10 Common Mistakes First-Time Backpackers Should Avoid

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Backpacking is a wonderful way to see the world and gain new experiences. In addition to exploring new places, cultures, and cuisines, you also learn to be more flexible and confident. And of course, you’ll probably end up making friends from all over the world!

While a backpacking trip promises a lot of fun and adventure, certain blunders can turn this experience sour. In this post, we’re sharing common mistakes you should avoid. Let’s dive in.

Girl in busy city
Girl in busy city

1. Overpacking

We understand that you want to be prepared for every possible situation, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to pack more than one bag. At the end of the day, you have to carry all your luggage around. Since you would be moving so much, it would be best to bring just one high-quality backpack.

2. Neglecting Healthy Diet

You probably can’t spend a fortune on fine dining experiences when you’re traveling on a tight budget. However, not eating a healthy diet can take a toll on your energy levels. Try your best to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3. Not Addressing Travel Fatigue

If you’ve been backpacking for months, you may experience travel fatigue. While constantly traveling and staying in cheap hostels is certainly fun, it can also be extremely tiring. And who wants to feel exhausted after a trip? We suggest ending your backpacking adventure by treating yourself to decent accommodation. Check out vacation rentals in South Carolina, and you can split the cost with your travel companions and enjoy a more luxurious pitstop.

4. Carrying Cans of Food

Canned food is no doubt cheap but also heavy. Rather than making your backpack unnecessarily heavier, pack nut butters, dehydrated oatmeals, protein bars, and other ready-to-eat meals. These are not only lighter in weight but also easier to pack.

5. Being Too Cheap

There’s no harm in being frugal but not at the expense of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. When will you ever get to eat handmade pasta in Rome? Or deep dive in the Great Barrier Reef? Every backpacker should know when to splurge and when to hold back.

6. Skip the Guidebook

Guidebooks were surely helpful, but you have a smartphone now. Unless you’re planning to go off the grid, we suggest skipping guidebooks for a lighter backpack.

7. Don’t Forget Sunscreen

Whether it’s cloudy or snowing outside, you cannot skip sunscreen. Yes, you read that right. Sunscreen is not just required for sunny weather. It’s actually important to wear sunscreen all year round. After all, the last thing you want is a painful sunburn. So slather yourself in sunscreen every morning and reapply it every two hours.

8. Not Mingling

Sure, you can try traveling solo, but who doesn’t love company? It’s okay to have reservations about talking to strangers. However, we urge you to step out of your comfort zone and interact with other backpackers. In addition to being a lot of fun, backpacking in a group is also much safer.

9. Buying Cheap Gear

From a coat to hiking boots, buying cheap gear can end up costing you significant discomfort. Do you really want to spend the night in the freezing cold without a well-insulated sleeping bag? Don’t hesitate to invest in high-quality backpacking gear, which will probably last you a lifetime.

10. Not Haggling

Many foreign countries have two different price points for locals and tourists. So don’t be surprised if retailers are asking you to pay obnoxious prices for small trinkets. That being said, never buy anything without haggling. Trust us, you will just pay a fraction of the initially quoted price by standing your ground and negotiating relentlessly.

Backpacking can open your mind to new possibilities and potentially change your life. So what’s stopping you? Book your tickets today!

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Aemilia Lvy

Aemilia is a blogger, content marketer and editor with experience in a diverse range of industries. Her work has been published on various blogs, websites, and magazines on the web.

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