Backpacking 101: The Ultimate Pre-Travel Guide for Seamless Travelling

With the world opening its doors to travellers from all over the globe, there has never been a better time to backpack! That’s not to say that preparation for your trip has gotten any easier. So whether you’re months ahead or just thinking about travelling, here are our ultimate pre-travel tips to make your trip one to remember.

Visa Requirements:

Way before embarking on your backpacking adventure, it’s essential to understand the visa requirements of each country you plan to visit. UK passport holders benefit from visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to most countries, but, unless you’re looking for hostels in Belfast, always double-check the relevant foreign travel advice for your respective country. You don’t want to be left high and dry in an unfamiliar country, so always factor in visa fees and how long you’re permitted to stay on certain visas. Remember, even visa-free travel has a permitted length of stay!

Budget Planning:

We all have our limits, and so does your wallet! Budget planning can be the make or break of both the length and enjoyment of your trip. You should spend a considerable amount of time determining your overall travel budget, including accommodation, food, transport, activities, and backup funds. Research the average cost of a backpacker hostel in each place you plan to visit and the cost of everyday expenses. The best tip for any traveller is to set yourself a daily allowance. Exceeding this could turn a 6-month trip into a 2-month trip fast!

Plan Your Routes:

No one likes a ‘travel dictator’ with an excessive itinerary for every turn of your trip, but having a rough plan in place can help you make the most of your time. Get an understanding of your chosen destination’s public transport options, including buses, trains, and shuttles. Familiarising yourself with the regularity of public services can help reduce travel time and minimise costs. Check flight availability and affordability too, we don’t want any ‘Irish exits’ home if your travel plans go south. Always remember: flexibility is key!

Don’t Plan TOO Much:

This might seem a little hypocritical (hey, we all are sometimes…) but while planning is essential for a seamless trip, leave room for spontaneity. You’ll meet so many brilliant people on your travels, and allowing yourself room to seize opportunities as they arise will help you create unique experiences. So if those Barcelona hostels feel a little cosier than most, or you’re delighted by a captivating destination, amend your plans to take advantage of it! Some of the most memorable experiences happen when you least expect them.


Backpacking can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience, so be flexible but plan accordingly in areas that matter most. Taking steps to understand visa requirements and travel availability will help you be well-equipped to embark on a seamless and unforgettable journey.