“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 travelling for more insight), and the seasons.
Popular Backpacking Areas
The most popular backpacking areas are generally cheap, offer many activities and things 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 tranquillity 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 Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos as they are all neighbours and easy to move between. As a first time traveller who is a bit apprehensive 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.
The currency you are travelling on will determine how cheap and area is. If you are on the British pound then New Zealand is a relatively 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.