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Are you planning your first backpacking travel adventure? This can be both exciting and stressful, especially if you’re not sure what you pack. Whether you’re backpacking Europe, exploring Southeast Asia, or travelling throughout South America, there are a few backpacking essentials you’ll want to take with you from home.

To help you get started, take a look at our ultimate backpacking packing list, which will ensure you have everything you need for your trip. 

1. Backpack

Choosing a backpack should be the first thing you consider, as the right bag can make or break your trip. If you choose one that’s too small, you won’t be able to fit all your belongings in it, while a backpack that’s too big can slow you down and make your journey unpleasant.

When deciding on a backpacking backpack, consider the type of trip you’re taking as well as the type of gear you need to bring. A 30-40 litre bag is carry-on size and will fit a few days of clothes. For a longer world backpacking trip, you should be looking at bags that are 50-65 litres.

There are plenty of backpack brands to choose from, so it’s important to take your time and shop around for your particular body size. You should try on plenty of bags in-store and ask for size guidance to make sure you purchase the right one. 

That being said, one of the most popular backpacks for world travelers is an Osprey 65L backpack. They are durable, easy to load, and most importantly, comfortable. Women’s and Men’s backpacks are shaped somewhat differently, so purchase accordingly:

2. Day bag

A small collapsible daypack is an essential item on your backpacking packing list

Bring a small collapsible pack for your day trip excursions

For certain trips, you may want to leave your bulky backpack at your accommodation and instead opt for a lightweight day bag. It would be best if you buy a foldable day bag to fit inside your larger backpack.

Again this shouldn’t be too small or too big, as you need to make sure it’ll fit essentials such as money, your passport or even your visa. Try to choose a day bag with various compartments, as this allows you to separate your lunch from your toiletries. 

3. Waist bag or money belt

When backpacking around the world, you need to be extra careful when carrying around money, as pickpockets tend to target tourists. So, the best way to keep your currency safe is by storing it in a waist bag to keep it close to your person.

You can wear it proudly in front of you, wear it concealed under your clothes, or wear it as a cross-body bag.

There are a wide range of waist bags to choose from in a wide range of colours, so you can select a design to suit your preferences. The majority of money belts and waist bags can also be adjusted, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping down while you’re walking. 

4. Padlocks

To keep your belongings safe, you should definitely invest in padlocks. This small item on your backpacking packing list can be a lifesaver during your travels! You can quickly and easily secure your bag or hostel locker with a padlock for just a small cost.

Your luggage lock will also work on your backpacks, which will ensure all the contents are safe, especially your passport, as losing this would be a nightmare.

5. Universal travel adapter


One thing you will need to have on your backpacking packing list is a universal travel adapter, which will work for your phone charger or any other electronic devices you bring along. 

A universal travel adapter will solve all your plug issues, especially considering there are fifteen different power plug shapes around the world! So, instead of lugging different types of plugs around, you will only need a multi-purpose adapter. Just make sure you don’t leave it in your hostel!

6. Laptop

If you’re travelling alone, you’ll want to keep in contact with your friends and family to keep them in the loop about where you are off to next. Or maybe you want to document your journey on a personal travel blog.

The best way to do this is by taking a travel-size laptop. A Macbook air is the most popular laptop for digital nomads because it’s durable, lightweight, and compact.

If you are a freelancer or can work on the road, you can also use your laptop to work as you travel. You could even start up a public blog to document your travels and share your experiences with a wider audience.

7. Camera

Don't forget to bring a camera to document your adventures

A camera will help document your once-in-a-lifetime backpacking adventures

Your phone camera is sufficient for everyday life, but backpacking around the world is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! You’ll want to document all the amazing things you encounter along the way because your travel photos will be invaluable once you return from your epic journey.

This is exactly why you need a good-quality camera, which not only takes great pictures but also fits perfectly and safely in your backpack.

Most cameras these days come equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, which means you can easily send them to your laptop or phone if you want to post them online along the way.

There are plenty of action cameras to choose from, so you do research and ask around to see if anyone can recommend a good camera that will capture all your memories and enhance your blog. 

