Do you have advice for beginning backpackers?

I want to begin backpacking to stay more active and to be able to travel more. I have never done this before though. Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?

  • Enjoy it
    • The world is not out to get you
  • You will care LESS about cleanliness as you do at 'your mum’s place’
    • Pack less than you think you’ll need. You’ll wear t-shirts, pick up clothes along the way
  • Get comfortable taking selfies
    • Or you’ll regret all the photos you DIDN’T take in the years to come
  • Get a smartphone with a GOOD front facing camera
    • For said selfies
  • Have EVERYTHING sync to the cloud
    • So you never really ‘LOSE’ anything
  • In a country for more than 3 days?
    • Get a local sim . Data on the move is EVERYTHING
  • Get used to taking photos of important documents
    • You never know when you might need it
  • Keep imp. documents @home and head out with photocopies
    • This way no coppers/otherwise can extort you
  • Man?
    • Grow a beard. Look confident. Puff your chest out a little. It may well save your life. Perception is everything
  • Woman?
    • In a dodgy neighbourhood? Tie your hair up. Don’t show your body off if you can help it. Look confident. Puff your chest out a little. It may well save your life. Perception is everything
  • Generally?
    • Try and blend in
  • Take a chromebook
    • They’re dirt cheap. Save EVERYTHING to the cloud and teeny. I’m writing this answer using it now
  • Pick a medium and make it a habit
    • Audio, Video, Blogging and/or Photos. Leave voicenotes/write daily/photos daily. Make this a HABIT. Then you come out with thiskind of stuff
  • Do a dry run
    • Go away alone for a weekend/week in a hostel/airbnb/couchsurf in a different city in your homecountry. Make mistakes in a safe place :slight_smile:
  • At an airport ask someone when going through customs for advice on ‘the cheapest/safest way to get to X’
  • Don’t take a Rolex . Take a cheap casio. Plastic strap style
  • Hide valuables
  • 3 credit cards in 3 different places in your pack
    • Look at cards with % free withdrawals/transactions abroad
  • $300 USD as an emergency stash
  • Take your vaccination slip in case you need it
  • Take a poncho
    • It can act like a sleeping cover. Waterproof. Backpack cover and so on
  • Local greetings
    • Speaking another language of course helps but honestly? Thank you/Hi/Bye are the essentials. The rest you don’t really need
  • The internet has changed everything
    • Travelling is easier than it ever was. So ENJOY!


  • Flashlight (are you going camping/trekking alone?!)
  • Swiss army knife (same as above)
  • Camping gear (same as above)

I never did any of the above ALONE. Always with friends/guided tours. We bought before we headed out from a local place. Always better rates than in London.

Do that.

Transcribed from tips for first time backpackers