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Mandi bus stop

7 Hacks for first time solo backpacking

Solo backpacking is something we have all been reading about over the internet for the last few years. It’s something which many have wanted to try but have been scared mainly with the lack of understanding how to go about planning and venturing out solo. 

Given below is the complete guide to planning your first ever solo backpacking trip. 

-> Research and plan backpacking

This is easily the most important part of having a flawless experience on your first solo backpacking trip. The more you research and plan, the better your trip will end up being. Reading blogs on the internet and understanding the map of the region you are backpacking to is far more reliable as compared to going by what’s posted on social media. A well-planned trip is one which has Plan A, B and C ready. So in case something does not go as per plan, there is an alternative option ready so that your time is not wasted. 

-> Carry a power bank

A power bank is, without doubt, the single most important tool on any trip. But when you’re backpacking solo for the first time, it’s like your friend when you need to charge your gadgets be it your cell phone, tablet or camera. The power bank will come to your rescue. Make sure you have it charged each night while going to bed. It’s always advisable to have a good quality power bank and one which is between the range of 10K to 20K MAH. It all depends on the number of gadgets you have for most a 10K MAH power bank should be more than enough. 

-> Screenshot your bookings

This will come very handy while getting onto a flight, train or bus and even when you book a room or a bed in a home stay or a hostel. Taking screenshots just helps you save time and get through the process much faster as compared to having to wait and search through your email or SMS to find the required image or PDF. 

-> Travel during the day

Travelling during the day applies more with regards to when you have reached the place you are travelling solo and are then looking to venture around and explore. This does not apply for your journey to the place since most trains and buses run overnight and if this is taken in the literal sense you’ll pretty much not be able to go anywhere. Travelling during the day definitely applies when you are planning on visiting villages around. Remember in most small places transportation is limited and the best time to travel is early morning so you reach the next place on your list before sundown. 

-> Pack smart 

Backpacking to Dhankar village

When we say pack smart we mean you pack in such a way that all the things you need while on the road come handy. So your power bank, wallet, water bottle, toilet roll, etc are handy and you know where to look for them. This way you will avoid the hassle of having to go through your whole backpack just looking for that one thing which you need. 

-> Stay in touch 

This is definitely an important part of the journey. Keeping in touch with family and friends does come handy when you are backpacking solo. This way at least someone knows about your whereabouts and has a track of your journey. If you ever feel uncomfortable while travelling makes sure you share your location with someone who cares the minute you get an intuition. 

-> Pre-book stays 

Booking your stays in advance wasn’t really considered a backpacker thing. But honestly in 2020 when everything has gone online it’s a better option to book online. It saves you the headache of roaming around looking for a place and then bargaining with touts for a better deal. For a first-timer, I would definitely recommend booking your accommodation online. 

-> Keep cash handy 

In a day and age of plastic or rather a cashless era, it’s still advisable to keep at least a minimum of ₹5000 always with you in cash. When you are travelling a lot of places don’t really accept online payment. For example the bus ticket fare from town to town or when you want to buy a bottle of packaged water at a local shop. So to avoid the headache of running to the nearest ATM, it’s always advisable to carry cash in all denominations while backpacking. 

-> Trust your gut

No matter where you are in the world as long as there are humans, you will always come across the odd creep who might have evil intentions and that’s the nature of what mankind has evolved into. You don’t need to worry and this should not hinder your thoughts about making a solo trip. Remember it’s important to trust your inner gut and the first thing is striking a conversation with someone who gives you a positive vibe. This will definitely make the creep move away on his own. This is one such example but the core thing is to remember to be on the lookout and trust your gut. 

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