hard to get around this issue if you try hard enough.

Avoid Making Rigid Plans

If you want to get the most out of your trip, then you need to avoid making rigid plans every day. A general plan is alright, but do not be afraid to break away from the plan when necessary. The lack of a schedule will allow you to take advantage of unique opportunities that you never expected. These spontaneous moments will end up being far more memorable than most of the popular tourist attractions you visit.

Prepare for Every Weather Condition

It is impossible to predict the weather conditions you will experience on a long backpacking trip abroad. It is obviously not going to snow in the middle of summer, but it could rain or get chilly at just about any time. Always make sure to have a jacket and rain cover with you at all times. You do not want your belongings getting destroyed just because you did not have any way to protect against the rain.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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