I’m a travel influencer who’s visited over 159 countries – here are the best destinations for beginner backpackers (and why they should steer clear of Hawaii and Australia)
A full-time traveler who hopes to visit every country in the world has revealed the best destinations for aspiring backpackers to explore.
Seasoned backpacker Tom Grond quit his nine-to-five government job eleven years ago and has been traveling ever since.
The 39-year-old from the Netherlands has now visited more than 159 countries and documented his adventures on his blog TravelTomTom and on various social media platforms.
Its nomadic lifestyle has attracted many people, inspiring people to embark on their own journeys and visit unspoiled corners of the world.
Speaking to MailOnline Travel, Tom shared some 'cheap' and 'affordable' places for first-time travelers to visit – and revealed which ones to avoid.
Seasoned traveler Tom Grond (pictured) has shared his recommendations for places novice travelers should explore. Here the 39-year-old is pictured in Bali, Indonesia
The Dutch-born traveler said he always tells new travelers to visit Southeast Asia, explaining that the region is “focused on tourism, youth and backpackers.” Above you see Tom exploring Bali on a motorbike
Tom said: 'When it comes to taking your first steps into the big world of travel, I always recommend South East Asia.'
The traveler explained that the region, which covers eleven countries, including popular destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, is 'targeted at tourism, youth and backpackers'.
He said: 'Traveling in South East Asia is simply straight forward. You don't have to be a seasoned traveler.'
One of the main reasons why traveling is so easy, Tom said, is because “it's so cheap.”
He claimed that anyone can afford to travel to Southeast Asia if they save a little money, making it an ideal first-time destination.
“Safety is another reason why it is such a popular and sought-after destination,” Tom added, explaining that there are hundreds of thousands of other backpackers all exploring the same region.
Tom said anyone can afford to enjoy South East Asia if they 'save some money' – claiming the region is 'so cheap'. He is pictured here at the Oniria resort in Bali
Tom praised the simplicity of the region, saying, “The weather is good and you don't need to bring a lot of clothes.”
He said travelers can enjoy “island life” and bring the bare minimum.
“Save some money and then go to the countries that are affordable and avoid those that are expensive,” he said, adding that Nepal and Pakistan are some of his personal favorite destinations to visit.
He said both countries boast “beautiful landscapes” and “super hospitable people” who are always “friendly and open to strangers.”
While luxury destinations may seem tempting to explore as a novice traveler, Tom explained that they are often too expensive to enjoy.
Tom said Nepal and Pakistan are some of his personal favorites. He is pictured above in Pakistan at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore
Tom told aspiring backpackers to avoid countries like Hawaii (pictured) and Australia, claiming they are 'too expensive' to enjoy
Comparing Australia to South East Asia, he said: 'Australia is way too expensive and there really isn't that much to see or do.'
Additionally, he described Hawaii as another expensive and overrated destination to visit as a novice backpacker.
Recounting his own experience of visiting the US state, he said: 'I went to Hawaii and thought 'wow, this is amazing', but after five days I thought there was no point in staying here because I didn't have enough money. to enjoy it.'
He added that first-time travelers should also avoid the Middle East because “it is more complicated and often very expensive.”
Saying that Middle Eastern countries such as Turkey, Syria or Iran are “really cool destinations to visit,” he explained: “You have to be a more seasoned traveler. There is more of a culture shock.
Tom warned first-time travelers from Middle Eastern countries, which he said are “more complicated” to navigate. He is pictured on the left in Krak des Chevaliers, a medieval castle in Syria, and on the right in Turkey
'You can't do what you want, you have to stick to the rules and as a first traveler it is a bit more complicated.'
He said, “All the other continents are a bit more complicated, which is why I always send everyone on their first trip to Southeast Asia.”
Tom further argued his case, saying that Southeast Asia has “beautiful landscapes and mountains that you wouldn't see anywhere else.”
He added: 'The culture is super fascinating and the people are very welcoming.'
For more information from Tom, visit his blog at www.traveltomtom.net.