Why planning a backpacking trip is so essential?

Are you planning to take a backpacking experience soon? Yes? This is just the piece for you! While backpacking may not be like your usual travelling experience and it may not require as much detailing as your other travel plans include, it indeed requires a lot of planning. Planning may often be frowned at but it is actually the best way to execute a trip successfully, be it a luxury trip or a budget backpacking. Let’s take a look at why planning a backpacking trip is so essential.

Save time

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When you have everything planned, you tend to save a lot of time. Planning would involve developing an itinerary for yourself which comes from a good amount of time spent in research. So by the time you reach your destination, you’d know what exactly you wish to visit and where you want to spend your maximum time. When you plan your itinerary, make sure that you keep some buffer time for any added attraction, any unforeseen circumstance (jet lag, getting accustomed to a new place, climate change, health issues, etc.), traffic and weather condition.

Manage your expenditure

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When you have everything planned beforehand, you have an estimate of money that is going to be spent during your trip. Knowing the amount you’ll be spending in your next trip will help you in planning your budget in a better manner. You will eventually have a better idea of how much currency exchange you should be going for and the potential places where you can bargain and save some bucks. Always keep some extra cash handy when travelling in a new country although make sureyou distribute it at different places so that you are well prepared for any unforeseen financial loss in an altogether new place.

Prioritise Better

When you plan in advance, you’d know your priority. You already have the list of attractions and let’s face it, it is impossible to explore everything in such a short time span; so having planned beforehand will help you to choose what is essential and what is not. If you’re someone who enjoys art then you could very well prioritize places of importance from the art and architecture perspective whereas if you are a shopaholic, you’d keep visiting the local bazaar on priority.

You will not forget anything

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When you plan, you have a list of everything you would want to take with you on your trip. Yes, a backpacking trip does not require too much packing and needs only the essentials, but packing in a hurry leads us to often forget to pack even some essentials. With a plan in hand, you’ll never forget packing anything, not even that toothbrush all of us are guilty of missing out at the last moment. This comes in handy especially when you are travelling to a country which is costlier than your native country. Why spend more for toiletries abroad when you can get it at half the price in your own nation?

Easier and Faster

You might call this a crazy one, but this is actually extremely helpful. As you plan, you tend to save places on maps, make a list of all the places you want to visit and all of those dishes you wish to try. You’d have already taken reference from TripAdvisor on hostels to check-in to, cafes that serve your favourite breakfast, and the markets from where you can get goodies for family members back home. This helps in saving a lot of time that goes in contemplating where to go and where not to! When you save places on maps offline, you save yourself a lot of running around looking for internet and cabs.

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Some Tips for Planning a Backpacking Trip

  • Shortlist your mode of travel: Study your route well. How do you wish to travel? Do you want to travel throughout by air or would you be segregating your trip into various other modes such as the rail or the road.
  • Shortlist your destinations carefully: If you are visiting a country, what are the places that you’d want to visit? Do not rush into visiting all of them; just pick the ones that you’ll be able to explore without any hassle. Jot down the pros and cons of all the places you’ve shortlist and narrow down on the final ones accordingly.
  • Get your permits: Check if the country you’re travelling to allows Visa on Arrival or you need prior permit. Check for vaccinations or fevers you could catch.
  • List down your essentials: Whatever essentials you need to carry should be a part of your list and must be in your bag at least 2 days before you leave.

We hope that this piece has helped you understand the importance of planning a backpacking trip. So don’t let the vagabond mode of travelling bring you to think that it does not require planning. It does! And this planning will take you a long way. Bon voyage!

Top Backpacker Destinations for 2017

1. Cuba

Simon Matzinger
Simon Matzinger

This was destination that was off limits to Americans for a very long time, until now. In 2017 there will be a flood of backpackers and tourists taking advantage of the cheap lifestyle, amazing culture and beautiful beaches. Starting in Havana, you can explore the hundreds of miles of neverending coast, with hidden beaches yet unexplored.

2. Mexico

With the decreasing value of the Peso thanks to President Trump, you can now get almost 22 Pesos to the dollar, compared to just 16 in 2015! Beautiful beaches and ancient ruins await you, where you can easily live with a budget of $25 dollars or less, dorms are around $7 per night and alcohol is cheap as chips!

3. Nicaragua

Mikeblue / Getty Images
Mikeblue / Getty Images

Another hispanic destination that grows more popular every year. Cheaper than it’s more popular neighbour, Costa Rica, Nicaragua is now a backpacker hot spot with amazing beach and night life in places like San Juan Del Sur wherea bottle of rum can go as low as $4.

4. South Africa

When most people think of South Africa, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela usually come to mind, or possibly the high crime rate of places like Johannesburg. Both places are beautiful in their own right, but the best wasy to start is in Cape Town and along the southern coast to Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth.

5. Vietnam

Cristaltran / Getty Images
Cristaltran / Getty Images

Known as one of the cheapest countries to travel in the world, especially Hanoi where you can get freshly tapped beer on the street for 10 cents! Famous street food and stunning scenery await you in this increasingly popular country.

6. Myanmar

Recently opened to tourists after being a closed country for many years, Myanmar is seeing floods of tourists every year and developing very quickly. Get in there before it becomes too over run with tourists and see the natural beauty and famous ruins like the Bagan temples while it’s still relatively quiet.

7. Ecuador

South Americas cheapest country, you can comfortably survive in Quito on around $20 per day where dorms run around $9 per night and delicious meals await you for only 2-3 dollars. Quito is known for its high altitude and spring-like weather all year round, which make the place a bit exotic when compared to most other big cities in South America.

