5 Backpacker tips for your trip around Europe
Travelling around Europe with just a backpack, focuses the mind on just what it is that is important for you to remember to pack in such a small space. Just like being on a dessert island, and only being allowed five items, we document here that we consider the five most important items to remember, or to consider.
- Travel documents would have to be the most important documents to remember. Without these, you will be unable to prove your identity to anyone. Interestingly, though, if you are an EU national, you do not need to show your national ID card or passport for border checks within the Schengen area. The border-free Schengen area includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
- Having the correct currency is a consideration if you are moving between remote areas where cash is the only accepted form of exchange. Although, this has been made easier with the fact that the euro will be accepted across borders, and the only currency required to pay your way. Just remember to order it in good time from your bank. It is worth checking out the different exchange rates for the best prices. The price can be evened out and allow for sudden rate increases by buying some of your currency well in advance of your holiday. It is a good idea to pack a second bank card that is separate from your wallet in case you should lose the other one. It is easier to hide a debit card than a bundle of cash.
- A mobile phone is an essential tool to take if you wish to track where you are. If you do not wish to walk between destinations, then let a travel firm worry about the navigation. National Express offer a service that will allow you to track your coach in real time with Coach Tracker. All the different transport options do not have to be considered in advance, but you cannot rely that there will be a mobile signal when you wish to plan your next move. The mobile phone does, of course offer, a world of advice at your fingertips, so it is well worth remembering your charger.
- Remember to pack maps for the regions that you plan to visit. Should you not be able to find them all, traveline.info is a useful website to know when it comes to planning your journey. It can navigate you, working out timings and distances.
- Consider volunteering whilst you are abroad to broaden your experience. A website called Grassroots Volunteering is an ideal place to search for such opportunities around the world. For this, you may want to consider learning another language, or at least have a few phrases to hand. It may be wise to visit countries whose language you have studied at school, although your local college will have evening language courses on offer. Knowing a language inside out, will mean that you can understand it in written form, too, and not just verbally understand what is being said. It is likely to prove useful and impress whoever you interact with on your foreign expedition. The fact with that you have taken the trouble to learn words that are not normally ones to you in your everyday life back home.
Backpacking is all about planning ahead. Once you have done that, the trip can only provide excitement from the unknown. Except that it will not be entirely unknown, because it was a circumstance planned for.
This just leaves us to say: enjoy your holiday!