Essential Backpacking Travel Tips

Backpacking is an exciting way to travel, and with the right preparation, it can be a memorable and enjoyable experience. Whether you're planning your first backpacking trip or you're a seasoned pro, these tips for backpackers will help you get the most out of your adventure.

See amazing vistas while on your adventure

Choosing The Best Backpack for Your Trip

One of the most important items for a backpacking trip is your backpack. It is important to choose a backpack that is comfortable and suitable for your trip. Look for a backpack with a capacity that is appropriate for the length of your trip and one that has a good weight distribution.

Here are five different backpack options that you can consider:

  • Osprey Atmos AG 65 - The Osprey Atmos AG 65 is a popular backpack that is known for its comfort and adjustability. It has an Anti-Gravity suspension system that distributes the weight of the backpack evenly across the body, making it easier to carry. This backpack is great for longer trips as it has a capacity of 65 litres.

  • Deuter ACT Lite 50+10 - The Deuter ACT Lite 50+10 is a versatile backpack that is ideal for shorter trips. It has a capacity of 50 litres but can be expanded to 60 litres with an adjustable lid. This backpack is comfortable to wear and has an ergonomic design that ensures weight is distributed evenly.

  • Gregory Baltoro 65 - The Gregory Baltoro 65 is a durable and sturdy backpack that is designed for rugged terrain. It has a capacity of 65 litres and is made from high-quality materials that can withstand tough conditions. This backpack also has an adjustable suspension system that can be tailored to fit your body.

  • REI Co-op Flash 55 - The REI Co-op Flash 55 is a lightweight backpack that is perfect for day hikes and overnight trips. It has a capacity of 55 litres and is made from durable materials. This backpack is also adjustable and has a comfortable fit, making it ideal for those who like to move quickly on the trail.

  • Kelty Redwing 50 - The Kelty Redwing 50 is a versatile backpack that is great for both urban and outdoor adventures. It has a capacity of 50 litres and is designed with a variety of pockets and compartments for easy organization. This backpack also has an adjustable suspension system and is comfortable to wear.

When choosing a backpack, it's important to consider the size and weight, as well as the features that are important to you. Make sure to try on several different backpacks before making a decision, and don't be afraid to ask for advice from experienced backpackers or sales associates at specialized stores like Basecamp  in Dublin or Great Outdoors in Dublin and Limerick.

When choosing a backpack, it's important to consider the size and weight, as well as the features that are important to you. Make sure to try on several different backpacks before making a decision, and don't be afraid to ask for advice from experienced backpackers or sales associates at specialized stores like Basecamp  in Dublin or Great Outdoors in Dublin and Limerick.

Finding Low-Cost Accommodation

Accommodation is a significant expense when travelling, but there are many ways to save money on it. One popular option among backpackers is to stay in hostels. Hostelworld is a popular website for finding and booking hostels. You can sort by price, location, and amenities, making it easy to find the perfect hostel for your needs.

Another option for budget travellers is Couchsurfing, a community that connects travellers with locals who are willing to host them for free. This can be a great way to meet new people, learn about local culture, and save money on accommodation.

For those who prefer more privacy, Airbnb is an excellent option. You can rent anything from a room in someone's home to an entire apartment or house. The prices vary depending on location and amenities, but it's often cheaper than a hotel.

Packing for a Backpacking Trip

Packing for a backpacking trip can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Consider the duration of your trip, the weather, and the activities you'll be doing when deciding what to pack. Pack light and only bring essential items to save space and weight. Don't forget to pack a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad and a backpacking stove if you plan to cook your meals.

For more tips on what to pack, check out our article on what to pack for backpacking. Here are 5 tips for packing for a backpacking trip:

  • Pack light: When packing for a backpacking trip, it's important to keep your backpack as light as possible. Stick to the essentials and avoid overpacking, as carrying a heavy backpack can be exhausting and uncomfortable.

  • Invest in high-quality gear: Invest in high-quality gear that is durable and can withstand the rigours of a backpacking trip. This includes a sturdy backpack, a reliable tent, a warm sleeping bag, and a good-quality water filter.

