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Donít know what to pack? Click here for an essential packing list. With explanations next to each item, youíll be able to decide whether or not you think youíll need it.Backpacker Packing List

 

 Recommended Read: The Lonely Planet Guide to Australia

 

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Backpacking

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Backpacking is a way to see the world in all it's natural beauty. It gives you the chance to mingle with the locals, experience the culture up close and taste the country from a unique point of view.

Backpacking is a leap of faith. No matter how much research you do before you set off, it is unlikely the countries you visit will be anything like you imagined. Pictures and descriptions can tell you what it is like and how to prepare before you get there, but you will always be pleasantly surprised. This is the beauty of backpacking, you get to actually Ďdiscoverí the countries for yourself, explore them, uncover the history and then interpret them in your own way. No book or website could ever do this.

If you are contemplating going backpacking but not completely convinced, then take it from the people who have been there, itís an unmissable experience. Once you have been backpacking it will be in your blood forever, you will have a lifetime of happy memories and stories to tell your friends and family. The beauty of backpacking is that you wonít need a small fortune to do it. In fact the biggest cost will be the flights. Backpacking is accessible to all sorts of people so donít be put off thinking itís an activity for the better off.

Before you start using this online guide it's probably a good idea that we actually define backpacking. Backpacking, or travelling, is something people can do at any stage of life but is most commonly undertaken between the ages of 18 and 30. It is most easily identified as an extended holiday, however backpackers choose to stay in budget accommodation rather than top class hotels so as to save money. This enables them to travel much further on the budget they have. Backpackers usually choose to travel through and around several countries. The most popular of these are South East Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and as a result these countries are very backpacker friendly - accommodation is good quality, tours are readily available and transport is also well suited to these travellers. However there are plenty of other countries in the world which are also becoming popular with backpackers for their unique culture and good climate; India, South America, America and Africa to name just a few.
Backpacker's choose to travel light and usually take just a backpack with all their clothes, toiletries and necessities in. This makes getting around much easier. See packing list for more packing help.

Some people like to travel on their own. This way you can do exactly what you like and have no one to argue with you otherwise. The only person you have to please is yourself. However for the people who travel with another person - friend or partner, yes you have to agree on the destinations and expeditions and make sure you get on, but the upside is that every little experience you have will be shared with someone and when you return home you will be able to share your memories with that person and reminisce together.

Some backpacker's like to (or have to) work to fund their travels. If planned for correctly this can be just as an inspiring experience as the travelling itself. For example if you do work that you wouldn't normally do back at home such as fruit picking or teaching English, then you are likely to meet some very interesting people and have an invaluable experience. However these types of jobs aren't necessarily the best paid, so a lot of you will end up working the 9 to 5 in a big city. However, this shouldn't be looked down upon... it's a great experience working in a foreign city and will look great on your CV on your return, so take as much from the experience as you can!


What is a backpacker?

Backpackers are open minded individuals ready to take on new challenges and experiences. They are an alternative breed of tourist who have more time and less money than the average holiday maker. Because of this, backpackers need straight to the point information on destinations, accommodation and activities. They want to experience the world for what it is, to see as much as they can with the budget and time they have. You can use Ticket to the World as a resource to help you with your research before you go backpacking or to keep up and seek advice while you are on the road also. We plan to help you every step of the journey!

Now you know what backpacking entails and what a backpacker is... a good place to start your research is in the Before you Go section. Or if you feel your adventure will be more of a Gap year than just backpacking, have a read up on gap years here.

Happy Travels!