Backpacking in India

How to prepare for your first backpacking experience.

Backpacking for beginners is a great adventure. These are some tips I learned throughout the years that will help you if you are a backpacking newbie:

First Backpacking experience: You finally decided to buy a backpack and travel around the world. However, you have no clue where to get started or what to expect. Don’t worry, I have been through this as well. Get ready as I am going to share with you a few tips that I wish I knew when I began traveling. Being an old school backpacker, I did not have a smartphone to guide me or help me to book a hotel before getting to a new place. Was it bad? I don’t think so, but to be honest, it is much easier nowadays, especially if you are traveling with children. I have been using “Hostelworld” and “Agoda” for many years and I highly recommend you to give it a goal too.

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Pick the right backpack

The bigger, the better!


The bigger your backpack, the more you will pack!


You are probably going to laugh at me for this photo. As a matter of fact, I had no idea what I was doing. First of all, picking the right travel backpack is very important. too big, and you will fill it up with things that you never use and too small, and you will end up sticking and attaching the extra stuff on the outside and will regret not buying a bigger one from the beginning. Buy a cheap one, and it will suddenly break it in the middle of nowhere, pick the wrong material, and your stuff will be soaked in the rain.

Pick the right backpack by Discover Evolution
Best backpack 2020
Picking the right travel backpack is an important part of planning your trip. Too big and you’ll have too much extra weight to carry around..

How to choose a backpack that is right for you?

Even tho your backpack is not 100% waterproof ( Unless you are going on some long multi-day hike), make sure your bag is made out of a semi-waterproof material so everything doesn’t get soaking wet (most travel backpacks come with rain proof cover that you can put over them in case of a severe downpour


Accommodation blog post. Finding a place to stay is not always easy and it will also depend on your budget. Backpackers will looking for the cheapest accommodation possible and will not mind sleeping in a dorm with another 10 people. In fact, if you are traveling with your loved one, you probably will be looking for something a bit more cozy and romantic. On the other hand, if you are traveling with children, you are going to need accommodation that is more spacious and maybe with a swimming pool.


It has been among the internet since the 1999 and is one of the leading website that will help you finding the best hostel for your next destination. With over 18000 properties across 180 countries and 13 million customers review you can’t go wrong with them.



It’s based in Singapore and was created in 2005. Not to mention that It is the world’s largest online platform with over 2 million properties registered across 200 countries. In addition, the Agoda mobile App is available in 38 languages.

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How to prepare your first Backpacking experience. By Discover Evolution
India 2008

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Pick your destination

There are thousand of website where you could buy your ticket flight to your future destination, and if you do not be careful you may ending up paying twice the amount. If you want to save money while booking your flight follow these easy steps:

  • Avoid direct flight it will always be more expensive
  • Think outside the box. For example: If I was flying from France to Kuala-Lumpur (Malaysia) I will be checking on how much does it cost from my neighbor countries. Sometimes it could be cheaper to book a small connection flight to Germany than if I was flying from Paris.
  • Book your flight ticket at night. There is less people online at 2 am than there is at 2 pm and for that reason prices can drop significantly.
  • Book early. Airline fares will keep rising the closer you get to departure. The best time to book is around 3 months in advance.

Lots of people will tell you to use famous website to book your destination and because they are famous they are also have more expensive fares. I always use “Jetradar” and I have never been disapointed with them. (Switch to English on the top right corner)

Book your flight ticket by Discover Evolution

What shall you bring with you?

Backpacking across South-East Asia is pretty popular among the backpacking community!

Why? It’s cheap, perfect for your tiny budget, ideal for partying and meeting friends along the way! You only have to add in a few bonuses such as food, a tropical climate, and breathtaking scenery to want to book your flight!

When it comes to packing your backpack for the trip of a lifetime, it can be a mission.  Especially if this is your first backpacking trip to Southeast Asia! I thought I’d help you guys prepare for your big trip by making an easy packing list including all the packing essentials.

What to take with you while backpacking ? In this post, you’ll find different sections that should cover all your Asia travel list essentials.

I already mentioned this. Back in the days, when I started traveling, I packed weeks before departure, and then my mum went through everything convincing me to leave at least half of the things I packed. Nowadays, I know what to pack for which destination but I had to learn it the hard way.

Here some tips that will make your travel more comfortable and easier:

Camping Sleeping Bag: A 3 seasons sleeping bag will probably be the best choice for you (designed for 10~20 Degrees Celsius). In fact, it will allow you to use it during summer and also during the chill night if you sleep in your tent.

Lightweight dry towel: Lightweight & Compact: The biggest towel around, packing down so small, take up almost no space in your bag, easy snap onto everything.

