8 Rules of Backpacking Across Europe

8 Rules of Backpacking Across Europe

Backpacking through Europe can be fun and exciting. In fact, it should be! But if you’ve never backpacked before you may have a romantic notion of what it’s all about. You may think that you just grab your backpack and head overseas, planning as you go and doing what you want. While this is one way to go, it’s not necessarily the best or safest way. There are some basic rules that you should follow when backpacking so that your trip is indeed fun and not stressful or dangerous.

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1. Plan ahead

Like any vacation, you have to do a bit of planning before you hop a plane for Paris. Do you have your passport and other travel documents updated? Where will you be going? Do you have your accommodations and travel booked? If you just land in Europe without having an itinerary not only will you end up spending more money, but odds are you won’t get to see everything that you want to. So plan your trip out step by step before you leave. It will make your trip go much smoother and you’ll be able to enjoy yourself, rather than wonder where you’ll be sleeping at night.

2. The right pack

Make sure that you take a pack that is lightweight and has a few side pockets for your travel papers, wallets and other essentials. You don’t want to have to take your pack off every time you need some money, your bottle of water or chap-stick.

3. Pack light

Make sure that you pack light. After all you’ll be carrying your backpack around for the majority of the trip. If it weighs a ton you may end up hurting yourself. At the very least it will be hard to enjoy yourself. Take lightweight clothes with you, like t shirts and khaki pants. Leave the heavy jeans at home. Practice walking around with the pack before you leave. This will give you an idea of the amount of weight that you can comfortably handle.

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4. Buy traveller’s insurance

Sure, you don’t plan on getting sick or injured while backpacking but if you do and you don’t have traveller’s insurance you could find yourself facing a HUGE medical build. Traveller’s insurance is inexpensive and could save you from a mound of debt.

5. Know your currencies

Make sure that you know the exchange rate in each country that you hit. This can save you the hassle and stress of not knowing how much money you’re really spending on something.

6. Stick to your budget

As part of your planning, you should do up a budget. Unless you’re rich you won’t have an unlimited amount of money at your disposal while you backpack. Plan out how much you have to spend each day of your trip and stick to it. Other wise you’ll run out of money and end up coming home ahead of schedule.

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7. Stay in hostels

To really get the full backpacking experience you need to stay in hostels as you travel through Europe. Hostels are easy on your budget and will give you the chance to meet other travellers from all over the world.

8. Learn the language

While you don’t need to be fluent in the languages of the places you will be visiting, you should at least learn a few basic phrases like “Please,” “Thank you,” or “How much”. This will go a long way to showing you care enough about the people and are respectful enough to learn a bit of the language. Besides, it’s much more fun to buy a croissant in Paris and thank the server in french.

About the author
Shelly Towns is a world traveler who enjoys exploring new places, backpacking, and researching India travel insurance.