Backpacking travel is, generally speaking one of the most enlightening and enjoyable ways that anyone can spend their time abroad. But there are some aspects of it which can become extremely stressful, especially for the less-organised travellers out there.
When it comes to booking in advance there’s something about backpacking culture which generally means that it quickly loses potency and relevance. Part of the appeal of backpacking is that you’re free to change your potential destination on a whim and change direction in an instant.
This can not only add the excitement of travel and the enjoyment of the entire trip but also make finding and booking accommodation extremely difficult or stressful, particularly in peak season. In fact there are a few different essentials which are quite difficult to plan for or often get left until the last minute, here’s a list of some of those last minute essentials and how to deal with them effectively.
First and foremost it’s best to talk about travel itself, because it’s not uncommon for last minute details like getting to the airport to be overlooked. This is quite often why people who are going away for a backpacking holiday will book a last minute taxi to get to the airport and cost themselves a fortune in off-peak or early morning fares whilst leaving their car at home at the mercy of car thieves.
The best way to save money on last minute solutions is to book in with an airport parking company, similar to what airports provide in their official car parks but with cheaper results. For example, when travelling from the midlands of England the easiest way to book last minute is to book in with a Manchester airport specialist company like MF Airport Parking . This can be booked last minute whilst saving money over pricey taxi companies and at the same time keep your vehicle safe under twenty four hour surveillance and insurance.
There are a number of different resources for finding last minute accommodation both before you’re about to leave and whilst your already away like Wimdu. Obviously booking before you leave is ideal but as I’ve already mentioned, booking every place you will stay in over the duration of your trip can not only be difficult but also ruin the spontaneous nature of this form of travel.
Booking whilst you’re away or before you leave can be greatly helped by websites like We Hostels who offer a special new brand of hostel booking sites which combines an accommodation based booking site with a traveller’s social media site. It provides lists of hostels for cheap prices in whichever city you search for, and then also provides you with the names and profiles of people who will be staying in each hostel and when.
This is ideal for first time backpackers, those travelling alone or in small groups because it allows you to read about and even contact people who you will later be staying with. It means you can find people who are also travelling alone, and who have similar interests to you.
It’s also an ideal resource for last minute booking on the go simply because it’s now been developed into an app for smart phones. This means carrying this useful little website in your pocket is now possible allowing a lot of travellers to find friendly faces and places to bunk for the night in a moment’s notice and find themselves a safe place matter where they end up.
There are other similar resources but none of them really do what We Hostels has managed to set up, a social network of travellers all over the world with an instantly accessible way to find a place to stay at the last minute.
Hotels are often not considered to be a part of the backpacking experience but if you want a night of luxury after week sof heavy travel there are a host of different websites which can offer lists of hotels for last minute bookings.
LateRooms is just one example of the huge variety of site which offers last minute bookings. Booking have also launched a new app for i-phones which is designed towards last minute and same day booking for hotels as opposed to hostels.
For a less digital method of last minute booking you can always try visiting the local tourist office of the city you’re arriving in, who can normally provide you with a list of local hostels and often the prices too. It’s worth keeping in mind that these won’t stay open late, so if you’re arriving in the middle of the night then its best to have gotten it booked before you arrive.
Couch surfers can be great for finding a place to stay in the short term but its best to remember that to find a good place to say last minute you have to be an operating part of their online community. It helps to have put up a few people in the past so people know you’re not in it for purely selfish reasons.
Planning With Room for Change:
Really it’s best to have an overall idea of where you want to end up on your travels but to keep room in mind for changing your plans. In this way you can be ready to book hostels last minute without really ever risking getting stuck in a city in the middle of the night with nowhere to go, but also not to be tied down by an itinerary of where you have to go.
The best way to think whilst backpacking is well planned, but open to change and capable of booking last minute, but before you arrive in the city you’re heading to, not after you’ve already arrived And all the hostels are closed.