The planning stage
If you think you are up to the challenge of backpacking, then some serious thought is in order in to successfully plan a backpacking trip. Like any other serious endeavor, a planning backpacking trip should start by equipping oneself with the correct information. This can be done by researching on the fundamentals and requirements of the activity, essential information regarding the country or area you wish to visit, available options for accommodation and transportation as well as the budgetary considerations.
Basic research is done before going and not during the trip. To plunge blindly without having at least confirmed the important details of your trip is asking for trouble. Books need not be included on your backpack as they are quite heavy. A wise option would be to photocopy the pages containing the information you think you really need. From here, you can now form your own itinerary.
You would need to include your finances in the planning aspect as funds or the lack of it determines whether you can make all your plans a reality. You can start on a simple savings program to come up with your targeted amount on a pre-determined time. Taking on an extra job might provide some help if you believe that savings from your present salary would not suffice. Some sacrifices may have to be made but your backpacking experience will be worth it in the long run.
The pre-trip essentials
Once you have collected information as to the documentary requirements of the place you are visiting, if any, it is time to prepare your personal documentation. This is needed to be done in advance to ensure that all documents are in order. Some of the usual requirements are the passport, visa, picture and identification cards. It is best to have several photocopies of important documents to be placed on different parts of your luggage so that loss of any would not spell complete disaster.
Money may come in the form of a combination of traveler’s checks, at least one internationally accepted credit card, ATM cards, currency which is widely accepted like the US dollar and the currency of the place you are visiting. Your travel insurance should be in place as this might turn out to be a big cost saver in case anything should go wrong while traveling. A Trip Protection Assurance Plan reimburses travel expenses that are non-refundable at times of unexpected crises like death, sickness, strike and others. An International Travel Medical Insurance Plan reimburses emergency medical expenses incurred while traveling or living in a foreign country. Check out your individual plans for details.
Health matters should be settled before embarking on a trip. Confirm required inoculations and get yours before leaving. Read up for any special health precautions you have to take. All things having said, ensure the fitness of your body as there could be nothing worse than being sick in a foreign land. In addition, being mindful of how you can keep yourself safe when traveling is highly recommended.
The traveling cost is an all important issue that has to be at least estimated before leaving. Since no one can really know how much the total cost would be at the end of the trip, you have to design a working budget and stick with it and only deviate from it in case of an emergency. Your budget would determine where you will go, where you will stay and what you will spend on. If you are still happy despite the limitations, then you have probably psyched up yourself for the trip.
Remember that a higher cost is not always equivalent to a better experience. We could still derive enjoyment and fulfillment without going too far. The beauty of nature abounds everywhere. It is quite impractical to spend much more on something than we can afford.