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5 Golden Rules for Backpackers

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Embarking on a backpacking journey is always a legendary adventure! Your backpack becomes your home, hostels become your base camps, and you find yourself venturing into the jungle with a German backpacker you met just a few hours ago.

You create connections with fellow travellers from around the world, all sharing the same desire: to explore the world and step out of their comfort zones.

As a backpacker, it’s essential to master the art of minimalism. The fundamental principle of “Less is more” should guide your choices. The more you opt for a bulky backpack, the more likely you are to fill it with unnecessary things.

If your backpack weighs more than you do, you’ve got a problem!

To optimize your adventures, make sure you have a reasonably sized backpack and follow these 5 golden rules for backpackers:

1. Plan, but not everything!

Comment choisir un sac à dos de voyage
© Nomad Junkies

While planning is undoubtedly useful for saving money and ensuring safety during backpacking trips, avoid falling into the trap of excessively planning every minute.

Stay flexible and be prepared to change your plans frequently. Don’t be obsessed with a precise itinerary; be ready to adapt! Keep your itinerary open so it can evolve based on the opportunities that arise.

There are informal “Backpacker Trails” all over the world, whether in Latin America or Southeast Asia. Travellers often follow similar routes. So, don’t worry; you’ll quickly learn what there is to do and see at your destination.

Do more research if you plan to go off the beaten path, but otherwise, leave room for the unexpected. Seriously, the best stories often begin where Google Maps can’t help you.

If your budget is tight, travel during the low season. This ensures availability in accommodations and saves you at least 60% on everything.

2. Book your first two or three nights at your destination

© Nomad Junkies

After a long flight that leaves your legs feeling like jelly, the last thing you want is to struggle at the airport to find a place to sleep. Book the first two or three nights in a place rated at least 8 out of 10 on Booking.com or HostelWorld.

This gives you time to recover from jet lag without stress and acclimate to your new environment.

Don’t make the mistake of booking 30 consecutive nights; leave room for encounters, spontaneous desires, and information you’ll gather on-site.

3. Immerse yourself in local culture

© Safia Dodard / Nomad Junkies

It’s tempting and easy to stay in the backpacker bubble all the time. But one of the most enriching aspects of backpacking is the opportunity to meet locals. Take the time to talk to locals, taste local cuisine, and explore less touristy neighbourhoods.

Your interactions with the local population can transform your journey into an authentic and unforgettable experience. Make an effort to explore less touristy places.

4. Use the 80/20 rule

© Free Spirit Hostel / Nomad Junkies

Backpacking can become exhausting if you always choose the cheapest options. Backpacker burnout is real! To keep it fun and continue travelling long-term, apply the 80/20 rule.

So, 80% of the time, choose local buses and stay in hostels, but 20% of the time, treat yourself, get a private room in a 4-star hotel, and eat like a king.

Recharge your batteries; it’s essential to appreciate the journey.

The rule also applies to souvenirs and items sold in a Gift Shop. 80% of the time, avoid buying consumer goods, souvenirs, and clothes. It’s heavy and cumbersome.

When you carry everything you own on your shoulders, it should curb the desire to buy tons of tourist items in each country. It forces you to ask yourself if you really need them.

5. Always travel with travel insurance

Imagine breaking a leg in the States. It can cost as much as a suburban house. So, don’t be stingy by cutting corners on your travel insurance. Travel insurance provides crucial financial protection in case of mishaps; it will cover your medical expenses.

With soNomad, it costs less than a coffee per day; you really have no reason to go without it.

Check out soNomad for your travel insurance!

Grab your passport, dust off your backpack, and get ready for your next adventure!

© Nomad Junkies

The truth is, rules are meant to be broken, so do what you want. Just make sure to have your passport with you (check the expiration date), bring a credit card and a debit card, check if you need a visa for your destination, and the rest, you’ll figure it out!

Dare, improvise, have a good laugh, and above all, enjoy every moment!

Get your travel insurance now with soNomad

Nomad Junkies’ founders are proud to be ambassadors for soNomad and on a mission to reduce travel insurance costs for all!

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Emilie Robichaud
Emilie Robichaud
Je suis accro au mode de vie nomade! J’ai quitté ma zone de confort pour voyager à temps plein. Mon tour du monde sans fin compte plus de 71 pays et ça continue! Le voyage, c'est un style de vie et un état d'esprit!
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