In your backpacking experience you will meet amazing people from all walks of life, learn a lot about yourself and make memories that will last forever, but whilst the most important thing to do is to enjoy yourself you also need to use your common sense and be prepared. A little forward planning could save you a lot of time, money and hassle.
Travelling alone can be very rewarding, but it is very important to let people know where you are. This isn't always possible down to exact location, but the general area or region means that if you are uncontactable for a few days, your friends and family will at least have a starting point. It’s great to be independent and adventurous, but it’s not as easy for those who are left home wondering where in the world you are.
Make your travelling companions, tour guide etc aware of any allergies you have and if you start to feel even slightly ill, give them a heads up.
Don't flash your camera, phone, MP3 player etc around. If you want to truly feel like a backpacker, you will need to fit in and this includes looking like the locals. This includes learning a little of the local language and customs. Most Backpackers in Melbourne will have a safe that you can keep your valuables in if you are out of the hostel.
Photocopy your passport and keep it somewhere completely separate from your actual passport. If you do lose your passport or it gets stolen it's much easier and quicker to get a replacement if you have a photocopy with you.
If you are going to be in one country for a while, then buy a local pay as you go sim card. These can be purchased at reception. This means that mum and dad can call you and you won't have to foot the bill plus phone cards can also be used from these phones in many countries too. It also makes calling and texting your new friends a lot cheaper.
Install Skype on your home computer before you leave as many internet cafes in hostels, particularly in Australia and New Zealand now have this facility meaning you can call home completely free. And at Habitat HQ there is free wireless internet available.
Some things are best done locally. This not only helps support local communities in the countries that need it most, but you can also save your money and retain much more flexibility. Backpackers in Melbourne have great facilities and services for assisting you in booking tours and further travels. Experienced and knowledgeable staff at the Habitat Travel HQ in-house licensed travel agency can help you with information and make your bookings for you, and most services there is no charge!