8. Nepal

Goikmitl / Getty Images

Backpacking in Nepal is not new, but in the past the popular thing to do was backpack the Himalayas. Now the upcoming popular thing to do is visit Lumbini and Birgunj by backpacking and then make sure you head to Nepalgunj, which is famous for it is trekking.

9. Great Britain

Yes it’s possible to backpack England, especially now that the pound has been dropping since leaving the European Union. You will be spending about $20 USD per night for a hostel bed and that’s on the cheap end. Expect to be paying around $80 a day there, but it’s still cheaper than it has been for a while.

10. Tonga

Wtf is a Tonga you might ask? This tiny pacific Island has a population of only 105,000, so it’s no wonder many people have never heard of it. Soon, it’s going to become a popular destination for backpackers simply because of its natural beauty and untouched landscape.

Start in the tiny village capital of Nuku’alofa and work your way along the coast, which looks like something straight out of Lost.

11. Thailand

Masterlu / Getty Images
Masterlu / Getty Images

This country makes everyones list every year and with good reason. Notorious parties on tropical islands, dirt cheap alcohol, the best sky bars in the world, beautiful beaches, ping pong shows and amazing food. The King has recently passed away after reigning for 70 years so now the future and direction of the land of smiles is uncertain.

12. Honduras

Mainly known as the most dangerous country in the world with the highest homicide rate, however, the Bay Islands, three separate islands off the main coast of Honduras are very safe and more known for their beautiful trains and excellent scuba diving in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. It is stunning and an unforgettable place to go solo backpacking. It’s becoming more and more known, so it may be getting much more crowded in the coming years.

Top 10 Backpacking Destinations in India

Backpackers have the time of their lives in India, and there’s always something new to be discovered every time you head off with your hiking, camping, and trekking gear. Not only does backpacking save a lot of money, it also gives you a chance to appreciate the lesser known and unmapped locations of India that many usual tourists don’t get to visit. As a backpacker, you’d want to know some of the most amazing destinations in India that you can trek up for a backpacking adventure, so here are the top 10 of the many backpacking destinations in India for your next trip:

Sikkim

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Photo by Virtous One, CC BY-ND 2.0

With a remarkable view of Mount Kanchenjunga from almost every part, Sikkim is the perfect spot for a backpacking trip. Kick of your journey from West Sikkim where you can find cheap and cosy apartments and cottages to stay in (sharing or otherwise). The locals in Sikkim are pretty helpful and will even guide you to the routes best taken for hiking and trekking, which come with their very own natural beauty to astound you and get great pictures. Head over to Sikkim’s southern region, where you can find monasteries and hilltop views of the valleys and lakes. The general accommodation cost for two nights is Rs.1000.

Rishikesh

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Photo by Virtous One, CC BY-ND 2.0

An adventure lover’s paradise and a spiritual retreat like no other, Rishikesh is a favourite of backpackers in India. With its spectacular sunset view and the river rafting opportunities in the Ganges, there is no other adventurous place like Rishikesh. Easily available delicious and cheap food with affordable accommodation, there are endless fun activities like trekking, rafting, rock-climbing, camping, hiking etc. in Rishikesh. Including accommodation, food and travelling, a backpacker would have to spend close to Rs.1000 per day.

Ladakh

Photo by McKay Savage, CC BY 2.0
Photo by McKay Savage, CC BY 2.0

People have taken budget-friendly yet the most enthralling trips to Ladakh that have resulted in nothing but sheer adventure and fun. The trekking trails in Ladakh are endless and with the snowy Himalayas in the backdrop, the many opportunities of camping for the night, and the humblest of locals providing guidance, your trip to Ladakh will be your most unforgettable experience. A week-long trip to Ladakh including accommodation, food, travelling and other activities is around Rs.6000.

Gokarna

Photo by Miran Rijavec, CC BY 2.0
Photo by Miran Rijavec, CC BY 2.0

Karnataka’s most underexplored part is Gokarna, which is one of the most ideal places for a backpacking trip. Famous temples, beaches, flea markets with amazing souvenirs, Gokarna has relaxing yet fun opportunities to offer. The guest houses are quite affordable, and a couple days’ stay doesn’t cost a lot. Spending close to 3 days in Gokarna covers almost everything, and it costs about Rs.5000 with stay, food, and travelling prices inclusive.

Hampi

Photo by Nagarjun Kandukuru, CC BY 2.0
Photo by Nagarjun Kandukuru, CC BY 2.0

Another one of Karnataka’s hidden gems is the historical town of Hampi, where lone travellers have found solace in the past years. Not only are there some abandoned temple complexes that’ll give you the chills, the Tungabhadra River has a charm of its own. Bicycle rides in Hampi are quite popular among backpackers, and there is enough natural as well as historical importance to this place to make you want to stay. Guest houses as cheap as Rs.400 per day are available along with affordable restaurants and stalls.

Goa

Photo by David Jones, CC BY 2.0
Photo by David Jones, CC BY 2.0

There is no introduction needed for Goa, what with its beaches, adventure sports, cathedrals, trekking trails, camping spots and partying opportunities. Goa is just as much a backpacker’s world as it is a luxury vacation spot. Dorm rooms, guest houses and cheap hotels are scattered around everywhere in Goa, and with the prices being a little close to Rs.1000 per day, food included, you’d want to visit over and over.

