Everyone has thought about embarking on such a journey as backpacking through Europe. Whether for the purpose of soul searching, having fun, or just experience so many different cultures in such little time, backpacking through Europe is definitely an experience you will never forget if done right. With that being said, here is what you need to plan in order to experience a smooth, successful and breathtaking backpacking trip.
Have a Solid Itinerary
While this may be the most boring part of the preparation, a good itinerary is necessary to avoid future mishaps. Make sure you know exactly which countries you want to make part of your trip. Map out your plans on which sights you want to see the most, where you want to stay, while leaving enough leg room for adjustments if need be.
Have A Travel Buddy/Group
They say everything is done best in pairs, or more. Such an experience as backpacking through Europe definitely qualifies. You will want someone to travel with, for various reasons; it’s more safe, you have more fun when you have someone to share the experience with, and having more people boosts the overall quality of the trip (especially if you have never been to the European countries on your itinerary).
Be Cost Effective Concerning Accommodation
Depending on the length of your trip, planning where you’re going to stay during your visit in each country is likely to be the most expensive part of the trip. Thankfully, there are many options other than just staying in hotels.
If you and your buddy are comfortable with camping, by all means, do that! Bring your gear, and you’ll more than likely find some affordable camping grounds with great locations in most of the cities you’ll visit.
If camping is not really an option, one thing Europe does very well is their hostel system. It favors backpackers, as they know the struggle. They are cheap, well furnished, and in honesty, better than what most hotels give you for a fraction of their price. You will find many hostels that offer free breakfast as well so make sure you inquire early on (this should be done before you leave for the trip, as part of the itinerary).
Make Sure To Have The Right Devices/Apps
You will definitely need a portable phone charger (power banks), so as to not get stranded. You will also need a GPS (Google Maps works great), and for backup purposes, a translating app will do you lots of favors. To avoid going out on a day with bad weather, make sure to have a weather app on your phone.
Know How To Use Public Transport
A big factor of backpacking efficiently is knowing how to get around quickly in a busy city. You will want to have a general idea of how to get around in the various countries you visit. Using the bus and subway will be your best friends during your trip, so make sure to familiarize yourself with both systems right when you arrive each city. If you prefer to use an Uber or Lyft, you’re of course able to do so, but that takes away from the authentic and natural feel of backpacking.
Make Friends With The Locals
When you’re in a foreign land, it’s always good to be as friendly as possible, as you will most likely need to ask for directions once in a while (your GPS won’t always save you). This is where that translator app from before comes in, and all this will make your backpacking trip go as smoothly as possible.