Hands up who’s already in your mind spent their Christmas cash on next year’s adventures? We know you’re all while totally travel obsessed as we are, which is why we’ve put together this hand-picked list of the best backpacking destinations for 2020, based on the biggest growth in bookings in the last twelve months.
Simply no travel clichés here friends – from paradise island destinations to underrated African metropolitan areas, laid-back surfing towns to isolated mountain retreats, it may be time to start planning in which in the world we’re heading next year. Spoiler alert: it’s not even close the beaten track.
Bringing out you to the 20 ideal backpacking destinations for 2020!
20. Sendai – Asia
Travellers will head to Japan in 2020 for the Tokyo Olympics, but if you’re not just one to follow the crowds then Sendai is a great alternative.
It’s produced the list as one of next year’s best backpacking destinations. Local plumber to explore this modern city is in August, when the roads come alive for Tanabata Matsuri on the 6th-8th.
20. Portland (Maine) – UNITED STATES Orrington
Wondering where to stay? Choose the outrageously funky Black colored Elephant Hostel. Much like the city itself, it’s equal parts cosy and cool, using a warm, family feel and colourfully mismatched interiors.
It’s right next to the Old Interface so exploring couldn’t come to be easier, and when you’re done you can snuggle up in entry of the fireplace in the communal lounge.
18. Raglan – New Zealand
You can hang out in a hammock or the spa in the garden, take part in a backyard yoga class or go out with a kayak or surf board, both of which are available to lease from the hostel.
With a mindblowing location right on the water, you can wake up in your bunk for the sounds of waves blue screens.
17. Pisac – Peru
best backpacking destinations – Pisac
This beautifully boho hostel has eco-friendly features, a bright communal space overlooking the valley and outdoor hammocks with some of the best landscapes in South America.
There’s a great on-site café, outdoor yoga exercises space and even a sauna to relax in after a day’s trekking.
16. Trapani – Italy
best backpacking locations – Trapani
Take a trip through the narrow streets with the Old Town and check out it is churches and basilicas, before feasting on hearty Sicilian classics like arancini and cannoli. For the best vistas about, visit the clifftop medieval village of Erice. At 750m above sea level, you’ll get unbeatable views of Trapani’s sand-hued architecture plus the surrounding Med.
Trapani is also a perfect spot to base your self for day trips around Sicily. The stunning Aegadian Islands are only 30 minutes apart by boat, so you can spend a day of pure happiness exploring coves and snorkelling around white sand beaches.
15. Liège – Belgium
best backpacking destinations – Liège
It may have shied away from the spotlight in the past, but Belgium’s fourth largest metropolis is barging the likes of Bruges and Brussels out of the way to get the backpacker appreciation it deserves.
Despite being packed filled with incredible architecture, cultural diamonds and amazing food, that manages to keep hold of a laid-back, small town tone that makes you feel instantly at home.
14. Buenaventura – Republic of colombia
Though Buenaventura is packed full of lively salsa pubs, Afro-Colombian seafood restaurants and waterfront entertainment, the city itself isn’t actually the main fascination – we’re most interested in the unspoilt beaches, warm jungle and natural cartouche that surround it! Compared to the rest of the country, this area continues to be relatively under the radar, so you can enjoy surfing and beach front cocktails minus the crowds of Colombia’s more famous locations. Don’t miss a night-time cave swim with neon plankton – an experience you are going to never forget.
13. Hà Giang – Vietnam
NoMadders Hostel certainly is the perfect base on the borders of the city to dip in that fresh, mountain weather.
Their gorgeous dorms expense as little as £4 a night, and you may treat yourself to a private hut by £20.
There’s an outdoor pool area and patio surrounded by new world, a bar and a hot tub for living your better backpacker life!
12. Maputo – Mozambique
best camping out destinations – Maputo
A small hostel with a homely feel, you may cook up a food on the BBQ and enjoy this on the terrace overlooking Maputo Bay! It’s within strolling distance of the city’s best attractions, as well as plenty of pubs and restaurants.
11. Nassau – Bahamas
best camping out destinations – Nassau
Other highlights include sipping rum at a local distillery, snorkeling with sharks at Stuart’s Cove and shopping for crafts at the Straw Market. It may be better in the Bahamas!
Hostels in the Bahamas – claim what?! BahaSea Backpackers offers you paradise on a budget, with two pools overlooking the glowing turquoise ocean.
10. Gijón – Spain
best backpacking destinations – Gijon
When a sleepy fishing port, metropolis of Gijón in Spain’s northern Asturias region can be turning into a hotspot meant for surfing, eating and partying.
