10 Backpacking Tips for your first RTW Trip

If you love to travel, then you have probably had dreams about going on a huge tour of the whole world or as much of the world as possible. I’ve pulled together my top backpacking tips, which I wanted to share with you.

This is definitely one of the most exciting experiences you can have, and it’s something that you should not write off at all. The truth is, travelling the world is perfectly possible, no matter what kind of a personal situation you might be starting from.

Planning an unforgettable vacation is something that’s worth doing when you’re spending money on travel. For some locations, this might be the only time in your life that you ever get to travel there and so it’s important that you’re making the most of it. When it comes to planning a trip, here are some tips to plan an unforgettable vacation that will remain a big memory in your life for years to come.

In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the things you should bear in mind if you hope to take a huge tour of the world one day.


READ MORE: 15+ Unique Airbnb UK Stays

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Tips for your first backpacking trip

1. Set Your Goals

Before you do anything else, you need to make sure that you are aware of what your goals and expectations are. This will inform everything you do in the planning phase, so it’s really important to think about it.

Ask yourself what kind of trip you would like to take. That might mean deciding on a number of countries, or specific places in the world, or it might be that you want to have certain experiences. It’s up to you.

Once you are aware of your overall goals, you should also take some time to set your expectations. Even the most amazing travel in the world is never fully what you think it will be, and you need to bear that in mind.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be amazing – but you should try to get clear on what you are likely going to experience, and try your hardest to set your expectations at the right level before you go. If you can do that, you are going to have a much better time overall, and you won’t end up being disappointed by any of it either, which always helps.



Preparing medication for a trip

If you take medication regularly, preparing for your backpacking trip will need to be thought about in detail. 

In preparing for a long international trip, I tend to visit the travel clinic beforehand, and also do research on the type of medication I will need whilst I am away.

And you may also need some prescription medications (and/or vaccines) for things like malaria or altitude sickness. If you need prescribed medicine for your health condition, talk to your GP about your travel plans at least two months before your departure date and then you can order all your prescriptions through Online Pharmacy.

Oxford Online Pharmacy offers a number of services in addition to the supply of medicines including an Online Doctor service for consultations over the web, sexual health tests and a pharmacist available to offer advice.

Check the rules for all the countries you’re going to, including countries that you’re just passing through. Different countries have different rules and regulations about:

  • the types of medicine they allow to be taken into the country
  • the maximum quantity you can take in

Some medicines available over the counter in the UK may be controlled in other countries and vice versa. Countries such as India, Pakistan and Turkey have a list of medicines they will not allow into the country.


Top tip for travelling with medicines

  • Always carry medicines and medical equipment (needles, syringes and so on) in their original, correctly labelled packages.
  • Carry your medicine in your hand luggage (although check your airline’s regulations before travelling) with a copy of your prescription.
  • Consider packing some extra medicine in your suitcase or hold luggage in case you lose your hand luggage.
  • Check that the expiry dates of your medicines will be valid for the duration of your visit abroad.
  • Some medicines need to be kept at room temperature (below 25C) or stored in the fridge.
  • If you’re travelling to a warm country, get advice from your pharmacist about storing your medicine.
  • For example, to keep your medicine at the right temperature, you may need to store it using a thermos flask, cool bag or insulated pouch.
And it’s also a good idea to travel with a copy of your prescription and a letter from your GP that has details of your medicine, including its generic name, and the name of the health condition that you need the medicine for. As well as helping you avoid any problems at customs, this will be useful if you need medical help while you’re away.
For further information on taking medicine abroad, check out the NHS website

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2. Decide On Your Destinations

My second backpacking tip, is about deciding where to go. Travelling the world is obviously a grand idea, and to make it more of a realistic plan you need to think about what specific destinations you are going to go to.

This in itself can actually be surprisingly tricky to do, as you might find it hard to narrow in on some places. However, the beauty of a long trip is that you have time to explore freely and to go to as many places as you like.

But you do need to work out a kind of balance here – not too many, not too few – and that can take some time.

A good way to do this is to think about some of the top destinations you have always wanted to go to and consider those as your primary places.

Pin those places on a map and then work out what kind of route you can make between them all, picking up different destinations along the way.

Soon enough you will have a list of destinations, and a possible route to take to see them all. This is the start of some very exciting planning, and it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the process.

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3. Figure Out Your Backpacking Route

Let’s look in more detail at the process of figuring out what route you are going to take. You will obviously want it to be one that really works and is easy or simple enough to follow.

That generally means following major lines of transport, such as easy air routes, ferries across the sea, trains and so on.

The best thing to do is to write down and create a bucket list of destinations. It also depends on whether you’re going on your own or with someone else. You may even be thinking of going as a group of friends. With that being said, make sure all of the party’s suggestions are throw into the hat for consideration. You can then go through each one to see which is the most feasible for what’s available in your budget and also the time of year, etc. 

This part of the planning process probably takes the most research, so you need to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to work on it and figure out the best possible route.

When you are doing this, you also need to bear in mind that you might be passing through places where you shouldn’t really go.

Make sure that all of your transport links are safe, and that you are not going to find yourself caught out by a sudden change in local laws or something else that could cause you a lot of trouble.

As long as you do that, you are going to be able to find a safe route around the world. Once you have a route in place, the whole world trip is going to suddenly feel a lot more real.

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4. Funding your Backpacking Trip

For most people, one of the major concerns when it comes to a trip of this magnitude is going to be the question of how to fund it.

It is obviously going to cost a lot of money to take a world tour, but that doesn’t mean that it should be prohibitively expensive, and most people of an average income should be able to find ways to make it work.

