Tips for researching and planning unforgettable hiking expeditions abroad

Tips for researching and planning unforgettable hiking expeditions abroad
Reel Unlimited

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Tips for researching and planning unforgettable hiking expeditions abroad

Passport to Adventure: Tips for researching and planning unforgettable hiking expeditions abroad

If you're a lover of outdoor life, you understand that the final destination isn't all that matters. It's the dreaming stage and planning that gets you going, especially if you’re planning to hike abroad. There are so many places to venture to and countless memories to make! 

We're here to walk you through some of the best planning tips that will ensure your backpacking trips abroad go off without a hitch. So, experienced travelers and newbies: grab your case and prepare for your upcoming trip!

Researching destinations: Unforgettable backpacking trips

Bust out your travel journals and call up your travel companion. Your next trip is going to be one to remember with these tips:

Cultural and natural highlights

Whether it's a mini-break or a weeklong trip, taking in the local culture and scenery is a must! A week at work can often seem like a long time, but believe us, it will disappear in a flash before your very eyes when traveling abroad. 

Therefore, make a list of the most significant cultural and natural highlights of the country you’re visiting. You don't want to go to India and not see the Taj Mahal, right? Take your time in collating this list and tailor it to your interests. If you're a history buff, focus on historical sites and museums. If you love nature, prioritize parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and scenic spots. 

Although it can be a wonderful experience to see some of the more famous sites, getting to know your destination beyond the attractions can be equally important. So, reach out to locals or fellow travelers who have visited the destination. They can provide insights into hidden gems and lesser-known attractions that might not be in travel guides. Plus, you'll probably save some money, as local places are often far cheaper than tourist spots.

For those hiking into the thick of it, we've got a great blog about staying safe when you encounter animals. You'll know whether to stand still or lay flat and be safe in any situation!

Local regulations and permits

While exploring various global destinations, you'll come across a vast amount of different rules and regulations. Checking ahead to make sure you're not running foul of the law is, therefore, incredibly important. Some national parks have particular rules against camping and starting campfires; do your homework ahead of time before you start hiking!

If a campfire is permitted, head over to this blog on campsite cooking for some great meal ideas.

Essential gear for international hikes

When embarking on an overseas hiking trip, making sure you've got the right gear is essential. Whether it's sturdy boots or appropriate clothing, getting this stage right will ensure your trip is off to a good start.

Adapting to different climates

Hiking is a demanding activity, and not being prepared is simply not an option. Flip-flops are a big no. Turning up with two pairs of socks to last you a week's worth of hiking must also be ruled out. 

Depending on the time of year, you need to dress accordingly. Clean clothes will eventually be an issue, so bring something that's both water-resistant and odor-resistant, plus a travel clothesline in case you find a laundromat. Ditching cotton for merino wool is a great idea. Its moisture-wicking property means sweat and water won't be absorbed by the fabric, keeping you bone dry. 

Several pairs of darn tough socks are perfect for any carry-on bag. A good pair of compression socks will help for any long flight, and a neck pillow will also come in handy. And if you find it hard to fall asleep, take along a light-blocking sleep mask, as you will need all the rest you can get. Of course, hygiene is essential, so grab your body wash.

If you've got checked bags, you'll have more space, so you can make your backpacking trip a bit more luxurious. Plane rides can be a bit of an issue to deal with when it comes to luggage. 

On the other hand, if you're taking one bag, make sure you have enough room for your personal items: a toiletry bag - something simple and lightweight like a travel backpack would work ideally. The same goes for a separate laptop bag. Remember: this isn't checked luggage, and airlines can be funny about the size of your carry-on travel bag.

Travel tip: Take plenty of luggage tags to avoid any confusion or losses.

Communication and navigation tools

Aside from carrying the gear mentioned above, don't forget to carry something that shows your location, as it could prove life-saving if you were to come across any problems while hiking. GPS-enabled devices can work wonders when traveling long distances. Of course, if all else fails, go old-school and take out the map!

Ten Path Travel Tip: Download offline maps onto your phone and save any must-see places before hiking. This will remove the issue of needing internet connectivity.

Embracing local cultures

Respecting traditions and norms

International travel presents an excellent opportunity to gain insight into different cultures you may not have prior exposure to. When hiking along your path, you'll come across some fascinating local characters, which is something the travel guides won't tell you about! Learning about local customs or even how to say hello in the local language will ensure you'll get the most out of any hiking trips you choose. To avoid faux pas, research local customs and etiquette. All in all, just being curious is a step in the right direction!

Travel Tip: If you're craving high-quality local food, a brilliant solution is using Google Maps to help you find restaurants and cafés that are well and truly off the beaten path.

Engaging with communities

Don't just zone out the locals. Take this opportunity to get to know the community. For longer trips, it can really feel like you've become one of them, and you'll learn so much from it! 

Joining local hiking travel groups is also a great idea. Not only do you get the extra security and peace of mind traveling in a group, but you'll also get to know hidden hiking gems. You can even consider joining small group adventures to foster meaningful connections with fellow travelers and locals. And while you're hiking, just think of the local tales and legends you'll pick up! If you're traveling with kids, check out our blog and take a load off your mind!

The world awaits

The world is not just a destination; it's an invitation to discover yourself. Each adventure is a chance to break free from the ordinary, to challenge your limits, and to create memories. Whether you're going to a tourist hotspot or to a cave in the middle of nowhere, this is a beautiful opportunity to get out there. My only complaint is that it all goes too quickly! Looking to disconnect and reconnect with nature? We've got you covered with some top activities for the mind, body, and soul.

Are you ready to take your next steps? If you're a newbie or a seasoned hiker, check out our other articles where we cover some of the most important aspects of hiking.

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