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Essential skills for first-time backpackers – how well do YOU know them?

Backpacking is a very different type of travel. You will usually:

  • Have a smaller budget
  • Be completely independent
  • Travel light!

All of these require a different skill set from normal travel and holiday making.
Are you a backpacker in Melbourne? Is it your first time backpacking?
If so, there are a couple of essential skills we’d like to share with you before your stay!

Find affordable accommodation in Melbourne with Urban Central

One of the biggest costs involved in travel? Accommodation.
But it doesn’t have to be this way anymore!
While even backpackers need accommodation, said accommodation doesn’t need to be excessively expensive.

Our hostel in Melbourne works hard to provide some of the most affordable rates in Melbourne’s CBD, allowing you to focus on seeing the sights and sounds, not stressing about costs.
So while we may not be travelling right now, we thought it best to help you get prepared for your next trip – whenever that may be!

Backpackers skills you should know

Perform basic first-aid

Honestly, this advice doesn’t just apply to backpackers – it applies to everyone!

As a backpacker, you’ll spend a lot more time on your own travelling between destinations or on the road.
If an accident or injury occurs while you’re out, basic first aid skills allow you to stabilise the situation while awaiting professional help.
If your backpacking journey involves a lot of hiking and visiting various places, it’s even more important that you learn basic first-aid skills.

Injuries and accidents can happen anytime – that’s why you need to be prepared at all times. Take some time out to learn basic first-aid like:

  • How to use first-aid care tools and first-aid supplies
  • The proper way of dealing with splints, wounds and wraps
  • Giving effective medications and first-aid treatments

Make (and stick to) a budget

As a backpacker, money is tight – there’s a reason backpacking is known as the “budget” way of holidaying!
As such, it’s going to be crucial that you know how to budget.
You’ve saved for months for your backpacking trip – you’ll want to make each cent work as hard as possible, and you need to know exactly where your money is going.
Keeping your spending under control is a key part of that.
Another? Good budgeting.
You need to take into consideration your maximum allowable spending per day including your accommodation, food, transportation allowance and activities that you are interested in.

Being on a backpacker budget means you’ll have to be more careful with spending.
Luckily, there are many ways to keep your pending within your budget:

And while we’re on the subject of money…

hostel in melbourne

Convert between currencies

While smartphones make this a lot easier nowadays, it’s still a good idea to learn how to convert between your currency and Australian money in your head without having to consult your phone.
As fast as it may be, if you get good at it, it will be much faster to simply do it in your head!
Just to be clear, it doesn’t have to be exact – a rough idea of the conversion can help you make decisions on the spot – and on the other hand, avoid making snap decisions that end up costing you more than you had thought! Not only that, but it’s also a good idea to check exchange rates every morning.

Exchange rates can change from day-to-day. While these changes aren’t usually dramatic, it’s still a good idea to have a better understanding of the forecast as you set out for that particular day.

Another helpful tip is to get a rough idea of the normal prices for certain essential or common items BEFORE you get off the plane at Melbourne airport.

That means things like:

  • Public transport charges
  • Basic supermarket staples
  • A cup of coffee
  • Taxi or rideshare prices
  • Typical meals like brunch or dinner

Not only does this help you make a conversion faster in your head, but it also tells you how much you should be spending, protecting you from getting ripped off!
What’s more, it’ll also help you find out when you’ve discovered a fantastic deal!

Take fantastic photos

The last thing you want is for your memories to be forever ruined by poor composition or overexposed lighting. While today’s cameras and filters can help fix these, we still think it’s great to have a solid understanding of photography principles, so that once you’ve returned home, you still have wonderful memories of your time down under.

Whether you’re looking to flood your friends’ Instagram feeds with photos or are going old-school by printing physical copies for an album, good photography skills are key.
Consider reading up and learning how to use your camera’s features before departing – we think you’ll be surprised by how much you can actually do on your standard smartphone!

Are you looking for an affordable hostel in Melbourne?

Book with Urban Central today!

Planning to go backpacking in Melbourne? If so, you’ll need a place to stay – one that:

  1. Is close to all the sights and attractions
  2. Allows you get around easily
  3. Doesn’t break the bank

Our hostel in Melbourne ticks each of those boxes!
Located in Melbourne’s trendy Southbank district, we’re close to Crown Casino and just across the river from the City proper. A short 10-minute walk gets you to Southern Cross Station, as well as Melbourne’s free tram zone.
And it gets better: you’ll enjoy some of the most affordable accommodation in Melbourne!
Unlike other hostels, we’re committed to your privacy.

We have a policy of never assigning more than 4 people to a room – you’ll have plenty of space, as well as a private locker of your own, no matter which type of room you choose.

Find a backpacker-friendly, affordable hostel in Melbourne today – book online now!

Got questions? Want to book for a larger group? Contact Urban Central on 1800 631 288 or email us today.