How to Backpack Like a Pro – From the Teen Backpacking Through Asia for 200 Days

By: Ahmed El Fares

You know what’s better than traveling with friends or family? Booking a one way ticket to anywhere and spending a good few months there; meeting new people, traveling around with the cheapest flights to random destinations, and being cheap af, oh wait they have a word for that! What was it again? Oh yea BACKPACKING!

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As awesome as it might seem, it could be quite expensive and dangerous, but it’s all about knowing how to do it ; )

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I’ve been packing ever since I was 16, it has definitely changed my life BIG TIME, but I’m not really here to talk about that, I’m here to teach you how to do it like a pro!

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HOSTELS

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First off HOSTELS. Many people tend to think that we do hostels because they’re cheaper than hotels (LIKE WAY CHEAPER) but tbh to me it’s way more than that, a hostel is like a boarding school, where you get to get drunk, cook, not study, come back whenever you want,

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okay it’s nothing like a boarding school, it’s basically a hotel but you share a room with 5-23 strangers (that’ll turn out out be your besties) depending on what hostel you’re staying at and basically the more you pay the less people are going to be in your dorm!

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A hostel in Europe would cost you 9-25$  a night, In Asia it would cost around 4-10$!

 

BUDGET

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The essence of backpacking is setting a daily budget, because when traveling for at least one month you will need to get a hold of your cash, when I did Europe I had a daily budget of  35-50€a day, 10 for a hostel, 10 for food, 10 for transportation/sightseeing, 20-10 for getting shit faced(once or twice a week)

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I also had a 75€ budget for souvenirs.
I ended up spending 2800€ for 45 days including flights, accommodation, food, shopping, bailing my ass out of jail, transportation and the train and flight that I’ve missed 🙂

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Asia on the other hand had a totally different budget, believe it or not I ended up paying 2000€ that’s 1750$ for 45 days including 10 extra shitfaces, 4 more flights and some fancy high end clubs!

COPS

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You know what is the second thing cops hate right after terrorists? It’s cheap backpackers that mess with the law and are not actually benefiting the economy that much, cause well… they’re cheap. I got arrested 4 times already, 3 of them in Europe and once in Thailand, and I had to pay a 50€ bail for 2 of them : / (and no I’m not telling the story) so know the law, respect it, and you’ll be fine!

FLIGHTS

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Tbh idk how I would’ve been backpacking if it wasn’t for Skyscanner! They have this awesome option called “explore” where you could check the cheapest flights from the country of your choice to the most random places! Thanks to that option I went to athens, Slovakia and malaysia! They also are gonna show you the cheapest flights TO the country of your choice, it’s like booking at a travel agency but without the commission!

LOCALS

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Very important rule when traveling not just backpacking, Locals are a big no-no to mess with (especially in Asia), unless you want your nose broken by a ladyboy in Thailand, yea that happened before.

FOOD

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When backpacking you would want to try the local food, not doing that is like going to Egypt without trying the koshary or molokheya, and that’s actually the cheaper option, for example in bali a pizza/burger would cost 100,000 rupiahs/8 USD and up,

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and an amazing dish of chap chai which is a big ass bowl of meat/chicken and vegetables in an astonishing sauce with a fair portion of rice would cost you around 20/30000 rupiahs/ 1.25-2.25 USD,

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so always go for the local food, cause not only is it good and cheap but it’s definitely a different experience!

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TRANSPORTATION AND DAY TRIPS

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Boso ya habyby don’t go to Italy and book a day trip to A CHURCH or bali and book a trip TO THE RICE TERRACES! Many people do that, pay around 30-60$ for day trips that you could literally do for free you’ll just need the public transportation ticket!

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Not everything of course but just do your research before booking a day trip! Also they have tons of free walking tours in Europe! And never go for taxis unless you really have to, unlike Egypt they have plenty of public transportation options and shuttle buses that’ll take you straight or very close to your hostel! In Paris a cab would’ve costed me 70€ and I ended up paying 10€ for the train and metro and just walked for 5 minutes!

BAGGAGE

When backpacking it’s the dumbest idea to go for a suitcase, you would at least visit 10 different places, that’s 10 different hostels, 10 times of carrying around a suitcase and having to pay more for check in on flights! Always go for a backpack, it’s way more convenient!

NIGHTLIFE

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Let’s face the fact that you are gonna get drunk BIG TIME when you travel, so here are a few tips so that you wouldn’t lose your shit, 1. Never carry your passport/credit cards/ too much money on you, passport ofc so you wouldn’t lose it, but the money and credit card are because of the fact that you might get too drunk and start buying drinks for cute guys/girls around you or even worse, break something at the club, if you don’t have any cash on you and start crying, they’ll let you go……you’re welcome 😉 2. ALWAYS HAVE A FANNY PACK! No matter how ugly it looks, it’s gonna save your ass, cause no one would dare to open it and steal your shit on matter how wasted you are! 3. Asia and Europe are not like Egypt, good parties don’t have to cost you much, do your research, ask people at your hostel and you’ll find some very good parties for very cheap or sometimes no entry tickets! 4. PUBCRAWLS!!!! A Pub crawl  is the best way to get wasted on a budget, meet new people and get home safely, it’s basically a social thing usually organized by the hostel, where they take a group of peeps, take them to at least 4 different bars/pubs, get a shot/cocktail/beer at every place, then head off to a mega party at the end, and they’ll make sure you get home eventually cause you’re all staying at the same place so… yea you’ll survive!

FRIENDS

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Last but not least, is making friends, to me that’s what traveling is all about! When staying in hostels everyone is going to be very sociable and looking forward to making new friends!

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I met at least 200 people from all around the world during the past few days, most importantly is to keep an open mind, you’ll meet all types of people out there and the last thing you want is to go through a fight with someone for being gay, you’re not in Egypt so you’re definitely gonna lose the fight : /

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As scary as it might seem, solo traveling has changed my life, exposed me to so many different experiences some of which I was forced to try!

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Got me to meet some AMAZING people, some of which are happy to host me and show me around their hometowns, and definitely got me to gain “independence” (not financially tho lol) stay safe have fun and go book that flight!

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