As you head out of college with the doorway to Europe now firmly in front of you, there are a few hints and tips that every good backpacker should be aware of.
Although with the right amount of guidance (and money) you’re pretty much assured to have one of the greatest experiences of your life, things may not always be plain sailing.
With that in mind, here are some pointers from experienced backpackers – who have been there, done it and probably bought the t-shirt.
Although some people may cringe at the mere mention of the word ‘hostel’, especially after a certain well-known film, the truth is that throughout Europe hostels are springing up left, right and centre – meaning that competition to get your money is fierce and prices relatively low as a result.
If you are however a little unsure of which hostel to go for, do not be afraid to ask your fellow backpackers which ones are locally recommended.
If you’re lucky enough to know where you’re going in advance, do some research online. Websites such as Hostelling International offer great reviews on selected hostels.
Budget for nightlife
If you like a good party then it is imperative you think about how much money you’re going to spend on your nights out throughout Europe. Even if you only spend $10 per night, that’s just under a total of $2000 over a six-month period.
Bear in mind that $10 in Europe won’t get you far. If you can, try and save your money for the important things in life, such as food and accommodation. You can always have more than enough fun without the alcohol, especially in artistic cities such as Barcelona and Liverpool.
Keep in contact with your family
Interestingly, one of the greatest reasons why your journey in Europe is likely to end early is not a lack of money, but missing home.
As the majority of your friends and family will be thousands of miles away back in the United States it’s important to keep in regular contact with the ones that you love, not only for you, but for them too.
Although the internet is providing tons of new ways of keeping up through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, nothing beats an old-fashioned telephone conversation.
There are several options to choose when looking for a cell phone provider, one of which are Pre Paid world cell phones and Pre Paid European SIM cards from companies such as SIM Smart Pre Paid who offer you the opportunity to talk to your loved ones without breaking the bank – providing a lifeline that will likely keep you on the move longer.
Prepare to work
Quite often you can get the greatest experience out of a backpacking holiday if you’re prepared to work to get to where you need to go.
Although you’ll almost certainly have to save money before you go to Europe, the chances are that you’ll need to pick up one or two jobs along the way.
Though you may not like the idea of this, you are more than likely to meet young, creative and like-minded people when working; offering you the opportunity to make some new friends on your travels.