Travel Checklist Essentials

Now that you have chosen a destination you want to visit with the help of my travel guides, it is time to start planning your first or next backpacking trip.

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Planning your first backpacking trip can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re doing it independently. As someone who has gone through the same experience, I understand the pressure you may be facing, and that’s why I’m here to guide you through some steps that I’ve followed when planning trips around the world.

I have compiled a list of all the resources that I have used over the past 5 years to plan my backpacking trips. These platforms and websites have been incredibly reliable and have never failed me once. I hope that this list will be as helpful to you as it has been to me.

Start Planning Your Trip:
  1. Book your Flights
  2. Book your Accomodation
  3. Public Transportation
  4. Day Trips and Tours
  5. Travel Checklists by Chai
  6. More Resources
  1. Book Your Flights

To plan a backpacking trip, the first step is to find the best deals on flights from your home country to your desired destination. My preferred platform for this is Skyscanner, where you can browse through available deals and sort them by price and flight duration to find the most affordable and practical route.

Skyscanner has a unique feature that allows you to select “Everywhere” as your destination, and the platform will list all the destinations you can fly to in order of cheapest to most expensive. This feature has helped me find countless affordable and practical routes, and I haven’t found any other platform that does it better.

If Skyscanner doesn’t list all the available flights, I also browse through Expedia to compare prices. And the final option is Google flights. You may not find any deals directly in the portal but at least you know if there’s a flight and the price graphs.

By using these two platforms together, you can compare prices and routes to find the best and cheapest deal possible. Keep in mind that this process can take several hours or days, depending on how complex your trip is. I usually spend at least a week browsing through Skyscanner and Expedia to find the most affordable and practical route for my trip.

Here’s the best sites for Flights:

  1. Book Your Accomodation

With your flight booked, your plan is already halfway done. While the other parts of your trip can be improvised as you go, a little extra research can make your journey more enjoyable, such as finding great accommodation in advance.

For the first night in a new country, I usually look for hostels on Hostelworld. I try to find a place where many travelers pass through, so I can talk to them and get more information about the country I’m visiting. First-hand information is always the best, and there’s no better place to find these travelers than a hostel. Trust me on this. I met my girlfriend in JJ’s Backpackers when I was travelling Perth.

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Hostelworld has an excellent selection of hostels, with many reviews to help you decide whether a particular hostel is right for you. On my first night, I usually choose a smaller, non-party hostel with a fun vibe to meet and talk to people. I’ve found that a full-blown party hostel can make it difficult to connect with others in meaningful ways.

If I’m looking for more privacy, which happens quite often when I’ve been on the road for a while, I book an AirBnB or hotel on instead. also offers special discounts for returning users, giving you access to better deals that you wouldn’t find on other platforms. Best of all, I’ve always been able to find accommodation on, no matter which country I’m in. I can always count on them to find me a bed to sleep in every night.

Here’s the best sites for Hotels:

For travelling in Australia, you may also check:

For travelling in Countries like India, Nepal, Indonesia, China, Malaysia and UAE, you may also check:

  1. Public Transportation

At times, it can be challenging to find information about navigating other countries. Therefore, my usual approach is to search for state transportation websites to learn about public transportation options such as intercity and metro services. This enables me to get an overview of the availability of buses or trains that I may need to take, and I can then proceed to make my bookings accordingly.

Greyhound is the best website for Travelling by Bus in Australia and I’ve done my East Coast and Outback trips on their services. They also offer “Whimmit Passes” where you get unlimited travel for certain period and it’s the best bang for buck.

Occasionally, the destinations I wish to visit are not accessible via public transportation, and I am left with no option but to book a tour and that brings us to our next topic.

For Travelling around Australia without a car, visit Greyhound Australia Website and explore their Whimmit Passes:

  1. Day Trips and Tours

Upon arriving in a new city, I often seek out day trips or tours to join with other travelers. As a solo adventurer, this is the best way to explore places that may be too costly to visit alone.

My preferred sites to find activities and day trips to join are Trip Advisor, Viator and Get Your Guide. These platforms allow me to hit the ground running in a new destination while learning about the local culture from natives. Additionally, by joining shared tours available on these websites for longer trips, I can also save money.

