The adventurous allure of backpacking more often than not excites greenhorn travelers to just hitch up their gear and go. Tempting as it is to throw caution to the wind, it has been proven that many backpackers who do not plan their adventure will encounter more difficulties than those who have a good itinerary on hand. Here are some things to consider in choosing an itinerary:
How long will you be travelling?
Less your arrival and departure days, the length of time you give yourself to be away will be the primary basis of your itinerary. Though your trip may be as short as two weeks or as long as two years, this would determine how many places you would be visiting, and how long you will be staying in each place. Three to four weeks is recommended for first-time backpackers to see a good number of places but not be away from home for too long.
Will you be traveling alone?
Whether you will be traveling alone or not is essential in choosing an itinerary. Though traveling alone would definitely grant you more flexibility and mobility, having a companion would add an element of safety and practicality, specially when factoring in costs. Furthermore, traveling with someone or with a small group would enable you to plot out activities and places of common interest to enjoy together.
What destinations do you want to visit?
The meat of the itinerary are the places you will be going to. Jot down the key cities and countries you want to visit then plot them out on a map to see what would be a more convenient route to take. Also consider the travel means and time from one point to another, and what accommodations you could get. Though usual backpacking destinations include Asia, South Africa and Australia, Europe is most frequented by backpackers worldwide because of many amazing cities, transport and hostel accessibility.
When do you plan to travel?
Deciding on your travel dates is very important in choosing your itinerary. Plenty of backpackers travel during the summer, when the weather is usually friendly and attractions are open. Traveling during the off-peak season would ensure that most of the popular attractions would be less crowded, and accommodations for travel and lodging would be easier to book, and cheaper. Also consult your guides for festivals, shows, and other events you would not want to miss to make the most of your trip.
How much is your budget?
There is no exact amount to give off at this point, but it would be prudent to compute for all your travel and lodging costs in advance, then give yourself an allowance of at least $100.00 a day. This should cover sightseeing, food, and incidentals. If necessary, you can trim down your itinerary to match your budget so you can enjoy your trip without worrying about running out of money by the time you get home.