I had one of my beautiful friends ask me, “What are the best countries to start off your first time backpacking and why?
I think that is a great questions and it really depends on your budget. If you just want to get out and start traveling but don’t have much money I would recommend to travel South East Asia. I’ve been to Vietnam and Thailand and they are both pretty safe to travel on your own. You don’t need much money and most people speak English. I would highly advise against doing any pre-planned tours like Contiki or similar, as you will get totally ripped off.
If your budget is a bit bigger I recommend heading to Europe, it is a great place for first time travellers and solo travellers. Everything is in close proximity so you can tick off a few countries on your bucket list and Europe is super tourist friendly. Also you can do a Contiki to start you off so you get the taste for it. You can see my other post on the pros and cons of Contiki. One of the biggest pros is that everything is planned out for you, and you are with a massive group of people. The biggest con is that it is way cheaper to do it on your own and you will get way more of an authentic experience.
I haven’t been to Canada (English speaking part) or America yet but I assume those would also be great places to start your backpacking journey as there won’t be an issue of a language barrier.
There is no wrong place to start with, some countries might just be easier than others.
Five things to keep in mind when choosing your location.
- What language do they speak and can you speak it too? This can become an issue if you are in an unfamiliar place and you can’t get around.
- How dangerous is the place and what are the main crimes that occur. It may be as simple as not walking around at night on your own, or there may be a war going on. So if it’s nothing big you can leave that question for the hostel staff when you check in.
- What kind of holiday are you after culture, party, hotel? Some destinations are better for difference purposes than others but you can usually tick all the boxes in every country.
- As I mentioned earlier you want look at your budget and state of the economy of the country you are planning on visiting, because depending on what’s going on in the world you may be richer in some countries than others.
- Will you be travelling solo or with someone else, travelling with someone else is always easier as you get to share the responsibilities. It is also helpful if they have some travel experience and are able to show you the ropes. (My next blog will look at the benefits of solo travel verse travelling with friends)