Foreign countries, new cultures, and unforgettable memories – these are some of the reasons why young people pack their bags and go on trips all over the world. However, there are some places that we recommend avoiding as travel destinations for a backpacking trip, no matter how exciting they might seem to be. These are Caroline’s picks:
Russia: In this huge country, even the best backpacker loses his compass. Not only are signs in Russian, but it might be hard to find someone who speaks your language. The sights are widespread, which makes it hard to see everything. Besides, staying in the metropolis – Moscow or St Petersburg – is quite expensive compared to other urban destinations, especially for students.
Zurich, Switzerland: The Swiss city has a beautiful landscape and it attracts hiking tourists that come for the day. But Zurich might not be a place to stay overnight, since it is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Even if you target one of the ‘cheap’ hostels, transport, meals and tourist attractions might use up most of your budget.
Ibiza or Mallorca, Spain: The Balearic Islands have a totally different atmosphere in the summer and winter months, so the months you choose or avoid to visit depend on your personal preferences. During the summer the beaches are totally crowded with European tourists, which means that you will have good parties to attend and get to know new people easily. In the winter months though, the islands are quite empty and it might be a bit chilly to go swimming and spend time on the beach, and many places are often closed.
Phuket, Thailand: The island is known for its wonderful beaches and exotic landscape. Furthermore, its attractive prices bring people together from all over the world. Unfortunately, this means that the city is hopelessly crowded by lots of travellers who want to enjoy Thailand. Since there are so many people, the traffic situation is particularly bad, so avoid taxis or you could spend your whole day trapped in a traffic jam.
Death Valley, USA: The huge Death Valley National Park is one of the hottest and driest places in the world and it can be quite dangerous – especially in summer when the temperature rises to above 50° C. If this does not stop you and you don’t want to miss the incredible landscape, make sure that you don’t stay outside for too long and bring enough water with you.
Image: Matthias Ripp