Backpacking in a foreign country can be very stressful, as there are many moving parts to consider: bus stops, schedules, hostel locations, navigation, how to your next destination, and so much more.
When you're in a foreign country, you want to spend time focusing on enjoying your trip, not stressing about the logistics.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to alleviate some stress while you are traveling. Here are five helpful ways you can prepare for your next backpacking trip.
1. Buy your bus or train tickets in advance.
If you already know when and where you want to travel, consider buying your bus or train tickets in advance. This way you will already have your tickets when you are traveling, and don't need to worry about tickets selling out.
Additionally, you will already know where to find the bus or train station, as the locations are on your tickets.
2. Download maps.me and add trip locations in the app.
Navigating without cell service or wifi can be stressful in a foreign country. Luckily, its easy to get around if you download maps.me. This app gives you real-time location and tells you how to get from point A to point B.
Once you download the app, you can bookmark different locations, stores, hotels, and tourist destinations. All you have to do is search the address or name of the place and save it. Then, even if you don't have wifi, you'll know where you need to go and how you can get there.
3. Book hostels in advance on Hostelworld.
In high season, usually beginning of May to end of August in Europe, hostels book up fast. Sometimes, it is a good idea to book your hostel at least a few days in advance to ensure you have a place to stay.
The best thing about Hostelworld is that you can book hostels in advance with a down payment. Even better: if you choose "flexible deposit" when checking out, you can get free cancelation up to 24 hours in advance.
4. Invest in some gear for your backpack.
A big part of backpacking is being at mercy to the weather. Chances are, you'll get caught in the rain at some point on your trip, and your backpack will get soaked along with all of your belongings.
To avoid this, you can (and should) buy a rain cover for your backpack. This way you can always be prepared, and not have to worry about your belongings getting wet if you get rained on.
Another thing you should buy for your backpack is a duffel bag. Backpacks are very expensive and have a lot of loose straps that can be easily damaged. With a duffel bag, your pack's straps are all contained and protected, and there is less risk of them getting ripped.
Many outdoors type stores sell duffle bags specifically for backpacking backpacks. These duffel bags fold into themselves and can be easily stored in your pack when not in use.
5. Pack with packing cubes.
We've all been there; frantically searching through a pile of unorganized belongings for your passport or some other essential item. Your belongings tend to get pretty disorganized when on a backpacking trip, and it can become stressful trying to find or organize your things.
Luckily, this problem can be fixed with packing cubes. Packing cubes are an excellent way to keep organized, tidy, and less likely to lose track of your belongings.