A GoPro is the ultimate item for your backpacking packing list

A GoPro is the ultimate backpacker gadget for adventure-seekers

If you have the technical know-how, you may want to bring a high-tech DSLR camera that allows you to capture stunning photos. For some of us, a more compact point-and-shoot camera will do the trick and has the benefit of being small enough to fit in your day pack.

However, if you want the ultimate backpacker gadget, you should bring along a GoPro which can accompany you everywhere from underwater adventures, to skydiving during your world travels.

8. Travel towel

Another essential item for your backpacking packing list is a quick-drying travel towel, as you will be moving from different hostels as you backpack from city to city, where you will need a hygienic towel. A travel towel is compact and can fit easily inside your backpack. 

You may also need a quick-drying towel when you’re enjoying some water excursions during your world backpacking trip, such as exploring waterfalls or hidden natural pools. 


Now that you have an idea of what to pack for your next adventure, you can stop stressing and start researching and planning some activities for your first backpacking travel adventure. Have fun out there!

If pondering how to quit your job and travel the world, you may believe it’s just a dream seen in adventure movies or rom-coms. The truth is, it’s very much a realistic goal for most people. With the right planning and preparation, those with the desire to travel can say goodbye to your desk and hello to a new adventure.

Plan a rough outline

Passport and Visa Requirements for Backpackers

Some people may be content to drop everything at a moment’s notice, quit their job, and travel, but most of us need a little preparation. This process doesn’t have to take years, but allowing yourself time to create a rough plan can keep you better organized and more comfortable with your decisions.

Nobody will be able to tell you the perfect travel plan, as it’s different for everyone. Some people love jumping from city to city or country to country, while others enjoy spending more time immersing themselves in one culture.

When figuring out how to quit your job and travel, it’s best to have a general plan for what you want to get out of your time away. It’s completely fine if you make some adjustments later, but laying the groundwork can help you pivot during your travels.

Some people love word documents and travel spreadsheets, others are content with scribbling something on the back of a napkin. Whatever style works for you, do some research have a few big-ticket items and decisions planned out.

Manage your expectations

It’s important to come into this journey with realistic expectations of what it will be like to travel the world. Although you will experience some of the most amazing sites and scenes that the globe has to offer, not everything will be a walk in the park.

With long-term travel, it’s not likely that you’ll be staying in five-star hotels every night of the week, and often, traveling can involve a lot of “hurry up and wait.” If you’re traveling solo, it can get a little lonely, and occasionally it can get tiring to be constantly on the move. 

Be sure you understand that traveling does have its pros and cons. While it shouldn’t stop you from traveling, preparing for the challenges will help you when you encounter them down the road.

Prepare financially

Although it’s entirely possible to travel on a budget, it does come with its fair share of expenses. You don’t have to be a millionaire to travel the world, but it’s crucial to have some cash to jumpstart your trip and to fall back on later.

If you know that it’s your dream to quit your job and travel, you can start saving money early on. The more you can save, the better, whether you utilize a no-closing-cost refinance on your mortgage to save on payments, or simply dedicate a percentage of your income to your travel budget. A strong financial safety net can help you take more risks and help you be prepared for unforeseen issues.

If you need to support yourself while on your trip, you may have to look for a job on the road, or at least some part-time work. Luckily, there are plenty of jobs available for travelers, like working in tourism or teaching English abroad. You might also be able to find jobs in exchange for free accommodation, such as farm work or childcare.

Clean out your house

Leaving your home for an extended period of time can motivate you to declutter items that you’ve been meaning to clear out. Take the time to organize your life by recycling, giving away, or selling things you no longer use.

Not only will this help you finance your trip, but your place will be much more organized when you return. Plus, you’ll have space to decorate with anything you’ve brought back from abroad.

While you can start by giving things away to friends and family, you can also try Craigslist or Ebay to sell some items. If you use a marketplace site, do your research to find out how to maximize the value of your money while staying safe.

Pick a starting destination

Backpacking Gifts for every budget

Your starting point will influence where the rest of your travels will take you. Are you yearning to go somewhere in South America? Or maybe somewhere in Europe? Want to hang with some kangaroos in Australia? Wherever you’re looking to go, find a good starting location, then figure out how to travel the world from there. If you pick a starting place that is central to other places you’d love to visit, it can act as a central hub for your travels.