There are actually a huge number of options available to you if you are trying to fund a trip around the world, so let’s look at a few.

First of all, one of the best ways to travel the world cheap is to only use budget airlines and stay in cheaper hotels and hostels. If you are happy not to be living in luxury the whole time, you can just make your money go so much further, so this really is worth thinking about in those terms.

Essentially, the less you spend on flights and accommodation, the more places you can go, and the longer you can travel for. You might want to occasionally stay somewhere nice, so it’s often a case of balancing it all out, but that’s just part of the process. A great backpacking tip! 

The budget is a very important part of any vacation or trip because it’s going to dictate what you can do and where you can go or stay. It’s important that you’re not overstretching yourself and putting yourself at risk when it comes to your limits.

You don’t want to find yourself in a lot of debt over a week or two on vacation. It’s important to know that although you might want to do everything, that might not always be possible. If you’re travelling with others, it’s also important to know what they can afford so that you’re not making it awkward or stressful for them to have to pay towards it too.

Make sure you have a budget agreed on and ensure this the absolute top-end of what you can afford. This means that you can be looking in a region that’s below that, and that way, you don’t overstretch yourself so much that you’re putting yourself in debt. A relaxing holiday with the stress of coming back to paying a big bill is never fun.

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5. Getting a job whilst Backpacking

One great way to make it possible to travel the world is to work as you go. If you start to look into this, you soon see there are some amazing ways to travel around the world for less, and earn money as you go, and so many jobs you can do.

You could simply pick up part-time work wherever you land, such as working in bars and so on, or you might want to keep yourself even freer by working a job that is remote and portable, such as a freelance writer.

Once you are set up with that, you could end up travelling the world extensively for as long as you like.

There are also some ways in which you can travel for free, and these are certainly worth looking into. By keeping your needs to a minimum and thinking outside the box – such as sofa-surfing – you might be able to do a lot of travelling without paying a penny.

It’s worth trying to think creatively here if you want to do that – you might be surprised at how much of a difference it can make as you travel.


6. Save as much as you can

On top of all that, also just make sure that you are spending some time saving up as much money as possible. Finding passive income streams and building them, investing in something likely to accrue value over time, and asking for a raise are going to be wise moves to make.

You should also start to budget your household more strictly, and if you do that for about a year before travelling you should be able to save up quite a lot of money.

Then it’s just a case of spending it wisely once you are actually on the road.

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7. What To Pack for Backpacking

Although it can be simple enough to know what to pack for a normal trip, if you are going on a huge round the world tour, it might be a little more challenging.

However, many of the protocols and assumptions remain the same, and you probably just need to change things around a little.

Let’s look at how you should pack if you are planning on going on a world trip around the world for a long period of time.

First of all, make sure to pack light. If you are travelling a lot, you are going to be grateful not to have too much to carry, and that is going to be especially important for a longer trip. So make sure that you are only carrying the absolute essentials.


8. Packing Essentials

You need clothes, first aid products, water bottles, your travel documents, safety gear and protection items, some food and water always, and toiletries, as well as your phone or laptop and chargers.

That’s really all you need, and anything else will merely be a distraction and add to the weight you have to carry. If you find yourself packing too much, just try to remove one or two items if you can.

When it comes to clothes, the options are endless. For a trip this like you want pieces that transcend trends and surpasses seasons, so you always have options available. It needs to be versatile, abiding and synonymous enough with quality that it won’t fall apart any time soon. Think white shirts, blue jeans and black dresses, white sneakers and flat sandals.

The classic tennis shoe is a must-have for casual occasions. In fact, there’s nothing better than having minimalist kicks that effortlessly pair with almost any outfit. It’s the most reliable way to stay stylish when time is of the essence.

If you’re heading to a warmer destination, then add a sandal to your bag, as they go great with dresses, shorts and jeans alike. If you frequent coastal destinations, they’re certainly a must-have. If you are going more dressy destinations, you may want to take some ballerina flats as they never will go out of style.

They’re simple, reliable and easy to pair with casual outfits. I would check out Valentino, with options such as the Pink Lattice Rockstud Flats.

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9. Book experiences in advance 

When it comes to unique travel experiences, just doing a little background search will likely pull up everything there is to offer. Depending on where you go will, of course, depend on what’s available for you to do.

There are so many unique travel experiences, from hot air balloon rides to go on a helicopter. If you do decide to book with a travel agent, then you may find they offer excursions and experiences as part of their package or as add-ons to whatever you’re booking.

It’s also good to check with local experts on what’s favourable for tourists that are looking to try out more unique experiences when abroad.


10. Being Safe

Your safety is paramount, and something that you will have to pay close attention to as you travel around the world. Make sure that you are always being vigilant, never advertising your wealth, and take great care if you are travelling solo, especially if you are a young woman.

Beyond our doorstep, there are so many different lifestyles and experiences to try out and so it’s good to be well prepared for it. In order to make the most out of your trip, it might be worth finding a local tour guide who can show you around the place.

They will obviously know more about the local area and all of the spots that might not be as well-known to tourists or what you might find during your research of the place.


Do all that, and there is no reason why you can’t avoid trouble for the most part, and why you can’t have a great time travelling around the world, no matter where you might ultimately decide to go.


If you on a bigger trip exploring more of Europe check out my guides to France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom.

My Travel Tips and Recommendations


To book flights, I always use flight search engine Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals. 


For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!

Travel Insurance

Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. 


You can also find me on social media: FacebookTwitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Did you know I also vlog my trips? Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you get alerted when all my travel videos go live… CHECK THEM OUT HERE


Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it for me with all your friends and family!

Sophie X

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