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Apparently backpackers don't use rucksacks any more

(37 Posts)
flippingwings Wed 02-Aug-17 07:07:23

DS going travelling for a month.
I got nostalgic about kit and may have even scuttled up to the loft to find my oversized Argos rucksack with matching money belt.

Apparently it's wheeled hold-alls, prepayment cards and apps. No travellers cheques, letters to poste restante and the same Lonely Planet book as everyone else.

Obviously I know nothing so I'm asking for any tips. Eastern Europe for a month by train.

OP’s posts: |
TwoBusyCnuts Wed 02-Aug-17 07:11:16

Its only Eastern Europe. Not down the Amazon in a canoe. Google is your friend here.

Ifailed Wed 02-Aug-17 07:16:10

quite - travelling around Europe nowadays is not quite the leap into the unknown it once was, more like a series of city breaks.

Dawnedlightly Wed 02-Aug-17 07:16:15

Blimey cnuts who pissed on your chips?
I really hope, actually I'm sure that the experience is as exciting. But yes weird that all the paper tickets, maps and guidebooks have gone.

Bamboofordinneragain Wed 02-Aug-17 08:07:17

Wheeled hold-alls are the work of the devil! All fine and dandy strolling through an airport, but get them on an actual street, with kerbs and cobbles and all, and they are a massive PITA. And noisy - Venice has banned them, I believe.
Have a look at the Osprey Transporter range of bags. Well made, huge capacity, easy to carry.

flippingwings Wed 02-Aug-17 09:27:48

They look great, thanks Bamboo.
Sadly he hasn't got the funds to go to the Amazon but is excited to visit new cities and travel in a different way on a very small budget.
Any security tips that a neurotic mother can pass on?

OP’s posts: |
Bamboofordinneragain Wed 02-Aug-17 11:05:12

Post Office Travel Money Card for if (when) they run out of money. Photo ID that isn't a passport. Passport loss is the only real issue, make sure it's stashed away at all times, separately from money and cards.
My DD's BF has lost two passports, so maybe I'm slightly paranoid...
You can get big nets with a padlock that stretch over a rucksack, but better to keep a bag with you than rely on locks.

Dawnedlightly Wed 02-Aug-17 11:11:19

Ref security tips. Enable find friends. It's reassuring for you but also you'll end end guiding them to places, googling nearby facilities etc. Also fb messenger and wassap both show last active which is very reassuring for the neurotic mother. 😳

Dawnedlightly Wed 02-Aug-17 11:13:46

^^ good idea about photo ID. Also take photos of passports bank phone numbers etc. then you can email them to them if needed.

ConstantlyCooking Wed 02-Aug-17 11:16:22

Best tip I had when DS went interrailing was to scan his passport and so I had all the details in case he lost it. The same with post office money card and debit card. Incredibly Luckily he didn't lose anything!

elQuintoConyo Wed 02-Aug-17 11:24:11

Take a door wedge to wedge under hostel doors in case the lock doesn't work voice of bitter experience

Don't flash iphone or fancyass cameras about.

Don't put bags on the back of your chair or on the floor beneath your feet.

Leave the selfie stick at home, they are irritating to others (remember being twatted multiple times in the Sagrada Familia with no great fondness angry)

Be respectful to EVERYONE and don't be a typical pissed-up Brit vomming in a beautiful medieval square.

DustOffYourHighestHopes Wed 02-Aug-17 11:24:24

Yup, as poster said above, he should carry colour scans/detailed photo of his passport id page and other id/cards SEPARATELY from his actual passport. He should also email you and himself a copy of the scans.

Carry combination locks plus spares to lock his suitcase on a train.

The risk of wallet and phone theft is high. He should always have a paper copy of helpful phone numbers (you, friends, embassy, card cancellation numbers) in his suitcase or anywhere separate from his wallet and phone.

He should know what to do immediately if his wallet is stolen (ie cancel all cards using a friend's phone or hotel phone, using his paper back up details).

Phone chargers can be excruitatingly expensive overseas and hard to find in more rural areas, and he sounds heavily reliant on his phone for maps etc. I recommend a spare charger in his suitcase.

Ps rucksacks are still hugely more convenient than suitcases for travelling overnight by train etc or for walking long distances to a hotel.