Don’t let money overrule this decision, as there’s always a way to make it work. For instance, you can find free accommodation by signing up for a house sitting service. Oftentimes, the initial flight is the most expensive part of your trip, but once you arrive, you can find ways to travel without breaking the bank.

Figure out how to pack

Don’t underestimate the art of packing for a trip around the world. You’ll want to make sure you have all the necessities, but the less you bring, the less stress you’ll have on the road. If you can keep your luggage to a carry-on backpack or suitcase, you will be more flexible.

As for what you pack, it depends entirely on your destination. If you’re going to a warm climate, you can bring lightweight, compact clothing. But if you’re going someplace colder or plan to do lots of hiking, you will need to bring more specialized gear.

Keep in mind any additional stops you might be making on your trip. If you plan to travel to locations with vastly different weather, it will affect your packing list.

This being said, there are some go-to packing “must-haves” for a trip around the world. Here are a few of the basic yet often forgotten items:

You can also rely on the advice of others who have packed for a round-the-world trip. 

Decide if you’re going one way or round-trip

Quit Your Job and Travel the World - The Backpacking Site

Before embarking on this big journey, many travelers ask themselves: Do I want a one-way ticket or roundtrip? After making the big decision to quit a job and travel the world, you might be excited to leave structure behind. Then again, having a planned itinerary can help you take full advantage of this unique time in your life.

For many people, having a roundtrip ticket gives you more structure to cover everything you want to see. For others, that might seem too limiting.

Quitting your job and traveling the world might be the perfect time to take a journey with more ambiguity. It’s your chance to be completely spontaneous and enjoy not knowing what will happen next.

Depending on your time frame or responsibilities, either one could work. Every traveler has a different preference once they decide to quit their job and travel the world. When you are ready to buy your tickets, use a flexible flight search website to find the lowest prices.

Find a way to keep in touch

While friends, family, and everyday life stress may have had an influence on your decision to quit your job and travel the world, it is important to stay in touch with people back home. Traveling long-term comes with so much unpredictability, so it’s nice to have some consistency and connection. While abroad, it can sometimes be difficult to keep in contact with people back home, so here are a few tools that you can use to help:

  • Choose an international phone plan that will let you call or text regardless of your location
  • Encourage your close friends and family to download WhatsApp to stay in touch.  The app uses an internet connection to send messages and make calls, which prevents SMS and call fees for you and your loved ones.
  • Skype or Facetime both allow you to see your friends and family face-to-face, (but make sure you remember any time differences to avoid accidentally calling them in the middle of the night!)

Plan for having no plan

The Backpacking Site - backpacking guides

A rough plan will help you prepare for your trip, but as the saying goes, even the best-laid plans fail. Maybe your housing accommodations will fall through, or you’ll miss a train or bus. Whatever it is, be prepared to roll with the punches and figure out a new way. 

This is where a financial buffer can come in handy, giving you a safety net to figure out what your next move might be. In addition, in some sticky situations, having the right travel insurance can make sure you’re covered wherever, whenever.

Even more importantly, having the right attitude will pay dividends. Learning to relax and be more flexible can be a valuable tool not only on your travels but in life in general. Expect the unexpected, keep a positive attitude, and remember that even mishaps are part of the adventure.

Create a pre-departure checklist

Things to do at home before backpacking

Things to do at home before backpacking

When you are ready to quit your job and travel the world, be sure to make a list of all the things that need to get done before you leave. It’s often the smaller items that are overlooked. Here are a few things you should consider before you say sayonara:

  • Have multiple copies of all your important documents (visas, passports, etc.)
  • Get all the required vaccinations for your destinations
  • Stock up on difficult-to-find medication or prescriptions
  • Take care of your bills, set up auto-pay when possible
  • Cancel any subscriptions you will no longer use
  • Notify your bank that you will be traveling

These are just a few things to be done heading out, but there may be more. For a more in-depth list, read up on things to do at home before departing on a backpacking trip. 


