Travelling (and backpacking especially) can be a pretty daunting experience for anyone, so it's completely normal if you're feeling anxious before setting off on a big trip. Most full-time travellers have been through some crazy experiences, but this doesn't put them off - in fact some of our community of backpackers say that the thrill of the unknown is what keeps them going!
If you're a woman and you want some important (and not-so important) advice from real-life backpackers, we've asked some of our top contributors to share their best tips for female travellers.
Making a local friend can be the best way to enjoy undiscovered gems... without getting yourself lost!
"If you can, make a local connection at each destination. Locals have the best tricks and tips to help you make the most of your trip." - Sonja Faul
Do Your Research
It's exciting to be heading to a city you don't know - but find out the best areas to explore before you leave.
"Research the neighbourhood you're going to stay in, and make sure it's somewhere that’s close to public transport links (ie. Metro or bus). These areas are busier and therefore safer!" - AJ Capistrano
Let People Know Where You Are
This one might seem obvious, but it's easy to get lost in the moment.
"If you have a smartphone, choose a couple of trusted people to share your live location with. If you're travelling without an expensive phone make sure you keep in touch with someone and let them know where you expect to be each day!" - Ellie Roberts
Prepare To Be Resilient
It's the best thing that you'll ever do - but travelling doesn't always go to plan. Cancelled flights, trains or lost bags can feel like the end of the world at the time, but by the end of the trip you will probably have forgotten all about it.
"Don’t let small things bother you! Things might happen that you didn’t expect, but it’s all part of the journey." - Sam Stalteri
Don't Pack Too Much!
Not only are backpacks always too heavy, there's nothing worse than not having space for your favourite mementos on a big trip.
"Never fully pack your bag. You need room for the amazing stuff you are going to buy. Nothing worse than taking a full suitcase on a trip of a lifetime." - Ciara Ruane
The Culture Shock
Most travellers feel a bit lost when they first arrive somewhere new. It's important to remember that this is just a temporary feeling, and that it's going to feel like a second home sooner rather than later!