A Personal Guide on How to Backpack Around the World

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Hello, welcome, so this is our personal page for us to give the best advice we can which when traveling for the most part is,

 

DO NOT TAKE TOO MUCH ADVICE.........ah?

Yep that’s right, an advice page that teaches you to not take advice but does however offer you some really useful personal insight, links, companies and ideas that worked for us while we travelled and should make your traveling experience more comfortable, affordable and effective.

 

Why do we tell you to not take too much advice?

Well, it’s like this, every man, woman and their respective dog will try and tell you what you should and shouldn’t do, the problem is that this is partial and subjective to them and not necessarily a good starting point for you. You need to do you, those moments of confusion, despair and momentary doubt come with not fully understanding a situation while traveling but through this you learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and this becomes something which will help you in all aspects of life during and after your adventure.

I mean surely that is why you are choosing to travel? If you want to live in constant content then stay in the habitual environment of everyday life, choose safety and comfort but to travel, well, that’s to push those boundaries, feel the limits of your existence and make memories through those feelings by overcoming them, owning them and acknowledging there reality?!

We, as humans, have an incredible ability to adapt which make us very good at harnessing new ventures, experiences and environments with little to no prior knowledge or understanding. This gives us creative freedom to be out of control driven by indifference. When traveling however, we would of course advise you follow your destinations country laws and try not to upset the locals too much as they can be very helpful.

Whilst we condone taking a more liberal approach to travel and while most of the time you are perfectly safe we do suggest you stay smart and focused when potentially vulnerable. These are typical scams we have come across:

• Unwanted jewellery clipped on you then you’re made to pay for it
• Over charging (ask/shop around, don’t be in a rush to buy)
• Taxi trips to undesired destinations
• Pickpockets
• Attractive women flirting ect to raise expensive bar tabs you are made to pay, doesn’t tend to happen the other way around, woman are slightly more acute to this.
• Renting motorbike/jet ski’s etc then made to pay claiming they are damaged
• You attempt to buy drugs, the police come and make you pay a bribe or arrest you, try and stay away from drugs abroad

Carrying a spare wallet with some small amounts of cash in is a good shout in case someone tries to mug you, they will normally snatch it and run so just handing them something is enough. Keeping your passport and any important details secure at all time is a must and carrying some passport photos in your backpack works well for visa’s but try and sort out all visa’s before you travel if you can. We have seen a lot of victims traveling but most of them are a victim of complacency and didn’t read the signs.


What To Take?

Go light especially if you are chasing the sun or spending a lot of time in tropical climates, you just don’t need it all. Trust me when you have to walk that advertised ‘5 min walk’ up a large hill to a hostel which ends up being a hike and navigational challenge similar to something in the S.A.S selection process you will be thankful.

This next part is about good things to take with you and just for looking at my page I am going to give you a gift of this FREE MILITARY GRADE TORCH  usually $25. Check out the torch I'm willing to give you for free:

 

 

 

Obviously other than an excellent torch you want to pack clothes, documentation etc but here are some other cool products if you want to spend some money:

  1. A very comfortable and high storage backpack; I love my one by ALS called the Santiago as it zips in half almost like a suitcase, is super comfortable, has a rain shield and has survived going around the world twice. My one has done over 60,000 miles and has only just had to be replaced. I'd definitely recommend the half zipped type rather than the trekking type top loading type unless you are planning on walking serious miles, as when you are at a stop and just want to get that item at the bottom you have to pull everything out. Your backpack is such an important buy so spend time, try some out and ask around.
  2. A light but comfortable sleeping bag, you don't always want to rely on bed sheets.
  3. A more advanced Tactical Flash Torch.
  4. A Swiss army knife or similar really comes in handy.

Where?

No matter where you go, don’t over plan. Too many travellers book themselves on ridiculous schedules that allow little to almost no freedom; the best trips I personally (Ash) have experienced have been random, on a whim decisions with normally quite random and spontaneously selected people. Now the chances are you have made some conscious decisions as to where you want to go, therefore in this section we will just give you a personal experience low down on the most popular places.

DOING IT CHEAP ALERT!!!!!!

Why not try couch surfing

A safe site that allows you to engage, stay and interact with the locals, I have done this lots and have found that you get such a very different experience and really experience the culture.

Check out Vanabode Camp. It shows how to travel all over the United States and have all your needs met for $20 A day including food, lodging, transportation and entertainment. Includes resources for earning money while camping so you can quit your day job and travel forever.

HOW TO MAKE MORE WHILE YOU EXPLORE

There are a few really good ways that you can earn money while you travel and I have to admit even if you just earn enough to pay for your dinner that night it really makes the difference and certainly gives a little more freedom and confidence.

 

The best one we have come across by far is getting paid to test apps, any app, just test and review, check it out here:

EARN $300-$500 A WEEK WRITING REVIEWS FOR APP COMPANIES!!!!!!

Imagine this, you are in a coffee shop using their free WiFi and updating your blog while drinking your favorite blend, you open a separate tab, play apps, write a review and get paid for doing it. It's not the most interesting job but it's easy and will fund you to travel a bit more or a bit harder, we found this product has profited a lot of our travelers so click the link above and get on it!