Packing Cubes: Do you love to travel? Are you tired of fumbling inside your luggage and unpacking everything to look for an item the same old way? Packing cubes may be the solution for you.

sleeping bags GIF

Backpacking beginner? Pick an easy country to start with!

If you haven’t backpacked before, pick an easy country to start with. Malaysia is great for beginners and so is Australia. Both countries welcome thousands of backpackers every year and the infrastructure is great. Try one of them before going to India or China.
The culture shock is also not that bad like in other, more extreme countries!

Check out my video in Malaysia: What can $10 get you in Kuala-Lumpur

Don’t plan your whole trip!

Don’t do it! Never…

Imagine the following scene: You arrived somewhere and booked accommodation for two nights but you are having such a great time that you don’t want to leave. The problem: You’ve already booked flights and accommodation for the next two weeks and would lose all the money… So you will leave this place that you like so much and leave behind the people that you just met but get along so well and keep doing the things as you planned them from home, ticking off one thing after another on your bucket list!

Allow time for spontaneity. Less is more! It is better to have a few more intensive rather than many superficial moments!

You can always come back and do the rest you’ve missed on your next trip!

Traveling with your partner or a good friend

When you decide to travel, be 100 % sure that you are also going to be a couple when you travel. If you aren’t better postpone it or do it alone. There is nothing worse than getting into fights when traveling.

Same for friends, make sure you are really good friends and that you know what the other person wants… At home, you might see each other every day for a few hours each day, when you travel you will be together 24/7. Are you sure you can handle this?

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Which travel insurance is the right one?

Here comes the most expensive part of your budget but it is also one of the most important of all. Let me share with you what happen to friend while we were bike touring in Kazakhstan.

We stopped at Almaty for few days and we wanted to do a small hike on Shymbulak resort, I checked the weather and I told my friend that it will turn pretty bad in the afternoon and that we should postpone it. He insisted to go and I stayed at our friend’s place. Later on, around 5 pm I received a text from him saying that he was stuck in the mountain and that he had maybe few broken ribs.

It was getting dark and we had no idea where he actually was & we started to freak out for him. When we arrive at Shymbulak resort we could see a flashlight signal on the top of the mountain, the rescue team spotted him and it took around 7 hours to bring him down.

If he did not have insurance his trip would have come to an end and he would have spent lots of money on the rescue procedure.

Worldnomad insurance is one of the best travel companies out there, especially if you plan a backpacking trip for a long period of time. it is recommended it by thousand of bloggers on the internet and it by far more affordable than other travel agency online.

Jetlag – Why am I so tired?

Sometimes I’m still shocked about Jetlag myself when I’m tired for days and don’t feel like doing anything except crawling back into bed… Get ready for this, and know that it isn’t a disease and that its normal that you feel this way when you travel across a few time zones.

I know people that went to the hospital looking for treatment because they had no idea what jetlag is 🙂

Go to the right airport!

Might sound easy, but many big cities have more than one airport. Often there is an international airport and an airport for LCC’s (Low Cost Carriers).

In Bangkok for instance all AirAsia flights fly from Don Mueang and not from the main airport Suvarnabhumi.


What were your concerns when you were a backpacking newbie? Any more tips to add to this list? Comment below

Never miss another adventure:

How To Pack Your Life Into a Carry-on

I remember the first time I went backpacking to Vietnam in 2004, I bought a 45L backpack and my goal was to carry as less as possible. I knew that Vietnam will be way cheaper than Europe and that it won’t be a problem for me to find clothes anywhere. At that time, I did not own a laptop, I did not have a phone (smart phone did not…



Travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. You’d rather not think about all of the things that might go wrong on your trip, but these things can and do happen. World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover your trip essentials. Even if you run out of travel insurance or leave without it, World Nomads can offer you cover. We don’t just keep you and your family protected – with us, you’ll travel smarter and safer.

Looking for an honest World Nomads travel insurance review?

Before you roll your eyes and sigh, thinking this is another boring insurance article, give me a chance. To be perfectly honest, I was one of those people who never gave much thought to travel insurance. In fact, during my first trip backpacking in Vietnam & Cambodia, I did not even bother taking any insurance with me even tho my parents totally disagree with my decision. 

Later on on my next trip, everyone around me keep telling me that was just a wrong decision and I should consider protecting myself while traveling. I admit to taking out the cheapest plan possible, without giving much afterthought to what it actually covered.​

This was up until the filling of my tooth fall off, I was cycling middle of the Nullabor desert in Australia when it happen (nothing there!) and i had to wait to be in port Dickson to run to dentist.

