These routes are designed for independent travellers. If you’re apprehensive about travelling alone, particularly if its your first trip then you might want to check out Xtreme Gap Year, who have a range of group backpacker tours that follow similar travel itineraries.
It’s a sure-fire way of making some travel buddies and there are range of options to suit your particular interests but it will probably work out more expensive than just doing your own thing. You can always opt to do that for a couple of weeks to build up your confidence and then hit the road alone or with your new friends, hopefully taking some inspiration from the routes on this page.
They are designed to be at least a starting point for planning your trip or provide you with some inspiration if you’ve not even got that far. Generally speaking it’s a bad idea to set out with a rigid schedule in mind because plans change rapidly on the road and it takes something away from the joy of travel. However it helps to have a rough idea of where you’re heading.
We’ve included a suggested time-frame and shoestring budget for each route. US dollars are used for all budgets only for ease of comparison. As of July 2015, US$1 = £0.64 or €0.90.
Time – 5-6 months | Budget – US$6000
South America is an exhilarating continent to visit and has long been a favourite destination for backpackers. From the beaches of Brazil to adventures in the Andes there is something for all tastes in this part of the world.
Time – 2 months | Budget – US$3000
Explore fantastic coastal cities, glorious beaches, waterfalls, giant areas of diverse nature and take in the biggest carnivals on the planet before venturing into the Amazon to round off your Brazilian adventure.
Time – 5-6 weeks | Budget – US$2000
Explore the weird wilderness of South America’s far south here as you head towards the end of the world. Hop in and out of Chile and Argentina to experience, glaciers, volcanoes, stunning hikes, beautiful lakes and wonderful wildlife. Nature lovers look no further!
Time – 2 months | Budget – US$1700
This is the land of chicken buses, explosive volcanoes, cloud forests, ancient ruins and so much more. Central America never lacks for colourful surprises and at times can be completely bonkers. It is a small region so is much easier to see in a short space of time but that doesn’t mean it lacks for things to do. Outside the big cities and the north of Mexico, this is actually a very safe region with peaceful fun loving people and some charming little countries to visit.
Time – 3 weeks | Budget – US$650
On the doorstep of Europe, Morocco is easily accessible, very cheap and full of fascinating places to visit so it makes for a great travel destination.
Time – 6 weeks | Budget – US$2300
Take a trip around Iberia’s best cities, towns and beaches and enjoy latin passion in the liveliest corner of Europe.
Time – 4 weeks | Budget – US$1700*
*plus cost of railpass which depends on your age & where you’re from
Nowhere else in the world is so much history, culture and variety packed into such a small area. Just a few hours on a train can transfer you from one great European capital to another and it is the fascinating big cities which are the highlight of travel in Europe. In recent years Eastern Europe has seen a surge in visitors and remains much more budget friendly.
Time – 3 weeks | Budget – US$950
Take a trip around the chilly Baltic Sea region and visit some of Europe’s most beautiful cities including St Petersburg, Tallinn and Vilnius.
Time – 2-3 months | Budget – US$4600
Our newest route features an exploration of the largest island on the planet. We visit the cities, beaches, rainforests and locate the best parties in one of the world’s easiest countries to travel in.
Time – 2 months | Budget – US$1500-2000
Time – 3-4 months | Budget – US$3400
The most famous of the major backpacking regions in the world and it seems to get more popular every year. From visiting ancient temples to chilling out on stunning Thai Islands, everyone can find their scene here. That said a big draw for many backpackers is the crazy party culture that really comes to a head at the very raucous full moon parties. Almost the entire region is dirt cheap making it a budget travel paradise.
Time – 2 months | Budget – US$1200-1800 (depending on how much partying you do!)
Take in all the best that the ever popular backpacker destination that is Thailand has to offer. The best beaches, parties and islands as well as the cultural highlights of the North.
Time – 3-4 weeks | Budget – US$750
Looking for the traditional Southeast Asia then look no further than Myanmar (Burma). Its doors are slowly creeping open and travellers are starting to discover again this incredible country home to some of the world’s most beautiful Buddhist temples and palaces.
Time – 3 weeks | Budget – US$340
Take a ride on the famous trainline that re-united a country and trundles its way down from Hanoi in the North to Saigon in the South.
Time – 5-6 weeks | Budget – US$1000
Looking for more than a standard trip around South East Asia? Indonesia offers up limitless opportunities for adventure without the crowds you find on the backpacker trail elsewhere in the region.