Nainital

Photo by Aman Arora, CC BY-ND 2.0
Photo by Aman Arora, CC BY-ND 2.0

If there’s one amazing location for a backpacker, its Nainital with its mountainous backdrop and cool atmosphere. Hit the temples, trek through the hills, take a serene boating trip, and check the wildlife tours, which will make the trip more indulgent. The prices for a backpacking trip to Nainital including living costs at hostels, food, and general travel expenses is Rs.700-1000 per day.

Mussoorie

Photo by Paul Hamilton, CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo by Paul Hamilton, CC BY-SA 2.0

The charming town of Mussoorie is filled with prominent hills, interesting museums, winding streets, cascading and enthralling waterfalls, and the Tibetan culture being an unavoidable attraction. Backpacking across the hills of Mussorie is most rewarding, along with the price of living being Rs.700 per night in youth hostels and dorms, along with the affordable food and travel expenses.

Kerala

Photo by Mehul Antani, CC BY 2.0
Photo by Mehul Antani, CC BY 2.0

Not only is Kerala a favourite of tourists, it has a lot of adventurous things to indulge in, including trekking, camping, forest trails, hilltops, sunset and sunrise points, gushing rivers, calming beaches, and amazing resorts. Munnar, Trivandrum, Kochi, and Wayanad are the most popular hilltop locations in Kerala, with the backpacking costs being Rs.3000 for 2 nights including food.

Varanasi

Photo by Nico Crisafulli, CC BY 2.0
Photo by Nico Crisafulli, CC BY 2.0

A spiritually uplifting place, Varanasi is complete with temples, yoga institutes, the Ganges taking prestige over everything, indulgent food, crowded markets, boating, soccer players and envious greenery. It is as much a tourist spot as a backpacking destination, with youth dorms, guest houses, resorts and cheap hotels that cost around Rs.700 per night, even cheaper in some areas. Food and travel expenses are quite cheap as well, with walking being the most preferred way of transport due to narrow and bumpy streets.

With these many awesome backpacking and budget-friendly locations in India, you’d definitely want to hit as many of them as possible with your backpacking friends, or even on your own, because they can all be easily enjoyed in company or otherwise.

Author Bio:
Rohit has travelled many parts of India that are tourist destinations as well as adored by backpackers who love some hiking and camping on their trips. He shares his thoughts on his blogs of Trans India Travels.

17 Moments Every Backpacker Experiences (Part 2)

1. That feeling when you arrive after a 17 hour bus ride

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2. When you start eating street food and someone asks you how the dog tastes

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3. When you get fired from your job and realize you’re free to travel the world.

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4. When the flight you were going to book went up in price and you try to find it again

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5. The moment you realize you left your passport on the airplane

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6. When someone you just met tells you where they’ve been and you pretend to be interested

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7. When the same person asks if they can come travelling with you

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8. When you get to a new country and someone greets you in their native language.

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9. When someone brags about how many countries they’ve been to

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10. When you try to start a conversation with the locals

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11. When the locals talk to you and you pretend to understand what they’re saying

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12. When you travel solo and everyone else in the hostel arrived in a group tour.

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13. When you and your friend rent a scooter for the first time

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14. The first time you encounter a squat toilet.

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15. When you ask your best friend to come travelling with you and they say no

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16. When you miss your connecting flight because there was a time zone change you were unaware of

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17. When you come back to your parents house completely broke.

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Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Have you ever sat down and thought to yourself, what am I doing with myself right now? There’s so much to see out there, and here I am sitting behind this computer screen letting my retinas burn right to a crisp and working myself so hard that I actually am letting my job (unwillingly) interfere with my life. I just want to let you all know, that it IS possible to change your life; traveling changed mine.

People go to college and universities, for what? Most people truly don’t even know what they want to study. It’s because society tells us we have to. Not saying education is a bad thing at all – in fact it’s actually the best thing, and in today’s world, we need it as a stepping stone. However, what most 18 year olds don’t understand is the undertaking college tuition might have on them afterwards. College was the greatest four years of my life, do I regret it? Not one bit. Do I like having $80,000 worth of debt that harbors over my shoulders every day (for possibly the next 25 years), it’s a thought I’m still working through. But you know what? You can’t let that stop you from living. (However if you are considering traveling and you have loans, you should definitely call your loan company – they have many suitable plans to choose from that will make your dreams of traveling more attainable without hurting your pockets)

Then what happens after college? You’re fresh on the scene, trying to make it in the big boy leagues, so you pretty much will take any job that’s thrown at you. Gotta get a job fast because six months after graduation you gotta start paying those bills! My first job, I worked as a Hedge Fund accountant. It was quite the experience, nice 70 hour work weeks with no overtime is great, but hey isn’t this what all people with jobs do? That’s when it finally hit me. I was close to one year on the job and I was miserable. I had horrible bosses that made my life intolerable, the hours were draining me, and all the money I spent was pretty much on parties during the weekend so I could forget the horrors of my life during the week. I finally realized that I could NOT live like this any more. I began to have existential moments like crazy. I could see my bosses miserable too, yet it was almost like they were stuck in their sorrow spots and couldn’t leave because they had too much on the line. If I didn’t leave, I could end up like them, and that’s the last thing I wanted to do.

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I had a choice. All I wanted to do was travel. The choice wasn’t hard, however what was hard was coping with the fact that – will I actually cut off the hand that feeds me? Do I quit this job that gives me money and supports my lifestyle for a life unknown? It’s something people really have to think about. However for me, I was so over my job, it took me less than a month to buy my one way ticket to Europe. That’s not to say I wasn’t nervous when I put in my two weeks. I thought it would be easy, but it was a lot harder than I thought. However my sense of relief was amazing, and I had a flight I couldn’t miss. I had people say I was crazy. I had recruiters calling me and telling me it was the worst decision I could do for my career. I had close relatives say, “You’re going to quit your JOB?” And quite frankly, I did not care whatsoever what people had to think. I knew what I wanted to do and my decision was made. You can’t let people affect you.

