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Backpacking in a New Area

Backpacking in a New Area: What Every Traveler Should Know

This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on July 10, 2015

Adventure, intrigue and freedom are just a few words used to describe the experience of backpacking in a new area. Backpacking offers the luxury of traveling without bulky rolling luggage and provides an efficient way to pare everything you are traveling with down to the absolute bare necessities. Backpacking in a new land where you don’t know the cultural etiquette or the language might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for backpacking abroad.

Packing light is the first must-do for a backpacking adventure. A backpack allows for a certain level of freedom while traveling, but not if it is over-stuffed. Pack only the absolute necessities and pack coordinated outfits that are lightweight and comfortable. While walking from the Spanish Steps to the Coliseum in Rome, your back will thank you for the lighter load. Your feet, however, might want to take a load off at a hotel in Rome like the Best Western Blu Hotel Roma.


While traveling in metropolitan areas like New York or London, trains and subways are the most efficient and cheapest ways to travel. When backpacking through a metropolitan area, show some courtesy to fellow travelers and avoid bumping into others in the narrow aisles by taking off your backpack prior to boarding. Once on board, stow your backpack between your legs or under your seat to take up less room.

Being aware of your surroundings while traveling abroad will help ensure that you are a respectful and courteous traveler. Don’t stop suddenly in the middle of a small cobble-stoned sidewalk in historic downtown Boston with your backpack on to take in the surroundings. If you are going to stop and look at one of the sights along the famed Freedom Trail, step to the side and take your backpack off to avoid blocking the crowds. Speaking of historic places and museums, consider storing your backpack at the place you are staying or a locker to avoid mishaps like knocking over a statue at the Louvre in Paris. If you are respectful while backpacking, others will respect you, too.


Trying to cram too many sights and stops into your backpacking adventure can cause unnecessary stress and pressure to get everything checked off on your sightseeing list within the allotted time frame. Instead, plan to spend more time in less places so you can actually enjoy the trip more. Always remember to tell friends where you are by providing a general itinerary before your trip. Remember to check in with friends and family while traveling, especially if there are changes to your itinerary.

Following these simple must-do’s will help any adventurer enjoy the journey and backpack on!

About Rachel

Rachel Akers writes about crafts, recipes, and features the adventures of a family of 4. It is always crazy but I wouldn't change it for the world! Comments or questions? Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.