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How to Plan a Backpacking Trip

If you want to travel with only what you can carry on your back, consider a few things as you plan.


  • Step 1: Calculate how much time you have Decide the amount of time you will have for traveling, including the time it will take to get to and from your destination. Then plan an itinerary.
  • Step 2: Decide who to travel with Decide whether you want to travel alone, with a friend, or with a group. If you will be traveling with others, make sure everyone's expectations are aligned.
  • Step 3: Decide when to travel Pick when you want to travel. Prices will be high in peak season, but some hostels may be closed and many attractions have shortened hours in the off season.
  • TIP: An advantage of traveling in the warmer months is that your backpack will be lighter.
  • Step 4: Make a cost assessment Make a realistic assessment of the cost of the trip. Pad your budget so you will not have to forgo something you want to do but didn't plan on.
  • Step 5: Consider accommodations Decide whether you will be most comfortable making reservations for your accommodations in advance, or if you would rather take your chances on finding something when you arrive.
  • TIP: Searching for a room in a strange city while carrying a heavy backpack is not everybody's cup of tea.
  • Step 6: Purchase a guidebook Purchase several guidebooks and bone up on your destinations ahead of time. Vacation time will be here before you know it.
  • FACT: The art of backpacking was first acknowledged in 1973 by sociologist and anthropologist Eric Cohen in his article, "Nomads from Affluence: Notes on the Phenomenon of Drifter Tourism".

You Will Need

  • Itinerary
  • Travelling companions
  • Cost assessment
  • Guidebooks

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