A perfect hostel to explore the history of Warsaw.
How To Travel With Only a Backpack
Many travellers have learnt how to pack efficinetly so that they can travel with only carry on luggage. This blog will show you how you can travel with only a backpack.
Let’s first consider the benefits of only travelling with a backpack
- Save time at airports – Get ready to avoid check-in queues and problems with ‘overweight’ luggage’ and head straight through security.
- Save money – Sometimes airlines charge you check-in luggage so by not taking any you’re actually saving money!
- Reduce stress – You don’t have to worry about your suitcase when you don’t have one! And also you don’t want to be lugging it around a busy city as well.
- More freedom – You have one less thing to worry about when choosing what activities you go as you don’t have to consider where you will keep your suitcase and can also be more spontaneous for activities.
Now we’ll consider how you can travel with only a backpack. The following list will be tips on how you can save space and pack smart.
#1 Wear your bulky items
This is probably the best tip in our list. Bulky items can take up a lot of space in your bags so the best thing to do would be to wear them. Things like thick jackets and trousers are the best examples of what we mean.
#2 Pack your backpack it right
The way you fold your clothes is important to save space. You can either roll them up as this helps to minimise space and avoids creases in your clothes. Or, you could either group them together as daily packs.
Be sure to check out Travel Dave’s tips on how to pack clothes in a backpack
#3 Consider the weather
We understand that when you choose your clothes you have to consider the weather, and normally when its cold ou expect to be carrying thicker items but that doesn’t always have to be the case if you want to travel with only a backpack.
You can still layer multiple thin layers to stay warm rather than pack a thick coat. Also, you can get jackets that fold and fit into a small pocket-sized bag.
Just to let you know, check out our ultimate travel tips for backpackers blog for more great advice!
#4 Pack items that you can wear multiple occasions
It’s not about being a fashion icon but rather seeing whether you can wear multiple items for different occasions.
The best clothes are the ones that can be mixed and matched with other colours. Opt for plain T-shirts and thing shirts as these can pass off for formal events and casual events.
#5 Choose accommodation with a washing machine
Opt for accommodation where you can wash your clothes as that way you can pack less knowing that you will be able to wash them.
Here at Safestay, our hostels and hotels have washing facilities as well as ironing facilities for you! Next time you are planning a trip to anywhere in Europe be sure to check us out!
#6 Use Packing Organisers
This is a great tip to make sure you separate your items and also make all your items square in shape. This will allow for easier arrangements in your bag rather than packing obscure items together.
We recommend your items as the following;
Clothing, Underwear & Socks, Laundry, Medical kit with ziplock bags & Chargers / Tech.
As you’ll be taking your bag on the flight you will be restricted to travel-sized luggage. But that’s okay as firstly it’s easier to fit them into a small backpack and it’s a lot easier to buy them locally saving space in your luggage and is also one less thing for you to worry about
#8 Search for compact items
If you need to take a specific item that is normally quite bulky you can bet that there is a smaller and more compact version on the market. For example, instead of taking a big towel, you can opt for the thin microfibre towels! We’ve got exactly those towels at Safestay which you can buy and use for your whole travels!
The WORST mistakes to make when planning a holiday!
Are you in the throes of planning your holiday? Struggling to decide whether you’ve planned for everything so that it can all run smoothly? Don’t worry we are all the same! We all want to make sure we’ve got the best flight prices, the best accommodation prices and the correct budget. BUT. There are some things we tend to forget to consider when planning a holiday! Not sure what they are? Luckily for you, we have written a blog on the worst mistakes to make when planning a holiday!
#1 Packing too late
We all know someone who leaves everything to the last minute but this shouldn’t apply to this case.
Some might think that ‘oh if I pack last minute I will only take what I need’
Well… The truth is, it’s actually one of the worst mistakes to make when planning a holiday and the opposite actually happens!
When you’re in a panic you’ll naturally want to take everything you can and convince yourself by saying ‘just in case’
Be wise and pack at least a week before to ensure you don’t overpack! Check out our blog on backpacking tips for some nifty tricks when it comes to travelling!
#2 Not booking your accommodation direct!
When you book via an online travel agency you are paying more than it would cost to book directly with the accommodation’s website!
You can also get a lot of benefits when you book direct. If you want something for a special occasion or any extras to your booking, you can arrange this easier when you book direct!
Speaking of which, we’ve got great accommodation across Europe. Check them out!
#3 Checking your passport too late!
A classic! If this hasn’t happened to you, you surely know someone it’s happened to!
