Planning Your First Hostel Vacation – A Guide for Beginner Backpackers

in Trip Planning

As the world continues to recover from the global financial crisis, backpacking is enjoying a resurgence. This frugal vacation style isn’t just for poor students and hippies any more. It’s actually a great way for anyone to save cash while seeing the world. If you’ve ever thought about hostel hopping in Australia, backpacking in New Zealand, or staying in a Vietnamese dorm, here are our tips for planning that frugal getaway.

Backpackers naturally want to save money, but there are a few areas where spending is vital. Travel insurance is one often overlooked expense. Many backpackers consider this to be a luxury for the rich, but it’s a great way to protect yourself against the unexpected. When the planes are grounded due to volcanic ash clouds you won’t incur extra accommodation fees, it’ll save you if your luggage is lost, and if you get hurt and injured you won’t be slogged with a huge medical bill. That initial expense can make sure your vacation doesn’t become one you’d rather forget.

Once you’ve paid for your travel insurance you’ll need to get packing, but make sure you don’t overdo it. You’ll spend much of your vacation with a bag on your back, so you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t weigh a ton. Space is also limited in hostel rooms, and using more than your fair share shows poor backpacker etiquette. Pack only what you’re sure you’ll need and remember, if you’ve forgotten something you can always buy it on the road.

They might take up some space, but a few pairs of comfortable shoes are a must for every backpacker. A pair of sneakers is vital for trekking hiking trails or discovering the urban jungle, while flip flops are essential for keeping nasties at bay in communal showers.

It can be tempting to break out your brand new backpack for your vacation, but it’s best to resist this urge. Shiny packs are targets for thieves, who assume that they’ll contain some expensive goodies. We wouldn’t suggest that your hostel housemates aren’t trustworthy, but it’s best not to take any risks.

You’ll also want to make sure that any sticky fingers don’t find a lot of cash inside that rucksack. It’s smart to carry only a small amount of cash at any time, as you could easily lose it or fall victim to pick-pockets. If you’re traveling to a particularly dangerous part of the world it’s smart to take further security measures, such as strapping on a money belt or leg wallet. These accessories keep your cash close to your body for maximum safety. Three Backpackers

Don’t let all of those practicalities bog you down though. The best thing about backpacking is its spontaneity. You’ll likely meet folks at your hostel who could suggest your next destination, or encourage you to spend more time at your current digs. Go where the wind takes you, throw out the schedule, and prepare to embrace this carefree, and budget conscious, vacation style!

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