Hands up who’s already in your mind spent their Christmas cash on next year’s journeys? We know you’re all since totally travel obsessed even as we are, which is why we’ve come up with this hand-picked list of the very best backpacking destinations for 2020, based on the biggest growth in bookings in the last twelve months.
No travel clichés here good friends – from paradise of the islands to underrated African locations, laid-back surfing towns to isolated mountain retreats, it is very time to start planning where in the world we’re heading next year. Spoiler alert: it’s not even close to the beaten track.
Presenting you to the 20 ideal backpacking destinations for 2020!
20. Sendai – Japan
Tourists will head to Japan in 2020 for the Tokyo Olympics, but if you’re not only one to follow the crowds then Sendai is a great alternative.
It’s built the list as one of next year’s best backpacking destinations. A good time to explore this modern city is in August, when the roads come alive for Tanabata Matsuri on the 6th-8th.
20. Portland (Maine) – USA Bechtelsville
Edmeston- Trendy Portland Oregon have been on the traveller radar for ages, but we bet you have not added this small , East Coast city to your USA wishlist yet! Sure, other brands NYC and LA are gonna have us addicted, but can you really say you have experienced the US until you have ventured away from the big urban centers? Travellers to Portland are rewarded with a local, community feel and zero crowds.
The Old Port’s cobbled streets and vibrant mismatch of boutique outlets and restaurants are a nice surprise, and you might not anticipate the city to have such a delightful arts scene that includes the oldest public art art gallery in the US. Throw in a famed farmers’ market and local craft breweries, and it’s hard to believe that more people aren’t shouting about Portland’s great credentials!
18. Raglan – New Zealand
You can spend time in a hammock or the spa in the garden, take part in an outdoor yoga class or venture out with a kayak or surf board, both of which are available to hire from the hostel.
With a great location right on the water, you are able to wake up in your bunk towards the sounds of waves crashes.
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 destinations – Trapani
To get a budget-friendly stay in the city middle, Hostelleria is the top decision.
It’s got a humble design but has almost everything you’ll need, with dorms and private rooms, a distributed kitchen and a lively bar next door.
15. Liège – Belgium
best camping out destinations – Liège
Not only is it stylish and chic, it’s full of amazing public spaces, like an on-site rod with pool tables and foosball, outdoor space with ping pong tables and a colourful courant électrique to enjoy your free lunchtime.
It couldn’t be much easier to meet new friends below – plus it’s just simply 5 minutes from Liège’s best nightlife when you’re ready to hit the town with them!
14. Buenaventura – Colombia
Colombia has transformed the world’s perception of it recently, nowhere less so than Buenaventura. Only a few years ago this kind of Pacific Coast city was regarded as the most dangerous in the country, but now it’s an increasingly popular spot that’s set to be among the best backpacking destinations of 2020.
13. Hà Giang – Vietnam
NoMadders Hostel is definitely the perfect base on the outskirts of the city to dip in that fresh, mountain atmosphere.
Their gorgeous dorms price 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 jungle, a bar and a hot tub for living your very best backpacker life!
12. Maputo – Mozambique
best camping out destinations – Maputo
A small hostel with a homely feel, you may cook up a meal on the BBQ and enjoy it on the terrace overlooking Maputo Bay! It’s within walking distance of the city’s finest attractions, as well as plenty of bars and restaurants.
11. Nassau – Bahamas
best backpacking destinations – Nassau
They’ve got two rescued pigs who want to take a dip too! It is in a quiet beachfront community with easy public move links to downtown, and has a mixture of private bedrooms, mixed and female-only dorms.
10. Gijón – France
best backpacking destinations – Gijon
Asturias is known for its cider, and there are plenty of bars in the city where one can watch your order being added from a great height — the traditional way to provide it! But before you have too much of that, you need to hit the soft golden sand of Playa de San Lorenzo for some beach yoga and surfing. Trust us, you won’t be able to resist the easy-going vibe!
