Backpacking travel tips

Elizabeth Molloy


Last summer I was fortunate enough to spend six weeks travelling through Europe with a group of friends. We took in the sights and sounds and picked up a few helpful travel tips along the way. They might make your trip a little easier!

When it comes to packing, my advice is travel light. I brought a 65 litre backpack with me and I bought some heavy duty freezer bags to sort my clothes into. Doing this made it easy to find things that I was looking for and meant that I didn’t need to empty the entire contents of the bag on the floor every time I was looking for something.

I would advise bringing back up copies of important documents. Some hostels may need a copy of your passport for the duration of your stay and if you’re using it as I.D on a night out, 6 times out of 10 that doesn’t end well. Keep these documents in a clear plastic folder somewhere that’s easy to get to.

As a student, I was on a pretty tight budget. Don’t let this get you down though! Prioritise things you want to see or do, and try and plan your spending in advance. Invest in travel cards as they’re usually cheaper and look at deals for tours or day trips online. You’ll usually get a good deal here.

When you’re not fighting for space in the hostel kitchen, try to eat in restaurants that the locals enjoy. This way you get to try the local cuisine while not paying huge tourist prices. Another tip I have is to check out the restaurants website or social media. Make sure the menu suits your taste and your budget. There’s nothing worse than spending your money on food that isn’t good.

Have a look at Airbnb. Sometimes this can work out cheaper than staying in a hostel.

Download some travel apps. The one I relied on the most was Moovit. This app gives you the fastest routes and covers all types of public transportation.

If you’re travelling by train, it’s a good idea to book your seats in advance. From experience, it’s no fun sitting crammed on the floor outside the toilets for the duration of an eight hour journey… Booking seats is fairly inexpensive and will reduce any travel anxiety you might be experiencing.

Ask the locals for their opinion! If you’re planning a night out ask where the good spots are. The best place may not be a huge nightclub an hour away, but instead a local pub or club with some great live music.

Also top tip, if you’re buying alcohol and you’re not familiar with the brand, maybe do some research. One of the days we were shopping for a night out and a local advised us against buying the alcohol we had in our baskets. He gave us a few recommendations that still worked with our budget and we were very grateful. Remember, the cheapest vodka is not always the best.

Elizabeth Molloy

Image Credit: Wikimedia