Whether you’re doing your own research or having friends put their two cents in, your first big trip comes with a bombardment of backpacking advice. This guidance all seems to have one thing in common: they state the obvious. You’ll be told to stay safe and avoid dark alleyways, but no one will tell you the essential backpacking tips that will get you through every day … until now. So, take my advice and follow this simple but necessary backpacking advice, so you don’t learn the hard way (like I did).
Pack all the medication you could ever need
Travelling can give you the feeling of invincibility. I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but you are far from it. You’ll get sick and, when you do, being able to reach into your bag and take whatever medication you need will be much easier than trying to locate the nearest pharmacy, dragging yourself out of bed and somehow learning and correctly pronouncing the Spanish word for ‘throat lozenge’. Bring a variety of basic medicine that you trust to tackle any sickness. Even if you don’t use it, it’s way better to be safe than sick.
Download Offline Maps as soon as you hit WiFi
As soon as you open Google Maps for the city you’re in, the data is stored in the app. Even as you lose that precious WiFi connection, the app will be able to show you the city roads and remember any recent searches. As a traveller, this is incredibly valuable as you can go forth with your life-changing adventures and get lost in a city. Now you can do this with the peace of mind that Maps will know where you are and how to get you home. If that doesn’t make Offline Maps the real MVP, nothing will. (Oh wait – maybe you’re not a massive sports fan like me? By MVP I mean Most Valuable Player and you’ll quickly learn Offline Maps are your new travel essential).