As i did not read what it actually covered I found out that my teeth was not included and i had to pay over $1000 to fix it !

Since that accident, insurance has become more than just a hazard thought and that is why I will highly recommend you to protect yourself while traveling and to consider one the best Traveling Insurance on the Market:  World Nomads Travel Insurance.

World Nomads Travel Insurance: Why They are the Best?

The thing that I like the most about World Nomads Travel Insurance is the fact that it was built by travelers for travelers. Unlike most insurance companies that were only made to make money. World Nomads was born out of a need to provide backpackers, adventurers, family vacation… with a comprehensive enough plan that was easy and flexible for everyone.

Founder, Simon Monk took out a year-long plan, expecting to be back home by the end of his insurance coverage. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he found himself a year later in China, with no means to get any sort of extension to his current plan.

World Nomads Credibility

Apart from being the trusted insurance provider of large companies like Lonely Planet, Get your GuideCivitatis &  Intrepid it is a large brand that is well known by everyone and well trusted. Like you, I don’t have unlimited money to spend and as travel insurance as it could get very expensive, I want to make sure that I get good value for my money.

World Nomads Travel Insurance Coverage Breakdown

So now that we’ve established how reputable World Nomads is, it’s time to actually dive into it and check what their insurance plan actually covers.

Medical Emergencies

Medical emergencies is one of the most common uses of travel insurance and why travelers choose to get one. Apart from the actual hospital bills, any additional medical expense from evacuation, repatriation will also be covered, it will also depend on where you are from, World Nomads Travel Insurance will have various plan coverage.

If you are from the US, for their most basic plan, they cover up to $100,000 for any medical emergencies and another $300,000 for any medical evacuation if in case you get into an accident that would need medical evacuation. This means that if you break a leg while skiing, or find yourself injured while trekking in the middle of the mountain with no way to get back, they will cover the all the expenses to get you to the nearest medical treatment facility.

In Europe, helicopter evacuations start at around $20,000 so think about it twice before going anywhere without a traveling insurance.

Apart from the medical evacuation coverage, you will also be covered for these key features:

  • Emergency Dental
  • Return of Minors (If you are hospitalized for more than 7 days, minors traveling with you will be flown home)
  • Repatriation (double knock on wood-but if anything does happen to you, your remains will be flown back home to your family)

Trip Cancellation, Delay or Interruption.

World Nomads will reimburse you for any prepaid, non-refundable cancellation charges. If you travel to Nepal and plan a trek on the Everest based camp or to the Thorong la pass and have to cancel your trip due to altitude sickness or accidental injury they will do all the necessary to cover all the expenses. At the same time, they will also pay if you ever have to cut a trip short due to any type of accident, injury, or the death of a family member.

Bottom line, if something happens to you, a travel companion, or any family member, World Nomads has your back.

Although not as extreme, I’ve  missed my connection flight while flying from Malaysia to Singapore and Singapore to France because of delayed and there was no way for me to get to my destination. I lost out on my hotel bookings in Paris which I couldn’t cancel and almost missed my cousin wedding.


”Never travel without insurance. I bought trekking insurance with World Nomads in Dec 2016 for my trek to Everest Base Camp. I came down with severe mountain sickness on my trip, and WN covered my helicopter rescue and all of my hospital expenses. They made it extremely easy for me and I am just so happy I went with them. If I hadn’t gone with them, I would’ve been forced to pay around $12,000 for heli rescue as there was no possible way I could walk down. Thanks for your help World Nomads!”

Baggage Delays, Theft, and Loss

One of the awesome things about World Nomads is their coverage for baggage loss, delays, or even theft (they even cover sporting equipment like surf boards, bicycle, etc.) For their basic plans, they have a maximum coverage of $500 per item while their explorer plan covers up to $1500 per item.

If your bag is delayed for more than 12 hours, you can get reimbursed for up to $750. If you are held up in gunpoint while in the streets of South America, don’t fret, whatever you lose, World Nomads is likely to cover it.

Adventure Sports and Activities

Last but not least, one of the things that makes World Nomads so unique is their coverage for adventure sports. World Nomads has a pretty comprehensive list of activities and sports that you might do during a trip, regardless if you’re an adventurous traveler like myself. I love cycling touring and while bike touring in remote places having a traveling insurance that can help you while in the middle of nowhere is compulsory 

Everything from trekking, cycling, backpacking, kayaking World Nomads has a coverage of over 150+ activities. You name it, they probably cover it.

While I know it is difficult to predict what you’re going to end up doing during a trip, you know your travel style so you can more or less check if things you enjoy doing like scuba diving, snorkeling, or rock climbing are covered in the plan that you take out.