LivingTravelTop 10 countries for first-time backpacking

Top 10 countries for first-time backpacking

The first time that many people will be backpacking will be the biggest leap into the unknown they have ever taken, so making the right decision about the destination is very important. There are many countries that provide the right balance of adventure, attractions, and safety that will provide a great experience while not putting first-time explorers in potentially dangerous situations. Many of these countries will welcome many backpackers to their destinations and will have good infrastructure to help people become self-sufficient while exploring a new country.


There are so many iconic destinations to be found in Australia that almost any trip to visit the country will provide some memorable moments from diving off the Great Barrier Reef to watching the sunrise over Uluru and the magnificent colors reflected by this rock formation. Australia is also a great destination for sports fans as it has great surfing, cycling and hiking options, while there are plenty of adrenaline sports available as well, such as skydiving and bungee jumping.

Australia is also a relatively safe first-time choice for backpackers, as crime levels in the country are generally very low, and the fact that it is an English-speaking country means that communication is generally not an issue. There is also a very good infrastructure in Australia, so hostels and bus routes serving tourists and backpackers are common, particularly in the main tourist areas of the country.


Probably the most popular country in Southeast Asia for backpacking in the region, Thailand is a beautiful country from its stunning unspoiled beaches with small beach bars and accommodations to stunning forests scattered over majestic mountains. There are also some great historical sites to explore in the country, with the historic city of Chiang Mai being home to a host of impressive temples, while the ruins of Ayutthaya, once the most important city in the country, are equally impressive.

The country is one of the safest in Southeast Asia, and one of the biggest dangers for visitors is if they choose to rent one of the ubiquitous scooters to try and get around the country. When dealing with locals trying to sell something, beware of scams and those who try to take advantage of visitors, although the vast majority of the population is friendly and welcoming to those exploring the country.


Japan is a beautiful nation that spans four main islands and is home to a spectacular diversity from the huge urban centers of cities like Tokyo and Osaka to the beautiful natural areas like Mount Fuji and the incredible mountains of Hokkaido with their excellent ski destinations. The culture in Japan is really wonderful too, and there are many different things to experience from the culture of manga and anime to the great food found there.

The language will be a barrier for some people, but the people of the country are generally friendly and open to helping visitors, and those who really want to immerse themselves in the culture will find the nuances of learning to move and communicate in Japanese. Be a great challenge. Japan is one of the most expensive countries to visit in Asia, but there are a good variety of accommodation and transportation links to help visitors get around.

New Zealand

Divided into two main islands, New Zealand is one of the world’s leading backpacker destinations, and from incredible attractions like Ninety Mile Beach and the enchanting Bay of Islands on the North Island, to Milford Sound on the South Island. , it is a natural gem. There are also some wonderful adventure sports to try, such as bungee jumping, paragliding, skydiving, mountain biking, rafting, and a wide variety of other activities.

Another English-speaking country, the language is not usually a problem for those exploring the country, although it is also a very safe country. There is a good variety of hostels throughout the country and there are also backpacker buses for those who prefer to travel with other backpackers rather than using standard public transport.


Peru, one of the most popular destinations in South America, is famous for being home to the historic city of Machu Picchu, an impressive temple complex and supporting infrastructure located on a remote and beautiful hill in the Andes. The country is actually quite varied, from beautiful coastal cities on the Pacific to the cosmopolitan capital of Lima, while the Andes are a high mountain range with some great outdoor activities that you can enjoy.

Although Spanish is the main language spoken in Peru, those with few words of Spanish will generally be able to survive, as the local population in popular tourist areas will generally be familiar with communicating with visitors. Transport links are a bit more rustic than in many countries, and buses and minivans are often the most common way to travel between towns and cities in the country.


Another one of the Southeast Asian countries, Laos is a small landlocked nation that is home to some beautiful places, with Vientiane as one of the most laid-back capitals to be found anywhere in the world. There are also many historical areas, such as the large number of temples found in Luang Prabang, while there are also some stunning natural sites including the steep karst cliffs of Nong Khiaw and the beautiful hikes on the Ban Nalan trail.

It is important to be calm and relaxed when exploring Laos; The pace of life here is very languid, so don’t expect high-speed bus connections or just about anything that happens at the pace. Friendly people are happy to help, although learning a few phrases in Laotian can help. Some people will also speak some French due to the historical colonial presence of French forces in the country. Laos is also one of the most affordable countries to explore, with relatively cheap food and accommodation.


This Scandinavian country is one of the most interesting countries in Europe to explore, with a beautiful northern area stretching north to the Arctic Circle and wonderfully organized cities that are cultural and historical centers with Stockholm in particular having a great wealth of historical architecture. The island of Gotland lies off the east coast of mainland Sweden and is a superbly preserved area with some amazing medieval buildings with great bike tours to enjoy on the island as well.

One of the downsides here is that it is quite an expensive country to explore with hostel bed costs almost the same as budget hotels in some of the more affordable European countries. However, it benefits from a population that has many English-speaking people and is a naturally welcoming destination for visitors. It is also a very safe country to explore.


If you are looking for a country that offers you some amazing outdoor activities, Canada is a great option to explore from the Atlantic provinces on the east coast with its beautiful coastline to the remote Northwest Territories. Canada also has some incredibly cosmopolitan and vibrant cities, with Montreal famous for its art galleries and museums, while Toronto has a wide variety of sports teams and great nightlife.

Canada is famous for being very safe, and friendly people make a good safety blanket if you are concerned about traveling to new countries. The transportation network is good in many of the most populated areas. It is important to be aware of any natural threats, such as bears, during your stay in the country.


As the gateway between Central Europe and the Balkans, Serbia has recovered significantly from the breakup of Yugoslavia and is now a stable democratic European country, while also being among the most affordable European countries to explore. The city of Novi Sad has an incredible music festival and incredible historical sites, while Subotica is a charming city in the north with some charming palaces and churches that also serves as a gateway to Palic, the popular lakeside complex just a short trip out of town.

Much of Serbia’s younger population learned English at school and will enjoy the opportunity to practice while being helped, but you may want to avoid discussing the difficult issue of independence in Kosovo. In general, the country is very safe, although it is a country that suffers from homophobia in some areas.


A huge country that offers a great variety, from the bustling super cities with millions of residents, to the incredible Himalayan landscape that can be seen in the Hindu Kush. Historic sites include the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Taj Mahal in Agra, and historic forts including the spectacular Amber Fort found in Jaipur.

India is a country that has a reasonable number of people, particularly in tourist areas, who speak English, although in other places this is not as widespread. Unfortunately, along with begging, petty crimes like wallet theft and money exchange scams are quite common in the country, so having a backup plan in place if something goes wrong is important.