Having no experience of backpacking at all, and observing all the hype created around it one sets out on their first backpacking trip with loads of bookish knowledge and absolutely no experience. With an illusion in the head and backpack on the body, the journey commences.

Along the trip there were abundant of things one may want to change or do differently due to the exposure of the journey. Here are few things a new traveller should keep in mind while heading on the road:

1.     Don’t be shy and scared

One of the most important things of being a backpacker is to let go. You will definitely feel nervous before the trip but do not be scared. Do not be shy and open up to everybody around you. The best part of travelling is the opportunity to meet people all over the globe. So do not waste it, instead take this as a chance for better exposure. Be more adventurous and move away from your comfort level and you will surely be surprised about your capabilities.

2.     Pack light

Since backpackers tend to not stay in one place for very long, it’s best to pack light. Never carry your best clothes, instead carry the most comfortable ones. Do not carry new shoes, but the ones in which you are very comfortable and which suits all kinds of terrain.

3.     Leave aside the guidebooks and the internet

Always remember every person is different and for each person every trip has a different meaning. These perspectives fill the review pages on all social media outlets which can be completely different from yours.  It’s important to experience the journey rather than following books and internet advice.

4.     Don’t plan too much

Never plan too much of your trip. You’ll not only be disappointed if you do not complete your target, but you will also miss the essence of it. Travel slowly instead of running with it. Do not plan in excess and just go with the flow.

5.     Carry extra money

Travelling is one of the most unpredictable situations. So be prepared for the worst to come and carry extra cash. Most villages and hidden gems of India also do not have ATMs and you wouldn’t want to be stranded in a remote village without any money. However, do not keep all your money in one place for safety purposes.

6.     Carry your phone

Your phone is like a companion to you and with the right mobile apps your travel will become much more easier. It will help you in navigation or help you in organising your budget. Your important documents such as tickets, passport and other identity proofs could be scanned and kept on your mobile phone which is very essential for your travel.

 

7.     Get the right contacts

Along with carrying your phones, having the right contacts is important too. Not only the numbers of your family and friends need to be on speed dial, but also the important ones for your travel. If you are

travelling solo it is important you keep the contacts of your guest houses, buses and also a few locals. 

8.     Don’t anticipate

Most importantly, do not expect much from your trip. Do not anticipate too much by the photos shared on social media, but look at places through your own eyes. Take the trip as it comes and you’ll have many memories to cherish. 

9.     Learn the language

At least learn to say hello, sorry and thank you in the local language of the place you are travelling to. This will be of great help. Be a part of every culture you go to and you’ll be amazed at the love and respect offered by them. 

10.   Record your memories

And finally, record your memories. Buy and collect souvenirs from anywhere other than the gift shop. Write post cards to your friends, click a lot of pictures, write down your feelings because every time you look at it, it will only remind you of one of the greatest trips you’ve ever had in your life. 

Also do not forget you will meet thousands of other travellers like you during your journey, make the most of this. Do not be afraid to let go and trust people. Take care of yourself and your belongings. Do not follow the crowd because this is your first journey as a traveller and it will be very important to you. 

Text: Ravina Banze

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