It is important to pack only what is needed when backpacking. Whether you are backpacking in the wild or across countries, it is the same ideas to packing. Everything you pack will have to be carried on your back and every dollar you spend will quickly add up. We want to share our top 10 favorite tips on packing for our backpacking trips.
1. Pack light
Packing light sounds almost impossible when we think of all the things we need. All the photo equipment, shoes, the clothing, its matching accessories and sleeping supplies. Well, let me tell you something you only need two pairs of shoes at most, one for walking and one comfy pair for showers and rest time. Pack easy matchable shirts and a two pairs of jeans, you can wear one while the other one is drying up. Pack a lot of underwear and socks, the rest is not needed.
2. Recheck your bag after you finish packing
Once you finished packing, go back again and stop and think what you actually need. If you are traveling for 10 days, pack for 5 and wash your clothes overnight. You will see how much space and weight you just saved in seconds.
3. Check out places you will like to visit
You might already have the cities you want to visit but maybe you have not check where in the city you want to visit. I recommend to visit all the attractions websites you are interested to visit, so you can have a good idea of the amount of money you will spend and even check if the the place is worth its price. Many places also allow you to get tickets online, saving plenty of time from waiting in lines.
4. Find the best way to move around
Always find the best and most cost effective way to move around. Sometimes it is cheaper to go by bus rather than an airplane, or even cheaper to share a ride (BlaBlaCar). If you are in a city for several days, a metro pass can be better than one or two taxi rides. You need to think and research before you buy any tickets in order to save money.
5. Get a room with a kitchen
Sometimes finding a hotel or a hostel with a kitchen can cost a little bit more, but it can save you even more money on food. You do not need to have every breakfast, lunch and dinner out, it adds up quickly.
6. Buy your own snacks and drinks
Going to the supermarket is the best way to save money. It is the cheapest place where you can find snack food or drinks. In a tourist area, a water can easily cost 10X more than at a store. Also do not buy everything at the first supermarket, there will be others and you will not have to be caring everything while you travel.
7. Share your expenses
Traveling with friends or with your significant other can help you save a lot of money. You could share a meal, a room, negotiating prices and many other expenses. It can cut your budget almost 30% if you do it correctly.
8. Go local
Try to avoid eating in tourists attractions areas. The food is rarely be as good and will definitely cost you more. Ask locals where do they recommend eating and even visiting. Sometimes the best part of the cities are not the most internationally known spots.
9. Walk and keep walking
Do not get an expensive tour, walk instead. The best way to get to know a city is by walking and asking around for new places to discover. Even if you want a tour, many cities now have free walking tours. You will save a lot of money and get in shape.
10. Get a free map and do not be shy
Getting a free map will help, if you did not print out our walking guides, ask for one in your hotel/hostel. You can mark important stops or where you are sleeping, and the map never runs out of battery. You can discover new places if you ask people around for their favorite places on the map, from the doorman to people in the store. Ask do not be shy!