Backpacking is a form of low-cost independent travel typically associated with young adults, who generally have fewer obligations and thus more time to travel. Young or old, months to spare or only weeks, Australia should be on your list of places to go. Western Australia, or WA as it is more commonly known, is, in a word MASSIVE! To give you an idea of scale, WA is the same size as Khazakstan, which is the 9th largest country on the planet. It accounts for almost 1 third of Australia and with such a vast area, planning a trip in WA can be daunting. But with a little knowledge and use of the good transport links, it needn't be. The relative short distances between towns in the south west corner of WA make this area a popular choice for backpackers. Amazing Albany is a great option for travelers looking to break free from the city clutches of Perth. With its good weather, many national parks and wide variety of things to see and do, your trip is guaranteed to be a memorable one.
10 Essentials for successful backpacking
- Bring Sunscreen – WA is well known for its glorious weather and strong sun. Whilst we all love it when the sun is out we don’t love the bright red burn from too much sun.
- Camera – It sounds obvious and yes most people will have one. But this is a once in a lifetime trip so make sure you’re going to be happy with the quality of the photos from the camera, people who use their phones as a camera I’m talking to you here! Oh, and also make sure you know how to work it.
- Earplugs and Sleep Mask – Not only will these be useful when staying in shared accommodation but also useful for that long haul flight, 10 hr bus ride or 15hr transfer waiting around in the bright and noisy airport.
- Inflatable Neck Pillow – You’re traveling. Two things should spring to mind, make the trip as comfortable as possible and reduce what you’re carrying around. A neck pillow will help you sleep on long journeys and stop you drooling onto the shoulder of the person next to you and when you’re finished with it simply deflate. Easy!
- Get a Head torch – Staying in shared accommodation means you can’t always switch the light on when you want to. Like at 4am for that early check out! A head torch will work fine though and also means you can read late into the night without holding a normal torch in your mouth.
- Medical Kit – Hopefully you won’t ever need this but its good to have if you do. At the very least carry antiseptic/ antibacterial cream for cleaning cuts and some sort of dressing for wounds to keep them clean.
- Swiss Army Knife – For nearly every eventuality your multitool army knife will come in handy. My mate used it to help fix a rubbing car tyre when I was in New Zealand. You never know when it’ll come in handy
- Packable Rain Jacket – You’re traveling the world. You’re sure to encounter rain at some stage and an umbrella won’t leave your hands free to capture those memorable photos.
- A Guidebook – A guidebook provides valuable insight to start planning your trip. It might be directing you and all the other tourists to the same place but in order to get off the beaten track you have to start somewhere.
- Consider the environment - On your travels, reduce your waste, recycle and think about offsetting your carbon footprint from all those CO2 fueled flights. The world is a great place, that’s why you wanted to travel it. Lets keep it that way for future generations.