Backpacking in Asia – How to prepare

On Monday morning, I’ve quit my job to go backpacking in Asia for 6 months. It’s not every day you decide to step out of the rat race and fire your boss! So for emotional support I posted a message in one of the fb travel groups I am in. More than 1,500 women responded to let me know how amazing it is what I’m doing- wow! One question that kept coming back was how to prepare for such a trip. So for all those who are asking themselves the same question, I’ve made this list. 

Research your dream destination(s)

Backpacking Indonesia - Chinese Temple

Where do you want to go? I have fallen in love with Asia. So I plan a 6 month trip from India and Nepal to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Your backpacking budget is directly impacted by your destination.  A good preparation starts with a good estimation of the budget that you will need.

Your timing is another factor that is impacted by your dream destination. Research the best travel time to travel for all the countries you want to visit and plan the best route.

Also this is the moment to check when the best time is to buy your plane ticket. and Google Flights are my go to sites for airline tickets.

Review your financial situation

Even if, like me, you are a budget backpacker going to a relatively cheap region, your have to have a adequate budget. So be very critically assesing your budget. You do not want to be on the other side of the world without a penny on your bank account.Finance

Do you have to admid thatt your budget isn’t where it has to be? Then postpone your trip to save. I’ve made a list of tips that helped me save enough to finance my backpacking trip.

An advantage of  having to save money for a little longer is that you now have more time to go through the next steps of the preparation!

Tell your friends and family

The goal here is certainly not to get their approval. If you know this is what you want to do, then you do not need anyone’s approval!

The goal is to ensure that you can not go back! : p

The same principle applies here as when you stop smoking or go on a diet. The more people you tell about it, the harder it becomes to back out when you have doubts.

Give your landlord your notice

Do you have sufficient budget? And do you feel that you just have to go for it? Then one of the first steps in the preparation of your departure is terminating your rental agreement. In Belgium, the standard termination period is 3 months.

Do you have a contract with a shorter notice period? Then you can possibly wait here

Quit your job

I thought this was the most difficult step by far. To cancel my job as a marketing manager was something that I thought I would never do.

Just think that it is now the time for you to make this journey. You never know what happens in a few months. And your journey can also be an advantage when looking for a new job when you return. Or maybe you realize during your trip that you want to go another way in your career.

In short, you never know what life will bring you. The only thing you have is now, and stay true to what you feel you have to do now. Then everything has to be okay, is not it?

Are not you at a stage to set up your job? That is also okay. See if you are eligible for a career break. Or maybe your boss will be happy to give you unpaid leave for a few months.

In other words, there are enough options ????

Sell ​​your furniture and car

Okay, you have enough budget, your rent and job have been canceled? Well then you have to lose as many items as possible.

Make a list with everything you have. Make a distinction between things you really can not disregard – so I have my beautiful table with oak leaves – and what can be done.

Put your furniture and / or car on or on the fb marketplace and thus collect some extra travel budget with your sales.

Take a good long-term travel insurance

Most travel insurance policies cover an uninterrupted stay abroad of 3, maximum 4 months. Are you planning a longer trip? Then look for insurance that covers long-term trips. Quickly charge € 250 for this. Not cheap, but unfortunately saving on your insurance is not a good idea.

Take a credit card

If you do not have a credit card or master card yet, this is the moment. I always travel with a master card and my regular bank card. So you always have a backup if your credit card / master card does not work.

Take a look around and compare prices. My master card is even completely free! That is why I chose this and do not have a traditional credit card.

Cancel subscriptions

What also comes with the preparation is the cancellation of your fitness subscription, internet, TV, but also your energy contracts. Look at how long everything has to be canceled beforehand. Nothing more frustrating than to pay attention to your backpack budget on the other side of the world to get as much out of your budget as possible, while still spending € 25 every month.

Give your clothes to friends and the charity

Not all your clothes, shoes and handbags fit in your 70l backpack. Too bad, but true. So it’s time to take a very critical look at your wardrobe!

Divide your clothes into 5 groups:

  1. Bring in the backpack
  2. Give away to friends or family
    You can also choose to sell your clothes.
  3. To the good cause
  4. Throw away
  5. What you do not fall into the above categories, and you want to store until your return.
    Do not make this group too big. Only your favorite clothes belong here at home.

Make your packing list

Starting with your backpack. I myself traveled several times with backpacks from friends. This way you find out what kind of backpack you want. A toploader or one with a front zipper. 50l or 90l. There is a lot of choice, so first gaining experience for your investment is a good choice. I myself pay for a backpack from the Decathlon of 70l with a zipper on the front.

Also examine what needs to be in your backpack! From clothes, to electronics and toilet supplies. This is my packing list for 6 months Asia.

Say goodbye to everyone

You will long have the feeling that you still have all the time in the world. Until you suddenly leave tomorrow!backpacking in Asia - Goodby party

If necessary, plan a small farewell party to say goodbye to different people at once.

You may want to see close friends and family separately. I myself have greatly enjoyed the last days that my brother was in the country. Eating out together, visiting the grandma together, and even staying with our mum for the night, before we dropped him off at the airport together. As a resident, I know how many such moments can mean. So now that I am about to leave, I also want to spend as much quality time with my family and friends as possible. I suggest you do the same!

Follow herbackpackbliss on instagram to follow my adventures and see if my preparation has paid off!

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Corporate Marketing Manager turned Personal Yoga Coach | After over 750 hours of intensive yoga and coaching courses, Lara now helps female professionals to replace stress and its negative impact on your body, with balance, energy, and well-being.

7 Responses to “Backpacking in Asia – How to prepare

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      Best of luck to you!

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