As someone who obviously enjoys travelling I tend to lean more towards longer trip, which for me means 1+months. There are many ways to travel for extended periods of time, including studying abroad, volunteering or saving money and just taking time off, but I will cover that in another post. Now it is time to talk about planning!
1.Financial aspect and deciding the destination.
Most of us have to think about the financial aspect of travelling and it can impact the destination we chose to visit. So if you want to backpack South East Asia on a budget you may want to consider destinations like Thailand, Cambodgia and Laos rather than Singapore. Whenever I plan a trip I try to make a list of the main costs so I can approximate how much money I will need. (this is only an approximation and other costs will most certainly appear, so make sure you have extra money).
The list includes:
Cost of transportation (plane tickets, train form the airport to the city, public transportation, inter-city buses and trains, uber and taxis). I use SkyScanner to get the best prices for plane tickets, local sources and travel blogs for other transportation costs
Cost of accomodation (hotel, hostel, BnB). I use Booking to get an idea about what the prices are and how much I can get for my money.
Cost of food. There are so many amazing food vloggers/bloggers that can help you get familiar with the food and the check you should expect at the end of the meal.
Activities. (Museums, touristic objectives, sports, natural parks, food tours, etc). We travel because we want to learn and explore, so we have to plan our holiday taking into account possible activities and places to visit.
Shopping and going out. Vacantion is me-time, just do not forget to also consider this expenses.
2. Tickets and accomodation
To get a good deal you have to be flexible and book in advance. Sadly I tend to make impulsive decisions more often than not. For exemple I decided on a friday that I wanted to go visit Bratislava over the weekend. While I was reading about the city I found a blog that recommended Wild Elephants Hostel. The author of the blog said that it was the best hostel he stayed at, so I had to try it. As you can notice from the picture above it is a lovely party-hostel, and I had so much fun in there, but as I booked last minute I eneded up paying 35 euros for just one night in a shared room.
Also last-minute planet tickets are more expensive, so try to book your flight a month or two in advance.
Of course on a longer trip you are more likely to try and visit more than one place. Make sure to decide the route and how much time you want to spend in each place so you can plan the local activities and book whatever you need.
4. Downloading travel apps
Make sure to download all the apps you need to get by. Download the area you are going to on google maps, download the local language on the google translate app and maybe some podcasts on Spotify. Other apps that might help are transportation apps like Uber, Grab, 12Go Asia or FlixBus, aeroport apps and airline apps are a must for discounts and mobile banking apps from your bank and Revolut.
The best traveling advice I can give to anyone is pack light. I learned the hard way that is not a good ideea to carry a huge suitcase weighting 20 kg on the hilly pedestrain-only streets of Jerusalem. Since the day I roamed around for 2 hours with that suitcase I decided I am going to be a backpacker. I started a bit bigger, but the 20 L backpack in the picture is what I used for a month in South East Asia. That bad boy can fit a lot of clothes if you pack the the right way ( roll them).
Another tip is to always have a fanny pack with your passport ( and/or copy), money, visa and a pen you can use for paperwork at the airport or accomodation.
If you want to buy souvenirs or just some gifts for yourself while on your trip make sure to save some space in you luggage for that.
6. Enjoy your trip!