THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS FROM WHICH WE MIGHT MAKE A COMMISSION.
Happy New Year fellow backslackers! Every January 1 travelers, backpackers, and dreamers make lists of New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. Maybe you want to save for a big trip. Maybe you want to finally take that big trip. Maybe you want to become a digital nomad or a ski instructor. This is the time of year to dream BIG and make lists of travel plans and travel goals for the rest of the year. Stuck on what your New Year’s travel resolutions should be? No worries, we’re here to help! But instead of telling you what backpackers SHOULD resolve to do this year, we’re going to tell you what backpackers should resolve NOT to do this year. Because, let’s face it, there are lots of things you shouldn’t be doing…
Eight Things Backpackers Should Resolve NOT to do in 2016
I will NOT Overpack
Is your backpack twice the size of your body? Are you constantly paying over-charges on Ryan Air because your bag weighs too much? Do you topple over yourself while trying to find your hostel? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you may be an overpacker. Overpacking is the number one backpacker sin. And there’s really no need to overpack on your next trip. Trust me, most of what you think you need, you don’t. And if you forget something, no worries, you can buy just about anything anywhere you are in the world. So this year, resolve NOT to overpack your backpack.
Check out our tips for how not to overpack:
I will NOT Disrupt The Dorm
Have you ever returned to a dorm room drunk and woken everyone up with your noise? Have you ever turned on the lights to pack your bag when everyone else was sleeping? Have you ever hit the snooze alarm in a 20 person dorm? If you answered “yes” to any of these, your hostel etiquette may need some work. This year resolve to NOT disrupt the dorm with drunken antics, messiness, and general backpackerness! I know this is one I have to work on…
Check out our these articles on hostel etiquette:
I will NOT Break My Budget
Whether you’re saving to take that big trip or are already on the road, chances are the one thing that’s always on your mind is money. Do you have enough to last your whole trip? How many months can you travel on what you have? And, most importantly, how many beers can you afford to drink tonight? If you’re at home, saving for your ’round the world trip should be your number one priority. So stop stopping for lattes, buying clothes, or paying rent. And if you’re on the road, don’t go overboard with souvenirs or museum admissions. Resolve NOT to break your budget this year.
Check out our tips for saving money traveling:
I will NOT Choose Cheap Over Convenient
Have you ever booked a 24-hour bus over a two-hour flight? Have you ever slept in an airport overnight to save $20? Ever gotten bed bugs from a questionable, albeit dirt-cheap, hostel? Have you ever spent 3 hours taking public transport to avoid a cab fare? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re probably cheap. Now, don’t get me wrong, cheap is good when it comes to backpacking. But sometimes you have to step back and think, “is that worth the inconvenience to save $5?” So this year resolve NOT to choose cheap over convenient.
(Sometimes you can’t help but go for cheap, check out The Five Stages of Sleeping on an Overnight Bus.)
I will NOT Fall For Scams
Have you ever had a cab driver drop you off at a shop on the way to where you’re going? Have you ever been taken to the wrong hotel on purpose? Have you ever been sold a bogus tour ticket? Hate to break it to you, but you’ve been scammed. Don’t worry, it’s happened to the best of us. Even seasoned travelers like myself have been scammed a time or two in our backpacking career. But this year is the year to think twice, to always do a little research, to always get a price up front, to go to reputable travel agencies, and to gain a little street smarts. Do you vow to NOT get scammed on the road this year?
I will NOT Be Afraid
There are plenty of things to be afraid of when traveling. Bungee jumping. Sketchy hostels. Scuba diving with sharks. People who look different than you. There are a lot of people out there who are too afraid to leave their own country so if you’re traveling at all, you’re already one-up on most Americans. If you’ve never traveled before, this is the year to face your fear and take off on an adventure. Never traveled alone? Do it. Want to knock something extreme off your travel bucket list? Go forth and skydive or scuba dive, zip line or slack line, snowmobile or snowboard. This should be the year you are NOT afraid of traveling, and anything that comes with it.
Amy’s afraid of everything. Check out some of her travel fears:
I will NOT Put Off Traveling
Do you say year after year that this will be the year you quit your job to travel, only to find yourself back at the same cubicle? Are you a senior who has been saying you’re going to study abroad since freshman year? Do you never feel like it’s the right time to travel or that you don’t have enough money to travel? If you answered “yes” to any of those, stop wasting your life! It is always the right time to travel and you’re doing nothing but getting older. Some day you will be too old to appreciate everything that comes with travel: the parties, the women, the hostel life. Once you start traveling you’ll wish you started years ago. Make this the year you say yes to travel and repeat after me: I will NOT put off traveling this year!
Need some travel help? Check out our tips for preparing for long-term travel:
I will NOT Go Home
Maybe you’re at the end of your bank account. Maybe you’re sister’s getting married. Maybe you still have a year left of college. So what? None of those are good enough excuses to stop traveling. Travel is mind over matter, where there’s a will there’s a way. If you want to keep traveling do it. Even if you don’t want to keep traveling you should, you’ll be better off for it. So if you’re nearing the end of your trip, get a job at a hostel or a working holiday visa in Australia or become a travel blogger. If your family expects you home tell them you’re sick and they won’t let you fly. If you still have college or a job back home just realize you don’t need it. You don’t need a degree. Your job is killing you. Keep. Traveling. No matter what. This is the year you will NOT go home. You will never go home again.
OK, backslackers, what do you resolve NOT to do in 2016?