The Backpacking Checklist: Things to Do Before Going Backpacking or on a Long Trip

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The Backpacking Checklist: Things to Do Before Going Backpacking or on a Long Trip

When you've spent the last few months planning all the details of your grand trip, it's easy to forget some of the important things to prepare before setting off in all the excitement. Here are some of the main things you shouldn't forget to do before taking a long holiday or going backpacking around part of the world.

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The Backpacking Checklist: Things to Do Before Going Backpacking or on a Long Trip

Download Anything You Might Need on Your Phone

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Getting a good internet connection while traveling around can be difficult especially within developing countries and rural areas. Before heading off, make sure to download any apps you might need. While you can download parts of google maps for offline use, a better option would be which is even more accurate, other recommended apps include an offline currency converter like XE Currency and making use of google translate's offline feature.

Travel Insurance

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Taking a few days to relax on a beach in Spain might seem like you can get away without bothering to book a travel insurance plan, however if you'll be traveling for a long time, the chances that something unfortunate will happen along the journey is much more likely. Especially in developing countries where crime levels are much higher than your home country. Getting covered for a long trip is a no-brainer, if you don't need to use it then great, but it always helps to be covered just in case.

Don't Overpack

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Trekking around the middle of nowhere for a few months you might feel like you need to fill your huge backpack with every outfit and gadget you possess in order to survive. In reality, you'll probably end up throwing most of them away when you realize you're gonna feel every extra kilogram pulling on your back while you're constantly on the road. The lighter you manage to make it the more you'll thank yourself later on in the trip.

Unless you'll be in Antarctica for three months, most destinations you'll be visiting will have large towns or cities where you can always buy extra clothes or other things you might need. In countries like in Southeast Asia, clothes are so cheap that if you do find you didn't bring enough, you can always buy some there anyway. Unless you think you'll really need something, it's probably better to leave it at home.

Prepare Paper Copies of Flights, Hotel Bookings and Important Documents

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It's not gonna be your lucky day every single day and while on the road misfortune can happen at any moment, often when it's most inconvenient. If you lose your phone or passport, it can make getting around places so much more difficult, especially if there's a language barrier too. Having paper copies of your hotel booking and address, flights and other documents can be a lifesaver if you do lose your phone somewhere along the way.

Take Medication

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For those that need to take regular medicine for a medical condition, taking your medicine with you is a given, you might not be able to buy or find the same medication at your destination. However it's also important to take some general medicine too for times when the going gets rough. Getting a bad stomach from eating street food or a nasty cold from a passerby is highly likely at some point during your trip and it can often be in the most inconvenient of places when you're far from any pharmacy.

Having some pain killers, travel sickness and anti-diarrhea medication on hand will be a lifesaver for these times and having a few tablets will hardly weigh much or take up any room in your luggage.

Prepare Emergency Funds

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Have a backup plan just in case your wallet is lost or stolen at some point. If this really does happen and it often will, it can be a huge inconvenience that might ruin most of your trip, however planning for scenarios like this can make it much easier to deal with. Hide some money and a separate bank card in other parts of your luggage or pockets for emergency use and designate a friend or family member who can wire money through a Western Union.


It always helps to be as prepared as possible for all different outcomes, to avoid as much hassle as you can and focus on enjoying your trip. If it's your first time traveling for an extended amount of time then it pays to spend extra time planning and preparing beforehand.