Because passports last so long we tend to forget about when they expire. So before you even start planning for a holiday, check your passport to make sure it will still be valid!
#4 Not doing enough research!
This goes without saying if you don’t do your research on your holiday you will find it difficult!
Wherever you want to travel to it is important to know what to expect and have some local knowledge for when you arrive.
We live in the 21st century. The internet is filled with billions upon billions of links on google that will give you tonnes of information.
You can read travel blogs to get an account for personal experience or read some trip advisor reviews to see what there is to do in the location. There are also Youtube videos that will be able to show you visually what you can do!
Be sure to research any rules or important information you need to know before you go. You don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law by mistake!
#5 Planning too many activities!
Whilst there can be too little planning there can also be too much planning!
We know what it’s like, you’re only on holiday for a few days and want to do as many things as possible.
Whilst that might seem exciting at first it can be very very draining and end up as a mistake on your holiday plans.
Also, unplanned events like delayed flights or cancelled tours can dramatically affect your next plans if you’ve planned something for every hour of every day.
Remember it is far better to do a few things with a relaxed mind rather than a lot of things in a rush.
#6 Spending all your time in transit
Whilst it might be a good idea to visit a lot of places at once again this can be exhausting.
You’ll find yourself on the move and in transit for most of your trip rather than relaxing and taking in the city that you are in!
You might be saying oh it’s only a couple hours here and there. Well, add all those couple hours and you actually end up with a full day of travelling! That’s a whole day of holiday wasted.
#7 Setting expectations too high
It’s natural to expect the best but is probably one of the biggest mistakes to make when planning a holiday.
We are all human and all think that our holiday is going to be amazing. But the biggest mistake is to set your expectations too high!
This will only lead to disappointment when something doesn’t go your way. Notice we said when and not if.
Something will always not go your way and that will probably ruin your holiday if you set high expectations.
#8 Not reading reviews!
You can’t get any better information than from other travellers! Read reviews on everything even the activities you want to do in the destination!
The reason we say this is that you can gain a better understanding of the experience before going and prepare for anything that you might not have known!
#9 Booking flights last minute!
Doing this is a risky game and sometimes it might not pay off.
Sometimes while it might actually be cheaper, the prices usually increase as the departure date draws near.
We recommend booking at least 3 weeks before you want to travel to get the best deals!
Think we’ve missed something out?
Send us a DM to out Instagram @SafestayHostels and we’ll add it in!
Debunking the Most Common Hostel Myths
However, you’d be surprised that there are many misconceptions about hostels which often result in people having a negative view towards them.
So we’ve done research and gathered the most common hostel myths so that we can de’bunk’ them! (PUN INTENDED)
Myth #1: Hostels are basic
If there’s one thing for sure, hostels are full of entertainment! Hostels aim to give you that travel experience from the moment you enter their doors.
We’ve got great facilities and travel experts working at our hostels so they’ll have the best advice to give on what to do in the area. After all, what’s not to love about Europe! We work with tour guides to help give you the ultimate experience of the city. They’ll take you to all the best places around.
In our hostels, we’ve also got great bars and events going on! From welcome meetings & cooking classes to beer pong & pub crawls there is something for everyone!
And we’re not in the dark ages, we’ve got TV, computers and kitchens for whatever you need.
Myth #2: Hostels are in non-central locations
The hostels you see in films aren’t really hostels. In reality, hostels are probably only ever spotted in central locations with easy access to all the major attractions. You could literally walk out the doorstep and be able to get to any touristic place in minutes.
We are only located in the major cities in Europe with our hostels carefully chosen to give all our guests the best stay! No one wants to have to travel 30 minutes to get to the main areas.
Myth #3: Hostels are for only young people
Since when did travelling have an age limit? Anyone of any age can travel and anyone of any age can stay in a hostel.
You might think that a hostel is full of people causing havoc but in reality, it’s a place where you are able to meet like-minded travellers and exchange stories.
The best part is that most of the times these meetings lead to long-lasting friendships even after the adventure is over!
Myth #4: Hostels only have bunk beds
If you’re not keen on bunk beds not to worry. Many hostels have both dorm rooms and private rooms for you to choose from. Whilst travelling is about meeting new people and being social it is understandable that at times you need privacy.
Here at Safestay, we have both private rooms, small dorms and large dorms. A wide selection to suit your needs!
How to make friends when solo travelling!