While all of this may seem daunting when you read it all at once, just remember to take these one at a time. If you have the passion to figure out how to quit your job to travel the world, you will make it happen!

It’s not a race to see if you can travel faster or better than someone else. It’s purely for your own benefit and enjoyment. Although traveling the world may seem like a “leap of faith,” it can be extremely rewarding and can open your eyes to adventures you have never experienced before.

Going on a traveling adventure may sound like a dream come true, but your bank account may disagree with you. Luckily, there are ways to have an awesome travel adventure whilst on a budget. With a little creativity, some compromise and planning, you too can travel like a boss, whatever your budget.

1. Decide On The Type Of Experience You Want

It’s important that you consider what type of experience it is you are hoping to have. If you’re seeking to explore cities, then you will most likely need to plan and book in advance. Booking.com is a good place to find affordable accommodation for your trip.

By contrast, a more adventurous experience can be a little more led by interactions and suggestions from locals. Decide too on whether you are aiming to travel alone or as part of a group, as this can impact your budget and whether you need to book ahead.

2. Manage Your Expectations

If you’re hoping to travel on a tight budget then you will need to make some compromises. Think carefully about what your priorities are. Be realistic and honest with yourself about the level of comfort you need and which luxurious items or experiences you want to invest in. You can save money by cooking meals rather than eating out, for example. Similarly, think about the form of transport you intend to use as this can greatly impact your budget.

3. Be Creative

Being realistic about your experience and priorities doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to the bare basics for the entirety of your trip or depriving yourself of all luxurious experiences. Instead, think of creative ways to make the most of your adventure.

“Consider bartering to get reduced prices or discounts. Can you offer something in return for a cheaper night’s stay at a hotel, such as photographs for a website? Buy local produce and learn to cook local dishes as a way to save money and immerse yourself in the local culture,” says Karen Herman, a lifestyle blogger at Britstudent and NextCoursework.

4. Travel Slowly

One of the most common mistakes travelers make is to pick too large an area to travel around. Instead of trying to see too much and spending lots of time, money and energy, slow down. Focus instead on one region or country or even just a single country. This way, you’ll be able to immerse yourself more fully in the culture and have a deeper experience, whilst also saving money on travel expenses and accommodation.

5. Visit Free Attractions

There are an increasing number of large tourist attractions which are free or which have significantly reduced costs at least one day per week. Simply do some research before you travel and make sure you note down on your calendar which ones are free to the public on which days.

Of course, there are also some fantastic free outdoor spaces you can visit, including beaches, national parks or religious sites. If you’re trying to decide which places to visit, check out tiqets.com for some great ideas and deals.

Stick with your travel budget by taking advantage of free activities

Stick with your travel budget by taking advantage of free activities

“A fantastic way to discover a new place and orientate yourself in the process is to take a walking tour. There are free walking maps and self-guided tours which you can download for most major cities, so you can become your own guide,” says Anthony Sullivan, a business writer at Australia2write and Write My X.

6. Plan Ahead And Be Prepared

Plan ahead to make the most of your trip. Omio.com is a great website to help you plan and organize your travel throughout your trip. Make sure that you print off a copy of all tickets and booking confirmations as a back-up and that you have offline access to tickets, accommodation bookings and itineraries.

Be prepared with some offline entertainment whilst you travel to keep you entertained as well. Similarly, it’s useful to have a back-up charger or an external portable battery in case you get stuck somewhere where you can’t easily charge your electronic devices.

Conclusion

Having an amazing traveling adventure doesn’t need to be expensive. With careful planning, a little creativity, realistic expectations and by taking your time, you too can have a unique and rewarding experience.

With 2021 full of hope, it’s time to dust off your backpack and think about where to go next. If you’re on a budget, you may be wondering about the cheapest countries for backpacking travel. The thing is, especially if you’ve been aching to get back out there, ‘budget travel’ can be a bit of an oxymoron. People go traveling to see something new, and once it finally becomes possible to go backpacking in 2021, the last thing you want to do is restrict yourself.

