Turkey Backpacking: 11 Tips For First-Time Travelers 1

Be it the world’s oldest mall or the Mediterranean sea, Turkey has got a lot to offer in every term if you decide to visit this beautiful country. It is filled with great ruins, the culture, and the architecture of Islam. Turkey is counted in one of the world’s top 10 destination countries and has 17 UNESCO world heritage sites.

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It is perfect for people who want to backpack for peace and history. Turkey is cheap from April to May and September to October and this is a perfect time to wander and know more about this country.

You can experience the packed bazaars and great food in addition to hospitable people such that they are ready to help you at any time of the day.

But if you are travelling for the first time to turkey, here are a few tips to make your journey and stay comfortable and exciting- 

1. How To Get Travel Visa For Turkey?

While planning your travel to turkey, check whether you need a visa. If you come under one of such categorized countries, you need to hold a passport valid for not less than 5months from the date of arrival.

You can either download the form from one of the approved visa centre’s websites by filling up the form or you can visit the official embassy or consulate website. Don’t try your luck and apply at the last minute. Apply for your visa beforehand to avoid hurdles.

2. A Backpack Over The Suitcase!

Pack the only must-packs during your travel to avoid the extra luggage problems and if possible, make a packing list and stick to it. If you are planning to take a trip during winters, opt for lighter weight and technical winter clothes. Take only your essential medications and avoid the ‘just in case’ items. It’s time to give priorities to your backpacks over the suitcase.

3. Try Sticking To The Budget

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While travelling to turkey, you need to maintain your budget and stick to your basics. Here are a few tips you can use to travel low budget in this country-

1. Couchsurfing-Stay with a local, eat with them, sleep on their couch and talk to them about their basic life. You can all do it for free.  Note: If you don’t want to stay at local hosts, you can always go to hostels for stays if you still want to cut off your budget.

2. Housesitting- If you’re a long-time traveller, you can choose to take care of somebody’s house including their pets. It’s a wonderful way to cut expenses and being in while being in another country.

3. Transport-Using public transport can help you maintain a low cost while travelling. Driving also is a good way to explore Turkey, only if you are an experienced and confident driver.

4. Food-Turkey food is delicious as well as cheap. If you’re on a strict budget, you can also choose to make yourself food at the place you’re staying. The main problem is with alcohol as it is more expensive as compared to other places.

4. Learn Turkish Words

You will need basic Turkish phrases to interact with the locals and even to travel signs. Luckily, Turkish is has almost the same vocabulary and grammar as English and thus is easier than other languages. You can take a course or download a free app to learn its basics.

5. Backpack According To The Destination

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Though turkey is a modern country that has no restrictions on clothes. But if you plan to go to mosques or religious places that are the basic attractions in Turkey, you need to pack accordingly. During your visit to such places, you need to cover your head, legs, and shoulders, so if you are a woman, prefer long dresses over shorts and crop tops, or you can prefer to pack shawls if you do not want to wear long dresses.

6. Say No To Tap Water

Tap water in Turkey is not safe to drink and so life straws are recommended. You can use this water for cleaning purposes but not in general. Tap water in small cities might be clean enough to drink, but in big cities like Istanbul and  Izmir, you can either use your life straw or bottled water.

7. Explore Aimlessly

Turkey is wider than you think and there are always the less explored roads and places waiting to be discovered. Every part and road of Turkey is beautiful and worth a visit. Don’t limit your footprints and vision to the main and famous places but also go offroad and lose yourself in the unexplored beauties of Turkey.

8. Use Public Transport

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Public transports in turkey are huge and buses, metro, tramps, minibuses, taxis are available from everywhere to everywhere.

Your choice of transport will depend on how fast you want to reach from one place to another. You will have to obtain a different card in every city to board the municipality bus.

These buses run from 5 am till 1 pm but changes according to the city. You can also board a ferry in Istanbul and Izmir to travel. Public transport is a convenient and cheap way to travel if you are on a budget trip.

9. Don’t Limit Your Travel To Days

10-12 days will only get you the basic idea of Turkey. If you are there just for peace and nice beaches, you can limit your time, but if you are in for more, you should at least spend a month. Turkey is a huge country and cannot be covered in days.

10. Take The Help Of Locals

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Residents of Turkey are truly kind-hearted and overwhelming even with the communication barrier. They might always surprise you by helping you out in the most unexpected circumstances.

But don’t get scammed by the people either. Bazaars in Turkey will tell you an excessive price for a particular product, don’t fall for the value. Haggling and bargaining are crucial.

11. Do Not Depend On The Last-Minute Arrangements

Turkey has put a ban on some sites including popular booking ones. So don’t make your arrangements in Turkey, plan accordingly and book your return and booking flights according to your days in the country.

Backpacking in Turkey can be really fun and tempting, you can experience the great ruins and magnificent sites as well as the sea and wonderful people. Read our other blogs to see other countries you can explore.

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