For entrance tickets to expensive attractions, I use Backpacker Deals or to find great deals, along with flash deals on tours and activities in countries like Australia and New Zealand, where every penny saved counts.

Here’s the best sites for Tours:

Lightning Deals and Savings (Note: Limitied catelogue of tours are available on these sites)

More Specific to Australia:

  1. Travel Checklists by Chai

I’ve prepared some travel checklists depending on the type of travel. Here’s the most important and common items you need during your backpacking and roadtrips.

  1. Travel Checklist for Backpacking Trips:
  • Passport: Make sure your passport is valid and has at least six months left before it expires.
  • Visa: Check if you need a visa to enter the country you’re visiting and apply for it in advance if necessary.
  • Travel insurance: Get travel insurance that covers medical expenses, theft, and trip cancellation.
  • Flight tickets: Book your flight tickets and print out your itinerary.
  • Accommodation: Book your accommodation in advance, at least for the first few nights of your trip.
  • Vaccinations: Check if you need any vaccinations for the country you’re visiting and get them at least a few weeks before your trip.
  • Money: Bring enough local currency for your trip or get a travel card that allows you to withdraw money from ATMs abroad. Also, bring a credit card for emergencies.
  • Phone and charger: Bring your phone and charger and make sure your phone is unlocked if you plan to use a local SIM card.
  • Travel adapter: Bring a travel adapter if the country you’re visiting has different electrical outlets.
  • Backpack and packing list: Pack light and bring only what you need. Make a packing list and double-check it before you leave.
  • Local transportation: Research the local transportation options and plan your route from the airport to your accommodation.
  • Language: Learn a few basic phrases in the local language to help you get by.
  • Safety: Research the safety situation in the country you’re visiting and take necessary precautions.
  • Emergency contact information: Write down emergency contact information, including the contact information for the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Itinerary: Make a rough itinerary for your trip, including the places you want to visit and the activities you want to do.

Pro Tip: Remember to also notify your bank and any credit card companies you’re using that you will be traveling abroad, to avoid any issues with your card being blocked. Additionally, consider purchasing a portable power bank and a small lock for your backpack.

  1. Travel Checklist for Road Trips:
  • Vehicle maintenance: Get your vehicle checked by a mechanic before your trip, including oil change, tire pressure, brakes, and any other necessary maintenance.
  • Maps and GPS: Bring a physical map and a GPS device or make sure you have maps downloaded on your phone.
  • Emergency kit: Pack an emergency kit that includes a first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, water bottles, non-perishable snacks, and a portable charger.
  • Roadside assistance: Sign up for roadside assistance, in case of any breakdowns or emergencies.
  • Driver’s license and car insurance: Bring your driver’s license and proof of car insurance.
  • Cash and cards: Bring enough cash and credit cards for your trip, including some extra cash for emergencies.
  • Entertainment: Pack some entertainment options like music, audiobooks, and games for long drives.
  • Snacks and drinks: Bring some snacks and drinks for the trip, or plan to make stops at grocery stores or restaurants along the way.
  • Comfortable clothing: Dress comfortably for long drives and bring extra layers in case of weather changes.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray: Bring sunscreen and bug spray, especially if you plan on spending time outdoors.
  • Rest stops: Plan your rest stops, including places to stretch your legs, use the restroom, and eat.
  • Destination planning: Plan your destination, including accommodations, activities, and sightseeing options.
  • Weather check: Check the weather forecast before you leave, and pack accordingly.
  • Toll fees: Check if there are any toll fees on your route, and bring cash or a card to pay.
  • Travel buddies: If traveling with friends or family, make sure everyone has their own checklist to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Pro Tip: Remember to always obey traffic laws, wear your seatbelt, and avoid distracted driving. Enjoy the journey and stay safe on the road!

  1. More Resources

These are the other multiple apps/websites that I use while travelling:

Apps to track your trip:

Apps for Campsites information:

Apps for Hiking maps

Well, that’s everything you need to know about planning a trip. With your plans complete and your gear prepared, just start travelling. I hope you will find my Travel Planner useful for planning your first or next backpacking trip.

I’ll keep updating this page time and again with my new experiences and destinations. So, be sure to visit again for the latest updates.