The way to travel on a budget without feeling too limited is to go backpacking in countries where food, accommodation, and transport are cheap. This will allow you to stretch your budget and splurge on the occasional special activity to get the most out of your trip. The good news is, after you figure out a cheap way to get to your destination, it is possible to travel around some of the most beautiful destinations on earth for less than $20 a day. Believe it or not, it can sometimes be cheaper to be on the road than to stay at home considering your normal rent and daily expenses! 

So without further ado, here is our updated list of the cheapest backpacking countries for 2021.

Bulgaria – The best Eastern European country for budget travel

Even though Bulgaria is the cheapest backpacking country to visit in Eastern Europe, it has an abundance of gorgeous landscapes that rival its neighbors. During our 5 days in Bulgaria were able to see Alpine mountains, forested countryside, sandy beaches on the Black Sea, plus beautiful cities like Sofia and Veliko Tărnovo.

The Rila Monastery near Sofia in Bulgaria, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in the world

The Rila Monastery near Sofia, Bulgaria

Because we were traveling in the off season, we were able to splurge on the occasional high-end luxury accommodation for less than $100 a night. Of course, you can always find cheaper hostels in Bulgaria. Food and drink are also super affordable, with the average price of a beer being about a dollar.

Learn more: Backpacking in Bulgaria

India

India is one of those countries where budget travel is almost entirely dependent on your willingness to haggle. If you strike the right tone, India can be one of the cheapest backpacking countries in the world.

When booking guesthouses, you’ll most certainly get a better price by booking directly with the guest house versus booking online through an agency. Transportation-wise, it is super cheap to get around in India. In the big cities, we recommend using Uber it’s actually much cheaper than the prices you’ll be quoted for a tuk-tuk ride. For intercity travel, trains cost between $8 – $30, and you can even find flights within that price range!

Learn more: Backpacking in India

Portugal – The cheapest backpacking country in Western Europe

Portugal is a great option in Western Europe for travelers on a budget. You’ll be able to experience the vibrant European culture as well as world-famous food and wine at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in France or Spain. 

Learn more: Backpacking in Portugal

Cambodia

Cambodia has so much to offer, and you can travel there for about $20 a day. Private rooms in a nice guesthouse will cost you about $10, and tuk-tuk rides are a savvy way to get around. Our guest house helped us arrange a private tuk-tuk driver to help us visit the many temples of Angkor Wat for just $12!  You can even get a 30-day SIM card with 1.5 GB of data for $2.

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia, one of the cheapest backpacking countries

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex

Learn more: Backpacking in Cambodia

Georgia

With medieval fortresses, majestic mountains, and friendly locals, the country of Georgia should be much higher on the list of top backpacking destinations. And with delicious meals starting at $3, and $1 local buses, it’s one of the best countries for budget travel. You don’t have to withhold on the cultural activities here, since most entrance tickets cost around $2.

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

Learn more: Backpacking in Georgia

The Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, the old trope ‘beer is cheaper than water’ is actually true. While the Czech Republic boasts much of the same beauty as its neighbors like Germany and Austria, it’s possible to travel here at a fraction of the cost.

Learn more: Backpacking in the Czech Republic

Bolivia – the cheapest backpacking country in South America

Bolivia is one of the cheapest backpacking countries in the world and is very popular with adventurers. Here, it is possible to get a 3-course meal for less than $2. Accommodation in a hostel dorm room costs between $8-$12 a night, and local and long-distance buses are a cheap way to get around. Even the most famous backpacker destination in Bolivia, the Uyuni Salt Flats, won’t break the bank, costing around $200 for 3 days, which is relatively cheap for this bucket-list destination!

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Learn more: Backpacking in Bolivia

Nepal

Trekking in Nepal doesn’t have to cost as much as you might imagine. Other than the Everest Base Camp Trek (an exorbitant expense), there are plenty of beautiful Himalayan treks where it is possible to go by yourself. The Short Annapurna Circuit, for example, is well-marked with guesthouses along the path for about $5 a night, so you won’t have to carry tons of gear. (If you want to go all the way to Annapurna Base Camp, you’ll need to go with a guide). Food and drink in Nepal are also very affordable, with meals costing between $2-$3.