Seventeen countries and three months later – I feel amazing. Must have been all those nice picnics in front of the Eiffel Tower, or my pint of Guinness in Dublin, or my picturesque train ride through the Swiss Alps, maybe the Roman Baths in Budapest, or swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in Sicily. I swear to you, traveling will broaden your perspective to a whole other realm. There are different ways to view life. The life you live currently, isn’t the way you need to live for the rest of your life. In fact, if you wanted to, you could pick up tomorrow and change your whole life, but it requires one thing – courage. Courage for the unknown, courage for getting to know yourself. I actually don’t think I truly understood myself until after I travelled. If there’s one thing that I learned, is that the sun still rises tomorrow. We should never work ourselves to the point of exhaustion. We should never work ourselves to the point where our work controls our lives. You know why? Because it’s YOUR life and you have to live it the way YOU want to. The sun is still gonna rise tomorrow isn’t it? Think about it.

A Letter to Women Considering Solo Backpacking

People often ask me, ‘aren’t you scared?’ I try to address this question with careful understanding, acknowledging that this lifestyle is definitely not in the mainstream – it’s far from it. Most Americans don’t have passports, let alone the urge to solo backpack. My most common answer to this question about being afraid is simple: it was a lack of fear that allowed me to discover the world.

Speaking honestly, I did not chose this path on my own. In a sense, I was thrown into the backpacking lifestyle. When I was 19, I was planning on spending the summer with family friends in Israel; this happened to be the summer that fighting broke out in the country. When I landed at my last layover before flying to Tel Aviv, it was clear that Israel wasn’t going to be a good option for my final destination. I found myself stuck in an airport in Vienna with an over-sized suitcase filled with bikinis and nothing but Shekels in my pocket. I did not even know what country Vienna was in! I had a choice: go back home, or figure something else out. That something else ended up being my first backpacking trip, where I traveled to eight countries in Europe over the course of two and a half months. Before this impromptu adventure, I had never stayed in a hostel, never traveled without an itinerary, and never been alone abroad.

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During that trip and the trips that followed, I discovered my personal strength. I have always been an outgoing person, but I relied on the happiness of others to make myself happy. While I still very much enjoy the company of others, I have discovered the bliss that comes from being completely comfortable being alone. I used to fear loneliness, but now I cherish time when I get to be my best friend and greatest travel companion. I find that when I am traveling alone, without the influences of my friends, family, and anything familiar, I learn what I really want to do.

Being a woman, I have been raised to fear solitude. Parents, teachers, and even politicians say that a woman alone is a target. Through my experiences as a solo traveler, I have found that I am no more of a target than any other foreign tourist. I have learned to become acutely aware of my surroundings and to respect the culture of the country that I am visiting. I do understand that traveling alone comes with risks, but I like to think that I would survive any experience and persevere. As I have overcome challenges while on my solo trips, I have developed a strong sense of confidence in myself both abroad and at home. This is why I offer this simple piece of advice to anyone who hungers for adventure: the moment that you let go of fear is the moment when the entire world becomes completely available for your to discover.

By Halley Crane www.imajorineating.com

 

23 Things Backpackers Love to Complain About

1. We constantly have to justify why we are traveling the world instead of working a nine-to-five.

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2. We have to sleep in dorm rooms with complete strangers who fart and snore and do the sideways dance.

3. We must use mosquito spray or risk getting malaria or dengue fever.

4. We can never make any plans because shit happens all the time.

5. We have to wear the same stained clothes over and over again.

6. We have to think about every dollar we spend because every dollar we spend brings us that much closer to having to work again.

7. We have to haggle and bargain even with poor people because every penny counts.

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8. We can’t visit any of the seven wonders of the world without thousands of other travelers ruining the perfect picture.

9. We have to walk around with a huge backpack for hours just to find the cheapest hostel.

10. We have to watch our favourite movies and shows on our phone with headphones on.

11. We have to eat rice or pasta more often than we care to.

12. We have to bring toilet paper everywhere we go because finding toilets with paper is considered luxury.

13. We have to learn something new all the time… and here we thought we graduated from school already.

14. We constantly have to listen to people tell us how lucky we are… when clearly you know how unlucky we are!!

15. We are constantly getting scammed by people who think of us as walking money bags.

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16. We can never be sure about our food because each bite could lead to food poisoning.

17. We have to take ten hour bus rides to the next town because flying would cost an extra $30.

18. We have the same conversation over and over again. Oh, what did you say your favorite country was?

19. We have to carry our life on our backs.

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20. We have to take cold showers and can’t flush our poopy toilet paper down the toilet.

21. We have to learn new languages because English is not really a universal language.

22. We have to travel to different countries just to find happiness.

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23. And of course, the main reason we are unlucky is because being lucky would mean we didn’t choose this life of travel, it chose us!

 

Via: ShockNews

Top 10 Destinations for Backpackers in Asia

10. Climb or recline on West Railay Beach, Thailand

Located on the tropical shores of the Railay peninsula, this stunning setting is among Thailand’s most picturesque white sand beaches, lapped by emerald tides and enclosed by towering limestone cliffs. These cliffs cut the peninsula off from the mainland, so it can only be reached by boat, which enhances its atmosphere of isle-like seclusion. Rock climbing up these jagged sentinels above the soft-sanded beach draws enthusiasts from around the world. And there are also plenty of bars and restaurants, at astonishingly low prices, for the more indolent to indulge in their own brand of pleasure. The accommodation is cheap too, and ranges from bamboo bungalows on the adjacent East Railay Beach, to the affordable and secluded Tonsai Bay Resort on neighboring Tonsai Beach.

