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Backpacking in the Middle East – Everything You Need to Know

Backpacking around a mysterious land or unknown country is one of the most exciting things to do in life, and not everyone can do it.

Just the thought of being in places like the Middle East is simply terrifying. 

But there is no need to worry! If you are on the fence about backpacking through Israel, Iran, Jordan, Turkey, and other countries in the Middle East—this guide will definitely be of good use. 

Backpacking in the Middle East: Where to start?

Backpacking requires you to travel light, so you’re probably not going to need a lot of stuff. Here are a couple of things that you will need for backpacking that you might want to check out before planning your Middle East Backpacking Itinerary!

  • Backpack

I know it goes without mentioning that you are going to need a backpack to go backpacking, but you should probably get the right size that would fit everything you need for the trip, and at the same time, still be comfortable to carry.

Your backpack should also fit the overhead bins on the plane ride. On normal trips, people tend to travel with a carry-on with wheels, but backpacking is different. You will need to pack your carry-on essentials in something that you can carry throughout the trip.  

  • Compression Storage Bags

Depending on how long your trip duration is, you might need to save space in your backpack. To save space effectively and be more organized, you can use a compression storage bag. It keeps your things organized, and they are also translucent, which allows you to view the contents. Plus, some options are also water-resistant, so you are ready for what comes ahead.

  • Passport Holder

Backpacking means you will be carrying essential travel documents around wherever you go, and it is best to keep them protected.

Some check-in counters do not accept worn passports, especially if the barcode does not work with scanners. With that being said, it is better to be safe than sorry—get yourself a waterproof passport holder!

  • Photography Gear

If you want to make memories during your backpacking trip across the middle east, you should probably invest in good camera gear.

For casual backpackers, a phone camera might be good enough. But if you are a photography buff—you probably want to bring a better camera to capture your experience in higher definition. 

  • Misc. Items

Other Items you should carry are phone battery packs, water bottles, sleeping bags, travel pillows, gear for the cold, clothes for when it is hot, and more.

You can always research a place beforehand to find out the climate conditions and bring the appropriate gear. 

Middle East Visa Requirements

Most Americans, British, and Canadian citizens can enter the countries visa-free. However, you might want to double-check for countries like Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and more. Acquiring a visa for the Middle East isn’t particularly hard.

All you need is to visit the embassy in your country for each particular country and get a visa by paying a certain fee— It is quite the same as getting a Russian Tourist Visa or any other visa around the world. 

The only difference is that you will need to do it for multiple countries. Some airlines and travel agencies will also fill you in on the visa requirements. If you are at a website like Spice Jet Booking, you will probably read about the visa requirements beforehand. 

Backpacking Middle East: Your Itinerary

There are many countries in the Middle East, and a month of backpacking will not cover all of them. The best thing to do is choose a route and pick the countries you want to visit the most. Here are some of the most popular routes and countries you may wish to visit.


These countries are very close to each other, and it makes sense to visit them when you decide to go backpacking through the Middle East. They offer a wide selection of opportunities, sights, sounds, experiences, and diversity. Flying between these countries is very cheap.

Turkey alone is a pretty diverse destination to explore. You can visit Istanbul, and you can walk through the mountains in Cappadocia, the Mediterranean coast, and many more. 

10 days in Turkey will not be enough to whole experience what the entire country has to offer. Lebanon and Jordan are the same. The adventures of these three countries are very unique, and you should definitely include them in your route.

You might want to add Israel to this trip if you have a couple of extra days and money to spare. If you are a religious buff, Israel is home to the Holy Land or Jerusalem—If you know the New Testament, you probably know the story. 


Backpacking across different countries can be very exciting, but it is best to read up and know what to do before visiting unknown territories to be extra safe! 

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