Learn more: Backpacking in Nepal

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is certainly one of those countries where you can travel on a budget or live in the lap of luxury for relatively affordable prices. Their infamous train system (a bucket-list item in itself) is the cheapest way to get around the country. Or, you could hire a private taxi to travel between cities with a few other people from your hostel. Keep a special travel budget set aside for entrance fees to nature reserves and UNESCO Heritage sites!

Learn more: Backpacking in Sri Lanka

Colombia

One of our favorite backpacking destinations because of the friendly locals, diverse landscapes, and of course, affordability. You could easily backpack in Colombia for a month with just $1000 in your bank account. By taking long-distance buses, staying in hostel dorm rooms, and cooking your own food in the hostel kitchens, you can visit destinations like Medellín, Cartagena, and Salento on a budget.

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

Learn more: Backpacking in Colombia

Honorable Mention

Denmark

This country certainly doesn’t scream ‘budget travel’ but it’s the cheapest country in Scandinavia. If visiting this part of the world has been a dream of yours, we can definitely recommend Denmark in comparison with its more expensive Scandinavian neighbors Norway, Sweden, or Finland.

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in Scandinavia

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark

Learn more: Backpacking in Denmark

 

You’ve decided on a destination. You’ve scoured the internet for packing essentials. But have you considered all of your responsibilities at home before you embark on your backpacking adventure? It would be great if you could simply forget about things like mail delivery and bills while you trek through New Zealand, Bolivia, or Budapest – but the adulting show must go on! You’ll enjoy your trip much more if you’re well-prepared. 

Here are just a few things to take care of before you take off:

Set Up Electronic Billing 

Set up electronic billing from home before backpacking

Set up electronic billing from home before backpacking

Backpacking or not, you still have to pay bills, unfortunately. Thankfully today, almost all services use electronic billing, allowing you to pay from virtually anywhere and even set up payments in advance. 

If you’re not already using automated billing, be sure to set this feature up well before you leave for your trip. This can be done online or on the phone. Setting this feature up at least one billing cycle before your backpacking trip is a great way to confirm that the feature is working and that money is being taken out of the correct account. 

However, even with autopay, it’s still important to have access to your accounts and statements. Most companies offer apps where you can see statements from anywhere you have cell service or a Wi-Fi connection. Downloading these apps allows you to check your accounts while you’re away in case of fraud or an unexpected charge. It’s also wise to have the customer service numbers of any services you have, in case there is an issue. 

These tips will help you most of the time, but there are a few services that do not offer online billing. For these utilities, contact the service provider to make a plan regarding payment during your trip. If possible, suspending these services while you’re away will save you money and a headache. 

Stop Mail Delivery

Though setting up electronic billing will cut down on the amount of physical mail you receive, that doesn’t cover everything. Everyone receives junk mail, letters from friends and family, as well as important documents (particularly around tax season). 

Especially if your mail is delivered to your address in an unlockable box, there is the risk of others snooping through your mail and even stealing packages delivered to you. This, of course, puts you at risk for identity theft and the loss of important documents and packages. 

If you’re going on a shorter adventure, consider asking a trusted friend or family member to pick up your mail and keep it safe until you return. Keep in mind, that according to the United States Postal Service (USPS), to have someone else pick up your mail at the post office, you must give them written permission. If you use a P.O. Box or live in an area where mailboxes are locked, make sure to give the other person a key.

If your trip is longer, make sure to reach out to your post office to hold your mail while you’re away. Your post office can hold your mail for up to 30 days while you’re traveling. It’s important to put in the request to hold your mail early to ensure mail doesn’t arrive at your address after you leave. 

For trips longer than 30 days, there is the option of forwarding your mail to another address for up to one year. If you will not have access to a set address while traveling, consider asking a family member or friend if they would be willing to receive and set aside your mail during that time. You can also sign up for Informed Delivery, which allows you to see previews of your mail on your phone to make sure you don’t miss anything important. 

