It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s liberating… and it can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing and everything around you. Don’t be stupid, take precautions and enjoy your time backpacking through Europe while knowing that you’ve done everything to maximize your safety and well-being.
Pack light. Yeah, you are backpacking and it will take a few weeks but you really don’t need all the things you want to carry around, do you?
It’s safer, more efficient, and let’s be honest, you’ll be a lot quicker if you don’t have the kitchen sink on your back.
You may wish to bring a book to read on the train or bus but hey, welcome to 2014! You can read on your phone, if you wish, let alone on an e-reader of some sort.
Toiletries can be bought in any store and you can probably wash your clothes in a hotel/motel, so you don’t need to bring everything from your closet. Also, if you want to change it up a bit and wear something else, you can always buy something.
Part from learning how to say “hello/thank you/goodbye” you might want to learn some key phrases. For an example, if you’re a vegetarian, you will probably want to learn how to say that if you don’t want to end up with a huge piece of pork on your plate.
Almost everyone everywhere can speak at least a little English, but it’s always nice to learn something new. That is the point of travel, after all. With our new best friend – the internet, you can look up a phrase on the spot if you have a bad memory or if you just don’t want to embarrass yourself.
First of all, tell your bank you will be leaving the country. Get a debit card that can be accessed anywhere. It’s much easier that hassling with local currencies, but keep in mind to take out money in larger amounts from ATMs to avoid fees. Don’t carry a money belt and try not to look like a tourist, in general. Be alert at all times, unless if you want to get stranded in a foreign country without a dime.