Six Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Long Trip

Although you certainly don’t need to be a rocket scientist to backpack the globe, a little bit of common sense can certainly go a long way, particularly in the planning stages. Many backpackers however, particularly those heading off for the first time, make a number of easily avoidable mistakes.

And while there are very few things that you could do to make you regret going backpacking, they’re certainly are many ways that you can make your trip less enjoyable and/or more expensive. Should you want to really maximize what you get from your time on the road, try to avoid the following six incredibly common backpacking mistakes.

Overly Ambitious Itineraries

While there is nothing wrong with a little bit of ambition when it comes to traveling, some backpackers tend to overdo it when it comes to their itineraries. Although there are certainly many beautiful places to see in the world, most of them require at least a few days to really see anything other than the surface.

If you are visiting more than two or three cities in a week, not only are you going to fail to really experience any of them, you are also going to tire yourself out. Unfortunately most people can only handle a certain number of train rides in a single week before they start to crack up. Therefore, when it comes to travel planning, remember to pace yourself.

Rigid Schedules

Another serious error made when it comes to developing an itinerary is failing to leave enough flexibility. While having a rough outline of where you are going to go and when you are going to get there is great, it’s important to remember that flexibility is important.

You can’t really know how much you are going to like, or loathe, somewhere until you get there. And it’s a shame if you find somewhere, or someone, you love and you have to leave solely because the rest of your trip has been cast in stone with endless reservations. Therefore wherever possible, avoid booking anything that cannot be cancelled.

Heading off at the Wrong Time of Year

Although the timing of many trips is restricted due to personal or work obligations, if you have a lot of choice with regards to when you go, it’s a serious mistake not to take account of the seasons. Not only is the weather significantly different in many countries depending upon the time of year that you visit, but the number of people that you’ll be sharing the sites with can also vary widely. It is also worth noting that many countries are significantly cheaper in Winter.

Failing to Budget

Although most people set off with enough money to fund their entire trip, many tend to blow the majority of their budget during the first half of it. This is a serious mistake to make as backpacking without enough money to party, really isn’t backpacking at all.

Therefore, before you head off, you should both make a daily budget and decide to stick to it. You should also remember to take into account the differing prices across the globe. Finally, it’s important to be realistic about how much money you need. If you are short on funds, perhaps you would be better off taking a shorter trip rather than being broke all the time.

Lack of Research

When it comes to getting from one place to another, there are often a number of different options available. Taking the time to find out about those options before you set off can be highly beneficial in terms of both money and time. It’s also important to remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best choice.

Many backpackers choose to travel by bus or train rather than pay for an expensive plane ticket. But always ask yourself just how many hours on a bus or train you are willing to spend just to save fifty dollars. There certainly are times when it makes more sense to fly.

Incompatible Travel Partners

Finally, if there’s one thing that can really make a mess out of just about any trip, it’s taking that trip with the wrong person. Just because you enjoy heading to the pub with somebody on a Saturday night, that does not mean that you will enjoy spending twenty four hours a day with them traveling around Europe. Therefore choose your travel partner wisely, otherwise you might find that your trip, and possibly even your friendship, ends up in tatters.

Dillon Michaelson travels around the world and he also writes blogs on planning and travelling tips to avoid any Last minute flights and holidays.

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