Let Your Bank Know You’ll be Traveling 

Let your bank know before departing on your backpacking trip to avoid any issues

Let your bank know before departing on your backpacking trip to avoid any issues

If you’ll be backpacking outside of your home state or country, it’s wise to let your bank know ahead of time. Oftentimes, banks will flag purchases made outside a certain geographic area as “suspicious,” and will freeze or restrict your account to help protect you from fraud. However, this could be a major inconvenience if it occurs while traveling. 

To prevent this, make sure to call your bank ahead of time and tell them the general area you will be traveling in and for how long you plan to be there. If your trip is taking place outside of the country, check your bank’s policies on foreign/international transaction fees. These fees can be quite expensive and cost you a significant amount of money. 

If you plan on making several purchases during your trip using a debit or credit card, consider opening a bank account without foreign transaction fees. This can save you a significant amount in fees throughout the length of your trip. The account can then be used on other international trips you make in the future. 

Prepare Your Home to Rent or Sublet 

Why not make some extra cash while you are exploring? In today’s world, there are several safe and reliable ways to rent or sublet your home while you’re away. Taking advantage of this opportunity allows you to bring in income while you’re gone, and believe it or not, many long-term backpackers have benefited from this arrangement. 

However, if you want to lease out your home to others, there’s more to it than tidying up quickly. It’s important to make all necessary repairs before renting out your home. A rental with issues can lead to bad reviews, or worse, the tenants leaving and requesting their money back. You also want to make sure any problem areas of your home are fixed before your backpacking trip starts. Something like a busted pipe or roof leak can be catastrophic if you’re not around to immediately notice and fix the issue. 

Homeowners can tap into their home equity to cover the costs of any necessary home improvements. For example, features like a coffee nook, quality lighting, and fresh new flooring can help you get more renters and better reviews. Investing in quality furniture, towels and bedding can also positively impact your guests’ stay (and your rental rate).  

These improvements will also increase the value (and equity) of your home as well as making your home a more pleasant place to live. For renters, make sure to reach out to your landlord for any needed repairs before you leave. Also, make sure your landlord allows subletting as some leases do not allow this. 

Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions Before Your Backpacking Trip

Subscription boxes like meal kits and beauty packages are awesome, but will be of no use to you during your backpacking trip. Oftentimes, the product will be expired or unusable by the time you get back. 

Before you leave, make a list of any subscriptions you have (this is also a helpful tip for budgeting in general). Then, determine which ones need to be cancelled while you’re away and which ones are worth keeping active. For example, a subscription like Netflix or Hulu might be useful on a trip, while something like a meal kit would go bad quickly. 

Also keep in mind that some companies allow you to temporarily suspend your subscription while you’re away instead of outright cancelling. This can save you a lot of headaches when you return. And of course, make sure to resubscribe to everything once you’re back home. 

Consider Adjusting Your Mobile Plan 

Mobile phones are a necessary expense for the vast majority of people. However, depending on your mobile service, you may be charged extra for international usage. If you’re travelling internationally, this can be a significant added expense. 

Adjust your mobile phone plan before your backpacking trip to avoid hassle on the road

Adjust your mobile phone plan before your backpacking trip to avoid hassle on the road

Before your backpacking trip, review your mobile plan and see if you have coverage in other countries and if there are additional fees. If your provider doesn’t enable service where you’re traveling, you can consider buying a prepaid phone to keep in contact with others during the trip. 

If you need suggestions, ask other backpackers who have traveled in the area for their suggestions for remaining connected during your trip. In the case that you don’t know anyone personally, consider looking at online forums and sites dedicated to backpacking for advice. 

Have Someone to Check on Your Home 

If you can’t or don’t want to rent out your home, finding a house sitter is an important step in securing your home. There are several options for making sure your home is safe while you’re away. For example, you could ask a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member to check in on your home once a week to make sure nothing is out of place. 

When this isn’t an option, there are also several services that will match you up with a person to house-sit your living space. These services offer verified sitters and support and communication through an app. These apps are especially helpful for pet owners because they often offer veterinary support in case something goes wrong. Regardless of who you choose to watch your home, remember to provide them with keys and anything they will need as well as a list of things to look out for. 


Backpacking is an excellent way to travel the world, stay in shape and make lifelong friends. Although the preparation for a trip may be stressful, follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way in no time.