URL's You Must Have Saved

To get accommodation: www.hostelworld.com. For Exchange Rates: ex.com. For blogging: www.travelpod.com.

Booking.com is the world leader for booking hotel accommodations online.

For Navigation: googlemaps.com. For disease/vaccination info: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel. For time zones: timeanddate.com


A Few Tips on Each Continent

Europe

Incredible diverse with the ability to see a lot without traveling too far, some of my favourite cities are London, Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Budapest, Prague, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Venice, Dubrovnik. I found spending too long in any city a bit draining due to tourism and actually seeing what the country has to offer in the more rural parts is more satisfying as the locals are more intrigued by your arrival and the environment feels less effected by globalisation.

The best way to get around is by train, the best ticket which I have used is Interrail which gives a three month pass and permits almost every European journey within thirty countries, despite this, read the ticket carefully as some carry restrictions and if you are unfortunate enough to impede said restrictions and get caught the fines can be quite significant. Most trains now offer free wifi so you can write a blog post while commuting, double whammy!

 

 

 

 

Asia

Tourist traps a plenty but if you want to experience all things bizarre this is one hell of a stop and in honesty you can’t miss it off the itinerary. Travelers from far and wide populate the busy areas which allow you to have a taste of home due to huge western influences but again try going more rural and nature will reward you, unless you go in monsoon season (I’ve done this), best to check that out prior to your arrival! I flew to Bangkok and Hong Kong then traveled through South East Asia and China respectively via bus or sleeper trains although be warned some of the stops on the bus journey's are minimal and the food is not fit for a Westerners stomach. Make sure you know your Visa too and how to apply if needed, most are okay if you are only spending thirty days or less, plus you can always do border runs if needed but it is best to know. I have been stuck at a border crossing for sixteen hours because I left a country in a differing area to where I came in and that was both laborious and frustrating. Not recommended.

 

 

 

Australasia

If America and the UK had a love child it would be Australia. Easy in every aspect; the travelers, the locals, the stunning scenery and wildlife, except the wildlife, that will mostly kill you. Don’t spend all your time in Irish pubs, see the outback and the bush, be careful buying a station wagon (type of car all travelers buy to drive around). Save a lot of money for New Zealand as there is a lot to do, if you don’t get around to it all, don’t fret, it’s not going anywhere, well tectonic plate speaking it is, but you get the idea.

 

Useful Info (Semi-useful)

I blew up a campavan in Australia while driving to Melbourne so had to get on one of these bus tours but it was an absolute ball, the drivers really know their shit and you see a lot you would normally drive past so I actually felt better on the bus. Plus, you don't have to worry if you have a few too many vino's or are really tired etc, the responsibility is in someone else's hands.

Did my PADI Open Water and did some dives here at the Barrier Reef with these guys, or if you fancy some skydiving in that area (Airlee Beach) this is a great company.

To get around take the hop on/hop off bus, it is the most social and easiest way to do NZ, I have friends I still talk to that I met ten years ago on this experience- Kiwi Experience or the slightly cheaper option Magic, although the saying when I was there was 'Tragic Magic'?!

The best and in my opinion only (and safest) bungy jump to do while in NZ- AJ Hackett

 

 

Canada

This country should be called Canistay (CAN-I-STAY), ha ha, I tried to put something clever here, fail..... Just epic, winter is crazy, summer is hot, learn a bit of French if you are going to these parts and mix plenty with the locals, Canadians I have found to be so welcoming. I found the greyhound bus really useful and cheap in Canada but some of the journeys were quite ridiculous. If you can see the Niagra Falls in the winter I would strongly recommend, you can't go onto the Maidens Mist (boat that takes you near the fall) but the scenery is just stunning.

 

 

 

North America

Vast scenery, interesting inhabitants and a shed load of nothing in between. Actually bloody love the States and have to say contrary to popular advice of staying either East or West I found the central a blast; some of the people are slightly more, shall we say, interesting but it gets a bad press and actually most people are awesome.

 

 

 

 

I have not populated this area with too many links etc as to be totally honest I mostly got around by with shady taxi shuttles between cities and all the hostels I stayed in were pretty sweet so it's very self explanatory when you are there. I'd say a particular  highlight for me that was the only thing I really had to book in advance was Alcatraz. I recommend the night tour.

 

 

South America

My personal experience is limited in South America but I got some tips from a friend who has spent years out there and his best advice was this:

“Drink the wine, eat the steak, get caught up in the passion and fire, learn the language as best you can and follow whatever the heart may desire; as here you can have, see, experience or lose it all. South America is extremely diverse whether you want to party in the city of Bogota, rain dance in the Amazon, take a selfie on the salt plains of Bolivia or hike up Machu Picchu in Peru, make the best of it all.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa/South Africa

This is where we would like you to submit your experiences as we have our own but would like alternatives, engage with us and let us know.

Stay safe, stay open, stay accepting and don’t listen to too many people, create your own path and tell us the details.

 

Remember to claim your:

FREE MILITARY GRADE TORCH 

As all you need to do is pay for postage and packaging and tell us where to send it. 


By Ashley Deane

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