9. Experience the ancient Buddhist culture of Luang Prabang, Laos

A small town in northern Laos, Luang Prabang weaves together natural and man-made beauty. It sits at the confluence of two rivers which girdle the town, beneath forest-swathed hills rising to rugged mountains. The town’s skyline is dominated by one steep hill topped with the gleaming spires of Wat Chom Si, one of many gold-hued wats sprinkled through the town, decorated with intricate mosaics depicting the life of Buddha. Each morning brings the sight of hundreds of monks wandering the town’s streets collecting alms. The town also has a long tradition of handicrafts, sold at the night market which runs until 10 at night.

8. Party All Night in Bangkok, Thailand

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A global backpacker Mecca, Bangkok’s budget travelers orbit around the hippie haven of Khao San Road, designated by one writer as “the place to disappear”. Handicrafts, food and fruit, pirated CDs and DVDs, and regional barbequed snacks join the jumble of bars and clubs that are filled with lounging travelers at any time of the day or night. Elsewhere in this buzzing, relentlessly eventful metropolis, travelers can step into relative peace in Buddhist temples such as Wat Pho, with its huge golden statue of a reclining Buddha, or explore the vast and labyrinthine Chatuchak Weekend Market.

7. Check out the questionable beaches of Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville’s latest incarnation as a budget traveler hub marks a fresh twist in its tragically eventful history. It is named after Norodom Sihanouk, a former King of Cambodia, under whom the town became a booming and glamorous port in the 1950s. But after the Khmer Rouge seized power the city was symbolically desecrated; the walls of its luxury Independence Hotel peppered with bullets. Through the past few decades, the town has been traveling the slow road to regeneration, helped in large part by intrepid backpackers who braved the journey’s dangerous reputation and brought back word of the area’s sublime beaches, such as the stunning 4km stretch of white sand, Otres Beach. The town is now the hub of Cambodia’s most vibrant backpacker scene, a chilled-out stretch of bars, restaurants, cheap lodging and tropical coastline, lively but relatively unswamped with travelers.

6. Get yourself along to the classic hippy hangout of Goa, India

There’s no denying that Goa’s soul has changed since it was first chosen by the hippies of the sixties as an exotic backdrop for exploration of self and consciousness, distanced from the psychic chains of western civilization and conveniently situated in lush tropical surroundings. There are still strong hippy communities in the area, and ragged westerners travel here to make and sell handicrafts. But these days they share the tourist space – including iconic beaches such as Calangute and Baga – with charter holidaymakers, a creeping quantity of upscale resorts, and Catholic and Hindu pilgrims. But a great backpacker scene cuts through all this, feasting on the fantastic cheap food and cavorting in the bars and on the beaches, and in many ways the area’s increasing diversity makes it all the more interesting to visit. Many budget airlines fly direct to Goa’s airport.

5. Encounter the flora and fauna of Cat Ba Island in Vietnam

The jagged archipelago of limestone islands that compose Halong Bay off Vietnam’s north coast have long been one of the country’s top backpacker attractions. As well as the ocean and beaches, there are mangrove forests, craggy peaks and enchanting caverns such as Song Sôt for tourists to explore. This environment is home to a unique world of flora and fauna, including some of the world’s rarest flowers as well as the golden Cat Ba langur. This endangered creature inhabits Cat Ba Island, one of the archipelago’s best stop-offs, an island of breathtaking beauty which packs the best of Halong Bay into one place and is a great base for kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and water sports.

4. Explore the island of Bali, Indonesia

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Bali’s volcanic landscape, fringed with world famous beaches and alternating barren and forest covered hillsides, attracts millions of tourists from all over the world, traveling on the whole spectrum of budgets. Famous backpacker sites such as Kuta Beach have now been infiltrated with wealthy resorts, top-end restaurants, and private developers who have chomped chunks of the white sand beach. But there is still a terrific budget scene and plenty of cheap and laid-back bars and cafes in which to meet locals and travelers alike. And you can meditate on the island’s spirituality at Tanah Lot Temple, spectacularly situated on a headland jutting out into the ocean.

3. Drift among the beautiful Gili Islands, Indonesia

The Gili Islands make up a small archipelago just north of Lombok in Indonesia. They became popular with backpackers in the ‘80s, looking for a remote experience of the Pacific isles that didn’t require a super-expensive flight to reach. Even two decades after the first intrepid budget travelers set foot on the island’s powdery sand, it remains relatively undeveloped – there’s no automated traffic, and people travel primarily by horse and cart. But there are a few indulgences to choose between, including a Japanese restaurant, good backpacker accommodation, and, inevitably, a lively Irish bar. The island is also famous for its hatching sea turtles, and there is a sanctuary which buys the eggs from the local population to prevent them being sold in the market. And there are some world-class, uncrowded dive sites, such as the ominously named Shark Point.

2. See a different side of China in Yangshuo

Backpackers first flocked to Yangshuo in the ‘80s, set on the trail by a gushing recommendation in Lonely Planet. They discovered an entirely different China to the rapidly industrializing country depicted in the western press, a quiet, picturesque region spread from the banks of two great rivers, Li and Yulong. Strung between these rivers is a rolling landscape of bare karst peaks, green hills, deep sharp-sided caves and unique sights such as Yangshuo Moon Hill, a limestone pinnacle with a moon-shaped hole reached by over 800 marble stairs.

