Europe is one of the favorite destinations for a budding backpacker, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a small, compact continent with plenty of stunning and fascinating locations. In some parts of Europe, you can travel through an entire country in a single day, or you can spend years exploring just one country. You can even travel through most of Europe via train, car, bike, or on foot, without needing to set foot on a plane once you first land. However, even the more adventurous of explorers would do well to have a few plans under their belt.
- Your Passport
Before you leave the country, you will need to have a valid passport ready to go. When you’re planning your trip and deciding when to go, you should dig out your passport and check the expiration date.
Even if it’s technically valid on the date that you’re planning to leave, you should always make sure that you have plenty of wriggle room and that it’s also valid when you plan to return. A passport is important for fairly self-explanatory reasons, you can’t leave the country without one.
- Budget and Insurance
Unfortunately, your passport isn’t the only paperwork you need to have under your belt before you go. Travel insurance is vital for letting you travel without worrying about anything going wrong with your luggage or health while you’re away. Ideally, you won’t need it. But travel insurance can turn an expensive disaster into something entirely manageable.
Speaking of expenses, you should have a budget plan. The interesting thing about backpacking is that you don’t necessarily need everything paid for upfront. If you work as a freelancer from a laptop, then you can continue working and funding your travel expenses while you’re away. Or you could arrange to do odd jobs while you’re away, although this is riskier.
Whether you’re able to fund your travels up front or you’re planning to continue earning while you’re away, always have a plan. Otherwise, you could need to prematurely return home to avoid going into debt.
- Hotels and Places to Stay
As well as having a plan for paying for your travels, you should also have a plan for where you’ll stay. This ties quite heavily into your budget, as a higher budget allows you to have more freedom when you pick your venues.
A popular option is to stay in European hotels, which can be pretty much whatever you need them to be. Hotels vary in price, so there should be an option for every budget. You can also stay for as much or as little time as you need to.
The cheapest option is staying with friends throughout Europe, although this isn’t viable for most people. You might have a few friends in other countries, but this likely isn’t possible if you’re traveling all through Europe. You could also consider camping throughout Europe, but you should check out the local laws and regulations as several countries require you to book at specific camping sites.