How The Savvy Backpacker Became the Go-To Guide to Touring Europe

Updated on:  
February 9, 2022
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4
 minutes
Charmian Lo
Charmian Lo
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James Feess, the success behind The Savvy Backpacker, is nothing like the other travel bloggers. From his humble career in traveling and touring Europe to providing the most helpful guides, he's everything you'll need during your trip. Read more about The Savvy Backpacker and his guides now.

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Some of us were born to travel. When opportunity calls, we're ready to go without hesitation. The master travelers have even found ways to monetize their favorite hobby. James was born to travel. Before the appearances of The Bucket List Family and Nomadic Matt, James had long escaped his 9-5 job for travel blogging. He branded himself as The Savvy Backpacker.

Different from travel bloggers like Gypsea Lust, James does not consider himself an influencer. James is your traditional blogger, possessing a humble following of just 800 on Instagram. James' platform is mainly his website that offers advice for backpackers. His blog is used to educate rather than share personal experiences, making The Savvy Backpacker a perfect source for travel planning.

Never heard of him? Well, then you better keep scrolling.

Europe Night Views.
Photo by Pedro Cunha on Unsplash

What is The Savvy Backpacker?

The Savvy Backpacker offers advice on planning and preparing for a backpacking trip. Their blog source is the most popular, but James has also published a guidebook for backpackers. Both are fantastic resources for first-time backpackers and experienced travelers alike. It covers everything from planning, packing, accommodation, transportation to gear, budgeting, and travel safety. So pretty much everything.

Who is Behind The Savvy Backpacker?

Born in the Midwest, James was raised in Kansas City, Missouri. His travels began as early as 2007 when he studied abroad at the University of Leeds in England. Being in close proximity to the rest of Europe, James took the opportunity to travel around Western and Eastern Europe. By 2011, he had found a job in the City of Light and packed his bags for Paris, France. He took every chance he could to travel Europe, so it's no surprise to us when he began The Savvy Backpacker blog in 2010. 

James Feess The Savvy Backpacker.
Image Courtesy of The Savvy Backpacker

Why was The Savvy Backpacker Created?

James started The Savvy Backpacker to create a one-stop shop for all things backpacking. This idea was born from his frustration at the lack of well-researched websites for Backpackers. He acquired tips and tricks from fellow backpackers that he's never read on any website during his first trip. So he came back home and founded The Savvy Backpacker, a website specialized in gathering all the information a first-time backpacker would need. 

Amazing sights in Europe.
Photo by Raul Taciu on Unsplash


What's so Great About The Savvy Backpacker Blog?

Backpacking Europe for Beginners

Is this your first time backpacking? The Savvy Backpacker is a great place to start. This blog lists out everything you would need to know as a first-time backpacker. From budgeting to packing, they've got you covered. The Savy Backpacker's blog is also super organized as well! You won't find yourself lost unless you count on getting lost in your travel plans. Navigate to the "Start Here" tab to access the master list of resources. 

Wide Range of Backpacking Information

Each tab at the top of the website covers an essential element of travel planning. Never used the Eurail before? Are you worried about scams? The Savvy Backpacker has got you covered. They provide resources for every milestone of your travel itinerary. You'll also be able to rely on his guides to book budget airlines, rail passes, and car rentals. Above that, James lists out all the typical tourist scams you should look out for and the best anti-theft gears to get. This way, you'll be able to focus more on the sights and not the pickpockets. 

The Savvy Backpacker Packing List

There is a list of every backpacking product you can think of on this site! Find the best backpacks, clothing items, and even sim cards for your European adventure. Navigate to their ultimate packing list post for the most extensive packing list for backpacking around Europe. These lists have been raved to be the most helpful amongst others, and they are indeed the most comprehensive we have seen. We doubt you will be missing anything after following James' packing lists. 

City Price Guides

Tight on budget, but still want to travel? Fear not, for you can find the cheapest accommodations per city on The Savvy Backpacker. They have even included economical options for those really looking for a bang for the buck. Honestly, an all-in-all great budgeting resource for any price point with rundowns of accommodation, transportation, and dining prices. This also includes all major European cities and New York City!

Hook up Culture

When we say he's got every scenario covered, we mean it. 

The Savvy Backpacker offers valuable advice for those looking for an adventure of a different nature in Europe. We'll leave the guide to the ultimate European travel experience here for anyone that is interested.

European sights and destinations.
Photo by Joss Woodhead on Unsplash


The Savvy Backpacker Guide

If the website is a little overwhelming for you, you're in luck! James is also a published author. His book The Savvy Backpacker's Guide to Europe on a Budget is an all-around great source for backpacking beginners. It covers everything on his website but in bite-size pieces. It's perfect for our non-tech-savvy friends and those who prefer complex copy sources.

The only issue is that it was published in 2015, making it a little outdated. The workaround is to learn the basics from the book then check his website to confirm the information. It's all about the baby steps.

Of course, if you're already a backpacking pro, this guide will be standard for you. Since it's catered towards beginners, it only holds the basics you would already know. We recommend using the website instead for up-to-date travel advice. 

James Feess The Travel Guide behind The Savvy Backpacker.
Image Courtesy of The Savvy Backpacker

Final Thoughts

James has years of backpacking experience up his belt. Without a doubt, his advice is some of the best in the industry. He's covered everything you would need to know for planning a backpacking trip around Europe. He's even included some of his tips for becoming a travel blogger! So if you're looking to enter the lucrative career of travel blogging, look no further than The Savvy Backpacker. He even discusses the best tech to have when travel blogging! 

However, one downside we've found is that his expertise lies in backpacking around Europe. If you're looking for travel guides in other places, you might want to look for other travel blogs!

Get Inspired To Travel With Pilot!

Inspired by The Savvy Backpacker? We've got just the right app to get you starting planning for your next trip.

Try out our brand new Pilot travel planning app to organize your next big adventure! Hitting the most spots in the lowest time and budget is vital to becoming a successful travel blogger! The Pilot app allows you to research, plan, and book your itinerary all in 1 place! Not sure where to go? 

Make sure to also sign up for Flightdeck, our monthly e-newsletter, to discover new locations for your trip. Stay safe and have fun!

Originally published on:  
January 24, 2022

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