Don’t reserve your lodging in advance When I first arrive in a new country or city, I ALWAYS reserve my lodging in advance for the first two nights. There’s nothing more terrible than showing up into an obscure spot with a weighty knapsack and little information on where to go and how to arrive.

Find out where you want to stay and what kind of atmosphere you want in your hostel—party or laid-back—before you go, and book your “base” in advance. This will allow you to arrive, unwind, and prepare for the next stage of your trip.

In contrast to many of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, major cities in countries like Australia and New Zealand typically lack a “backpacker hub.” It takes a different mode of transportation to get to each of the city’s hostels, which are typically dispersed throughout the area. When you arrive at a popular location without making a reservation, there may be no beds available or only the most expensive room available!

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