If you want to make the most of the waves, Gijón Search Hostel will help you out with cheap board rental, lessons and a convenient location nearby the beach.
9. Siargao Area – The Philippines
best backpacking destinations – Siargao Island
Much like any South East Asian backpacker spot, you can expect wonderful nightlife in the form of casual pubs and cocktail buckets — the Jungle Party in Friday nights isn’t to become missed! Our top insider tip is to head out towards the pier on Cloud being unfaithful beach with a few beers a single evening and watch the sun arranged over the ocean, as the previous few surfers drift in. Entirely magical!
8. Nosara – Costa Rica
best backpacking destinations — Nosara
When you’ve recharged your zen, it is time to head out on apple safari in a riverboat (eco-friendly of course , this is Costa Rica! ) Be ready 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 a night! It’s got two private pools, a bar (with frequent live music) a movie theater room, co-working space and way, way more, all set within incredible eco surroundings.
7. Isfahan — Iran
best backpacking areas – Isfahan
The hostel is decorated in Persian floor tiles, and it has a beautiful abundant garden and a roof terrace with views over the city streets.
6. Kodaikanal – India
best camping out destinations – Kodaikanal
The area hosts serene waterfalls and amazing valleys, so it’s the best place to escape the hubbub for a few days (as probably you are aware, India can be intense! ) To really unplug, why not attempt the two-day trek to Munnar? You’ll be honored with out-of-this-world views above the Western Ghats and you might even spot some elephants along the way!
If you want to take your normal retreat to the next level, Zostel Kodaikanal will make you feel a million miles from it all.
5. Trondheim – Norway
best backpacking spots – Trondheim
You can also tick off a pail list experience by discovering the Northern Lights in this article between September to Drive. So , what are you waiting for?
To save some bucks in this pricey city (that’s Scandinavia for you), Trondheim Vandrerhjem is the best budget lodging option. It’s minimalistic nonetheless has everything you need, with comfy beds, a fully equipped home and a communal TV SET area to mingle with other guests.
It’s about a 15-minute walk from the centre of Trondheim, with a quiet area up a hill and great views of the city!
4. Hossegor – England
best backpacking destinations — Hossegor
The rest of the season is much more chilled, with a massive community of nomads passing through to enjoy its peaceful beaches, pedestrian and cyclist-friendly village centre, and café tradition in the many French bakeries. We challenge you to not eat your bodyweight in pain au chocolat!
Hossegor’s hostel game is good, with the highly Instagrammable JO&JOE offering quirky accommodation that fits you right in with the town’s free spirit.
3. Maribor – Slovenia
While iconic Lake Bled and very capital Ljubljana have attached Slovenia a place on most traveller’s Interrailing itineraries, we’re discovering more of the country in 2020.
Second city Maribor is the perfect place to start – an enthralling spot filled with medieval structures, winding streets and comfy wine cafes. If you did not know, Slovenia is famous for the incredible (and ridiculously cheap) local wine, and Maribor is one of the best places to sample it.
2 . Surat Thani – Thailand
You might be surprised that Surat Thani is one of our top backpacking destinations, because in the past it’s been regarded mostly as a jumping-off stage for the eastern Thai islands. Well, that’s all about to change, as backpackers are wising up to the fact that Surat Thani offers an authentic Thai experience away from the tourists.
Commence your day exploring the crowd-free temples or wats in the city centre, like the majestic Surat Thani Quitar Shrine, before hanging out with the locals with a few Chang drinks on the laid-back Ban Do Pier.
1 . Nusa Penida – Philippines
best backpacking destinations — Nusa Penida
Throw in those legendary Indonesian sunsets and plenty of ‘warungs’ serving delicious local food for pennies, and it’ll soon become obvious why 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 wonderful Bali-esque pool and outdoor social spaces where you can get pleasure from your free daily breakfast. The moment you’re ready to explore the island, rent a moped in the hostel and do it however you like!