Planning On Backpacking Around Europe
Planning On Backpacking Around Europe: Top Tips You Shouldn’t Be Without
Spending the night on overnight trains; chilling out at cafes and restaurants the whole day; meeting other backpackers – few things in life can be as adventurous as backpacking – around Europe if I may add!
And if you’re planning your first backpacking trip around the continent, the following three tips will help you get started right.
Grab The RIGHT Backpack
It doesn’t matter whether you plan on backpacking for a few weeks or a few months, you need to get the RIGHT backpack. While a good one requires $100+ (quite hefty), the right backpack will help make your trip a LOT more comfortable and manageable. Here are some features you need to keep your eyes peeled for:
– Instead of a one that loads from the top, go for a panel or front-loading model. This allows you to easily load and unload stuff or find items in your backpack without the hassle of digging all the way its bottom.
– Find a backpack that comes with a strong INTERNAL frame as external frames can easily get cumbersome. Well-padded straps are also a HUGE plus – these go a long way in transferring the weight from your shoulders to your hips.
– Last BUT not the least, look for a model that comes with a smaller pack that can be attached and detached from your larger backpack. With one, you can easily move from one place to another.
Keep It Light
Here’s a good rule of thumb when backpacking: the lighter you pack, the better. This is especially true if you intend to shop for souvenirs in Europe. So what should you have inside your backpack? Here’s a brief guide:
Clothing: Pack clothing that would last for about a week or so. If you plan to stay longer than a week, then do the laundry at least once a week. As for HOW you should pack your clothing, there are backpackers who swear by “folding” while others love to stick with “rolling.” You just have to find out what works best for you. Also, keep in mind that the clothes you take with you largely depend on your destination’s expected weather.
Hostel Room Necessities: If you’re not too confident of your hostel room’s cleanliness, packing a pillow case along with a bed sheet might be in order. These aren’t too bulky so bringing these along shouldn’t present much of an issue.
Other Stuff: If you’re travelling with a friend, you can easily share items like hair dryer, laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, and other essentials. This will go a long way in saving both of you from having to drag a lot of extra weight.
Find A Place To Stay In BEFORE Your Trip
No matter how you look at it, the last thing you want to happen when backpacking around Europe is to knock on doors at 2AM in search for place to stay. So long before your trip, you should find and book a place to stay.
HostelsEurope, HostelBookers, and HostelWorld – these are just some of the sites you could use to help you with your research. You can read the traveler reviews on the site, BUT it’s highly recommended that you double check with a site like TripAdvisor.
On the other hand, if you’re the adventurous type who wants to make buddies along the way, checking out CouchSurfing is a viable option. Their network offers free board on a couch courtesy of a fellow CouchSurfer. Keep in mind, however, that signing up for the network opens up your home for other CouchSurfers who’re in your area.