Solo travellers will feel here at home here, as the atmosphere is always buzzing and social, thanks to al fresco drinking and dining in the Centro district (and of course , the hostels).
9. Siargao Area – The Philippines
best backpacking destinations – Siargao Island
One other surfer’s paradise, Siargao is a wave-riding capital of The Thailand that’s low-key one of the most fabulous islands on earth.
Full of secrets like waterfalls, lagoons, silo, jungle and of course, those beaches, it’s one of the best backpacking areas for nature lovers.
8. Nosara – Costa Rica
best backpacking destinations – Nosara
When you have recharged your zen, it may be time to head out on firefox in a riverboat (eco-friendly of course , this is Costa Rica! ) Prepare to spot mammoth crocs, iguanas, monkeys and exotic parrots.
Pick your jaws up off the floor – Selina Nosara is a hostel, and you can stay there for less than £10 per night! It’s got two trust, a bar (with standard live music) a movie theater room, co-working space and way, way more, all set inside incredible eco surroundings.
7. Isfahan — Iran
best backpacking places – Isfahan
Iran needs to be on your hiking itinerary for 2020 plus the city of Isfahan is our top pick – there is a reason the old Persian saying calls it ‘half the world’! Pictures of amazing Iranian architecture have probably currently sparked your wanderlust, and you’ll find Isfahan’s Naqsh-e Jahan Square to be a display trove.
With the iconic blue-tiled Imam Mosque, the sizzling Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque plus the royal Ali Qapu Structure all in one place, your readers (and camera lens) will be spoilt for choice.
6. Kodaikanal – India
best backpacking destinations – Kodaikanal
The area hosts serene waterfalls and wonderful valleys, so it’s the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle for a few days (as probably you are aware, India can be intense! ) To really unplug, why not embark on the two-day trek to Munnar? You’ll be rewarded with out-of-this-world views above the Western Ghats and you might even spot some elephants in the process!
If you want to take your natural retreat to the next level, Zostel Kodaikanal will make you feel a million miles from it all.
5. Trondheim — Norway
best backpacking destinations – Trondheim
Scandinavia is as cool since it gets, but if you want to report serious hipster points therefore don’t just visit the big hitters like Oslo and Copenhagen. Vibrant Trondheim is among the best backpacking destinations intended for 2020.
A creative student town, it has a massive craft dark beer and local food scene, which you may sample at the many coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants in the pedestrianised city centre. It’s packed with prime Insta content, like the classic Scandi-style colourful complexes along the waterfront… just save some space in your camera spin for the towering gothic cathedral! As the initial capital of Norway, this kind of city is packed packed with history for you to discover.
4. Hossegor – Portugal
best backpacking destinations — Hossegor
It’s got its own sandy garden place for hanging out in the sun, massive comfy beds and a partnership with legendary browsing brands Quiksilver and Roxy, which means discounted surfing lessons for guests!
3. Maribor – Slovenia
It’s between wine-growing hills and even contains a wine museum that offers tastings! For such a small metropolis Maribor packs a hand techinque, with a strong line-up of summer festivals, a lively student vibe and a picturesque Old Town that rivals Europe’s biggest and best.
Stay right in the heart of the city by colourful Uni Youth Hostel. This highly-rated hostel features common areas with pool area tables and cosy couches, plus an on-site club for even more of that Slovenian wine – we’re sure it counts as a ethnic activity! Just make sure you’re up in time for the breakfast self serve buffet full of local treats.
2 . Surat Thani – Asia
Just two minutes’ walk from the market is Boundary Hostel and Cafe, a rustic, family-run spot that’s full of regional charm.
Expect unrivalled food, free breakfast and comfy dorms. The staff are happy to recommend amazing local encounters, and when you’re ready to go forward they can help you arrange transfer to the nearby islands.
1 . Nusa Penida – Indonesia
best backpacking destinations – Nusa Penida
Throw in those legendary Indonesian sunsets and plenty of ‘warungs’ serving delicious local meals for pennies, and it’ll soon become obvious for what reason it’s our number one backpacker hotspot for 2020.
A great island paradise calls for a hostel of the same calibre, and Nuansa Penida Hostel does not necessarily disappoint.
It’s a boutique hostel with gorgeous bungalows, a lovely Bali-esque pool and outdoor social spaces where you can enjoy your free daily breakfast. Once you’re ready to explore the island, rent a moped from your hostel and do it any way you like!