Where To Go

"Where Should I Backpack"

Ultimately where you go is completely up to you, or at least it should be. However, this can be restricted by budget, time, and geographical location (see When to go for more insight), and the seasons. Perhaps you will need a little inspiration before you book those tickets.

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Popular Backpacking Areas

The most popular backpacking areas are generally cheap, offer many activites and thing to see combined with good weather. Thailand has a very good reputation for ticking all those boxes and is probably top of the list though closely rivalled by Australia. Surrounding countries around Thailand have began recently to climb the ladder of backpacker popularity as they are nearby and have triggered travellers curiousity. Consequently many companies have started cashing in by creating tour groups to combine Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos in single tour routes.

Rivalling Australia in popularity is neighbouring New Zealand. It threatens to offer just as many adrenaline activites but does have stunning scenery and cheaper prices up its sleeve. However, the warmer climate, Barrier Reef, and Ayres Rock are normally enough to bring slightly larger crowds.

Having travelled to Asia and Australasia it is not uncommon to have a stop over at either one of the Pacific Islands or the USA. The peace, beauty and tranquility of either the Cook Islands or Fiji are usually a welcomed break after the bustle of some major cities, and are perfect for relaxing on a beach. The USA though not a huge backpacking destination is normally used as a stop over if navigating the globe but many have a couple of days in L.A. to explore.

The most popular round the world ticket sold follows suit and includes many of the destinations mentioned above. Take a look at our most popular round the world tickets.

Cheapest Backpacking Areas

Often the cheapest backpacking areas are also the most popular. South East Asia is a good cheap area to backpack around with lots to see and do. The culture shock can be high but this can only make for a richer experience overall. Backpackers tend to travel around to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos as they are all neighbours and easy to move between. As a first time traveller who is a bit aprehensive about making a visit to Asia then joining a tour group could be a good option for you as it can make you feel more secure.

In cheaper backpacking regions you do sometimes get begging which can be quite intimidating at first. India is an area where begging is common but there is also a lot to see there as the culture is so different. Generally in Thailand and the neighbouring countries begging is not so prominent.

Depending on what currency you are travelling on will determine how cheap and area is. If you are on the British pound then New Zealand is a relativly cheap place to backpack and it offers an enormous amount of things to see and do. Some hostels offer a bed for the night for as little as £7.

Expensive Backpacking Areas

Japan is not one of the most popular destinations for backpackers because the language barrier is so difficult, it is expensive, and is not realy very well geared up for backpackers. Saying that, it is a beautiful country and very green outside the major cities despite what you may imagine. If you are into temples and shrines, and a whole different way of living you will have a great experience in Japan.

Australia does not really follow suit in that it is a very popular backpacker destination that is also quite dear. The hostels in the cities can charge up to £15 a night for a bed which in comparison to neighbouring New Zealand is expensive. Likewise food and drink costs can be high if eating out but cooking for yourself or buying a sandwich from a shop can save you money. This should not deter you from visiting Australia as it is home to the Great Barrier Reef, The Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Ayres Rock and many adrenaline filled activities.

The USA like Japan is not a big backpacker destination because of the cost, but right now the dollar is weak and it is worth a visit for a foreign traveller. There is an abundance of things to see for anyone with any interest as the country is so diverse. Accommodation could set you back a bit even at the hostels which are still cheaper than in Australia in my opinion, but food is cheap and plentiful. With such large portions you could easily survive on two meals a day.


When planning your trip away it is vital to make sure you visit in the season which suits you. Sometimes it is best to think of the activities in each country you would like to do and see if they are season dependant. After all, you would not like to arrive and find your tour is not running because of high winds or heavy rain. If there are many areas of the world you wish to cover in one trip it is even more important to get your timings correct. Research what you want to do, when it is best or possible to do it, and then start mapping a route and a rough time plan for each location.

Everyone knows that the summers and winters are the opposite in the north and southern hemispheres so it is possible to follow the summer sun around the world. To do this you could of course spend May to September in the northern hemisphere travelling Europe and the USA, and the months of October to April in Australasia and South America. However, you must also account for wet and dry seasons in each region you visit. These can be dependant on the time of year or purely regional. Around the equator and South East Asia for example, there is a definite monsoon season but it is not clear cut. For instance if you visited Malaysia, the rainy season in the east is between November and February whereas the wettest time of year on the west coast is between September and December. Seasonal planning is essential. To help there is a location/weather checker in the top right of this page. Alternatively, visit our country guides for further weather information.

So, are you ready to book those tickets.