7 Common Backpacking Mistakes that Beginners Should Avoid

  • 09 Juni, 2022
  • londonbackpackers
7 Common Backpacking Mistakes that Beginners Should Avoid

Yes, everyone wants to feel like Indiana Jones when planning a backpacking trip. But even the most experienced adventurers make mistakes! Sometimes our errors result in a group laughter therapy session, but we must remember that we can jeopardise our own integrity.

That is why, at London Backpackers, our central hostel London, we want to shine a light on the mistakes you cannot afford to make when travelling as a backpacker.

Don’t worry,
Indiana Jones makes mistakes, too!

Although we cannot plan the perfect trip (there’re many variables beyond our control), by following our recommendations, you can reduce the chances of error.

Are you ready for the best London backpacking experience?

But first, what is backpacking?

Backpacking is a way of life, not just a way to travel. It’s a simple, cost-effective method of exploring new places that often consists of carrying only a backpack on your back. That’s why it’s critical to meticulously plan what we bring with us. Backpackers typically avoid tourists and crowded areas in favour of immersing themselves in local culture and people.

A backpacker’s trip is, in general, very flexible. It can last from weeks to years, and the destinations can change as the journey progresses. Backpackers choose low-cost accommodations such as hostels or camping because the whole point is to save money while discovering new places. Here are our best tips for finding the ideal hostel for you.

Backpacking is
a philosophy of life

This trend is particularly popular among youngsters. Not only because it’s a great way to travel while saving money. According to a WYSE Travel Confederation report, young people prefer to go backpacking not only for recreation but also as job training. Among the reasons given, 22% wanted to learn a new language, while 15% wanted to gain work experience.

Backpacking is an excellent option for budget-conscious travellers. However, there are some things you should know to have the best trip possible.

Don’t leave home without reading this

Backpackers’ mistakes can leave you cold, uncomfortable, and soaked from the rain… if not in a risky situation that could land you in the hospital. So, before you leave, we recommend that you read through our essential recommendations before start your trip.

Furthermore, the following are common mistakes made by first-time backpackers. As said before, the perfect vacation doesn’t exist… However, we can do our best to minimise errors.

So, let us begin by avoiding these blunders!

• Packing too much
• Ignoring the bad weather
• Dismissing “Leave No Trace” Guidelines
• Forgetting essentials
• Unsafe hostels
• Cotton is not your friend
• Drinking tap water
• Overconfidence

Packing too much

It’s common for luggage to be overstuffed with “just in case” items. Follow this simple rule to pack light: pack your backpack… and then remove half of it. You will only bring what you need for your trip. Also, don’t bother bringing food cans: they’re an unnecessary burden.

Ignoring the bad weather

Nobody wants to travel in wet clothes, right? Remember to bring waterproof clothing to keep you warm and dry. Also, be cautious about where you camp: avoid areas that could flood by imagining where the water would go if it rained.

Dismissing “Leave No Trace” Guidelines

Try leaving only your footprints behind when you visit a place, rather than your garbage. Pick up all your trash, dig holes to relieve yourself, and stay in existing campsites to avoid damaging the vegetation.

Forgetting essentials

We’re so accustomed to it that we only miss it when we don’t have it. Remember not to leave toilet paper rolls at home unless you’re one of those people who likes to clean themselves with leaves.

Unsafe hostels

Keep in mind that cheap can sometimes be costly. If you’re going to select a hostel to stay in, ensure that it meets the requirements for minimum security (lockers, clean bed linen and towels…) When it comes to starting your trip to England, youth hostels in London are a great place to start. Check what essential amenities a hostel must provide before making a reservation.

Cotton is not your friend

Yes, I can smell it from here too. But that’s not the only issue. Cotton doesn’t dry quickly, which can cause hypothermia in addition to the bad odour. Polyester clothing and wool socks are highly recommended instead.

Drinking tap water

Under no circumstances should you drink from the tap unless you’re certain that the water is safe to drink. No matter how experienced you’re, your body is not immune to bacteria or poison in certain countries’ water.


When we travel, we have the tendency to believe that everyone is in the same “carefree” frame of mind. Avoid unnecessary risks: don’t walk alone at night through certain streets or neighbourhoods, dodge risky situations, and problematic people.

London, the backpacking capital in England

Hostels in London can be your best ally when it comes to go backpacking in England. After all, a low price doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comforts and amenities. And you now understand how critical it is to properly plan your backpacking trip.

One of our top priorities is to make you feel safe, which is why our backpackers hostel London provides free bag storage, a secure keyless door, and free bed linen. You can also take advantage of other amenities such as free Wi-Fi and a continental breakfast to make the most of your day.

Ready for your next adventure?

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