A Backpacker's Guide to Backpacking

Since coming home I've been asked lots of questions from family, friends and now blog readers about what it's like to travel for such a long period of time. What do you need to bring with you? How much money do you need? Well, this post contains the answers to all your questions!

How did you save enough money for your trip?
I started working at a fast food restaurant called Max about two months after I graduated. Knowing I would have to save up as much money as possible I worked day and night to reach my goal. It was hard, but I made it in the end which was all that mattered! It took me about five and a half months to save enough money to take me to the other side of the globe.

How much money do you need?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions, and the hardest one to answer since it differs from person to person how much money you want to spend. Me and my two friends had all agreed that we would live on quite a tight budget. No fancy hotels, cheap food and only window shopping. People told us it would be both hard and boring, but I totally disagree! Why spend money on a private room at a hotel when you don't spend time in your room anyways? Sleeping in a dorm is the best way to meet new people! And who says cheap food has to taste bad? We did do some shopping though, but only using the money we saved up from eating so cheap in New Zealand... Without counting in the flight tickets to New Zealand and from Bali to Sweden I spent about 47 000 kr (roughly £4000). Minus the money I used for flight tickets between the countries and you're left with roughly 400 kr/£34 a day. For us that was perfect! Some days you spend more and some days less!

What did you eat?
Backpackers will tell you that the only things we eat are noodles and pizza from Dominos (the $6 backpacker deal is amazing), but that's not really true. As long as you spend your money wisely, you can eat both delicious and healthy food! I travelled with one vegetarian and one vegan, so we didn't spend lots of money on meat, which made everything so much cheaper. We had oatmeal with cinnamon, bananas and dates every single morning. Super yummy and kept us going for hours! For lunch we usually had salad with beans or chickpeas (I can totally advise you all to buy a lunchbox so that you can bring your lunch to the beach). Dinner in New Zealand was canned soup and bread every single evening, the perfect dinner if you live in a camper van and have only one small stove to cook on. In Australia we got a bit more creative though. Pasta, stir fry and our favourite: rice with a curry made from coconut milk, lentils, spinach and mushrooms!
Bali was of course very different, since it's cheaper to eat out than buy food at the supermarket (and there were not really any supermarkets anyways so...)

What are some essentials you have to pack?
It of course depends on where you're going and if what time of year it is, but if you're going on the kind of trip that I did then I would recommend you to bring the following:
- Four pair of shoes: trainers for trekking, sneakers for every day use, sandals for when it's too hot or when you're going out clubbing (some places will not let you in if you wear sneakers) and flip flops. Perfect to wear when going to the beach or in the hostel toilets and showers.
- A fleece and a rain jacket (because if you're going to a place like New Zealand, the weather can be super hot in one place and freezing two hours away).
- Packing bags! Makes your bag more organised and you'll find what you're looking for without making a mess.
- Camera
- A smaller backpack for day trips (I brought the classic Scandinavian-going-backpacking-bag: Kånken from Fjällräven. Made me feel like a true Viking!)
- Microfiber towel (dries super quick and takes up minimal space in your bag)
- SPF 50!
- A separate beach towel/sarong
- A diary

Travelling with friends or travelling solo?
I would absolutely recommend travelling with someone! Force a good friend from home to join you on your adventures or befriend someone at a hostel. Either you know each other from home or you get to know each other as you go. I started off with two friends from home and spent the last two weeks in Bali with a girl from Denmark I met in Australia. I'm a people person and love having someone with me, so for me travelling solo was never an option. It all depends on who you are and what you prefer!

Any advice to someone who wants to go backpacking?
- Talk to people! The worst thing that can happen is that you don't like them, and then you can just leave.
- Join the organised activities that your hostel offers. It's a great opportunity to meet new people!
- Don't worry, if you're lost or don't know what to do, just ask someone. 99.9% of people are nice and willing to help.
- Don't be that person who organises a pre party in the dorm after 10pm. Everyone will hate you! Unless the entire dorm is going out, then be that person!
- There are not really that many spiders in Australia. And drop-bears are a myth, don't get fooled.
- If no one's swimming, you probably shouldn't either...
- Enjoy your travels! Time flies by when you're having fun and you'll find yourself on a plane back home way too soon.
- Remember that if you're feeling home sick, you'll feel just as travel sick when you're back home!

5 kommentarer

  1. Such an interesting post, looks like you had an amazing time.

    Olivia // BLONDE LA MODE

  2. love your blog! ♥

    travelling solo seems like a great escape from reallity but I'd not so brave hah

    TheWhitePrint Blog
    CGrabowska's Instagram

  3. I have always been curious as to how backpacking works. It seems like such an interesting, awesome, and cheap way to explore different countries. Cool post!

    - Samantha


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