  • Bring versatile clothing: When packing clothes for your backpacking trip, think about versatility. Pack clothing that can be worn in different combinations to keep your backpack light. It's also important to bring clothing that is appropriate for the climate you'll be travelling in.

  • Use packing cubes: Packing cubes can help you stay organized and save space in your backpack. Use them to group similar items and make it easier to find what you need.

  • Pack emergency essentials: It's important to pack emergency essentials such as a first aid kit, a headlamp, and extra food and water. You never know when you might encounter an emergency, so it's best to be prepared.
Find the best transportation for your trip

Plan Your Trip Beforehand

Before you leave for your trip, it's important to plan and prepare. Download offline maps, research the weather, and create a rough itinerary of what you'd like to do in each city. Having a general plan can help you stay organised and make the most of your time, here are 5 tips for planning your backpacking trip:

  • Choose your destination(s): Research and decide on the place you want to explore and consider the time of year, weather, and local customs.

  • Create a packing list: Make a list of all the essential items you'll need for your trip, including clothing, gear, and any necessary documents like passports or visas. Here is a great basic backpacking checklist that you can print out. 

  • Set a budget: Determine how much money you can afford to spend on your trip, and plan accordingly. Consider affordable accommodations like hostels or camping to save money.

  • Plan your itinerary: Create a rough itinerary that outlines your travel routes, modes of transportation, and key activities or sights you want to see. Be flexible but having a basic plan will help you stay organized and make the most of your time.

  • Purchase travel insurance: Protect yourself from unexpected medical expenses or travel mishaps by purchasing travel insurance. Look for a policy that covers emergency medical treatment, trip cancellation, and baggage loss such as AIG backpackers travel insurance.

Stay Connected with Family & Friends

Staying in touch with family and friends while travelling is essential, and there are many ways to do it. Consider getting a local SIM card or using messaging apps like WhatsApp or Viber. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are also great for sharing your experiences with loved ones back home.

Travelling Around by Train, Bus or Plane?

When it comes to transportation, it's important to consider the cost as well as the convenience. Renting a car  can be expensive, but it gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. If you're travelling with a group, splitting the cost of a rental car can be a cost-effective way to get around. If hiring a car be sure to avoid harsh excess costs with Car Hire Excess insurance allowing you to enjoy your drive abroad without worrying about the potential extra costs of any damage done while you are taking in the foreign scenery.

If you're travelling solo, public transportation might be a better option. Many cities have excellent public transportation systems that are affordable and easy to use. Trains and buses can also be a good way to travel between cities, as they're often cheaper than flying. One good website to check out is Rome2Rio, which can let you know the cost to get from one city to another using a number of different transport options.

Enjoy the experience either alone or with friends

Create an Approximate Budget

Creating a budget is essential for a successful backpacking trip. Research the cost of transportation, accommodation, food, and activities in the places you plan to visit. Be sure to factor in unexpected expenses, such as emergency medical costs. There are many budgeting apps available, like Trail Wallet or Travel Spend, that can help you track your expenses and stay within your budget. For more tips on planning your budget, check out our article on tips for planning your gap year trip.

Staying Safe While Backpacking

Safety is a concern for any traveller, especially for backpackers who may be sharing rooms or spaces with strangers. Always trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings. Consider using a money belt or a neck wallet to carry your cash and cards and be cautious when using ATMs. For more tips on staying safe while travelling, check out our article on important airport safety tips.

Keeping your Health While Travelling

Staying healthy while travelling is important. Make sure to stay hydrated, wear sunblock, and eat healthy food. If you're travelling to a country where tap water isn't safe to drink, consider bringing a water filter or buying bottled water.


In conclusion, backpacking is an adventurous and rewarding way to travel. If you want to get more information on backpacking or learn more tips, check out REI and The Broke Backpacker. It allows you to explore the world on a budget and experience unique cultures and landscapes.

However, it's important to be prepared and stay safe during your trip. By choosing the right backpack, planning, packing wisely and staying informed about your destination, you can have a successful and enjoyable backpacking experience. And to give you peace of mind while you travel, don't forget to consider backpackers travel insurance.

AIG offers travel insurance policies designed to protect you from unexpected situations such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations or lost or stolen baggage. So, get out there and start planning your next backpacking adventure with confidence, knowing that you're covered with AIG.

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