“I wish I never went travelling”, said no one ever. You’ve been wondering where you should holiday this year and here’s a little suggestion. Why not go on a backpacking holiday?
There’s more than one way to see the world and if you are up for a little journey on the road less taken, grab a partner or go solo and take a backpacking holiday! Hit the dusty, spectacular road and enjoy the sights and sounds only the adventurous will have the luxury to explore. If you are an adventure junkie, then here are five amazing backpacking destinations.
What backpacking holiday could be complete without a trip to the seasoned traveler’s all-time favorite? With constant year round temperatures of between 31-34°C and lower humidity levels between November and February, you’ll be free to explore this beautiful country and meet its friendly natives.
Don’t miss Bangkok, Ko Phangnan (full moon party), Suan Mokkh (Buddhist forest temple), Phuket (a place that has everything, including superb scuba diving), Chiang Mai (one of Thailand’s most beautiful cities) and Kop (Koh) Samui (a beautiful island with white sandy beaches, clear blue water and coral reefs).
Thailand is second to none in terms of backpacker infrastructure, from an extensive public and private bus, train, plane and ferry system and the infamous backpacker network on Khao San Road to accommodation options ranging from the most basic hostel dorms to the most celebrated of luxurious spa hotels, first time backpackers will not have to worry about too much when they first arrive in the country.
- Reykjavik, Iceland
Most people probably can’t even pronounce the name of the country’s capital (It is ray-gyah-veek by the way. Bonus points for a rolled R at the beginning there) making this an Instagram gold of backpacking holidays.
An increasingly popular destination for stag and hen weekends, the capital of Iceland is known for its wild nightlife and party culture. With longer nights and cold temperatures it seems the younger locals have turned to dancing and drinking the night away. Traditionally a more expensive backpacking destination with the average pint of beer costing around Rs. 500-700, prices have since fallen with the credit crisis making it a more affordable destination.
Don’t miss Laugardalur thermal baths, Blue Lagoon (a Turquoise man-made lagoon), Geysir (the geyser that gave its name to geysers all over the world) and finally, visit in winter to experience the Aurora Borealis (northern lights).
For the braver backpacker, why not visit this up and coming backpacking destination. Long avoided due to rumours of kidnapping and drug wars, the country has become much safer in recent years. Many backpackers head to Colombia unsure of what to expect but this is a country with a welcoming people, stunning landscapes and great parties!
Extremely cheap food and drink along with super cheap accommodation will make this backpacking destination friendly on your wallet. It is still a good idea to stay in at night whilst in cities if you are travelling alone, but beyond this there should be nothing to fear.
Don’t miss Bogota, San Andres (a Colombian archipelago in the Caribbean with white sandy beaches and spectacular scuba diving), Isla Gorgona (former prisons island which is now a nature reserve) and last but by no means least, Cartagena (a walled city and fortress which repelled pirates in past times).
Known as “the land of blue sky”, Mongolia is an undiscovered, backpacker’s paradise. Where else in the world can you pitch a tent for free in a 1.6 million kilometers campground, with stunning rolling green hills, grasslands, lakes and rivers as a backdrop?
Entrance fees to National parks and museums can cost around Rs.150 – 300 at the maximum. In major cities like Tsetserleg, Ulan Bator (UB) & Moron, you can expect some nice hotel rooms (about Rs.1000-3500 night), while in the countryside you’ll likely sleep in your tent.
Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur Is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible lakes in Mongolia, with many great activities on and around the lake, this is the perfect place to lace up your hiking boots and head to the trails. There is also a good network of tourist tents and the windswept lake offers great fishing.
The always in style backpacking destination – although more expensive due to the huge distances involved in getting there and then subsequently travelling around the country. Prices for food and accommodation are a little more expensive than many other popular backpacking destinations (such as Eastern European countries) but with tons of sights to see, friendly locals and culture galore it’s most certainly worth it.
A lot of backpackers head to Australia to find a job. The Australian economy is very strong at the moment and minimum wage is very good, making Australia a fantastic place to work. A popular job during a backpacking holiday is fruit picking. With no skills or qualifications needed, anyone can get a job fruit picking. The work can be hard but everyone’s in it together and it can be a great way to meet people.
Don’t forget to visit the Great Barrier Reef, the Metropolitan cities of Sydney and Melbourne, to the outback and the Great Ocean road (not forgetting Uluru or Ayers rock as it is more commonly known); all in all it makes for an unforgettable backpacking destination.
Adopt the mindset of a backpacker and improve your travel savvy. In an uncertain economic environment, the lessons a backpacking holiday can teach us about traveling on the cheap are positively priceless. From packing an ultra-light bag to finding affordable food and accommodations, backpackers truly learn how to travel.