Solo travelling can be exciting and scary at the same time. The aspect of going to a new place and escaping your current environment will fill you with positive vibes but the aspect of meeting new people can be daunting especially if you don’t know where to start. You know that if you don’t engage with other travellers you’ll miss out on countless fun activities and adventures. Luckily for you, after researching and using some of our natural expertise, we have comprised a list telling you how to make friends when solo travelling
#1 Stay in a Hostel
This one seems like a no brainer and definitely an important tip for making friends when solo travelling!
Hostels are designed to maximise your chances of meeting new people!
Getting a bed in a hostel dorm room will allow you to meet a number of other travellers, some of which might also be solo travelling.
You’ll easily be able to start a conversation as you will all be living in the same area as you. You’ll find that in a matter of a few hours all of you will feel like you’ve been friends forever!
We’ve got some of the best hostel dorms across Europe’s major cities such as London, Barcelona, Madrid, Edinburgh, Prague & Lisbon!
#2 Check out Hostel Bars!
Many hostels come with their own bars that serve great drinks and play great music!
#3 Attend Hostel & City Events
Hostels are also known for hosting a variety of events such as music nights, cooking classes and pub crawls!
You’ll meet so many people from the hostel at these events create the perfect social atmosphere.
External companies also host their own events which bring a variety of people across the city together.
We recommend taking part in both hostel events and external events to maximise your chance of meeting people across the city!
#4 Take advantage of long journeys
When you’re backpacking, you will 100% take a coach at one point during the trip.
This is the perfect place to get a conversation going and help pass the time. You’ll all be venturing to the same destination so there will be lots to talk about.
You can discuss what you’re planning on doing and exchange ideas. You may even decide on something you can all do together!
#5 Learn the ‘Lingo’
Even though you might just get away with using English when you’re travelling it is far better to learn some basic local sentences to make it that bit easier.
It will allow you to connect with people who don’t know much English.
#6 Get an app that lets you meet other travellers.
Technology really is an amazing thing. Nowadays, with a simple few quick messages, you can organise plans with your friends and when you’re travelling it’s exactly the same concept.
There are loads of apps out there that let you meet up with other travellers! We’ll show you our favourite 2!
Tourlina is a Women only travel app that lets women meet up with other female travellers.
If you’re looking for a reliable app you can rest assured as Tourlina’s team checks every single new user and only those that are verified can chat to other people.
How does it work?
First, you enter your trip and the dates you are travelling. You will then find and be able to match with different travel companions with mutual interests, destination and travel time. You select a travel companion simply by easily swiping left or right. From there you can chat and plan your trip together once you and your travel companions are matching
Backpackr is a great way to meet nearby travellers. There are many aspects to the app. You can browse through numerous travellers profiles find likeminded people to meet up. You can instantly message and organise activities together.
There is also a ‘nearby’ section which allows you to see everything going on in your area. You can find some great events that you didn’t know was happening. This leads us on to our next point.
#7 Be Flexible
No, we aren’t talking about the stretching type of flexible.
We are saying to not have everything planned to a strict regime. The best part about travelling solo is being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want.
When you meet other travellers you’ll want to make sure you’re flexible to ensure that any plans you guys make you can commit to!
There you have it. Our best tips on how to make friends when solo travelling! Have we missed any? Let us know via Instagram!
The Ultimate Travel Tips for Backpackers!
The worst part of any backpacking adventure is the packing. Do you feel like you don’t know where to even start and not sure whether you are taking too much or too little or even the right things? Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of the Ultimate Travel Tips for Backpackers!
Let’s start off with the most important tip
#1 Download Offline Maps as soon as you get WiFi
You don’t want to get lost when you’re in another country so make sure you have all the necessary resources. We’ve got a few tips:
– As soon as you get any source of Wi-Fi head over to Google Maps so that it can download the maps.
This will then be stored on your phone even when you don’t have internet.
– Download What3Words.
This is a revolutionary app that helps make talking about your location simple!
What3Words divides the whole word into separate 3mx3m squares and assigns each of these squares a 3-word code.
So if you ever get lost or separated from your friends you can exactly pinpoint where you are (or where your friends are) using the 3-word code.
– Another tip is to recognise landmarks when you’re walking. The simplest thing to do is to keep an eye out for things.
Anything that stands out that is near where you are staying will make it easier to recognise where you are.
Also, locals are more likely to recognise popular landmarks and give you directions to them rather than places they’ve never heard of.
