Everything You Need to Know before Backpacking through Europe
The old continent is addictively gorgeous in all its diversity. From vibrant cities to quaint villages, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime if you know where to look. If you’ve decided to take some weeks off to go backpacking through Europe, you already know this and certainly don’t need extra persuasion.
However, what you may need are a few smart tips and tricks on backpacking, especially when planning a longer journey. Backpacking through Europe includes sleeping on overnight trains, wasting time in local cafes, immersing yourself in the local cultures and making the best of each moment.
Dive right in, but not before checking out the list of everything you need to know before backpacking through Europe.
#1 A Top Quality Backpack Is a Must
The most important item to take with you in your Europe backpacking adventure is obviously your backpack. Don’t be stingy when it comes to investing in good quality travelling gear. Strengthened fabrics are highly recommended. Choose a backpack that features highly resistant fabrics and materials, and has sturdy, secure fastening gear.
Comfort is also very important when it comes to your backpack. After all, it will be your trusty companion all through your European journey. Adjustable straps are a must. Most travelling backpacks will sport a padded back part to support your spine and a correct posture.
There are plenty of choices when it comes to top quality backpacks. These should feature the characteristics mentioned above in addition to well-defined compartments to help with organizing.
#2 Packing Light Isn’t Rocket Science
Now that you’ve got your true traveler backpack, make a list of what you need to take with you. Keep it short and essential. If you have a list of ‘just-in-case’ items, drop it. Everything you pack just-in-case will never be used during your backpacking adventure. Instead, it will take up precious space.
If you’re planning to take your backpack as the only travel bag, then saving space is of utmost importance. Here is a useful video on how to slim down your suitcase. Watch and learn. Pack as if you’re leaving for one week tops. You’ll find laundry shops everywhere in Europe, so washing your clothes won’t be a problem.
If you’re travelling with a friend, then share things like the hairdryer or toiletries and split the items between the two pieces of luggage. Consider the space your must-have electronics take up and plan the remaining space accordingly.
#3 Planning Your Route Saves Time and Money
Backpacking through Europe is intense. This experience could last for five years and it still wouldn’t be enough to see everything there is to see and to do everything you want. It’s impossible to take everything in at once, so a bit of patience is necessary.
Make a list of the places you want to visit. Check out this list on TripAdvisor for a quick preview of other travelers’ top European destinations. Overlap you own list of places you want to see with the timeframe you have.
Remember not to cram too many large cities in just a few days. Keep things realistic and consider how you will be travelling between these cities. If hopping around randomly requires more money than an organized route, then maybe you should reconsider. After all, you could be saving up for those special souvenirs. Or a day or two of splurging. It doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
#4 Finding Accommodation Beforehand is Wise
Provided you’ve planned the trip and the dates are set in stone, the next smart step is to find accommodation. Backpacking through Europe can be a wonderful mix of spontaneous moments and planned details. As such, except for those times when you’ll undoubtedly spend the night on trains, in cafes and pubs, proper accommodation is actually welcome.
It doesn’t have to be anything over the top. Ask any backpacker and they’ll recommend hostels and local B&Bs that are not only cheap but also authentic and entertaining. Check out top travelling websites and booking websites to find the best deals and special offers.
For those backpacking in summer, it’s a smart call to find accommodation before embarking on the European adventure. During peak months, hostels and motels are often fully booked.
A successful backpacking journey depends to a large extent on the planning behind it. Take your time before you walk the lengths of Parisian streets, hike the trails of Iceland or enjoy the sun in Madrid. Book your tickets, create your route, find accommodation, and definitely pack lightly!