Backpacking after the age of 50 is only for those who are young at heart. And solo backpacking after 50 years of age isn’t for the ones who are weak at heart and mind. It’s not about just stepping out of your comfort zone, but it’s also about getting into a zone where you will be able to move faster than what you expect.
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Solo backpacking at any age is liberating and if you are above the age of 50 and reading this, then understand one vital thing about backpacking. It’s about living and travelling like locals to return back to civilisation to make changes to your daily life.
Age Slow travel
Solo travel is the best way to travel anywhere. But if you’re 50 years and above and planning a solo backpacking trip, then solo travel is the way for you. It’s easier to explore each place with freedom as opposed to running through each and every place without getting a real experience. Slow travel is when you see four places in seven days as opposed to visiting seven places in four days.
When you’re 50 years and above, you know that last minute things ain’t for you. So the best way to go about planning your solo backpacking trip is to plan in advance. For example, if you want a summer trip to the Himalayas, plan after Diwali. So this way, you have enough time to sort your work leave and at the same time get the best deal on flight tickets.
The more you pack, the more load you will have to carry around with you. Remember that when you are backpacking, the lighter you travel, the better. Every place you go to you will have souvenir t-shirts and clothes which will come handy, if you fall short of clothing while travelling. But don’t ever over pack. When in doubt leave it behind.
Carry your meds
Carrying your meds along is the most vital thing, if you’re someone who has to take daily or alternate day medicines. Since you will find it impossible to get meds that you need in a random place while backpacking. The medical shop will offer you a substitute but that’s not going to help. Hence carry extra meds but don’t fall short.
Know your limitations
At the age of 50, you know what your body and mind is capable of and what it’s not capable of handling. So avoid the drama of going through sore muscles and bad mood, because you ended up doing more than what your body is capable of.
Sleep on time
Getting your eight hours of sleep is very important to having a full human battery to wander and explore. Don’t cut short on your sleep time to stay up with fellow travellers. The younger ones can do so, because even you could at their age. It’s better to get your sleep and let the younger ones party and enjoy their 20s and 30s.
Good backpack and shoes
Backpacking in your 50s needs good gear. Not saying you need to spend an absurd amount to get the best gear. But you definitely need branded gear. The difference is the back support that comes with a branded backpack frame framework. A 50L-60L backpack is good enough to get you through a week or two of backpacking.
Having a good pair of shoes is equally important. A bad pair of shoes will affect your feet and can also end up ripping your shoes apart, which will be a disaster on the road. So to avoid this shoe drama, get a good pair of shoes for your backpacking trip.
Nearly everyone who’s in their 50s has spectacles and without doubt this is the most important thing to carry a backup for. Since there is always a possibility of you losing or breaking your specs while on the road. Having a backup, will come very handy to avoid the hassle of leaving you stranded and blind or struggling to see what you have travelled so far to see.
Don’t over eat
Overeating is a mortal sin in regular life. So when you’re backpacking it’s all the more of a headache. Stick to eating what you like and keep your meals healthy and early. So this way you don’t have to bother about having an upset stomach.
Choose the correct travel partner
It’s vital to decide who you want to travel with. It’s like entering a shop to buy a smartphone. The cheapest and the costliest might not be the best user experience. It’s about what suits your travel needs and most of all the vibe which you are looking for.