Backpacking Checklist: Do's and Don'ts on the Road

Tips for safe travel on the road, what you should plan for and what you should try to avoid.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a trip - where you are going to go next, and just what you are going to do when you get there. However, when you're travelling there are certain scenarios that crop up that just wouldn't happen while at home.

In order to help prepare you for these unexpected situations, our friend Jason Simons from Footprints Down Under has offered up his tips for safe travel on the road, what you should plan for and what you should try to avoid.


  • Have emergency money set aside at home, we suggest 20% of your total savings.
  • Make certified copies of your passport details, insurance policy, travellers cheques, visas and credit card numbers. Email a copy to your self and leave a copy with someone at home.
  • Make sure your name is on any registration papers of any vehicle you purchase
  • Make sure when you purchase a car that the vehicle is registered, make sure you filling in the correct transfer papers and also that the person your giving the money to is the owner.
  • If you rent or buy a car with other travellers, make sure everyone pays upfront.
  • Make sure to confirm any bookings you have made a day or 2 prior to arrival.


  • Don’t lend money to other travellers, if they don’t have money they shouldn’t be travelling.
  • When going out at night, don't go out alone. Go with a group and leave together, or with someone else.
  • Don’t give your passport as a deposit for accommodation. It’s illegal, and unsafe.
  • Backpackers hostels are hotbeds for theft, don’t tempt people by leaving your valuables lying around. Use the hostel safe if they have one or the lockers, if this is not possible keep valuables in your day bag and never leave it out of your sight.   
  • Don't chock the door open - this is a big one not to be broken, no one likes stuff getting stolen and although most backpackers are honest folk there are a few shady girls and guys that will lift your gear. This often happens when people have chocked the door open with some foreign object as they cannot be bothered using their key. When you then go down to reception and tell them some horrible person has nicked your iPod it is going to be met with far less sympathy if the dorm door was not locked.

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