Backpacking is an essential holiday theme that almost everyone should try at least once in their life. It’s a different type of holiday, something that lets you experience a country or city in all of its glory without the pressures of tourist traps and attractions. There are no crowds, there are no silly attractions, there’s no overprice food and there are no other tourists to compete with.
Instead, backpacking offers you a much more “raw” experience. It’s not so much a holiday but an experience. You get to see what life is like for the locals, you get to try the foods they indulge in on a regular basis, and you get to see the things they see. You’ll make new friends, you’ll pick up bits and pieces of a language and you also get to experience something that very few holidaymakers do.
However, backpacking isn’t for everyone. You’re exposed, you’re out in the open, and it can often be dangerous if you visit a place that doesn’t take too kindly to tourists. However, with a couple of safety tips and showing genuine interest with the locals, you could potentially find a new holiday ambition that will carry over to other countries in the future.
What makes the Balearics special?
So let’s get to the chase; what makes the Spanish Islands such an incredible destination for experienced and budding backpackers alike? Aside from the beautiful beaches and the rural villages, there are also fantastic landscapes to gaze at, amazing mountains to scale and plenty of heritage sights. Not to mention the food is absolutely brilliant, the locals are vibrant, friendly and welcoming, and there are countless places to explore. With over 200 beaches in Majorca alone, backpackers will find it hard to explore all there is to see without getting tired and sore feet. You can get plenty of relaxation in the sun, go surfing or even party at night.
So now that you’ve got a rough idea of what it’s like to backpack in the Balearics, here are some helpful tips to help you get the most out of your incredible journey.
Learn some useful phrases
Getting around the Balearics is going to be difficult if you haven’t learned a bit of the language. To remedy this, make sure you’ve got a phrase book handy (alternatively, a phone app or something similar) so that you can at least communicate basics, such as hiring a bike, buying travel tickets, purchasing food or asking for directions. It’s easy to get lost in the Balearics even with a map, so make sure you’ve brushed up on your Spanish. Although many people do speak English on the islands, it’s a good idea to speak a little Spanish to not only make it easier for yourself, but to also show the locals you have a genuine interest in their language and culture. This usually opens up opportunities to mingle with them and have them show you the best places to relax, eat and even sleep!
Consider your transport options
Getting around in the Balearics will heavily depend on what islands you visit. You can hire regular bicycles to get around, but it’s much more cost-effective and quicker to look at moped hire. Mopeds are all over the Spanish Islands and you’ll find it incredibly easy to pick up a bike for a cheap price. This is much better than hiring a vehicle and while you do want to eventually get around and hike a little, it’s a good idea to always consider long and medium distance transport options.
Engage with locals
As mentioned before, it’s a good idea to learn a bit of the language so that you can engage with the locals. This comes with many benefits, and it’s important to show your interest in their tradition and culture, but it’s also important to respect their beliefs and their way of life. Engaging with the locals is what makes backpacking an incredible experience. It’s that feeling of meeting someone new and finding out about their life which makes travelling worth the time, effort and money. It’s not always about getting your kicks by clubbing or taking breath-taking pictures of the scenery in the Balearics—it’s also about meeting the locals and making a new friend.
The most important thing to remember, and this can’t be stressed enough, is to turn backpacking into an experience, not just a holiday. Meet with people, learn the language, sample the food, and live life as a local on the Balearics to get the most out of your trip.