Whether it’s your first time backpacking around Europe, or you’ve done it every summer since graduating from university, you still need to plan. It might seem like just grabbing a rucksack and jumping on the first flight to the mainland, but there’s a bit more to it than that.
This is perhaps the most important part of any trip around Europe, or the world for that matter. If you’re exploring hundreds of towns and cities in a number of countries, how are you getting there? Transport is likely to be one of your biggest expenses, so make sure you take a look at local transport links before you trek over there. Buses and coaches will probably be the cheapest options, but the subway and train might also be reasonable.
Tents and hostels are probably going to be your most common accommodation type when backpacking, thanks to cheap rates. However, after a few weeks or months of sleeping on solid ground or in grimy bunk beds, hotels or spending your holiday in a cheap villa could give you the break you need. While you might be on a tight budget, it’s worth leaving a little leeway for those occasional treats.
Backpacking offers a sense of freedom and an ability to go wherever you like, whenever you want. Although this is true to a certain extent, following an itinerary will help you make sure you don’t miss any highlights of your trip. If you’ve pre-booked accommodation, don’t lose your cash just because you didn’t stick to the plan.
Whether you’re hitting the beaches, hiking up mountains or cycling along trails, you’re going to need some sort of gear. If you’re moving around a lot, you’re likely to be carrying stuff with you so make sure you always have enough equipment without overloading your rucksack. Essentials include a first aid kit, torch, map, sunglasses and clothing.
Dining out at restaurants will literally eat away at your budget, so you’ll need to think of more frugal ways to eat on the road. If you’re camping, you might want to carry a stove with you – unless you like cold baked beans. Hostels might offer breakfast, but are unlikely to serve other meals. Don’t be afraid to venture off the tourist trail in towns and cities as local eateries will be much cheaper.
If you’re planning on backpacking around Europe for the summer, keep these simple things in mind before you leave.