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April 16, 2024
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Planning Your First Backpacking Trip in Latin America

First off, we should congratulate you on taking the decision to go on your maiden backpacking voyage, and also for choosing Latin America as your destination. You’re about to embark upon an exciting journey which is all but certain to be one of the best experiences of your life visit here. No doubt, it will spark in you a lifelong love of traveling – a habit you’ll never be able to shake off, even if you wanted to (which you won’t). Before you get to the region, though, you’ve probably still got plenty of dull things to sort out and lots of decisions to make. And with so much going on, it’s easy to take a wrong step, which will limit (a bit) the fun you’ll be able to have on your trip later.

Streamline your itinerary

One of the best parts of your pre-trip preparations is reading up about all the weird and wonderful places you could visit. The more you read about fun places and exciting activities, the more you’ll find yourself wanting to experience them all. Anyone planning this sort of extended trip knows the temptation to continually make your proposed route longer and longer in order to fit in all these extra destinations.

The most fun bit about traveling is not actually traveling. At least, not in the ‘spending-endless-days-on-cramped-buses’ sense of the word. The best experiences come from seeing / doing / eating new things and meeting new people. If you’re constantly hurrying off to the next destination just to tick it off your list, you’ll spend more time on transport and less enjoying life. Much better, we think, to scale down your ambitions slightly; to see fewer places, but see them properly. Spending a couple of extra days here and there will you allow to fully enjoy the places you visit and, ultimately, to build better memories of your trip.

Keep your route flexible

Returning to the theme of itineraries, we recommend that you build in plenty of flexibility to any travel plans you put together before arriving. However much you’ve read up and planned out your ideal route, things are certain to change when you actually begin your journey. Some countries or places you never expected to spend any time in might be much more fun than you expected. Others might be less good than you’d hoped, encouraging you to zip through them quickly.

Alternatively, you might get really ill somewhere along the line, or meet a cool group of people who you want to keep traveling with for a while longer. Suffice to say that there are any number of things that can throw off even the best laid plans of a backpacker. Being able to adapt to these changes is an important aspect of your new found freedom and is a big part of the beauty of getting away.

Keep an eye on your bank balance

In an ideal world australia online pokies, you’d budget properly and know exactly how much you were able to spend each day in order to be able to travel comfortably throughout the trip. But we know that nobody wants to think about financial planning when they are just embarking on the trip of a lifetime. And, indeed, the standard thing for backpackers do is to splurge in the first half of their trip, then, in the second part, realize they’ve hugely overspent and have to cut back dramatically.

Don’t scrimp when buying a backpack

With all the other millions of expenses – flights, travel insurance, clothes and equipment – that you’re faced with before going away, you might think that luggage is one area where you can save a few pennies. Do so at your peril. Depending on what luggage you opt for, your backpack can end up being your best friend or worst enemy. You’ll be spending a hell of a lot of time together so it’s best to choose wisely.

Buying a cheap backpack is always a false economy. Remember that you’re going to put that thing through a lot of stress when you’re away. The poor little guy is going to suffer extreme changes of temperature, will get smashed about on buses, scuffed on hostel floors and soaking wet on boat trips.

Plump for a bargain-basement backpack and within weeks a side handle, zip, or strap is bound to break. And when you unexpectedly get kicked off a bus into a hot, dusty town in the middle of nowhere — as will inevitably happen at some point on your trip — you don’t want have to contend with the additional stress of backpack that sheds your possessions at every step.

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