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How to Pick Your First Backpacking Destination?

So you’ve probably been thinking about going backpacking and beginning to feel ready to take the leap of faith! The first step is figuring out where to travel to.

As an experienced backpacker, I would suggest you stick to a place or region or country you are already familiar with. I don’t necessarily mean a place you traveled to but at least that you can relate to. But if that would make you feel more confident about yourself, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Otherwise, you can pick a country based on cultural similarities, knowledge of the language and overall familiarity of the country. A country that you know about and that’s not too high on the radar for dangerous places to travel to!


Most common places to backpack include North America, Western Europe, SouthEast Asia and Australia. These places are safe and most people can relate to them. So how about go to Thailand for a few weeks? Or Spain and Portugal? You have more than enough countries to pick in the world. So stick to select a country you want to visit and would feel comfortable backpacking in. You can do it!

Do however pick a destination based on:

  • Your budget: If you want to have a good first experience, pick a destination you can afford! Don’t plan a trip to Australia if you’re poor because it will cost you! So the first step would be to figure out how much you want to spend. Once you have a budget, you can pick a destination that you can afford!
  • Season: People…. most common mistake I see around me is the following. It’s a cold month of January and people from Canada want to escape from the cold so they book a trip to Cuba. If you want bad weather on your trip, you’re asking for it! So if you really want to enjoy your first backpacking trip in Asia, go during the months of December to February. If you plan on going to Europe, go anytime from spring to fall. Pick a destination that is suitable for the months you want to travel. Very important if you want to get the most out of it!
  • Research or Word of Mouth: Personally, I pick my destinations through the experiences and stories of backpackers I hear on the road. People who have visited the countries you plan to go to will give you the most accurate information and tip. If you don’t have any backpacker friends, you can join online forums such as on Lonely Planet. Reading personal blogs is another great way to know what to expect from traveling to a country.

About The Author

Tanya is an adventurous person who most enjoys the cultural aspect of traveling. She traveled to North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Europe. When she's not hiking mountains, she spends her time visiting local schools or families. It's a nice break from the 9-5 corporate life.

Number of Entries : 243

Comments (2)

  • Federico

    Interesting post.

    I do agree with your points, particularly with the first two, however basing your first trip on impressions of others has its dangers-everyone is different. So if you’re going to pay a lot of attention to what people say, ask several people. Blogs and forums are great, as you say.

    However I believe the the best destination is one that you have always wanted to go to-but is not too far (you don’t want to spend too much). Traveling on the safe side just because of this reason can make your trip boring- if you are backpacking it means you want adventure, so look for it!

    I remember my first backpacking trip. It was a solo 2 week trip to Costa Rica 10 years ago. Had a blast , made friends that I still have, and was the beginning of a lifestyle for me!

    Have fun!


    maitravelsite dot com

    • Tanya

      Yeah, everyone is different but as an experienced backpacker, you can help yourself but rely on word of mouth when traveling. That’s what makes your trip that much adventurous- not knowing where you’ll end up and with who! Glad you found us Federico. You have a great site! Let’s keep in touch!


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