10 Tips for your first backpacking trip

The first trip is the one you’ll never forget – here are 10 essential backpacker tips

Your first trip as a backpacker is probably the one you’ll remember as the best. It will always stand out in your mind because every decision you make, every person you meet and every thing you see are impressions you’re experiencing for the first time.

We want your first adventure trip as a backpacker to be the trip of a lifetime and for that, we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeve. If you want to be known as a backpacker who always has a solution and always has it all together, read on.

1. Choose hostels over hotels Want to meet new people? Make new friends? Have the party of your life, cool adventures or network all over the world? Then check into a hostel. In a hotel you might be alone, in a hostel you’re surrounded by joy, love and good karma all day long. A backpacker tip that will put a smile on your face for a long time. New friendships await and the drinks just taste better in the company of others. Hostels are your gateway to an eventful trip and networking all over the world.

2. Socialize with people on the first night

It’s important to get into the groove on the first night. There’s always something going on at a hostel and you can go a long way with an open personality, a smile and a cold 6-pack. The sooner you socialize with others, the sooner you’ll have friends and an adventure to look forward to on your backpacking trip.

So throw your bag in your room, get dressed, sit down where there are people, and let the good times roll!

3. Learn the local vocabulary

You’ll win the hearts of locals if you can say “thank you” or “good evening” in their language. This will help you quickly get into the culture and increase your chances of getting better service and better prices. A backpacker tip that will go a long way!

In some cases, you may find that English is not an option. Being able to get by in the local jargon will help you in situations where you need directions or don’t understand how much things cost.

It’s the little things that make the difference.

4. Share your locations 

Your parents probably want to know exactly where you are 24/7, and they’ve probably tried to convince you to have “find my iPhone” running, but you don’t want to do that.

Instead, share your bookings with them on a regular basis and make them a map of your trip so they always know where to reach you. Also, sign up for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “traveller list” so you can be informed about special events in the country you’re visiting and have the peace of mind of knowing that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows where you are.

On our group tours, there is a fixed plan that you can give to your parents so they always know where you are. Take a look at one of our most popular group tours here: Group trip to Australia

5. Get the “packing list” from Trinus Travels

Remember everything, but only the essentials. You’ll find that many of your items will be superfluous cargo, and some things you can buy cheaper at your destination. If you’re unsure of what or how much to bring, check out our packing list to make sure you leave with exactly what you need.

Use it as inspiration, as there are of course differences between a group trip to Fiji and a group trip to New Zealand.

Trinus recommended trips and tours

An incredible tour with real purpose taking you to the best beaches, amazing national parks, island trips, and deep delve in the north.

A women at one of the Gili swings at sunset

We think this is one of the best tours on the planet. Swimming with Manta Rays, get involved in local communities and an epic volcano sunrise are among just a few on things included.

From the high mountains to the incredible wildlife, this trip is led some of the most amazing women your will ever meet.

5 people smiling in a blue and yellow Tuk-tuk

The very best way to really experience the awesomeness of Asia by combining the strikingly different countires of Vietnam and Thailand

Get more inspiration

6. Familiarize yourself with your equipment

Your gear is your home and your lifeline for the months you’re away. You don’t want your shoes to chafe or your backpack to sit badly on your back, so what should you do? You need to test your gear before you leave.

Make sure to wear your shoes, open up your bag and familiarize yourself with its compartments, or put on your backpack with a full pack and go for a long walk in nature to get a real feel for what it’s like to be a backpacker. That’s probably one of the best backpacking tips we can give you.

7. Equip yourself with patience, understanding and forbearance

When traveling around Asia, you’ll find that everything moves at a different pace than you’re used to. The bus doesn’t always arrive on time, communicating with locals can be a challenge, and even if you asked the waiter for a “non-spicy-pad-thai”, it still burns worse than a forest fire!

It’s important to mentally prepare yourself for the fact that things won’t be the same as back home, so expect to have to be patient with the fluctuating departure times, understanding the awkward communication. You’ll also have to be tolerant of misunderstandings in the communication itself.

But hey, you can do it! A few days go by and you’ll be dressed like the locals and behave like someone who has lived there all your life. It’s the diversity we travel to experience and it’s what we grow from – so enjoy it and remember this backpacker advice number 7 – patience!

8. Backup backup backup backup

As a general rule, make sure to have your most important documents in printed form and saved as files on your phone or similar.

We recommend bringing a folder for the physical papers and creating a folder on your phone with all the documents you share with your travel companion. That way you can always access them for each other.

It would be such a shame to lose your beach photos from your trip to Fiji or how about your footage from the day you got your diving certification on Koh Tao? You don’t want to lose those either! See more mistakes to avoid on your backpacking trip.

So the backpacker advice from here is backup, backup, backup and more backup.

9. Time alone is gold

It’s important to unwind every once in a while and have some time alone to reflect on all your impressions and experiences.

On a group trip, or even if you’re traveling alone, you’ll be surrounded by people most of the time, so it’s good to have some time to breathe. So set aside time for a walk along the water, put on your running shoes and give it all you’ve got or rent a bike and get some wind in your hair.

Time for yourself gives you the opportunity to stop time, be present in the moment and appreciate your experiences. That’s why we’ve included free days in all our group tours, so you can take some time for yourself or together – whatever you want. We know it’s important, and that’s why it’s been essential to us.

See for example our: Group trip to New Zealand

10. Do your homework

Doing your research at home is just as important as preparing for your exam. No wait, it’s actually more important.

Knowing the local currency, being familiar with the area and generally knowing how to get from A to B will go a long way. Bring a travel book or an e-book so you always have an answer to your questions. You can never research too much as a backpacker.

Now you’re well on your way to planning your backpacking trip

You’re off to a great start on your adventures and have an idea of what to do. What about the things you shouldn’t do? As much backpacking advice as we have on what to do, we have just as much advice on what to avoid. So, did you find this article useful? Then you will definitely also find our article “10 mistakes to avoid on your backpacking trip” useful and informative.

With your new knowledge in your backpack, you’re ready to conquer the world and travel the world for experiences, but beware that travel is an addiction.

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