1. Escape the traveler crowds in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand’s rural north is far less infested with hordes of tourists than the resort-ridden south, and it makes a great escape from the crazy crowds that swarm Bangkok and Phuket during peak season. Chiang Mai is the region’s hub – founded in 1296, it was the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom and designed as the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand. This ancient heritage can be experienced at sites such as Wat Chedi Luang, a towering ruined temple in the center of the city, and the Bhubing Palace, surrounded by colorful gardens a few kilometers out of town. And the city’s cosmopolitan ex-pat population has given rise to a vibrant scene of restaurants, bars and nightlife.

Article originally via Hopper.

17 Things You Learn Backpacking Around Australia

Steve and Sabina from Sunsettravellers.com spent the bones of two years backpacking and working in Australia.

‘We saw some amazing things and learnt a lot about the backpacking around Australia. We were also
on a two-year working holiday visa(once we completed our dreaded regional work), meaning we
could work for a few months and travel.’

Here are 17 things you learn(or will learn) backpacking around Australia

1. Bring lots of money – Unlike many parts of Asia, Australia is super expensive for everything.
Accommodation, transport, petrol, booze(well depending if you invest in some Goon) and all
the other finer details. If you budget is $2000 for a trip, try and stick to that but have $1000+
for emergencies. You will probably need it, especially in Australia.

2. Sometimes flights can be cheaper than buses – Greyhound buses are fantastic for getting
you around Australia but often domestic airlines have deals on to get you from A-B in 2
hours instead of 20 hours. You save time and money.

3. Don’t pay full prices for activities – Going through a local travel agent can save you a
fortune on activities. Sites like BookMe, Groupon and, of course, Backpackr have incredible
deals, just be sure to look around before booking anything.

4. Do a campervan relocation – You might have heard rumours that you can rent a brand new
campervan for only $1 a day. This is true! We did it from Sydney to Darwin in six berth
camper. There are a few things to keep in mind, and we recommend a shorter route Sydney
– Brisbane for example. This article gave us a lot of info before our trip

5. Road trips are fricken awesome – If you backpack around Australia please oh please do a
road trip! We did our first one from Perth to Melbourne over 2-3 weeks and saw some of
the most amazing sights. We documented our road trip from Perth to Melbourne
here.

6. Be careful – National parks are huge! Recently two backpackers attacked while camping in
South Australia have sparked concern about how safe backpacking in Australia is (story here). Always remember to report your location, plan ahead, come prepared and know where to camp

7. Use Hostel Membership – Hostelling International memberships cost $25 a year and shave a
few dollars off your hostel stay each night.

8. Talk to locals – When you do get to a new area, locals will always know more about what to
see and some secret spots. If you can try to chat with the locals

9. Wear Sunscreen – Sounds so obvious and many are frowning at this point. The sun is a lot
harsher in Australia. Spend an hour on a beach with no sunscreen in summer and you are
just asking for trouble.

10. Be Flexible – You will meet some amazing people while backpacking around Australia and
there is nothing worse than having pre-booked flights, accommodation and tours. The more
flexible you are, the more you will enjoy backpacking around Australia.

11. Get travel insurance – Please do get some travel insurance before you go backpacking. Yes,
it is an additional cost, and it’s a pain to get but much better to be safe than sorry. $100 is
cheaper than a hospital bill

12. Try new things – Australia has endless outdoor activities everything from sky-diving to
swimming with whale sharks. While these are certainly not cheap, I promise you won’t
regret it.

13. Be present on your travels – It can be so easy to look forward to the next destination that
you don’t appreciate where you are and what you are doing. Before you know it you will be
back in Europe wishing you were back in a warm sandy beach watching the sunset.

14. Get an Australian bank account – If you are on a working holiday visa be sure to get a bank
account as you will very quickly rack up interest and charges on your non-Australian bank
account. We used Commonwealth Bank travelling around Australia

15. Spend more time in fewer locations – Australia has some of the most amazing beaches we
have ever seen. It can be easy to get carried away trying to visit everything. Over the course
of two years, we managed to see an LOT of Australia but wish we had spent more time in
fewer places.

16. Get the right gear and back up data – Invest in a decent camera, it will make the difference
when backpacking around Australia. We took some amazing shots around in Australia, check
out some on our Instagram. Nothing is worse than a laptop, GoPro or Camera breaking and not having everything backed up. Invest in a
good hard drive and try to back up at least once a month.

17. Spend the money and take photos – Lastly backpacking around Australia is by far one of the
most expensive backpacking we have ever done and likely you will too. We took like 10K+
photos over the two years backpacking and working in Australia but looking through them
we missed a ton of places! So always remember take as many pictures as you can and enjoy
your trip!

Hope the above gives you a bit of insight into backpacking around Australia. It was one of the most
incredible experiences of our lives and have documented a lot of our travel on our
blog.

If you are making the move to Australia, you might also like our article on 101 things we wish we
knew before moving to Australia.
Have you ever backpacked around Australia? What was your experience, comment below:

14 Moments Every Backpacker Experiences

Our remake on matardornetwork’s original.

