If you are planning a backpacking trip in the near future, then it is vital that you prepare yourself to ensure that you are completely safe while travelling. To ensure you have a memorable and enjoyable time on your trip, you should take a look at the following travel safety tips for backpackers. This will provide you with all the information you need to feel secure when abroad.
Always plan ahead
One of the most important steps for safe travel should occur well before you step on the plane, starting with your passport. Before you do anything, make sure you check the expiry date on your passport, as an out-of-date passport will not be accepted in any airport around the world.
Some countries require travellers to have at least six months left on their passport from the entrance date. If your passport has run out or you have less than six months until the expiry, make sure you apply for a new passport at least three months before travelling to be on the safe side.
You may also require a visa to gain admittance into the country you are visiting. Of course, this will depend on where in the world you are travelling to, as some destinations are more lenient than others.
One country that does require a visa is the United States. If you are taking a backpacking trip to the US, you will need to obtain an ESTA before your trip. This applies to 38 countries, including the UK, EU countries, Australia, New Zealand and more. If your country is not listed, you will need to apply for a B-2 tourist visa which will grant you six months of travel access across the US.
When backpacking, you protect yourself at all times. This is especially important right now, with the COVID pandemic spreading around the world. While travel is restricted, there will be a time when borders are lifted, and backpacking trips will begin again.
When this occurs, you need to ensure that you maintain excellent hygiene standards by washing your hands regularly and keeping a compact hand sanitiser nearby at all times. It would help if you looked up the guidelines regarding COVID for each place you visit by checking the destination’s government or embassy website.
By sticking to the guidelines and maintaining good hygiene habits, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting sick. However, we are all human beings, and sometimes we get sick, especially when travelling, as this could result in reduced sleep, which may affect your immune system.
To prevent any problems with illness, you should purchase travel insurance which will cover you if you need to visit a doctor or require medication. It will also protect you financially if you suffer an injury such as a broken ankle. If you are hospitalised and miss a flight, having travel insurance will be a God’s send, as this will prevent you from splashing out on a new flight.
Watch what you eat and drink
It may seem like obvious advice, but maintaining a balanced diet is one of the most important travel safety tips when backpacking. Sometimes the distraction of sightseeing and meeting new people can result in missed meals or an unhealthy diet, which can leave you feeling lethargic or even ill.
Some people may think eating a balanced diet means you must eat healthy at all times, but this is not the case after all your backpacking trip should be all about fun and treating yourself to local food is part of that. However, you should try to be careful, especially if you have a weak stomach, as some foods may not agree with you, resulting in sickness.
Staying hydrated is also a massive must, especially if you are travelling to hot destinations. To ensure you keep on top of your water intake, you should pack a few reusable water bottles which you can put in your backpack or clip to your side while hiking, exploring and sightseeing.
Travel Safety Tips and COVID
Now you have all the travel safety tips you need for an exciting and super secure backpacking trip, why not look at our article on COVID-19 and backpacking. This guide will offer all the tips you need to stay sane before you can start travelling around the world again.
About the author
Heather Barrigan is a Political Correspondent at ImmiNews, specializing in outreach and the creation of engaging and informative immigration-related content.