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An overview of planning and surviving a world backpacking journey. All the basic, general information you will need to plan a budget world tour in the right direction.

Many of the resources noted here can be found on the Key Links page of this website, or in the online Europe guide.

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By Terry Redding

Read Up

There are a few books and lots of websites that give information on bumming around the world. Look through as many of them as you can stomach for various approaches and suggestions. A few sites follow.

Some good summary information can be found at and Another good resource, though a bit hard to sift through, is A site with lots of stories from backpackers is

Here is an interesting one about an American couple biking around the world. They left in 2002 and are still going:

Those sites and the links on them will keep you busy for many days.

You should also pack along a couple of resource books. The first is "Work your Way Around the World" by Susan Griffith. Published in Britain by Vacation Work (, this is an incomparable source of travel lore and hands-on working information. There are lots of quotes and comments from travelers, and plenty of tips on finding jobs through unofficial means. It is a great book for travelers. It's easily found online.

The second, if you can find it, is "The Whole World Handbook," published by CIEE. There don't seem to be recent editions but it can also be found on sites like

There are many excellent guidebooks to all parts of the world. Go to the library or a good bookstore and skim through several before you buy one. Check how new it is, whether it has maps and departure times for transport, and other key information. The most important thing is to keep your nose out of it as much as possible and use your common sense while abroad.

If you are a student, get an international student ID card. There are many worldwide discounts, including airfare bargains, which you can access. It also does not hurt to have an International Youth Hostel Association membership card ( Hostels are global and usually inexpensive, but are also booked ahead, so call before you show up.

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