#2 Don’t pack your whole wardrobe
Whilst it might be nice to have a wide range of your favourite clothes with you so you can have a choice of what to wear, it’s not smart to bring loads of clothes when you backpack. That’s why it has made our list of the Ultimate Travel Tips for Backpackers.
You will get very annoyed if you have to drag all of these clothes with you everywhere you go so here are a few tips on how to choose only the essentials
It’s also important to pack for the weather so make sure you look at the weather forecast before you travel.
You want to make sure you pack clothes that are:
- Light (try to avoid thick raincoats and go for those thin ones that fold up into the size of a CD)
- Simple and plain so that they can match with several outfits
- Suitable for multiple occasions (dinner, parties etc)
Check out this video on how to pack like a pro!
Speaking of clothes this leads us on to our next point!
#3 Don’t buy the biggest backpack available
Even though it might seem wise to buy a big bag, this will only lead to you packing more than you need and eventually you’ll have more with you on your backpacking adventure than you do at home.
So buy an average size, one that isn’t too small and not too big. A bag around 40-50 litres should be perfect.
For more information on the best backpacks click here.
#4 Set a Budget!
It’s important to make sure you stick to a budget firstly as it’s good practice for life and secondly so that you don’t end up broke.
However, you don’t need to be stuck onto it as you might encounter spontaneous events whilst your midway through your holiday that you would like to go to.
So try to have a budget range that way you can be flexible but also strict at the same time.
We also recommend getting a Monzo Card. This is the perfect card for any travellers. You can simply have all your money on this card and use it to pay for stuff without facing the consequences and any International fee charges. You simply pay what the exchange rate is at the time of purchase.
#5. Ask Locals for ideas on what to do!
That’s right, no one will know the city better than its own locals.
Yes, whilst you can find lots of cool things to do on the internet, locals will be able to give you an insight into all the hidden gems that don’t exist on the internet.
By hidden gems, we mean places that not many people know about.
People are usually friendly and will always be happy to help (providing that you ask in a nice way!)
If you’re planning on staying at a hostel be sure to check us out. We have 12 locations all over Europe!
Our team members at our hostels are consist of locals to the area! They will definitely have the best ideas on what to do!
#6. Bring some things to keep you entertained
When you’re a backpacker you should expect to be travelling for long hours every day which can get quite boring.
So to keep yourself entertained and to help make the journey go quick look to bring some small items with you.
A classic is a deck of cards! There are 100’s of games you can play with cards and is always a good way to break the ice if your travelling alone! You can also bring a book or a crossword puzzle book.
#7. Take care of your health
Even though you might say you never get sick, when you’re on a backpacking adventure you are likely to get sick if you don’t look after yourself.
So make sure to pack all the essential medicines with you so that you have easy access to them whenever you need. Take everything such as painkillers, soothers, plasters & electrolyte tablets.
Also, you don’t have to take medicine to stay healthy. Make sure you get a good amount of fruit in your diet when travelling. The natural vitamins will help keep your immune system in check.
#8. Research, research & research
Research is key before you make any travel plans. You want to make sure that you’re travelling to a place that you will enjoy and also feel comfortable in.
Make a list of all the things YOU want to do while you’re travelling. Whatever your interest is be sure to match that while you travel.
If you’re stuck on ideas have a look into the common things that other travellers do in that city to spark some interest.
Read up on travel blogs as they often give very good advice! In fact, we’ve got some great travel blogs on our [E]xplorer Blog. Be sure to check it out.
Also whilst it’s good to know about the popular tourist destinations it is also important to research the culture.
Different places have different rules, some that you might not think even exists. You don’t want to unintentionally offend someone so be sure to research this aspect as well.
#9. Carry Plastic Bags
You are bound to either have a wet swimming costume or dirty clothes while you travel and it would be wise not to mix these with your fresh and dry clothes.
So carrying bags to separate these is a perfect idea.
You can also use plastic bags to keep your clothes categorised making it even easier to find certain items.
#10. See what you can share
This only really applies to people backpacking in groups.
You don’t want to each be bringing the same item on your trip. Get in pairs and speak about things you can share. Things such as shampoo and shower gel can be easy things to share which will also save you space in your bag.
There are obviously some things that you can’t share but with enough planning, you can save a lot of space!
Even if you run out of the things you have shared you can always purchase many branded items in local supermarkets, sometimes even for cheaper than back home!
There you have it, our list of the Ultimate Travel Tips for Backpackers is complete! Hopefully, this has given you a good insight into what you can do to make your backpack trip a lot easier.
Have we missed any? Have you got another tip? Be sure to let us know via Instagram!