1. When you find the fare you were going to book just went up

2. When someone questions your travel motives

3. When you find yourself on a 20-hour bus ride

4. Being told the next place you’re going is overrated

5. Discovering your travel crush from a few weeks ago is staying at your hostel

6. Being too hungover to leave the hostel

7. When the hostel has free breakfast

8. When you can’t figure out the foreign computer at the hostel

9. When you’re very optimistic arriving at a new place, only to find out it’s not what you expected

10. When the person in your dorm talks too much

11. When you try to convince another traveller to go to the last place you visited

12. Thinking you’ll be able to make it out after drinking in the common room all day

13. When you missed the last bus out of town and you’re stranded for three days

14. When you’re almost out of money, but you still have three weeks of travel left

13 Tips For Travelling With Almost No Money

‘I want to travel but I have no money.’ Oh really? Well I want to slap you. If I received a dollar every time someone said this to me I’d be travelling a lot more than I currently am so either travel or give me a dollar!

Tip 1. Don’t spend your money on stupid shit

Seems like common sense doesn’t it? Well apparently not for 90% of people.

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Tip 2. Sell your crap (if you have any)

This is to get your started on your journey, use this money to buy a ticket and all the essentials you need for travel.

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Tip 3. Don’t be like this guy

Pack light. The less you pack the less you’ll spend on any means of transport / flights. No excess baggage costs etc. Just travel with a carry on.

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Tip 4. Don’t travel anywhere that’s out of your budget

Check out our guide here to see the top 10 cheapest destinations to go backpacking.

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Tip 5. Work while you travel

Don’t be a complete hobo. You can find jobs to get you by as you go. If you don’t want to work and know how to busk do that. For the rest of us, hostels offer work for accommodation so that’s a roof over your head as well. I did this for months and we used to survive off eating food that other backpackers left.

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Tip 6. Couchsurf

If you need a place to sleep for free this can be useful. Make sure to plan far in advance to assure you have a couch pre-booked. A lot of people have started using backpackr for this as well.

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Tip 7. Try Hammocking or Camping

If there’s not a couch available just set up a hammock or tent wherever you are. You may get asked to move on but that’s alright, there’ll be somewhere else to set-up base around the corner.

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Tip 8. Hitch Hike

If you need to get somewhere and are really that broke, try hitch-hiking. I’ve met a guy who has hitched his way through every country in Europe.

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Tip 9. Wash Your Clothes in the Sink

We mention it a lot but this is a massive money saver. Mine are in the sink as I write this.

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Tip 10. Cut your Own Hair

I haven’t paid for a hair-cut for 7 years. That’s around $3,000 in savings! WOW that’s the equivalent of a round the world flight. If you don’t trust yourself get a friend to do it. If you don’t trust your friend don’t cut it at all.

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Tip 11. Explore cheap

Depending where you are you’ll find a lot of cities have free walking tours and museums etc. This allows you to see and learn some things while you travel for free.

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Tip 12. Eat Cheap

Now I don’t condone it but I used to steal food from the supermarket because I was actually that broke, but I survived. You can eat free legitimately if you do your research. For example in Vancouver, Canada there’s a temple called Shree Mahalakshmi where I used to go to eat free Indian food.

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Tip 13. Drink Cheap

All about the pre-drinking here. We know backpackers spend most of their money on booze and this will never change. Just make sure you drink before going out and maybe even take a flask with you too. Unless you’re in Cambodia where a beer at the pub will cost you 50c.

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Any other tips you’ve found useful that you’d like to share? Chuck them in the comments!

 

 

 

12 Signs you were Born to Travel

1. Making friends is easy for you, yet you’re equally happy to sit by yourself in silence.

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2. Your dream job is one that allows you to explore the world.

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3. Every country is on your bucket list.

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4. You know how to say ‘Cheers’ in twelve languages.

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5. You’d rather spend money on experiences rather than possessions.

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6. You’ve got way too many stories to tell.

7. You’re pretty easy going and don’t let negative experiences get you down.

8. You wonder why people are always saying that they want to travel, but never do.

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9. You like planning trips as much as going.

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10. Yet you often plan trips that you never take because your plans always change.

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11. You’ve never actually finished a checklist because you can’t stop adding things to it.

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12. There’s always another adventure. You dream of a life of travel. Going home is just a detour on the way to your next adventure.

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10 More Crazy Party Hostels Around the World

Due to the popularity of our original 13 Great Party Hostels around the World we decided to bring you 10 more.

1. Carpe Noctem – Budapest, Hungary

Hostelworld travellers have said the staff of Carpe Noctem offer ‘awesome off-the-beaten-track tips to explore the city and are always willing to go the extra mile to help us find something exciting to do, ensure we get proper wrecked and feed our lush hangovers’.

“The best hostel I’ve stayed at! The staff is the insanely fun, they sure know how to party and know some sweet spots. I would come back 100%.” – Hostelworld Review

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2. Malibu Beach Hostel, Malibu Beach, Panama

“After checking in to my private room, I went down stairs to enjoy my free welcome shots and hang out with other travelers. They played great music and had a good party. There are hammocks all around the place to enjoy a drink and lay out, along with a great bar and small pop-up pool to cool off. The beach is a few steps away from the hostel…”

Mmelissameg – Panama City, Panama (Trip Advisor)

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3. Rising Cock Party Hostel, Lagos, Portugal

Going hard since 2004, Rising Cock has become a haven where global travelers, international students and party connoisseurs come to have fun, relax and experience Lagos how it was meant to be.

“I stayed at many hostel in Portugal and the Rising Cock was definitely one of the best!!! Outstanding ambiance, great staff, and amazing free pubcrawl. I felt completely safe leaving my stuff in the room I was in. Everything was clean, the linen is changed every single time a new person comes in, Mama’s crepes are the best, and the location couldn’t be better. I loved my experience and would go again anytime!!”

