Have you always wanted to go backpacking in another country, but couldn’t decide on the right time to go? Consider taking the backpacking trip you’ve always dreamed of before you spend a semester studying abroad.
Yes, you could postpone your backpacking trip, but what if other plans get in the way while studying abroad? While you may not regret those choices, you may regret not being able to go backpacking while you had the chance. With that in mind, here are some of the best places to go on a backpacking adventure.
Mexico is an ideal destination for students with a tight budget. Choose from dozens of hostels to spend the night in, or camp out on one of the many remote beaches to truly get in touch with nature. If you need a break from walking, take advantage of Mexico’s affordable bus transportation system.
Visit Chiapas to learn about Mexico’s rich history – ruins, temples and shrines can be found throughout the area. Backpackers in Mexico can experience both the popular tourist attractions, like beaches and city landmarks, and the local gems that make the country so unique.
Backpackers who want to experience nature’s beauty will find it in New Zealand. With trails that snake into towns, cities and wilderness, you’ll always find adventure. Since New Zealand is such a small country, traveling is a breeze – rental cars, bus systems and domestic flights are all affordable options.
New Zealand has no shortage of activities to do and places to see. Hike through one of thousands of trails, or test your endurance by trekking one of the Great Walks, which can take two to four days to complete. Sporty types can partake in the area’s many athletic opportunities, including biking, kayaking and skiing. Tolkien fans can visit Middle Earth – or, at least where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed.
Backpackers experience a diverse culture and landscape when traveling in Vietnam. It’s the perfect place for those who want to experience everything – mountains, cities, fishing villages and beaches are a few locations Vietnam offers. Travel in Vietnam is inexpensive.
No trip through Vietnam would be complete without visiting Ha Long Bay. Referred to by the Vietnamese as the “Bay of Descending Dragons,” the bay is comprised of around 3,000 limestone islands. For a view of city life, trek through the capital city of Hanoi, where you’ll find a mix of ancient temples, wartime museums and bustling markets.
Before you go
It sounds romantic to hop on the plane with nothing but the clothes on your back and the change in your pocket and go where the wind takes you, but being a bit more practical will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
If you haven’t already started the process, apply for a passport at least two months before your trip, since processing can take a while. Make copies of your passport and itinerary for your family, and protect yourself with a student health insurance policy in case of an emergency. Pack the essentials – weather-appropriate clothes, first aid kit, map/compass – or smartphone/charger, sunscreen and food and water.
Don’t let finances or fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing an overseas backpacking adventure. If you plan ahead and are determined enough, you’ll be able to see what these historical places have to offer. Perhaps this adventure will make next semester’s foreign studies class that much easier.