Travel tips

Bring toilet paper everywhere

Ah, the infamous squatter toilet; what fond memories I have your cavernous portal, your undeniable aroma, the unassuming water can that is intended to clean my glorious nether regions. I cannot tell you how many times I mistakenly walked into on these and immediately regretted not having brought toilet paper with me. If you’re traveling in an Asian or Middle Eastern country, chances are you will be using a squat toilet. Most likely, said squat toilet will not have toilet paper either. Unless you become a master of watering your own crack or scrub your hand to a nub after doing your business, I suggest you have a roll with you. Another backpacking travel tip is that you can use the toilet paper for other uses, like lighting a campfire, wiping your nose, and cleaning up a food mess. TP sounds pretty necessary now, right?

Haggle your heart out

For many cultures around the world, haggling is a fact of everyday life. It is just an unwritten fact that the first price is never the best price, and one needs to negotiate. In many countries, there is a local price and a foreigner price. This is not necessarily unfair and I don’t mind paying a small premium – say 10-20% more than a local. But I’m not cool with paying 500% more than the item, service or whatever is worth… India is the worst place I’ve ever been from the point of view of touts attempting INSANE rip off prices: you have to hold your ground and haggle. Knowing how to haggle is knowing how to go backpacking. More common than not, vendors at street markets will try to rip you off once they see your face or hear your foreign accent. You have two choices: accept the bullshit price they are quoting you or unleash your haggling game on them. It is important to remember to be reasonable and fair when haggling. Don’t haggle so low for a handicraft that someone else spent hours upon hours crafting. Pay people what they deserve, but at the same time don’t get ripped off. Haggling truly is a finely tuned skill that needs to be developed and it’s a backpacking trick you will master with time

Wash your own clothes

If you’re looking for some more budget backpackign travel advice, then I suggest that you wash your own clothes to save a penny. The process isn’t as hard as you think it might be and you can make your clothes look pretty crisp with practice. You’ll also avoid losing or ruining your clothes at the hands of the cleaning staff. Stuff always seems to go missing – be it accidental or intentional – when you hand over a giant bag of clothes. Maybe it’s best that you do it yourself then.

Make sure your backpack has a rain cover and bring a rain jacket

When the skies open up and the rain pours down you need to protect your stuff. Unless you are traveling to the desert or some other dry place, it will rain at some point during a multi-month trip. Regardless of where I am traveling, I always have a rain cover with me. Without fail, as soon as you visit the driest place on earth without a rain cover, that’s the afternoon when it rains for the first time in 200 years. You get my point. Rain seems to come in especially vicious torrents when somebody is unprepared for it. You need some way to keep your shit dry so if your backpack is NOT at least water-resistant, it is worth buying a rain cover.

Pack synthetic clothing

Ever heard the expression rotten cotton? It refers to the fact that cotton materials degrade rapidly after heavy use and exposure to certain elements like heat and water. Now, guess what popular backpacking destinations like Central America or Southeast Asia have lots of? You guessed them – the sun and the ocean. I guarantee you that your cotton singlet and your whitey tighties will fall to shreds after a month of backpacking in places like these. By the end of the third month, you will be a shell of your former self – a bumbling Robinson Crusoe clinging to nothing but a loincloth. Synthetic clothing is much more durable and much easier to wash than cotton clothing. A couple of good synthetic shirts and pants will last you much longer and will not fail you as quickly. You’ll need to be careful around hot irons though so make sure you tell the person cleaning your clothes.

Bring a stove (to make cooking real easy)

When a hostel kitchen isn’t an option, you’ll still need a way to cook. Having a small lightweight backpacking stove means you can make a coffee, cook a meal, and even heat up water to wash your face no matter where you are. Emphasis on the coffee! No need to buy a latte every single day; just another way to kill your long-term budget. If you are trekking, having a backpacking stove is absolutely essential. For backpackers looking to have real freedom, adding a stove to your gear checklist is just another step to self-sufficiency and an important travel tip for long-term backpacking. Check out the best backpacking stoves for traveling here. My two personal go-to stoves are the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 and my Jetboil.

Learn how to use a keffiyeh

I used to judge those dudes who would show up to parties in a keffiyeh. You know, those guys who rock a black v-neck, cargo pants, a fedora, and this military-looking scarf. While I still get irked a bit when I see one of these scarfs in a lounge or restaurant, I’ve found that they are extremely useful in general. I now include them almost always in my packing travel tips. Seriously, you can do so much with one of these scarfs while traveling. They can be used as an extra blanket, a headdress, a sarong (for temples), as a sling; all of that and then some. Honestly, I never travel anywhere without one of these accessories now and I fear that I too will soon show up to a club in one… Another trave; tip for backpacking packing is harem pants – they’re so comfortable, light, and dry super fast!

Remember Resort Fees

Don’t forget to calculate resort fees when determining your total hotel cost. Fees can range up to almost $60 per night.

Keep USD For Transactions

Image Source Although Maldivian Rufiyaa is the national currency used in the Maldives, USD is widely accepted almost everywhere. Apart from the local islands, most of the shops have things labeled in USD. Though credit cards are used widely including the resorts, keeping cash is also important as there is a need to purchase odds and ends. And it is also difficult to find an ATM in the vicinity of Maldivian islands, thus it is necessary to kee[p cash. Suggested Read: 10 Things Not To Do In the Maldives In 2021 As Told By Locals

The “Hidden Pizza” Joint

Are you looking for some late-night pizza after hitting the clubs? Check out Secret Pizza at the Cosmopolitan, with its tasty thin crust Pizza. You can find it on the third floor of the Cosmopolitan and near the exit from Marquee Nightclub.