LouTanguay – Canada (Hostel World)

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4. Hanoi Backpackers Hostel – Hanoi, Vietnam

This hostel throws a party at the drop of a hat. Started by Australians, the place has a legendary Sunday bash that includes traditional barbie and a free keg. Happy Hour starts at 5pm every day on the roof.

“It is crazy busy, which is good for a hostel and if you’re looking for a party… Overall it’s a good place to meet people if you’re young and want to party…”

Richie B – Tipperary, Ireland (TripAdvisor)
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5. Bounty Hotel – Bali, Indonesia

“This place is made for everyone who likes to party! Big rooms with all you need (and also a minibar with alcohol and snacks), a big and clean pool with a poolbar and sound during the whole day, clubs all around the hotel, full of young people, and a damn crazy party every Friday. If you like a quiet place, or dont like party, then i guess its the wrong place.”

Moritz F (Trip Advisor)

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6. The Mad House – Prague, Czech Republic

A beautiful city, ideal central location, cheap beer and a wild new short term home to get the party started. Remember it’s the Madhouse, not the behaved and sensible house!

Enjoy the taste of a free beer on arrival with the fridge stocked with help yourself $1 beers thereafter.

The beer pong games get you lubricated before the staff take you out (for free) and the party is on every single night. Prague’s nightlife is legendary and the staff know where to go to maximise the madness. Very highly rated, The MadHouse is the best hostel in Prague to start your party in a city known to party like tomorrow is the end of the world.

“Fantastic place to stay while exploring Prague!! The staff are very inclusive and the family meals are amazing!!! The nightly beer pong games and multiple planned events each night makes meeting people easy and fun. The location is great for walking to everything, and the burrito place is right around the corner.”

Anonymous review – Canada (HostelWorld)

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7. The Bulldog  – Amsterdam, Holland

It’s no exaggeration to say this is one of the best known hostels in the world. Most will know of its legend simply by word of mouth. It’s located right in the centre of the city smack bang in the middle of all the action, with the red light district and Dam Square mere steps away.

“If you’re looking for a party hostel, this is your place. It’s in a great location and the bar downstairs was always full. If you’re in Amsterdam to sight see and not spend the whole trip stoned and drunk, do not stay here. It was loud, our lockers were broken, the entire place reeked of weed, the shower was disgusting, and we cancelled our remaining nights and went to a hotel. The staff members were very nice, the wifi connection was strong, and the beds were comfortable though.”

Anonymous Female (HostelWorld)

Via Ryan Quinn
Via Ryan Quinn

8. Gilligans Backpackers – Cairns, Australia

Most travellers either begin or end their Aussie route in Cairns and the vibe here is pretty contagious. At Gilligan’s Resort, you can expect to dive right in to the party scene with regular social events and ‘cool people’.

“If you’re looking for a good time in Cairns, Gilligan’s is the place to go to. The staff is really helpful and friendly, the rooms are nice and clean and the atmosphere is full on party. Everyone is looking to meet people and have fun. If I ever go back to Cairns in my twenties that’s where I’m staying for sure.”  – Hostelworld Review

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9. SameSun Backpacker Lodge – Vancouver, Canada

The largest hostel in downtown Vancouver with a central location in the entertainment district . We boast a clean environment with a great social atmosphere and friendly staff, as well as the Beaver Lounge with food and drinks. Everything you need in a hostel!

“If you’d like to sleep, request a room not on the first floor. Other than the bar itself the loudest place in the hostel was my room, despite a plethora of signs about quiet hours after 11pm. On weekends the bar is open until 2pm and opens again at 7:30 for breakfast.” – Hostelworld Review

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10. Miami International Traveler’s Hostel – Miami, Florida, USA

Miami Beach International Hostel is a lively hostel centrally located in the Art Deco district of Miami Beach, surrounded by bars and clubs and less than five minutes’ walk from the sands of South Beach. Hostelworld guests have said the friendly staff ‘think about what the traveller needs and try to provide it’ and that ‘this is by far the best hostel…for meeting people and partying’.

“Don’t think guests sharing dorms should bring visitors back after a night out to have sex. Very uncomfortable being in a dorm while this is going on and no where to go.” – Hostelworld Review

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5 Ridiculous Reasons to get Travel Insurance

1. Broken Penis

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A backpacker was about to have sex when his frenulum split near the base. He needed a frenulectomy to fix the damage. All costs were paid for.

2. Falling Coconuts

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A traveller was in Sri Lanka when a coconut fell and hit her head while she was reading. She probably could have picked a better spot to sit but luckily her insurer covered all medical expenses.

3. Thieving Monkeys

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A couple on holiday in Malaysia went back to their lodge to discover they’d been robbed by  monkeys. All their clothes and valuables were scattered in the nearby forest. Unbelievably the insurance company paid for the valuables they couldn’t find.

4. Not-so Smooth Backpacker

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A young traveller was distracted by a group of women in bikinis. He walked into a bus shelter and broke his nose. What an absolute twat. Let’s just hope they were Swedish super models.

5. Camel Kick

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There are about 750,000 Camels roam free in the outback and one of them just so happened to kick the door of a travellers car door denting it. The insurance company had to pay when he produced video evidence.

6. Absolute Legend

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A touch unrelated but this story was too good not to add to this list. A lawyer bought some cigars and insured them against all catastrophes. Floods, storms, and of course fires. Months later he filed a claim saying they’d disappeared in a series of “small fires”. The company that insured them correctly assumed he’d smoked them and told him to go away. The company was forced to pay up after the judge ruled in favour of the lawyer as the size of fire was not specified in the contract.

Backpackr has now teamed up with World Nomads to bring you cheap Travel Insurance. Get a free quote now.

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