Wales is a beautiful country, so it is not surprising people from all around the globe decide to visit.
The ongoing pandemic has forced a lot of people to ditch their backpacking plans, but countries like Wales are trying to get back to ‘normal’, so tourists are once again welcome to visit the country.
The country’s coastline is extremely popular amongst backpackers. The green valleys are also a popular destination for tourists who enjoy the great outdoors. There are lots of unique small villages worth checking out, and the local people are often friendly, and seem to enjoy meeting new people from around the world. Wales is a great place to go trekking, cycling, and climbing. Cities like Cardiff and Swansea are known globally, and both cities are rich in culture and history.
There are lots of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and camping areas in Wales, and it is a safe country, so backpacking with children is easy.
The Welsh government has been working hard with business owners to ensure tourists and their staff members are safe. There are Covid-19 restrictions in place for international travel, which backpackers must understand before they decide to visit. Here are a few helpful tips you should consider before entering Wales:
- Is your country on the red list? The Welsh government will post a list of countries that have been ‘red listed’ on their official site.
- Do you have your vaccination status with you, or your negative Covid-19 test?
- Have you packed face masks and hand sanitizer
Today, the majority of Welsh adults are fully vaccinated, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to follow the rules that have been put in place. Respect the rules in the country, and don’t forget to practice social distancing.
Don’t Call Welsh People English
Welsh people are British, but that doesn’t make them English. Most Welsh people will feel insulted if a tourist calls them English, so you should avoid confusing the two.
Although everyone in Wales speaks English, many speak Welsh too. You will notice signposts written in both Welsh and English, and you might come across locals who speak Welsh on a daily basis.
Because Wales is part of the UK, you won’t come across any border controls if you are entering from England or Scotland.
Prepare for all Types of Weather
Predicting the weather is never easy, especially in Wales. Don’t be surprised if you wake up to a beautiful sunny morning, but by the time you finish your breakfast, don’t be surprised if it has started to pour down with rain.
Pack plenty of warm clothes, and don’t forget your rain jacket. Although an umbrella might take up a lot of space in your backpack, it will come in handy. Consider investing in a small retractable umbrella that fits in your bag. If you are in the market for a new backpack, try to find a bag with a waterproof cover. These covers are often located in the bottom section of the backpack, and they will help keep your bag dry at all times.
Organise Your Backpack
Experienced backpackers often enter countries with only a few items stored in their bags. There are several shopping centers around the country, especially in the bigger cities. If you want to buy items while on your travels, you will want enough space in your bag to store them. Traveling around Wales with a heavy backpack is not going to be easy, so consider bringing only a few items with you.
How to Keep Your Electronic Devices Charged?
If you plan on camping while in Wales, keep in mind that very few camping areas have power points.
Consider investing in a reliable power bank to keep your phone, tablet, torch, and laptop charged. These devices are readily available in most electronic stores, and online marketplaces, but if you forgot to bring one, you should have no problem finding them for sale in Wales.
However, you might want to purchase a British BS1363 3 pin socket. If you can’t find this socket before you start your backpacking trip, you should be able to purchase one in the airport or in a local store in Wales.
Most hotels, hostels, and restaurants offer high-speed internet access. You will come across internet cafes in the main tourist destinations.
If you want to make contact with someone abroad, you will want to remember the time difference. The time zone is Greenwich Mean Time, which is the same throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Check Your Passport
Before you head to the airport, make sure that your passport is valid. If your passport is damaged or if it is out of date, you won’t be able to enter Wales.
Make sure that your passport is valid for at least another six months. If not, get in contact with your government to issue a new one. Examine your passport thoroughly, and see if any pages have been damaged. Border officials are known to refuse entry to tourists whose passports have been damaged, so if you notice that some of the pages have been torn or damaged by water, you should get a new one.
Your passport must have at least two blank pages before entering the UK. If your passport is almost full, get a new one immediately. Although sometimes border officials will turn a blind eye, others won’t let you enter.
Keep Up To Date With the News
During these unprecedented times, rules and regulations can change in an instant. Keep on top of the news by looking at updates online. Find out if the country you are traveling from, or the country you come from is on the red list. This is the risk of traveling during the pandemic, one day your country won’t be on the red list, but the next day it might be. The only way you can stay up to date about what is going on is by checking out the government’s website.
Also, not all vaccinations are recognized by the British government. For example, if you have been fully vaccinated with SinoPhram, a Chinese vaccine, then you might have difficulty getting into the country. Understand which vaccines are recognized, and which ones are not. However, you can take a Covid-19 test to show that you don’t have the disease.
Research the Different Areas
There is a wealth of information about traveling Wales online. If you like reading reviews posted by fellow backpackers, check out TripAdvisor, Agoda, and Booking.com. These platforms are great for finding out information about the different parts of Wales.
However, because most of the population are friendly, don’t hesitate to ask locals for travel tips. Welsh people are proud of their country, so they might show you places tourists have never been to before. Consider learning a few short sentences in Welsh to get the conversation going. If you share a beer with locals, don’t forget to say “Iechyd da”, which is Welsh for cheers! Most people will appreciate that you have made an effort to speak the local lingo.