Backpacking is awesome way to travel and explore the world! Pack up your belongings in the backpack (obviously) and off you go! Backpackers hostel is here to make it easier for you – by providing maps, local tips, discounts, wifi and opportunities to meet other like minded travellers. Actually Wikipedia explains it quite nicely: “Backpacking is a form of low-cost, independent travel. It includes the use of a backpack that is easily carried for long distances or long periods of time; the use of public transport; inexpensive lodging such as youth hostels; often a longer duration of the trip when compared with conventional vacations; and often an interest in meeting locals as well as seeing sights.”
Some tips we thought we’d share with you after travelling extensively and running hostels for more than 20 years:
Seriously, who wants to carry 30 kilos bag everywhere with them? If you have something in your backpack that you haven’t used in a while bin it or post it back home. Don’t carry things because you “might” need them at some stage. Leave expensive things you don’t want to lose / have stolen at home. If you are on a longer trip, do not buy souvenirs – take a lot of photos and keep travel journal!
Student ID = discount
Get one of the major student IDs and ask for student discount everywhere you go! in Ireland, you will usually get discount lunch, transport, museums and hostel beds if you have a valid student card so go for it!
Go for street food where available! Pick places where loads of locals eat and try something new and adventurous! In Ireland, you will see farmer markets with cheap fruit & veg so you can add some vitamins to your day!
Go where locals go to
Don’t just go to big international places, go to local pubs! One of my fondest memories from recent trip to Vietnam is drinking home made Vietnamese rice wine in karaoke shop in the middle of nowhere outside of Hanoi. They didn’t speak English, we didn’t speak Vietnamese and it was amazing. Ask at reception of your hostel where to go and more importantly, where our own staff goes to. They have awesome ideas for backpackers for any budget!
Wake up early
Carpe diem people! Get free breakfast in the hostel. Give yourself more time to discover destination. Go for a walk. Get lost in the right direction. Enjoy it!
Take loads of photos
Great photos are the ultimate souvenir. They don’t cost anything and you will love flicking through your photos and remembering all the great times you had. But remember to enjoy the view and not just stand behind the lens. Pro tip – backup everything into a cloud! There is loads of services you can get that will give you loads of online space and will backup your gadgets automatically when on wifi. This is awesome service you should use, especially for longer trips.
Earplugs are the best thing you will have in your luggage. They don’t take a lot of space and will let you have a nice snooze even if there is a baby siting next to you on a long haul flight. Earplugs are essential. As in the sleeping mask if you are light sleeper. And since we are at essential stuff to pack, make sure to have a scarf or sarong packed. It is probably the single most used article you will have with you. Don’t trust us? Refer to usage of towels as described in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you—daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
So, next time you are looking for the backpackers hostel in Dublin or Galway, we hope to see you in Barnacles and hear all about your awesome travel stories!