DustOffYourHighestHopes Wed 02-Aug-17 11:25:22

Boys love leaving their wallet/phone in their jacket and hanging on back of chair. He should always have a hand on them. (Applies for busy UK places as well as overseas!)

elQuintoConyo Wed 02-Aug-17 11:27:29

Oh and ditch the apps and TripAdvisor. Wander round, soak up the place, stumble across local places and random churches that guidebooks and other tourists miss.

DH and I spent 4 days in Venuce that way. Avoided St Marc's Square and the Rialto bridge. We wandered about aimlessly and found cheaper local food, a wedding party - watching the bride getting precarioulsy into a gondola in her meringue was great!

trixymalixy Wed 02-Aug-17 11:32:33

We have a wheeled bag that also has straps so you can put it on your back. Wish I'd had it rather than my hated rucksack when i was travelling!

phillyandbanana Wed 02-Aug-17 12:16:28

You lot are so helpful, thank you.

booplesnoot Wed 02-Aug-17 14:10:09

been backpacking the last couple of years. Definitely would take an I-phone as the apps are invaluable for various things especially train tickets as everything is now digital.

For a European trip a wheeled holdall would be my bag of choice wit the ability to be carried like a backapck if necessary. nice to be able to pull it when mostly in cities.

Any tips? i wouldn't carry around a door wedge as previously suggested. the key to backpacking is being lightweight and that would just be unnecessary. if this was an issue i would use a Lifeventure Travel Door Lock.

i would get a small combination lock for hostel lockers

consider a pacsafe bag for going around cities in the day. it has various features which make it theftproof and is generally amazing. Had mine for 4 year now and wouldn't go travelling without it.

elQuintoConyo Wed 02-Aug-17 14:30:48

I don't know what a lifeventure lock is.

A friend staying in a hostel in the centre of Barcelona (Placa Reial, total shithole to be avoided) had everything stolen while she was sleeping. They took everything including the earrings in her ears. Thevdoor lock was broken.

Rubber door wedges weigh nothing and cost tuppence ha'penny. I'd rather spend my money on food and sleep safely.

MaisyPops Wed 02-Aug-17 14:40:31

I still use my backpack and lonely planet guides. Phones and apps are useful but I find it can get a little non-adventuous and micro planned.
Someone I know went backpacking and their friend had an entire itinerary of where they'd be and what they'd be doing every minute of the trip. Doesn't really feel very adventurous to me.

bambambini Wed 02-Aug-17 14:48:51

Weird, was thinking about this the other day. I backpacked 20 odd years ago - in fact my teenage son used my much loved 30 yr old rucksack recently which made me realise I'd be better off with a pull along these days (unless climbing mountains and walking off road).

Ifailed Wed 02-Aug-17 14:55:29

MaisyPops
Agree with you entirely, what passes for backpacking nowadays looks more like a series of city breaks (and that's not a dig at OP or her son, of course time moves on).

Obviously going back a few decades, but getting on a ferry at Dover with an interrail ticket, a Best Friend who turned out not to be, a massive backpack, a bunch of travellers cheques (with £20 hidden away for emergencies), and no real plan was far more exciting.

Trying to find the mythical suburban park where the local police would let you camp in Vienna (never did find it), getting on the wrong train and being woken by East German border guards demanding a 'visa' at 2am and getting the OK for a handful of biros and being put up a Greek shepherd's hut in return for very bad English lessons stand out.

I think I managed to send 1/2 dozen postcards home, and arrived back smelling before most of them. The idea of being tracked by your parents, having to ring/text home every 10 minutes and finding most people understand you without hilarious attempts to use a Berlitz language guide to order a cup of tea are the complete opposite of what I experienced.

Dawnedlightly Wed 02-Aug-17 15:12:03

^ my findfriends advice was for solo travellers. If they're in a group or couple I certainly don't need or want to know where they are!

booplesnoot Wed 02-Aug-17 15:18:07

elQuintoConyo - i didn't expect you to know what it was that is why you would carry a doorstop around with you on holiday! google it?

We would test the locks of any room before we accepted it. If it was broken or the windows were broken we would ask for a different room. simple.

butterfly990 Wed 02-Aug-17 15:31:11

Great little video. I also purchased a portable Yale safe from B&Q for £15.

youtu.be/c5XS6nshBmI

WhoreOfBabyliss Wed 02-Aug-17 17:08:35

I still have my brothers 'haversack' from when he went around the world in 1961. Can I chuck it away now then? grin

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