Backpackers Commandments

  • Written by  BPP
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Backpackers Backpackers By Keith Parker (Own work), via Flickr, Creative Commons Licence

This is one of those articles that sounds very familiar, wherever you read it. The are tons of "rules" for travelers, backpackers, campers that are repeated or interpreted in some way and it was really hard to cherry pick 15 of them based on our own experience.

Since they are all equally important, we won't even number them. So, here they are:


Always have your identification with you
Bring at least two forms of identification with you in case authorities need extra proof of identity. Keep photocopies of them (also at least two) on separate locations, for instance, if your documents are in your fanny pack, keep one copy in your backpack and other either in the safe box in your room or in a backpack of your friend traveling with you

VisaTake care of Visas on time

Find out if your destination country, or countries you travel through to get there require a Visa. Know where to obtain it and be sure to do it at least a few days before you go.

Know modes of transportation on your destination

Many countries offer budget air travel, local transport, car rentals or rail passes.

Get travel insurance

If you have any adventurous spirit in you that might drag you into "risky" activities like bungee jumping, paragliding or similar, travel insurance is really something you have to have. Check out our article about travel insurance.

Know where to stay

Book your room before you arrive. You will probably be tired after the ride so extra hours of walking, searching for a place to sleep is a bad idea. At least have your first night booked. You can then search for alternatives the next day you go sightseeing.

Know local currency and other currencies accepted

If it is possible, acquire some of the local currency at home. If not, bring some of the universal currencies (US Dollars, British Pounds, Euros) you can exchange at the destination airport.

passportsBring with you only what you really need

As mentioned many times, backpackers travel lite. You should take your time and think about the stuff you will need, put them all on one pile and then discard all the things that are less important. After that, do a trial packing by importance, and everything that doesn't fit into your backpack should be discarded too.

Carry only a backpack and a daypack

Everything else is just too much, too bulky, too impractical. With a backpack your hands are always free and you always have everything you need at the reach of your hand.

Break in new equipment

Whether it's a new pair of shoes or a new tent, it should go through a test run. Shoes could give you blisters and a new tent could be impossible to assemble. It is the same with everything else you haven't used before.

Keep your health in mind

Travelers often try out a local cuisine. While that is a good idea, your digestive system might not be used to the spices or ingredients of it. So, digestive problems might occur. Also, there are possible local diseases, injuries, etc. Be sure to read our Health and Security section.

Air TicketsBe flexible in your travel plans

Sometimes shifting your flight or train for just a day might save you enough money to sleep and eat for two extra days at your destination.




After the ones mentioned, we will write down a few ones that are even more related to the backpackers way of traveling. So:

For air travel, use only low-budget airlines (check out our Guide)

Do not stay in a real hotel. Something with communal bathroom is preferred

Do not eat anything but street food

Do not use taxis or rental cars

Do not use tour guides. Maps and info from locals is more than enough

And finally, a few that are really a common sense but will make your trip more rich and unforgettable experience:

Do not visit only world-known tourist attractions

Try the local cuisine

Be a good Ambassador of your home Country

Ask before taking someone’s picture

Talk with locals and other travelers

Learn a few words on a local language

Shop and eat where locals do

Respect local laws, culture and religion

So, do all of the above mentioned make sense to you?

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 21:50


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